What is the difference between tax preparation and tax planning? The biggest difference is the time of year when tax services are preformed. Tax services are needed all year long if a business is to escape undue tax burden.
By the time that a company has its tax return prepared, it is normally too late to take advantage of business structuring and policies that could reduce its tax burden. Trying to advise a business at the end of the tax year as to how to reduce their tax burden is a bit like a coroner telling a corpse that they should have exercised more. The opportunity has passed and advise about what you should have done is of little worth.
When a company files their tax return, it is a summary of the good decisions regarding reducing their tax burden as well as missed opportunities. What companies really need is proactive help in structuring their business affairs to take advantage of deductions and credits available to them. They need the kind of tax planning skills taught in the Professional Tax Preparer™ program.
While it may seem like a less than optimum time to approach potential tax clients after they have filed their taxes, the opposite is true. When a company files its tax return, they will be acutely aware of many of the tax advantages that they did not take advantage of. But you can turn a negative experience into a very positive one. By showing potential tax clients areas for improvement, you make them aware that they need your services all year long. Especially if you have accounting and bookkeeping skills, you are in a unique position to help plan a tax reduction strategy and to carry it out.
As mentioned before, a "post mortem" tax analysis is not going to help a company with last year's taxes. However, it is a great place to start in planning for next year. Show a company how that you can structure the business accounts to gain the best tax benefit and to better put their money to work. Show them that you can handle all aspects of their finances. From the day-to-day accounting and bookkeeping to tax planning strategies and execution to keeping an eye on the bottom line, show your client that you are a financial expert. Because Accounting is the language of business, you will show yourself to be a key financial advisor because you are the eyes and ears of a company's financial health.
Your clients benefit from the knowledge that you have of both tax and accounting. While 20 years ago, it was very common for a business to use the same company to perform accounting and tax services, this has become increasingly rare. Many accountants simply have convinced themselves that tax planning and preparation are simply too specialized, and most tax preparers feel the same way about accounting.
Especially tax preparers sell themselves short by this departmentalized thinking. While tax law may change somewhat from year to year, accounting has not fundamentally changed in over 500 years! When you learn accounting, you learn a life skill that you don't have to retool every few years. Add to that the fact that by law, every business of any size must perform accounting functions.
While there are tax planning activities that run throughout the year, it is a fact that most companies seek out tax help mostly around filing time. Though many businesses file at other than the "normal" filing date of April 15, the business that you get from tax services certainly peaks at that time of year. The graph below illustrates how your income from tax services is somewhat seasonal.
So how do you fill out the rest of the year? Accounting and bookkeeping services is the natural choice.
All businesses must perform accounting all year around. This gives you a predictable source of ongoing income during the months when many businesses are not thinking about their taxes (though they should).
An average small-business client will gladly pay you $300/month to do their accounting for them. The really great part is that it only takes 8-10 hours per month to service that client. That comes to $30 to $60 per hour! Small businesses especially like the idea of a predictable rate to do their books for them. You don't tell them that it will only take less than one workday per month to do their books, you just charge a flat fee.
So, how much do you want to make? The chart below shows just how many clients that you will need to earn the income you want.
If you currently make $3,000 a month or less at your present job, from the graph above, you see that you only need 10 clients to make what you make now. Servicing 10 clients only takes 5 to 10 working days per month. Would you like to only have to work half-time or less and still make what you do now? Of course. But you could also take 20 clients and double your income to $6,000 per month!
What's more, it is easy to find experienced bookkeepers to do much of the data entry tasks for you as supplemental income to their full-time job. You will pay about $10/hour for their help, all while you are getting $30-$60 per hour from your clients. That gives you a tidy $20-$50 per hour of profit, with someone else doing the work for you! If you work a traditional job now, you are putting money into your employer's pocket and improving their financial position. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone else make money for you for a change?
Another great advantage of doing both tax and accounting work is that once you find a client for one, it is easy to convert them to a client for both. Because accounting and tax services are so closely related, once you show a client that you excel at one, it is an easy sell to show them how you doing both will benefit them. Most companies would prefer to work with the same person to do their taxes and accounting/bookkeeping services. Often, they just don't know who to turn to that can do both.
When you choose to purchase complete business service training, we will give you a significant discount. This includes things to get your business started such as Universal Accounting®'s guide to Financing a Small Business, which shows you how to get funding for your business.
You risk nothing!
The Universal Accounting® Financial Services program certifies you in Tax Preparation for individuals and businesses as well as trains how to service the Accounting and Bookkeeping needs of your clients. Combine the two services and greatly increase your profits and make marketing your service to businesses with varied needs much easier. It is a natural fit that if you do a company's books, you are the one most qualified to do their taxes because of your knowledge of their financial situation. You will also be very well positioned to advise business owners how to minimize their tax burden.
Certify your skills in Tax Preparation is a great way to get started providing Financial Services for small to medium businesses and to individuals. If you are considering adding Accounting and Bookkeeping services to your Financial Services business at some point, you get a great price by purchasing both programs as a bundle.
Establishing the Tax Foundation -- Course Module 1
Learn the entire process for determining income and adjustments to income, which will factor into the Adjusted Gross Income. In fact, you will cover all the information necessary to prepare Page one of the Form 1040. -- 10 Videos & Manual
Becoming the 1040 Expert -- Course Module 2
The module deals with the background information and forms that go into Form 1040, Page 2. We also discuss all the adjustments that can be made to adjusted gross income, including credits that are allowed and different types of deductions and exemptions that can be taken against that adjusted gross income number. -- 9 Videos & Manual
Profitable Business Returns -- Course Module 3
In Module 3, we introduce you to the world of business organizations and their tax concerns. This module is a practical companion to Module 2, as it gives you experience in completing each of the schedules and forms common to business organizations. -- 8 Videos & Manual
Building Your Successful Tax Practice -- Course Module 4
This module has been developed to give you a head start in creating and running your own tax preparation service. You will find yourself light years ahead of the competition as you put these strategies into play. -- 5 Videos & Manual
Four Additional Months Follow-up Support
2 month support for each module purchased plus 4 additional for a total of 12 months follow-up support
Professional Tax Certification Exam
Get Certified as a Professional Tax Preparer Certificate of completion (final grade greater than 65%)
Professional Tax Preparer designation (with 90% or better grade)
Customized Web Site (Free Promotional Offer)
With your purchase we will create a custom Web site for your business and host it for you for free for 6 months. Your Web site will become a valuable part of your marketing; in many cases you may only need to refer prospective clients to your site and it will sell your services for you. See custom Universal Accounting® Websites
Professional Tax Preparer Guarantee
If, after completing the course, you feel the course didn't live up to your expectation, simply return the materials to Universal, for a 100% refund of any monies paid.
Call us today at 877-833-7909 to get started.
We will customize a program for you based on your career goals, experience level, and budget.