How to Have Your Best Tax Prep Season Ever in 2021

For many years, my rallying cry has been “no more filing season”.

Yep, I’m one of the people that goes against the grain, and reminds you that there are other things you can be doing with your time other than grinding through tax season.

Personally, I chose to completely eschew tax season when I was in practice, and focused solely on tax resolution. Full time, year-round, nothing else.

That’s my personal philosophy about it. But, I’m a very pragmatic person, and I totally understand that such a message just isn’t going to resonate with the majority of tax professionals. For many in our profession, filing season is just so heavily ingrained into their psyche, that they can’t fathom NOT participating in filing season — and just never going to change that.

I totally understand that.

So, this year, I’m going to take a different angle on this: If you’re going to “do” filing season, choose to do it better.

Plenty of tax professionals have easy-going filing seasons. They work 40 hours a week or less, not 90. They don’t miss their kids’ events. Their marriage doesn’t suffer for 3 months a year. And they still generate plenty of income.

Fairy tale? Not at all.

Since this isn’t at all my area of expertise, I’ve arranged with my good friend Salim Omar, CPA to share with you his amazing system for creating genuinely ENJOYABLE filing seasons in your tax firm.

Salim is well versed in what it’s like to have miserable filing seasons, but several years ago he made specific choices to totally turn around his tax firm. It really is fascinating to read how about Salim got from where he was (which included being up to his eyeballs in debt), to where he was running a smooth, systematic tax prep business. You can read about this transformation by clicking here.

Consider, for a moment, what your life would be like if you had a tax firm that:

  • Runs like a well-oiled machine WITHOUT YOU.
  • Pumps out profits during tax season like never before without you working like an insane person.
  • Attracts the clients YOU want (not just “more clients”).
  • Has more self-driven, competent, confident staff (with very little babysitting from you).
  • Easily gets clients SAYING YES to your services, regardless of the fees.
  • Has clients that refer, so that you’re not wasting time and money on advertising.

You have an AMAZING opportunity in … Continue reading

Converting Future Vision to Present Action to Transform Your Tax Firm

Yesterday, I tasked you with an exercise to define your future by visualizing what your business structure and personal finances look like on Dec. 31, 2021. If you missed it, you can read it here.

I promise, that’s as “woo-woo” as I get. Today, we start the process of converting that vision of your future state into pragmatic action steps.

prag·mat·ic
/praɡˈmadik/
adjective

  1. dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

Above all else, this is the most important word that I try to keep in mind whenever I’m writing an article, developing a CPE class, or assembling a marketing toolkit for you to use in your practice. It’s a byproduct of my engineering background. My brief foray into doing research science was miserable, just way too theoretical for me. Engineering is all about practical application, and that’s what I try to bring to you here, as well.

So how do you convert a vision of the future into practical action steps you can start taking today?

Creating Action Steps, Part I

Here’s Part I of the simple process:

  1. For each component of your future vision (e.g., each question in the exercise), write down the metric that defines it’s achievement. In other words, a KPI (Key Performance Indicator). This should be an objectively quantifiable unit of measurement, such as hours or dollars. Again, see the the exercise from yesterday — it’s worded the way it is for a specific reason, to flow into this process here. For example, personal net income of $250,000 for the year.
  2. Write down the equivalent metric’s value as of Dec. 31, 2020. For example, personal net income for last year may have been $50,000.
  3. Calculate the delta between the two. In this example, it’s $200,000. This is the gap that we need to bridge, over the next 12 months.
  4. Divide the gap by 50. This gives you the weekly change you need to create. In the example, that’s $4,000 per week.

Was that complicated? Was that too obvious? Have you stopped reading because you already knew that?

Well, if it’s so obvious, and you already knew it… How come you’ve never done it? Aha, gotcha! 🙂

And if you have done it before, GREAT!

But if you haven’t, please…please…please DO IT. It’s one thing to proclaim a New Year’s resolution to 5x your income in 2021. But unless you … Continue reading

Choosing the Future Vision of Your Tax Firm

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ugh. Worst job interview question ever.

Back when I was an employee, I absolutely hated this question. Mainly because the honest answer was along the lines of, “Hopefully not working here.”

But once you make the choice to become a business owner, the question takes on a whole new meaning, and it’s one that you should give serious consideration.

As the owner of your tax practice, you are the “architect” of what that business will look like in the future. The choices you make today directly impact how the business is structured, what it does, who it serves, and how much revenue it generates in the future.

The exercise that I asked you to complete a few days ago is directly connected to this. Analyzing the choices you’ve made in the past help you understand why your business is it’s present state. Being conscious of the choices you’re facing now and the choices you should be contemplating help you build the future tax firm that you want.

Today, I want you to focus on that future state in which you want your tax firm to exist. Don’t worry, I’m not going to lead you on some woo-woo vision board exercise (although I do have one). Instead, I want you to answer some simple questions that can be objectively measured. I’m not asking you to set goals right now, but rather to realistically create some criteria by which you can define your own success. Meaning, success as you choose to define it for yourself.

Exercise
Imagine it’s Friday, December 31, 2021, and you’re reflecting back on this year.

  • How many hours did you work this year?
  • How many hours did you “play” this year?
  • Who did you hire this year?
  • What services did you add or drop from your practice this year?
  • What new skills did you become competent in this year?
  • What niche target market did you crush it with this year?
  • How much personal income did you generate this year?
  • How has your personal net worth changed in the last 12 months?

If you think of additional questions to add to the list, by all means do so. The most important part of this exercise is that you write down the answers.

What does this become? What’s the utility of it? We’ll discuss that tomorrow.

Here’s to the future you,
~Jassen Bowman

P.S. If … Continue reading