What Growing a Practice with Compliance Looks Likeby
Practices of all sizes are all being urged to grow in ways they may not be accustomed to, so it stands to reason that expanding core functions like compliance-based work may be a comfortable choice.
CPA and attorney Judy Vorndran is actively helping professionals with these decisions. Specifically, she advises clients and tax professionals on navigating state and local tax issues as a partner at Colorado-based TaxOps. She is a nationally recognized thought leader and award-winning instructor with a steady focus on finding ways to simplify complex state and local tax issues and resolve areas of state tax controversy.
More importantly, she will be hosting a session at the upcoming Avalara Crush conference entitled ‘Growing Your Practice with Compliance’ that will take a closer look at what automation looks like in the sales tax work stream. She will discuss, among other related items, how building a sales tax automation practice can create a window into adding value to your clients’ performance and grow your practice.
We recently caught up with Judy to explore some of these issues and how a firm may get started on the path to growth with compliance.
AW: So many firms already focus on compliance work, what does it mean to grow your practice in this way?
Vorndran: We are not talking about income tax compliance but transaction tax compliance – companies deal with this internally every day, every month…a very different world than once a quarter when estimated income tax payments are due.
AW: What are some best practices, in terms of first steps, for firms interested in any area of growth?
Vorndran: Have a visionary (i.e. leader) passionate about helping people and comfortable with dealing with a multitude of governments!
AW: Conversely, what are some common mistakes/what should firms avoid in planning?
Vorndran: Hiring the wrong people, minimizing the effort involved and treating it like a commodity rather than a value added service.
AW: In terms of practice growth, what specific areas of compliance would you advise firms to focus on and why?
Vorndran: Sales tax return outsourcing, business licenses, property tax outsourcing – from that work a wealth of complicated strategic and risk mitigation services can evolve such as nexus studies, tax automation assistance, transaction tax audit assistance, M&A assistance, registrations – as well as really getting to really know the business operations of one’s clients.
I think this is what it is all about and in my world, building those relationships, understanding their challenges and helping them along is what puts the fun in accounting.