Why Small Businesses Make the Best Tax Clients

For many accounting practices, a large volume of business comes from completing tax returns. While you have many options for creating a niche for your practice, consider making small businesses a part of your focus. Small businesses make excellent tax clients for three reasons.

  1. They need your help.

Because small business owners usually work with limited resources on their team, they wear many hats. In the space of the same day, they may have to pitch to a prospective new client, deal with an upset customer, handle a disagreement between employees, and sign an updated lease agreement. With the sheer number of regulations and tax laws that affect businesses, entrepreneurs don’t have the bandwidth to keep up. Your ability to focus on the rules that matter, explain the impact in terms they can understand, and take on the technical aspects of tax filings is invaluable to them.

  1. They value your expertise.

Beyond tax return preparation, tax planning and strategy can save a small business owner considerable money in the long run. Many business decisions that an entrepreneur must make in the course of running the company have tax consequences. Small business owners often don’t have the expertise to make those consequences transparent or to use them strategically. By educating the business owner and by demonstrating the concrete savings that result from an intelligent tax strategy, you can position yourself as an indispensable advisor. Supplementing traditional annual filings with a pre-tax season planning session or a projection review can go a long way towards getting your small business clients excited.

  1. They offer an opportunity to shift from transactional to relational advice.

Augmenting services for more holistic client outcomes is the next stage of tax advice. While some firms strategically choose to only offer tax planning and return preparation, many others are considering ways to expand the offering and shift from a transactional to a full-relationship model.

Depending on the needs of your clients and the mix of skills and expertise on your team, consider the following services.

  • Bookkeeping
  • Quickbooks training
  • Payroll processing
  • Retirement planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Accounts receivable monitoring and optimization
  • Bill review and payment

Technology solutions can help you integrate your offering with the client’s systems for a seamless, complete view of the business. Beyond technology, train your staff to listen for and recognize opportunities to add value. Create a visual overarching service matrix by client type to help staff at every level remain open and ready for opportunities.

Even if you begin the relationship with simple tax return preparation, small business clients offer many opportunities for strategic collaborations.  Learn about their goals, competitors, and challenges. By getting to know and understand their business and industry, you can become a trusted advisor and add more value to the client through a holistic relationship.