Grow Your Firm This Summer With 10 Tips to Identifying Value Added Services

Grow Your Firm This Summer With 10 Tips to Identifying Value Added Services

Whether you are a local or regionally based firm, business growth and development should be a top priority during the coming summer months. It costs more to locate a new client than it does to retain an existing one. Your clients are looking for a provider who will add value to their business by giving them a competitive edge and more over, bettering their bottom line. The US Government provides a wealth of options for CPAs to deliver this to their clients through wealth preservation strategies. The key is to identify what options would add value to your current client base with minimal time usage on your behalf. In another words, you must identify how to increase your client’s bottom line by taking on additional value added services. Many Big 4 firms have in-house teams offering these value added tax incentives, which smaller firms must compete with on some level. You can do this by offering these same services through a strategic partnership with a specialty tax provider like Engineered Tax Services. A strategic partnership offers specialty tax consulting services that most firms would otherwise, not be able to offer. Value Added Services Include: In each case, there is a substantial investment in resources and education that is required. Engineered Tax Services’ team has devoted the past 16 years to perfecting the processes involved. Our team consists of professional engineers, specialty tax experts, and our own real estate investors to guide you along the way and serve as your quarterback. That is why we have compiled a checklist to help you expand your service offerings while bettering both you and your client’s bottom line, resulting in increased client satisfaction and retention.

Checklist to identifying value added tax options your firm should use:

  1. Don’t do it alone. Spending all your time researching each tax law that you would like your firm to implement is not a good use of your time or the most effective way of implementing that service. Tax laws change all the time and it would be impossible for you to keep up with the laws and do your firm or clients justice.
  2. Do what your clients are doing. Your clients are asking for providers and suppliers to add value to their company and so should you! Seeking out providers and suppliers will add value back to your firm. There are many external providers specialized in tax areas who offer a service which you could implement into your firm.
  3. Educate yourself. Before you start knocking on doors to any and every provider in the tax arena, identify what specialty tax services your firm does not offer and identify if there is one you should offer to make your firm different than your competition and better for your clients.
  4. Research your providers. Your clients and you deserve a reputable provider, especially since they will form part of your trusted advisory team. Do your due diligence.Questions you may like to ask:
    • Who do or have they worked for (other CPA firms and clients)
    • How long have they been in the industry
    • Request sample studies & client testimonials
    • How up to date are they with their taxation laws in their specialty area
    • Have they encountered an IRS audit and will they stand behind you in the event of an audit?
    • Do they have the resources to perform the job for you and do so in a timely manner
    • What materials can the provider offer your firm for your clients
    • How many specialty services do you offer and offer successfully
  5. Signing up with your provider. Entering in an agreement with your provider will allow both of you to understand what to expect, and form a trusted relationship.
  6. Introducing the specialty tax into your firm. Armed with a new service, the next step is to train staff on the new product offering. The provider should be able to provide training and marketing material to assist staff with the new tax offering. You, in turn, will be supporting the new offering with a pricing schedule, which you have prepared, for staff to run by.
  7. Introducing the new specialty tax to clients. Data mining (researching and reviewing through your existing client base) to locate the appropriate clients is an essential tool to ensuring your groundwork was successful. Then, before you approach your identified client(s), contact your specialty tax provider; give him basic details on the client.For example: Your client has a building and your specialty tax provider has a tax benefit for building owners. By providing your provider with basic information, they should be able to give you an estimated tax benefit based on their experience.With this information, you can contact the client and provide them with a brief on how you are about to increase their cash flow. Provide the client with information on this tax benefit, and if needed, you can provide marketing material to the client as well, but most importantly show the client the tax benefit estimated analysis he would likely be looking to receive. You may have even saved a client from becoming a victim of an economic down turn, and subsequently retained that client.
  8. Go the extra mile. Does the new tax service offer additional benefits that your client could implement? Take the energy tax incentives for example. If your client spent money upgrading their lighting system to be energy efficient in 2016, they could take advantage of the 179D Energy Tax benefits on their extended tax returns. Additionally, they could capture asset disposition tax benefits, depreciation tax benefits, and even state tax benefits. Here is one example of a client property:A distribution company with a warehouse of 250,000 square feet upgraded all lighting.
    • Lighting Upgrade Cost: $140,000
    • 179D Energy Benefit: $140,000
    • Disposition Deduction: $90,000
    • Annual Energy Saving: $60,000
    • First Year Net After Tax: +$500
    • Five Year Benefits: $300,500+
    • -$450,000 + the increased cost of energy
    • – Zero Net Cost the first year
  9. Outcome. Your client will realize your valuable worth, even more than previous, as you have just added to their bottom line. Your time in investing to locate a suitable provider has proven beneficial. As your client is undertaking these new tax benefits, you are paid for these new services and increased the ROI.Additionally, you can manage this client’s new tax benefit with minimal disruption to your business, as your specialty tax provider will be doing all the work.
  10. New clients. How do you market your firm’s progress and obtain new clients. It is simple – Talk about it.
    • Ask existing clients to refer you – they will be happy to after you just reduced their tax liability and increased their bottom line.
    • Update your marketing materials – online, and in print. Promoting the fact that you find ways to increase your client’s bottom line and reduce corporate taxes, and use case examples (anonymously).
    • Target clients. Identify client’s you would like to have and introduce your company and service.
    • Align with Angel Investors or Venture Capitalist. They are the ground floor for growing companies
Realizing the need for CPAs to be able to provide value added services to their clients, ETS’ partnership program is designed to assist firms in implementing a successful specialty tax offering to their clients while building significant revenue into their firm. With this support, you can navigate the business growth plan in a more efficient and successfully proven path. Engineered Tax Services helps firms through each step of the way in firm growth and specialty service offering with further support through the year to ensure the investment in education is providing the returns to your firm, which it promotes.

National Red Nose Day at ETS Headquarters

National Red Nose Day at ETS Headquarters

National Red Nose Day was May 25th. Walgreens has been selling red noses to benefit children in poor communities in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The profits from selling the noses ensures that kids are safe, healthy, educated, and empowered. ETS HQ had fun donating to the cause and wearing the noses.

Section 179D Status Update

Many of our clients have requested updates on the status of IRS Code Section 179D, the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction. This deduction which expired on December 31, 2016 has provided significant value to commercial property owners, and the Architectural, Engineering, and Contractor (AEC) Industry.

Here at ETS we have been heavily involved with legislation to encourage the Trump administration to consider the effects of a large Tax Reform Bill and its impact on the Real Estate Industry. 179D is a large component on the proposed change.

This month we have seen a new proposal to enhance and extend the Section 179D deduction, and are hopeful that it will be heard by the house and senate this year. Some of the proposed changes include:

  1. Strengthening and Modernizing Section 179D: 1 which would increase the value of the deduction to $3.00 per square foot from $1.80, increase the applicable energy efficiency standards, make it available to support improvements to existing as well as new buildings, and extend the deduction.
  2. Extension of Current Law Section 179D plus Expansion to Non-Profits and Tribal Governments: 2 modeled on 2015 legislation developed by the Senate Finance Committee under Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), which would extend the deduction, expand availability of the deduction to nonprofit organizations and tribal governments and increase the applicable energy efficiency standards.
  3. Extension of Current Law Section 179D: 3 modeled on the two-year extension of current law enacted as part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (“PATH”) Act of 2015. (Excerpt from REMI proposal May, 2017)

We are encouraged to see the movement on this bill and expect to see action prior to the end of 2017.

Section 179D currently offer $1.80 per square foot for property owners meeting the energy efficient building standards through new construction, or retrofits of existing properties. The deduction has also been widely applied in the AEC industry for the design of energy efficient buildings that are publicly funded, offering substantial tax savings to an industry hard-hit by the economic downturn of 2008.

If you would like to receive notifications of this pending change, or other tax related changes, please join our newsletter, blog, or follow us on LinkedIn. If you have questions relating to tax incentives please contact Heidi Henderson at Engineered Tax Services or your current point of contact within ETS.