Overcome The 2 Most Critical Challenges Facing CPA Firms Today

Written by Frances Kim. Updated Oct 16, 2015.

Overcome The 2 Most Critical Challenges Facing CPA Firms TodayAs a CPA firm, you are your clients’ trusted advisor on all the key areas of their accounting needs, from financial statements to tax returns. However, today, your clients expect your firm to do even more as their advisor – especially in terms of capturing tax credits and incentives.

Tax credits and incentives all come back to the tax return. This is why clients are looking to your CPAs for guidance on business incentives, and why your CPAs need to be in a position to offer more than just casual recommendations. Your CPAs must guide clients on not only what tax credits and incentives.

There are two critical challenges you must overcome that prevent your CPA firm from providing guidance to clients on capturing business incentives: to pursue, but also on how and when to pursue them.

  1. CPA Firms Fall Into Complacency
    If your CPAs are stuck only doing a scope of work that is comfortable to them – tax returns and financial statements – your firm is falling behind in addressing client needs.

    Perhaps your CPAs are uncomfortable talking about research and development studies, so they don’t approach a client with a potential R&D tax credit. Or, your CPAs may tell a client the credit is available to them, but the burden of responsibility falls back onto the client (who is also unaware of how to successfully capture the credit).

  2. CPAs Tend To Be Too Conservative
    Your CPAs may prefer to give only four or five tax credit and incentive options to a client, but that’s where they stop offering the client guidance. There’s a real fear of relaying misinformation and losing the client.

    Taking a conservative approach to business incentives may seem like a good idea. However, if you don’t help clients to capture tax benefits, you may lose them to another CPA firm that does. Being too conservative and unknowledgeable about tax credits and incentives does not benefit your firm, or your client.

You want your CPAs to understand business incentives so they’re capable of speaking to clients about them intelligently, expanding the scope of conversation. That’s why CPA firms are now partnering with an outsourced tax consultant who steps in to train accountants on tax credits and incentives. 

The added benefit of tax consultant training is it helps fulfill your CPAs’ Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements (80 hours of education for every two-year period). The training is often free and there’s no limit to how much training they provide.

When your CPA firm is too complacent or overly conservative in terms of helping clients capture tax credits and incentives, you risk pushing clients out the door to find another firm. When you partner with a tax expert, they provide as much training as your CPAs need to continually meet client expectations.

Ready to start training your CPAs with the help of an outsourced tax consultant? Schedule your 30-minute, no-cost consultation with a tax expert at CTI today.

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Topics: R&D Tax Credit, Employment Incentives, Training Incentives, Property Incentives

Frances Kim

Written by Frances Kim

As one of the first CTI employees, Frances has held many key positions and has played an integral role in our diversification process. With more than 10 years in customer service and management, Frances’ proven adaptability has enabled her to manage projects for clients ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.