Do Bilingual Tax Preparers Make More Money?
By Tim Frye
Anytime you speak more than one language, it will no doubt help you in whatever form of business you are involved in, especially the service-driven business where you are dealing with people. As a tax preparer, being bilingual will allow you to reach a much broader clientele, and may give you the upper hand on those tax preparers who only speak English.
In fact, being bilingual is one of the best things for a tax preparer to be and will definitely increase your value to a potential tax preparation business employer.
Keep reading to find out more about why being bilingual is such a great thing for a tax preparer to be.
Tax Clients Want Tax Preparers Who Speak their Language
Any good salesperson will tell you that to build the best rapport with your clients, you should mimic them as best you can. What better way to mimic someone than to speak their language? Even though doing taxes is not based on the sales method, tax preparation and consulting is still a people business and requires the same personal touch.
When a client is offering up all their financial records for the tax year, they will definitely be more comfortable if they are giving this very personal information to someone who can process it in their native language. People want to talk about their money in the language that they feel most comfortable with and that is not always English.
Speaking a client’s native language will create a bond that may be missing with exclusively English speaking tax preparers.
Non-Native English Speakers Much Less Likely to Use TurboTax or Other “Do-it-Yourself” Options
With the modern day environment of TurboTax and other software that allows a person to file their own tax returns on the Internet, your competition as a tax preparer is increasing by the minute and more and more people every year are choosing these online do-it-yourself options.
According to CPA Trendlines, use of TurboTax grew by 11 percent in calendar year 2012.
But with a person who speaks little English, they are not bound to use TurboTax in its current format which is English only. The process of tax preparation is just too difficult, and most times these people are looking for someone who speaks their language to prepare their taxes, someone with whom they can be sure they are not making mistakes from miscommunication due to the language barrier.
Being bilingual will help you pick up these clients that are not prone to using TurboTax or for that matter doing their taxes on their own, period. A simple misstep with these programs can cost you thousands of dollars and possible years of pain, and that is for someone who speaks fluent English. Just imagine the complications that can ensue for someone who is trying TurboTax and speaks no or limited English.
The Bilingual Sphere of Influence Is a Wonderful Thing
Those clients who are not in their native country, but still wish to speak their native language, will no doubt stick to what they know and who they know. It’s simply human nature. Firefighters are more likely to refer other firefighters to their tax guy, so are cops. This is even more so the case with those who speak a language other than English as their primary means of communication.
So what this means is that if you carefully preparer this client’s taxes, and provide a comforting and professional experience, and speak their native language, you are twice as likely to be seeing that clients friends and family walk through the door looking for you.
In communities that are not fully “assimilated” into the mainstream culture, people talk to people in a very intense and personal way—recommendations are taken more seriously, trust is always an issue.
If you speak the right language, say the right words, and are great at doing taxes, you will find that non-native English speakers are an incredible source of nonstop referrals.
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