Become a Tax Strategist, Not Just a Tax Preparer
Cutting-edge technology can enable firms to transform their practice from one that only offers tax preparation services to one that is full-service.
The fall is upon us and that also marks the beginning of tax planning season. For accounting firms, this is an opportunity to offer additional value to their clients in the form of tax-planning services. Having a tax-planning session now, instead of at the beginning of filing season, not only gives clients enough time to heed strategic advice, but also underscores a firm’s value beyond tax-preparation services and perhaps justifies additional service revenue. But providing strategic tax advice can be far more challenging than firms realize.
Modeling complex tax scenarios, eliminating surprises, and offering exceptional income tax planning and projections is no easy feat. From determining whether a client should take all the profits from a business sale upfront or over several years, to identifying penalty-avoidance opportunities on stock sales, tax strategy done right can save clients thousands of dollars. Done wrong, firms risk losing both their client’s hard-earned dollars and possibly that customer all together.
Many firms still rely on manual spreadsheets as their go — to technology for tax planning. But the difficulty with manual spreadsheets is just that - they are manual. Not only are they time-consuming to maintain, but also at risk for human error. Beyond the inefficiencies and risks associated with manual spreadsheets, it would be nearly impossible to read, interpret, and dispense strategic advice based on the 70,000 pages in the US federal tax code (and that does not even include state and local tax codes). At an average reading speed of two minutes per page, it would take 2,333 hours to read the just the federal tax codes. That equates to 58 40-hour work weeks, or more than a year. Obviously, spending an entire year wading through the federal tax code is not an option. So what is a firm to do?
Technology, coupled with accurate tax research is the only proven way to ensure that a firm can provide sound tax strategy in a cost-effective manner. No wonder recent studies have found that many accounting firms feel that technology will impact their ability to provide services and added value to their clients in the future. In this always-on era, the only practical way for accounting professionals to stay relevant, fresh, and most importantly provide sound tax advice to their clients, is to fight fire with fire.
Used by thousands of tax, legal, and financial planning professionals across the country, BNA Income Tax™ Planner Web is an excellent example of how cutting-edge technology can enable firms to transform their practice from one that only offers tax preparation services to one that is full-service, providing their clients with both strategic advice and tax preparation services. BNA Income Tax Planner Web is far easier and faster than tax planning using spreadsheets or tax preparation software. It maximizes the accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness of planning with automatic calculations, analytics, regulatory compliance, and built-in tax expertise.
BNA Income Tax Planner Web enables CPAs to impress their clients with in-depth analysis and side-by-side comparisons allowing them to easily see and understand even the most complex tax scenarios. According to Charles Sarowitz, Founder and Partner of the Brooklyn firm of Sarowitz Milito & Co., CPAs, “My clients want clarity. When I prepare tax projections that let them know their tax liability and their disposable income, they know how much they can spend. BNA Income Tax Planner enables me, as a practitioner, to give my clients that clarity and vision.” Plus, with the ability to plan 20 years out, firms are able to provide true projections.
Another important feature to look for when making a decision is the delivery model of the technology, either installed or Web-based. As a Web-based solution, BNA Income Tax Planner Web provides anytime, anywhere Web access with automatic tax updates. With thousands of tax code changes occurring annually, this feature is critical to dispensing accurate, precise and strategic tax strategy advice.
To learn more about how you can streamline your tax planning process and minimize your client’s tax burden, go to Income Tax Planner™ ». Whether a sole proprietor or one of the Big 4, you’ll see how it provides the peace of mind required to help grow and preserve the wealth of both clients and the firms that serve them.