For most tax professionals, the price is WRONG

This week, we’re going to discuss fees.

In my past direct consulting work with tax and accounting firms, and still today when I present the occasional fee model webinar, one common them always emerges: Small tax firms don’t price their services correctly.

Frequent comments that I receive:

1). “I keep my fees low in order to attract more volume.”
2). “It’s just me here — I can’t charge the same rates as larger firms.”
3). “I live in a rural area; I can’t get away with charging big city fees.”
4). “I’m a woman, so clients expect my fees to be lower than what a man would charge.”
5). “I’m just an EA. There’s no way clients will pay me the same rates they would pay a CPA or attorney.”

WRONG.

Every single one of them.

Absolutely, matter of factly, with zero caveats… Wrong.

I don’t care about your geography, population density, gender, race, license type, or any other factor. Equal pay for equal work.

Whoa, whoa, wait a second… Is a man co-opting the rallying cry of an entire pay equality movement for his own commercial purposes???

Yes, yes he is. Gleefully, and without remorse. It’s a wonderful and accurate phrase.

Seriously, the vast majority of tax professionals that are solo practitioners or own small firms don’t charge enough. This has never made sense to me. If you’re doing the exact same work, delivering the exact same work product, creating the exact same outcomes for a client, why should you charge less than, say, an IPA 300 firm? Seriously, why? If you have a really good, honest explanation, reply to this email, because I’d love to hear it.

In fact, I go so far as to say that for many services, you should actually charge more than a giant firm. Why? Because you are able to deliver much better client service. Client don’t get bogged down in the bureaucracy of a giant firm when they work with you. You have flexibility and can provide the kind of direct attention that bigger firms just can’t deliver. In some types of engagements, that reduction in client frustration is worth them paying a premium for.

I could rant on and on about this, but doing so wouldn’t answer the question that you really want answered: What should my fees be, then?

To answer that question in great detail, I’d like to bring in my … Continue reading

Tax Resolution Training: Attend Our “Sweeping Overview” Series at No Cost (Free CPE)

Becoming a specialist in any specific service offering, be it advisory, tax planning, tax resolution, or anything else, requires establishing a solid foundation of knowledge. Once you’ve established that foundation, you can then take deeper dives into specific subject areas to increase your technical competency in those areas.

To obtain that foundation, Tax Resolution Academy® is proud and delighted to announce our complete introductory tax resolution course arc is now available. This new curriculum, consisting a total of 7 hours of material, is now being presented in an ongoing rotation. Six of these tax resolution courses qualify for continuing education credit with the IRS for Enrolled Agents, NASBA for CPAs, and the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy specifically for CPAs in Texas.

We have called this basic tax resolution training program the Sweeping Overview series because each class provides exactly that: A sweeping overview of topics to help you learn more about what tax resolution actually is, what’s involved in the day-to-day client work, and broad concepts to help you evaluate tax debt cases for resolution. If you’ve ever taken a survey course in college, that would appropriately describe what we’re trying to achieve with this training program.

Since tax resolution encompasses quite a few sub-topics, we felt that this broad survey approach to teaching the basics was the appropriate way to present the foundational knowledge on which you can then build a successful career and highly profitable tax firm.

Tax Resolution Training Topics

The complete set of courses, broken into 1-hour webinars, is as follows:

  • IRS Collections Representation: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • IRS Collections Financial Analysis: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • IRS Examination Representation: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • Trust Fund Recovery Penalty: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • Federal Tax Liens: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • IRS Appeals: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • The First $2500: 3 Tax Resolution Marketing Tactics to Find Your First Clients (1 hour, no CE/CPE)

These classes are taught in a continuous rotation. They are presented Wednesdays at 10am Pacific / 11am Mountain / 12pm Central / 1pm Eastern times.

To see the current schedule of classes, and register for upcoming sessions, visit our Eventbrite page:

https://www.eventbrite.com/o/live-tax-resolution-training-6598293989

What’s Covered in Each Class?

As you start your tax resolution training journey with us, you may want to know exactly what we’ll be covering.

To reiterate: These are basic, introductory level classes. They … Continue reading

What is the singular focus of your tax firm?

Last year, we were one of the first companies to provide comprehensive CPE on the PPP and EIDL processes so that you could assist your clients with such matters.

Because of that, I’ve been getting a ton of emails from people over the last three weeks asking when we’re going to teach PPP/EIDL update classes.

Here’s your moment of disappointment: This year, we are choosing NOT to present such classes, despite recent legislation.

Why not? For a number of reasons:

1). The PPP program hasn’t changed that much from last year. You should be able to fill in the gaps easily from journal articles and official guidance from SBA and Treasury.
2). The EIDL program has changed even less, so ditto to above.
3). It’s not our core competency, doesn’t fall into our central mission, and is therefore something we shouldn’t even focus on.

It’s this last thing that I really want to address.

Our website is https://TaxResolutionAcademy.com.

Tax. Resolution.

Hmmm… If something needs “resolution”, that must mean there is some sort of issue. A problem. A dispute.

About taxes.

See, the name itself provides a clue about where our boundaries are.

In my normal email signature, I include a quote from author and entrepreneur Oliver Emberton: “Monomaniacal focus on a single goal is perhaps the ultimate success stratagem.”

What’s he talking about? Focus on what you do best.

If you’ve been reading my emails for a while, you may be thinking that I’m about to go off on a rant about niching your business. Focusing on specific services and serving specific industries or professions.

Yes, yes, I am. But not here. If you want to read my past rants, start here or here.

My monomaniacal focus right now is on finishing development of the CTR™ program. There are still about 20 classes, of two hours each, still to prepare. There’s a case study practicum to create. An exam to write. In terms of new content creation, this is my focus right now, as it should be — not PPP and EIDL matters that are not directly related to our core focus.

You should be applying a filter, also. If 100% of your client base consists of W-2 wage earners, it’s an absolute waste of your time, money, and brain cycles to learn about PPP and EIDL stuff. Absolute waste. Shouldn’t even be a consideration. On the other hand, if your … Continue reading