The tax preparation industry is changing–fast. As do-it-yourself online tax software continues to improve and grow in popularity, many professional tax preparers are seeing their client bases and earnings decline. However, some professional tax preparers are not only surviving this “Tax Preparer Apocalypse,” but actually growing our tax businesses aggressively during this time of massive industry upheaval.
In this article, we will highlight some tax professional success stories from our Pronto Tax School Members, and we’ll seek to identify some reasons why these tax pros are growing and happy when so many others aren’t.
By the end of this article, you should enjoy some additional insights and ideas for how to maximize your own success in the tax game!
Is the “Tax Preparer Apocalypse” Real or Imagined?
Let’s first address any skepticism about whether or not tax preparers are really facing any form of “extinction,” any similar challenges to taxi drivers when Uber came into being and decimated the taxi industry.
The best place to start that conversation would be with some numbers straight from the IRS, comparing the number of e-files for 2019 vs. 2018:
Some people are pointing out that returns e-filed by tax pros only declined by 0.7%. Less than 1% decline, where’s the “apocalypse” in that. Right?
Individuals holding a “no big deal” opinion might be underestimating the fact that this year saw the BIGGEST TAX CHANGES IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS.
Literally everyone and their mother had questions about taxes this year, taxes were in the news non-stop for the entire year leading up to tax season.
Even in this environment of complete and total uncertainty, the DIY Robots we affectionately call “TurboTax® and Friends” grew by 4.2%, and tax pros declined.
As things “settle down” and clients get accustomed to the New Tax Law and New Tax Forms, do you think bigger declines might be ahead, for professional tax preparers?
2019 Tax Preparer Success Stories
Now for the good news!
Plenty of tax pros are bucking these trends and seeing growth and success.
John Bobeng, a long-time Pronto Tax School Member and top-notch tax pro in Banning, CA, grew his business by more than 15% this tax season. Here’s John’s explanation of why:
My business grew by over 15% because of a lot of new clients who were afraid to continue doing their own taxes under the new Trump Laws. Also, it ended up 70% of my clients were better off with the new Trump Laws.
Mari Williams, Wanda Parton, and Lindsey Carkeek, excellent tax accountants in Helena, Montana, grew HUGE this season! Here’s Mari’s explanation of how and why:
Our business absolutely grew by leaps and bounds! It was at least 30% increase in revenue. Our business grew primarily because of the way that we sell business entity structures and offer extensive training on the new business setups for LLCs, S Corps, etc.
And then how about our friends, the dynamic duo Richard and Kathy at Liberty Tax in Los Baños, California. Knocked it out of the park this tax season! They explain their success like this:
We saw more than 16% growth in both Net Fees and Returns when comparing Tax Year 2018 to Tax Year 2017. We are located in a small, competitive, and price sensitive market of less than 40,000 in our community. We believe what put us over the top this year had been our sincere effort in providing family friendly customer service and tax question support.
Ralph Urrutia at Roadquest Insurance, an insurance and tax preparation company in Costa Mesa, CA, also enjoyed some nice growth. Here’s Ralph’s explanation of why:
We increased in business due to referral reward program, first time implementing such marketing campaign.
Jeffrey Rondini, a superb tax professional and Enrolled Agent in Concord, CA, continues to grow his business and this year was no exception. Here’s Jeffrey’s explanation of why:
Mt Diablo Tax Pros increased its number of returns by 6.2% and its revenues by 18.5% between January 15 and April 15. We attribute our continued growth to hiring an assistant and maintaining outstanding social media referrals. Although prices increased only 3.2% across the board prior to season start, more forms and complex returns were completed. All our Tax Pros are Pronto School trained and certified, helping dramatically improve office efficiency and resulting in another successful season.
We had some other great success stories and don’t have to room to publish all of them, to anyone who else submitted and isn’t published here, thank you for telling your story and we will look for another time to recognize you publicly!
Common Traits of Successful Tax Preparers in 2019 and Beyond
So what does their success during this extremely challenging tax season mean for you (and me)?
That’s a good question!
I did invest some time to analyze the success stories that have come into my inbox over the past month, and here are some common traits I see among these growing and happy tax preparers–and not all of these bullet points apply to all the stories, but these are the trends I saw:
- They’re an OPTIMISTIC bunch. It’s easy to become grumpy in this business. Tax pros who choose optimism and show that in the way they interact and communicate are attracting and retaining clients…
- They work with self-employed / entrepreneur / small business clients. 83% of the success stories we saw from our Members came from Members who had invested in the Business Tax Verified Training Program with CPA Adam Shay, a training program that helps you feel comfortable and confident working with business tax clients such as advanced Schedule C, C Corps, S Corps, and LLCs. While the market for “relatively simple” 1040 tax preparation continues to decline, the market for business tax work is growing rapidly, and successful Members are riding that “rising tide.”
- They offer more than just tax preparation. Theyr’e not “one trick ponies.” They’re versatile professionals who think about what their clients need and aren’t afraid to offer more services.
- They know how to sell their services. They know how to communicate why a client should choose them over the other options, including DIY’ing it online.
- They have strong client relationships! They really love their clients. And, their clients love them.
Oh and then another common trait is that these successful tax pros are all Pronto Tax School Members! But, in reality, we can’t take credit for their success. We just play a small role in helping them along! 🙂
If you’re looking for an online tax school that truly cares about your success, please feel free to check out Pronto Tax School online tax courses.
Thanks for listening and wishing YOU much success ahead!