Achieving better profitability isn’t something you can accomplish overnight.
First identify all areas that need improvement in your business model. You’ll need to patch up these holes in your hull before you start sailing your ship toward better returns. But you can’t take a haphazard approach — you need to approach this methodically.
Whether you’re wondering how much do tax preparers make, or trying to upgrade your current practices, there are a few areas you can focus on right away to get your vessel pointed in the right direction. Here’s what you can do this year to bring in more profits for your tax firm.
Integrate new technologies for better efficiency.
Tax firms have a reputation of being old fashioned, relying on outdated processes and systems because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” If this sounds familiar, your firm needs to shape up or ship out. You’re losing out on profitability by relying on these inefficient practices — they waste your money, time, and effort.
One way to work more efficiently is to use innovative technologies. Consider integrating a tax software system to streamline the number entry and filing processes your firm completes on a daily basis.
Also consider using a CRM to keep track of client accounts. This can integrate with other services like lead generation software, email, and calendars to keep everything organized. It’s often the quickest way to get client updates without having to dig through physical files or email chains.
Don’t just work faster — work faster and smarter with the help of technology.
Offer more than tax filing services to clients.
January to April are your busiest months as a tax firm. So after the April 15th deadline, you’ll often find yourself with a lack of work unless you have clients that filed for extensions. This could spell disaster for profitability, leading to months of little or no revenue.
The problem is offering only one thing to clients. When you’re a single service firm, you’ll get single service clients — they partake in one brief interaction instead of engaging in a relationship throughout the year.
Combat this lack of business by offering more services. Consider implementing a tax planning service to help clients navigate the new tax laws and find the most applicable deductions during the year. Also use your skills to help with payroll, bookkeeping, and other accounting services your clients may need.
A client would be much more willing to work with you on other accounting-related projects if you already have a good idea of their full financial picture.
Deliver amazing customer service to anyone that contacts your tax firm.
There’s a lot of competition for new clients, especially in the heat of tax season. To separate your firm from the pack, deliver outstanding customer service to prospective and current clients.
Today’s customers place a lot of importance on excellent customer service. The American Express 2017 Customer Service Barometer study uncovered that seven out of 10 U.S. consumers spent more money to do business with a company that delivered great service. This shows that customer service can be the difference between winning or losing a customer.
Remind yourself that customers keep your firm afloat and are the source of referral traffic. Keeping clients happy means more referrals, and thus more revenue over time. Delight and impress them during every interaction by answering their questions in a helpful and candid way. Communicate with them in the channels they use most and be attentive. Think about it: do your clients tend to use social media or email to reach out? Whatever their medium is, make sure you’re there and ready to answer their questions, always.
Customer service is just as important for retaining current clients. Why? Keeping clients is easier and less costly than finding new ones.
You don’t have to make major overhauls in your firm to be more profitable. Start by increasing your efficiency, adding more services, and delivering amazing customer service. These fundamental tips will help grow your customer base and your business at the same time — a win-win for any firm whose goal is better profitability in the long term. Use these tips to guide your growth year-round, not just as you prep for tax season! Have you had success growing your business using one of these tips? Share your experience in the comments below.