Block to Expand into Small Business Services Sector

H&R Block has announced plans to expand into the business services realm, with services such as year-round tax preparation and planning, bookkeeping and payroll processing, and advisory services for businesses with 25 or fewer employees, the Kansas City Star reported.

Known for its tax services for individuals, Block is hoping to open as many as 1,000 offices over the next five to seven years, with some located in nine states in former American Express Tax and Business Service Offices, which were bought by Block. The offices bough by Block generated $9 million in revenues last year and have a combined roster of 15,000 clients, said Linda McDougall, Block's chief spokeswoman.

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The 1,000 offices would be one-tenth of the company's 10,000 traditional tax services offices, but could bring in revenue of $800 million to $1 billion when the full expansion is complete, the company said in a statement.

“There are more than 20 million small businesses in the United States, but no national brand serving their tax, financial and business needs,” Jeff Yabuki, the company's chief operating officer, said in a statement released by the company.

“We see a huge opportunity to provide a wide range of superior products and services that business owners need from a single trusted source.”

The company will hire CPAs, enrolled agents and similarly credentialed tax and financial service professionals to staff the new offices, the Star reported.

Block's unit RSM McGladrey Business Services Inc., provides similar services to medium-size businesses with 5,000 or fewer workers, the Star reported.

The offices now open are in Tucson, AZ.; Rancho Palos Verdes and Walnut Creek, CA.; Fort Wayne and Rochester, IN.; Cedar Rapids, IA; Wakefield, MA.; Livonia, MI.; Omaha, NE.; Dublin, OH; and Roanoke, VA.

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