Tax Practice Daily Checklists

Starting today, I’m going to start sharing the core checklists that constitute my tax practice systems. I’ll be sharing these checklists in order to help you organize your tax practice and make it operate more efficiently. Keep in mind that these systems are constantly changing, based on new lessons learned, input from staff members and clients, and ideas gleaned from books, courses, and seminars from the worlds of sales, marketing, management, and more. As these checklists and systems change, they will be updated on the blog.

I encourage your feedback on these checklists. Be sure to leave a comment on the blog if you have any thoughts to share.

Checklists are organized as layers, like the roots of a tree, starting at one point and branching out and down deeper, and deeper. The Tax Practice Daily Checklist is where I start, and everything branches out from there.

Tax Practice Daily Checklist

  1. Tax Practice Goals Checklist
  2. Tax Practice Daily Marketing Checklist
  3. Tax Resolution Daily Client Checklist
  4. Tax Preparation Daily Client Checklist
  5. Other Client Services Checklists
  6. Tax Practice Business Management Checklist

Checklist Overview

Each of the sub-checklists in the main Tax Practice Daily Checklist serves a core purpose within the overall scope of running a business. The checklist is intentionally oriented towards running a profitable tax firm, and the sub-checklists are presented essentially in order of importance to be tackled each day.

To start, it’s important to take a look at your goals every day. This is to remind you of what you are trying to achieve, why you’re even in business, and to “right your ship” at the start of your work day to give you the proper focus and direction for the day.

Next, the Daily Marketing Checklist guides you through testing your marketing systems to make sure everything that needs to be working is working. These can be simple things like making sure your 800 number and your web site are operational, all the way to making sure that complex automated direct mail fulfillment systems are up and running. The Daily Marketing Checklist comes before client work on purpose: Lead generation and new client consultations are the absolute single most important thing you do Continue reading

JK Harris Closes Doors, Creates Market Opportunity

The largest tax resolution firm in the United States, JK Harris, has closed it’s doors.

They had filed for Chapter 11 protection back in October, but their largest creditor opposed the reorganization plan, and seized assets on Friday.

What does this mean for you? With the single largest national competitor gone, there is suddenly a tremendous vacuum in the tax resolution marketplace. You, as a local tax professional, can step in to fill that void.

JK Harris had thousands of clients across the country, and those clients are suddenly left without any representation. that means now is a great time to step up your marketing and take advantage of the situation.

To take advantage of this opportunity, take a gander at the Tax Practice Marketing Mastery course to learn how to attract these new clients to you.… Continue reading

How To Create Systems For Use In Your Practice

Yesterday I wrote to you about why systems and procedures are so important to have in your business. Today, let’s delve into actually creating a checklist.

To begin with, I think it’s important to start from the big picture and then delve deeper into your business processes. With that said, what are the major, big picture things that a business has to focus on? For a tax practice, this list might look something like this:

1. Client acquisition (marketing & sales)
2. Client retention
3. Client case work

From this, you can develop sets of systems that focus on each of these areas.

Yesterday, I mentioned my friend James Orr and what he’s done in regards to building systems. On his real estate blog, for example, he shares his real estate investor daily marketing checklist. Take a look at this, and notice that this checklist itself branches off into more detailed checklists.

For a real estate investor that is looking to purchase properties at below market value, he has to conduct a number of different marketing campaigns to achieve multiple, parallel objectives in his business. He has to buy houses, sell houses, rent houses, etc. The same is true for your tax practice. Depending on your particular practice areas you may have very different marketing to do to fill various holes in your client activity. For example, your daily marketing checklist might look like this:

1. Marketing to acquire 1040 preparation clients
2. Marketing to acquire 1120/1065 preparation clients
3. Marketing to acquire payroll service clients
4. Marketing to acquire clients for wealth management services
5. Marketing to sell tax resolution services
6. Marketing to sell examination representation services

Then, you need to look at each of these particular items and create procedures for them. If this sounds overly complicated, it’s not. In all reality, you probably already have some sort of process going on in your firm for getting an objective accomplished, it just isn’t documented in writing yet.

In order to begin documenting your existing systems, start with the person that actually performs the task already. Have them write out what they do, how they do it, and any hidden stumbling blocks, “gotchas”, or tricks that only that person knows regarding being successful at the task.

While this might sound pointless, it’s not: It gives you a place to start, which is the most important thing. Once you have something in writing, … Continue reading