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Case Study

How a Bookkeeper Saves Clients More Money Than CPAs by Using Tax Planner Software

Goals Goals

  • Learn more about the tax planning process
  • Find new strategies she hasn’t employed before
  • Increase firm revenue

Key Benefits Experienced Key Benefits Experienced

  • Save time and energy creating tax plans
  • Increased savings for all clients
  • More confident in delivering finalized tax plans

Some have said they don’t want to pay for tax planning from a bookkeeper, that they will go to their CPA…but their CPA won’t tax plan for them. Many CPAs just fill forms, they aren’t proactively helping clients save money on taxes. I’d rather be a tax planning bookkeeper than a negligent CPA.

CHRISTY SHEPHERD

Christy Shepherd is the owner of a bookkeeping firm that also specializes in budgeting, financial planning and tax strategies. For over 20 years, she’s helped businesses with their QuickBooks and financial record keeping needs. Recently, Ms. Shepherd has begun to focus on tax planning. Here is her story on how she is using Corvee tax planner software for accountants.

When the Tax Planning Idea Hits

Being a bookkeeper for many years, Christy Shepherd had never considered tax planning much until she bought a tax plan for herself and realized how valuable it was. Her tax planner was able to save her money, but she also became intrigued because she realized that even though it was a great deal for her, she paid the tax planner a good amount of money for the service.

Having become accustomed over the years to working for rather low monthly bookkeeping fees, the high price of a tax plan seemed like quite a contrast, and caused Ms. Shepherd to research more about how she could possibly start offering tax planning as a service. She also realized how much value it could bring to her current clients if she were able to accomplish it.

Ms. Shepherd knew she’d have to learn about tax planning strategies, so she began researching. At the time, she felt the Augusta Strategy was the biggest thing she could bring to the table for clients. She also knew changing to an S Corp could possibly bring savings. 

As a bookkeeper, she thought she could sell 100 tax plans at $1,000 each. As she explained it, “I knew if I could do several more strategies, then I would be able to do more than just tell a client, ‘I can save you $6,000.’ I’d be able to save them tens of thousands…and I’d also be able to charge more than $1,000. I knew there was so much opportunity in tax planning, but I needed to learn more about the space.”

Ms. Shepherd admitted that she knew she wasn’t charging enough for tax plans, nor were they as professional as they needed to be. That said, it seemed everyone wanted a tax plan—the demand was huge. “Being the technician in my business, I knew I needed a tool that would help me do tax planning right. I work hard, but I also knew in the back of my mind that in order to do tax planning the way I wanted to, it would require help.”

Tax Planner Software to the Rescue

With over 160 businesses already doing bookkeeping with her firm, there was no shortage of existing clients to do tax planning for. As soon as Ms. Shepherd saw that tax planner software was available, she signed up for a demo and fell in love with it: 

Corvee gives me knowledge by suggesting strategies I wouldn’t otherwise know. For example, I didn’t know about the self-employed health insurance credit or the detailed numbers for the employee retention credit. It’s helpful that it breaks down details such as home expenses for the home office rental. These details give my tax plans greater savings for my clients.

Her tax planning process for existing clients now loosely looks like this:

  1. Before she sells the plan, she gathers the client’s information and starts entering it into the software to find the rough estimations.
  2. From this, she finds the gaps of what information she needs from the client to finalize the plan.
  3. She approaches the client having already broken out the numbers between credits and deductions before she has spoken to them about tax planning.
  4. Once the client is in front of her, she tells them how much she thinks she can save them, gets any extra details she needs, plugs the information into the tax planner software and is able to quickly send the client a proposal that is automatically created inside the software.
  5. Once they pay and accept, she is able to quickly create the full tax plan inside of Corvee Tax Planning, including the creation of the deliverable.
  6. She has a kickoff call where she reviews the tax plan and how the client can implement it. 

While this isn’t the only process that tax planners can use with tax planner software, it’s working well for Ms. Shepherd for existing clients. She’s been able to upgrade many bookkeeping clients to tax planning.

The Problem With CPAs in America

Some have said they don’t want to pay for tax planning from a bookkeeper, that they will go to their CPA… but their CPA won’t tax plan for them. Many CPAs just fill forms, they aren’t proactively helping clients save money on taxes. I’d rather be a tax planning bookkeeper than a negligent CPA,” she remarked.

What’s her advice for any bookkeeper or CPA who is considering investing in tax planner software?

Buy the software. First of all, you will miss out on so much savings that you otherwise might not know if you didn’t have the software. Second, the proposals and deliverables will make you appear more professional. For me, I can do in minutes with the software what would take me several hours without it.”

Ms. Shepherd also explained that Corvee Tax Planning software gives her the framework of knowing the right questions to ask clients, so it’s much more efficient than attempting to ask clients questions off the top of your head. In short, “There’s a lot that I would miss without having this tool.”

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