The tax season is over and you are enjoying all the increased revenue it has brought to you. But have you thought about what you are going to do after this? Most people are happy with the seasonal income generated from the tax season but the most successful firms focus on serving their clients all year round rather than just January to April.
Chuck McCabe, founder of ‘Peoples Income Tax’ and ranked as one of the top 100 most influential people in accounting by Accounting Today 2013-2015, suggests, “As a tax professional, your relationship with a client should not start in January and end in April – it should be ongoing”.
Here are 5 ways to help you continue growing your revenue even after the tax season:
1) Yearlong consulting: personal consulting to clients
Just like your clients have questions during the tax season, they have questions related to finances after that too. Your client returns have been filed but that doesn’t mean your job is over; there might be issues that will be raised even after the taxes are filed. For example some of your clients might get notices or emails from IRS, and they would need help from an expert on that.
According to the IRS Oversight Board, 37% of taxpayers—that’s almost 60 million taxpayers—have to contact the IRS for something other than filing their returns. You can charge a per hour rate for providing your valuable support to them whenever they need.
2) Provide financial advisory and management services
As a CPA, you can also provide advisory and asset management services but for the clients to approach you, you need to be on top of their mind. Just because they have used your services during the tax season doesn’t guarantee that they will come back to you when they need an advice.
Establish communication through newsletters, postcards, emails, and more. Encourage your clients to ask you questions and develop a habit that whenever they have a financial question they come to you instead of wondering and wandering.
Pitch for other accounting services you can provide, such as payroll, bookkeeping and bank reconciliations. In a survey conducted by Towers Perrin, they found “Lack of trust” (35%) as one of biggest barriers to effective cross-selling.
So spend the time instilling trust in your client so he will be willing to try out other services from your arsenal. Do not worry about the additional infrastructure/staff required, you can always hire an leading industry vendor to work for you.
4) Improve customer service to increase revenue
Many small accountants don’t focus on customer service and retention like their competitors. Happy customers who get their issues resolved spread the word to about 4-6 people about their experience – and referrals are worth far more than your advertising spend to you.
5) Be proactive
Nobody can understand your client’s financial status better than you because you are ‘the’ accountant. You need to develop a stronger relationship and be proactive in understanding your client’s needs. When your clients feel you are the one person to go to for all their financial issues, they will bring more business and more referrals.
So take a break, relax after this tax season but brainstorm ideas to make sure you are preparing to be busier all year round.