Before I answer, let me give you a warning—we aren’t done yet. We will be launching the following coaching programs in the next three months:
- Monthly Business Profit Planning & Implementation System
- Monthly Business Growth Webinar Series
- Monthly QuickBooks Coaching & Support Plan
- Monthly Lower Your Income Tax System
Finally, we expect to have two digital books published in September.
So again: Why all the changes and new products?
The answer is long, and even this CliffsNotes version is a little longer than my normal blogs, so bear with me.
First, a couple of years ago it dawned on me that I am really not in the tax, accounting, and QuickBooks support business. I am really in the business of providing information! What my clients most find value in is the information I give them. What is taxable? What is deductible? How can I save taxes? How do I set up QuickBooks for my business? How do I get this report? How do I read my financials? Should I incorporate? When should I incorporate? What should I do to increase sales and profits? Tons of questions, but it’s all information that a business owner needs to survive and thrive.
But if I am in the business of providing information, then the traditional way CPAs deliver that information is not getting the job done. We CPAs normally wait for the client to come to us with their problems and then we help them. This is not being proactive, but reactive, and it is often too late for us to help.
Our blog, the iPad magazine, the Kindle books, and the coaching modules are the way that I have decided to deliver the information that a business owner needs to run their business, increase sales, and decrease costs and taxes in a way that is both affordable and timely.
Second, I prepared a traditional SWOT analysis of my business. This is a strategic planning model where you study your business’s Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. I will discuss this further in a future blog, but what this analysis showed me is that I had built a CPA firm that did not allow me to use my strengths to their fullest. I was not taking advantage of opportunities that had presented themselves in the digital publishing field to better deliver the information business owners needed. Again, we will talk about this more in a future blog.
Third, I currently have well over 100 tax returns on extension that need to be prepared. I called a few of my long-time clients to see why they are on an extension and discovered that my fee was a barrier to coming in to have their return done. They have to pay both my bill and any taxes they might owe. Now we offer our clients the ability to pay their fee in twelve equal monthly auto-payments on a credit or debit card. They also may choose to have it drafted out of their bank account monthly. Since this also helps even up my cash flow, I am giving my clients a discount and a guaranteed price for two years.
Fourth, for fifteen years, the IRS did very few audits and our clients received very few letters. We didn’t charge a fee for answering the letters because I considered it a cost of doing business and an added service for our clients. And I hadn’t had a client’s tax return audited in 17 years. Well, the IRS has hired 16,000 employees in the last three years, and the local audit department has grown from two employees to around twenty employees.
Now our clients are receiving the same number of letters in a month that they used to receive in a year. And 80% of these IRS letters are wrong! Almost all of the others are items our clients forgot to tell us about.
As always, if we made a mistake, we take care of it at no charge to you. But from now on, we are requiring a $250 retainer to answer an IRS letter and $1,500 retainer to represent you in an audit. Our clients can avoid these high fees and get great representation by buying one of our audit protection plans.
Finally, I have made a decision that I mainly want to work with clients who:
- are proactive,
- take responsibility for their actions and the success or failure in their business, and
- are willing to eliminate any excuses that stand in their path to success.
We introduced three programs that are designed to proactively give the business owner business and tax advice in a way that allows them to increase sales while reducing income taxes and costs.
In my next couple of blogs I will be exploring in more detail the changes and how they will allow me to serve my clients better.
Until next time, let’s make this our most profitable year ever.