Firm Growth Strategy Plan Checklist

Whether you are a regional or growing city firm, we all look for ways to grow our business.

by Engineered Tax Services

It costs more to locate a new client than it does to retain a current one. Clients, especially in this tough environment are looking for a provider/supplier, in all they do, who will add value to their business, to help give their business that competitive edge and more over, financially survive.

The US Government and the IRS, provide a wealth of options for CPAs to be able to deliver just that to their client. The key is to identify what option you feel would add value to your client base with minimal time usage on your behalf. In another words, how to increase your ROI and your clients by taking on additional value added services. Many Big 4 firms have in-house teams offering these value added government tax incentives.

Did you know though, that these services are also available to you for your clients, through companies like ETS. We supply specialty tax consulting services that you could not provide on your own.

Some of these services include:

  • Cost Segregation Studies
  • 179D EPAct Certifications
  • Disposition Studies
  • Insurance Replacement Appraisals
  • Tangible Property Repair Regulations
  • Research and Development Tax Credits
  • Historic Tax Credits
  • Reserve Studies

In each case, there is a substantial investment in resou rces and education. Engineered Tax Services' specialty tax departments have various professionals, ranging from Engineers and CPAs to Attorneys. You are unlikely to hire a staff this robust to meet all of your client needs, but you can utilize ours and access them as your own through our partnership program. Why reinvent the wheel when you can take advantage of these resources immediately while avoiding the increases in overhead and fixed costs?

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

  1. Don't do it on your own: Spending all your time researching each tax law which 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 you clients or firm 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 add 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, find out what specialty tax services your firm does not offer, and identify if it is one that you should.

  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 they or have they worked for (other CPA firms and clients)

    • How long have they been in the industry
    • Can they offer sample studies & client testimonials
    • How up to date are they with their taxation laws in their specialty area
    • Have they encountered an IRS audit, how did they manage that, what is their success rate and will they stand behind you
    • 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 ground work 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, 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 the economic down turn, and subsequently not lost the client.

  8. Go the extra mile: Does the new tax service offer benefits that your client could implement, but because they don't know, just doesn't. Take the Energy Tax, for example. If your client spent money upgrading their lighting system, to be energy efficient, they could take advantage of the 179D Energy Tax benefits for lighting, Abandonment tax benefits, Depreciation tax benefits and State tax benefits. Additionally, the electric bill just went down. Here is one example of a client property:

    A distribution company with a warehouse of 250,000 square feet, upgraded all lighting.
    • Cost: $140,000
    • EPAct: $140,000
    • Disposition: $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, has just realized 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. Your client is undertaking these new tax benefits, you are paid for these new services, your firm has just increased spending from this client to provide your firm with increased ROI.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

  11. How to start a specialty tax revenue stream and ensure it is successful: 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.

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