How The Finance Writer Makes Your Financial Business Grow

A visitor to your website is there for a purpose. They’re seeking information about who you are, the services you provide, how you accomplish projects, how much you charge, and how to contact you. Your website demonstrates your relevance to their search and entices them to click on page links providing the details they’re after.

The process begins with attracting visitors to your website. You want people to find you when they are searching for the type of financial services you offer. In addition, your website must provide content that retains as well as attracts business.

The best promotional method for people to locate your business on the web is submitting articles. This is a time-proven technique. You want people searching for financial information to find it in the articles on your website. Accomplishing this requires adding blog postings covering relevant topics to your website.

If this sounds challenging, that’s because it is. But you don’t have to conquer this alone. The Finance Writer delivers website content, blog articles and press releases with keywords that your prospects and clients are placing in search engines. For a cost of as little as $10 per day you can have better advertising visibility than was attainable for 10 times that much just a few years ago. All you need is a proficient master of your website to place your new customer-grabbing blog written by The Finance Writer.

Creating blog content on your website differentiates you from competitors by giving people a reason to bookmark your website and return frequently. They rely upon you to keep them informed. When they read something interesting on your blog, they forward a link to their friends. This increases your presence on the web and adds to the search engine ranking of your site.

Discipline and research are required to create a stream of original content to your website. You probably have plenty of ideas for article topics that are consistent with your marketing strategy and business philosophy. However, continuously writing a blog about these subjects requires a large commitment of time.

Your financial specialty offers services that are targeted to a specific group of individuals. Therefore, your blog must contain content that is compelling to your audience. Equally important, articles from The Finance Writer contain the keywords used in web searches by the people you want to reach. Every area of finance writing has its own lexicon.

Custom articles are useful for more purposes than a blog. You can also post them on your Facebook page and your Twitter account. In addition, you can accumulate articles relating to a common subject and prepare an email newsletter. Your webmaster can execute all of these marketing procedures for you.

Sending a newsletter in an email is recommended every 21 days. The format shows the contents and presents the first few sentences of each article in the newsletter. Readers click on any article topic to read more. You can track who is opening the links to read a full article. Contacting these people provides opportunities for offering your paid services.

Get your existing clients to follow you on Twitter, where they can learn about newly posted articles. Sending a couple of Tweets per day is suggested since each one is only a few characters long. You should add at least two new blog articles per week. That much is needed at a minimum in order to attract returning readers.

Executing these marketing steps with online media increases your presence on the Internet. A study conducted by TMP Directional Marketing and comScore identified how people find local businesses. According to this study, 31% use search engines, 30% use printed sources, 19% use Internet Yellow Pages, and 11% use local search sites. The results also confirmed a rising use of mobile devices for online consumer research even when the purchase decision is made in person.

Write to me today with any questions. I have many years of work history in several financial specialties. Blog articles really work in making a financial business grow.

Brian Huber

theFinanceWriter@gmail.com

Why Websites Are Needed for Tax and Accounting Services

Although your tax and accounting business doesn’t sell anything online, you need an online presence so that people can quickly and easily find out about your services. A professional website is the best basic marketing channel because anyone who notices you can go to your site for more details. You don’t have to convey everything about your tax and accounting services with each marketing effort. Just express your brand image and let your website explain everything else about your tax and accounting business.

Prospective clients even use the web to initially find tax and accounting services. With so many competitors on the internet, you need to use search engine optimization (SEO) for getting noticed. SEO is the process of improving your website’s visibility in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. A starting point for SEO is creating accurate page titles that use commonly searched words. Page content should also contain the right keywords that people are entering in their searches.

Most importantly, frequent refreshing of website content improves its SEO presence. You don’t need to become an SEO expert. But, hiring someone like The Finance Writer to update the information on your website allows you to better connect with new and existing clients. This is an effective low cost marketing investment.

People are constantly searching for tax information on the internet. Providing a little advice isn’t giving away your services; it attracts people to utilizing your tax and accounting services. You can accomplish this with assistance from The Finance Writer to deliver helpful content that contains searched keywords.

Some of the subjects searched on the internet seem very elementary to an expert like you. But, the general public is seeking extremely general knowledge, which then reveals to them the greater need for your expertise. Some recent titles The Finance Writer has been asked to address are “Tax Deductions for Large Purchases”, “What Expenses Can I Write Off My Taxes”, “What Expenses Can Be Claimed on a Tax Return”, and “What Can You Claim on Taxes for a College Student”.

A few changes in wording vastly improves the website of your tax and accounting business. Small SEO adjustments may seem inconsequential, but they have a noticeable impact on user experience with your site as well as its performance in search results.

Content Sharing Builds Traffic to Your Blog & Helps Retain Clients

I’m no more of an authority on social media than I am on taxes… I just read a lot, listen to the experts, and have some successful experience. Social media is really just a great big chamber of commerce gala that’s attended by millions of people and lasts everyday throughout the year. Social media is a tool that facilitates interaction. Use it to meet people and follow up just like your approach to a social event.

Equally important, social media is an outlet for staying on the minds of existing clients. Ignoring existing clients is common. You believe they already know about your services and will contact you when they need something you offer. Keeping in the forefront of your clients’ minds, educating them, and upselling them is crucial to building your business. This is the purpose served by social media.

A blog is a great place to have a steady stream of useful information, success stories, and cautionary tales about people who did not seek your expert services. Your blog receives maximum exposure when influencers share your content. Did you know that some of the top ranked influencers on YouTube have never uploaded any video? These individuals generate traffic to certain videos and deliver high search rankings for select videos by simply posting comments and being active content sharers.

Influencers are people you want to send more readers to your blog and make your clients think that your blog posts are vital features on the internet. If you’re not getting influencers to write your blog for you, at least get them to post comments and share your blog on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Start by finding people with similar content and share that. A good place to start is the blog on websites read by a lot of tax professionals. The blog at http://fastforwardacademy.com/blog/ is a perfect example. This website has an online community of CPAs and Enrolled Agents. Next, find out who else is sharing these blog posts. Those are your influencers. Finally, get these people to start sharing your blog.

To accomplish this last step, find the influencer online and send a personal message that reads something like this:

Hey, The Finance Writer. I noticed that you shared a blog post on Fast Forward Academy about [some tax subject]. Well I have an article on my blog about a similar topic. Here’s the link: [link to your blog post]. I thought you might enjoy reading it too. — [your name]

This works even better if you write to The Finance Writer that you noticed he commented on the blog of another tax professional and that you tweeted this same blog post written by someone other than you. The Finance Writer can then check to make sure you really are sharing good content – not just your own.

This technique sets you apart from competitors and provides the kind of experience that gets people talking about you. So, start today by sharing posts on the blogs of other tax professionals. Then write to The Finance Writer and ask him to comment on your blog and share it on social media.

Tax Preparer Careers In The Age Of Tax Preparation Software

From the excellent blog for tax professionals at http://fastforwardacademy.com/TFW comes this insight about the future of the tax preparation industry.

A head-spinning number of rules cover various types of tax credits and deductions. Yet somehow questions keep arising about the value of tax professionals and the future of the tax preparation industry. At the root of this concern is tax preparation software and online return filing options that are increasingly popular among a young computer-literate generation. Ignored in this assessment is that an older generation invented personal computers and created the online tools we have today.

Software has certainly eased the pain and cost of tax return preparation for many individuals. This is especially true of younger workers, who tend to have simple tax situations. A lack of computer skills is not what causes older workers to seek tax professionals. Rather, seasoned taxpayers value the knowledge of experts with tax return preparer training to address matters that are more complicated than those of younger people.

Some high-end tax practices – like those operated by an IRS Enrolled Agent or a CPA – are seeing fewer tax clients early in the year who are switching to choices like TurboTax. However, such tax operations can still thrive. These professionals may have fewer tax clients, but earn more money from the clientele they retain. They tend to deal with individuals who have complex tax circumstances. Some examples are taxpayers with IRS notices or detailed tax calculations. Plenty of enrolled agent job opportunities exist to help taxpayers with various problematic situations.

Basic tax preparation companies are also still seeing plenty of clients. These tax preparers offer reasonable fees and especially provide lower-income individuals with several advantages. For instance, a professional with annual registered tax return preparer continuing education is aware of updates to tax laws. A tax professional knows what expenses qualify for certain tax credits. In addition, tax experts study essential details that taxpayers often overlook, such as eligibility of family members as dependency exemptions and qualification for beneficial Head of Household filing status.

Tax preparation software helps people prepare tax returns correctly if they follow the tax rules. When taxpayers don’t like the result, they can manipulate the software. This doesn’t mean they are dishonest. They are simply unwilling to research the tax code. Tax software does not give all the answers. For example, TurboTax will not reveal that a taxpayer cannot claim a dependency exemption for his girlfriend’s child that lived with him for part of the year.

Individuals with complicated tax issues usually need a professional sooner or later. Someone who finds the tax rules confusing, wisely selects a professional tax preparer right away. Business owners and persons with rental properties or extensive investments usually hire paid tax preparers.

People who plug inaccurate details into tax preparation software are often eventually caught. The IRS is increasingly skilled at finding mistakes or tax-cheating regarding understated income, overstated deductions, incorrect dependent matching, and ineligible claims for tax credits. These individuals are eventually clients for Enrolled Agents, who are needed to fix IRS problems. This gives tax practitioners with EA certification an even broader avenue to capture ongoing return preparation clients.

The bottom line is that the increasing use of tax software is likely to boost growth of tax preparer careers. The marketing plans of tax professionals should embrace individuals using TurboTax by pointing out the inherent dangers for may people due to changing tax laws and better IRS procedures to find erroneous returns.

Advice For a Successful Tax Return Preparation Business

From the excellent blog for tax professionals at http://fastforwardacademy.com/TFW comes this insight about operating a successful tax return preparation business.

The existence of income tax filing as a government mandate should not deter a tax preparation business from remembering that it gathers clients in a market process. Although buyers of services from the tax preparation industry are forced consumers, they still choose where to conduct their purchasing. Therefore, tax preparers must market themselves.

Tax preparation veterans have a few points of advice for newcomers to the industry. Among these lessons is that entering the tax preparation business is a commitment to a profession. Although the work is mostly seasonal, tax preparer jobs offer a long-term proposition.

Preparing tax returns involves dedication. Therefore, in addition to learning IRS rules and forms, successful tax practitioners develop a style of dealing with the clients. The tax business is about helping people and remembering that income tax is a forced intrusion into their lives.

A tax return preparer job is usually best conducted by someone specializing in a certain area. The tax code is so enormous that no one can become an expert in all of it. Instead, choosing an area of concentration is best for a tax practice.

Having a specialty contrasts a Registered Tax Return Preparer business from CPA firms, which usually offer extensive services – some of which don’t even involve tax returns. For instance, some specialized tax practices prepare only returns for business owners. A few even promote knowledge about a particular type of business. Most of all, they prepare tax returns only. They don’t attempt to tackle such things as applications for loans or financial aid. Sticking with tax returns is the right process for a tax practice.

Finally, a critical point for new tax professionals is building a solid reputation. The best avenue for achieve this is having a sound base of clientele. The people a tax professional deals with is a reflection of professional credibility. Staying away from shady clients is essential. For example, trouble is sure to follow a tax practitioner who allows clients to report deductions that are strongly suspect. That type of work soon brings only more clients who want help cheating the IRS.

Advice to Accounting Students: Words of Wisdom from a CPA

Many thanks to CPA Paul Herman for this advice to aspiring CPAs:

As the end of 2013 comes to a close, we think about the New Year on the horizon and how this time of year is our favorite. Why? Because somehow, a new year seems to breathe new life into people, shining a refreshing light on the goals and dreams that await us. Whether you’re a freshman or senior accounting student, taking these tips with you as you enter the brand-new year is one sure way to setting yourself up for success as a future CPA.

1.      Seek out internships. While there is no replacement for a college education, there are plenty of aspects of the professional world that you simply won’t learn until you enter it. Landing an internship is the best way to get your feet wet in the “real world” while still in college. Not only do they prepare you with valuable experience for your potential career path, but they can also help you decide whether a particular career is in fact the right match for you.

2.      Network. Building a strong network during your college career is one of the best accomplishments you can attain while still in school. No matter what career path you choose, the power of networking is immense, and is an activity you will partake in for the rest of your life. You know the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know?” While you certainly cannot be a CPA without an education, having a strong network of people at your dispense can make all the difference in landing that killer job straight out of college, or getting top-notch test prep advice for the dreaded CPA exam. Take advantage of all the networking opportunities your school has to offer. We promise you, you won’t regret it!

3.      Join associations. Almost every college offers an organization or association for each major, and accounting and finance are no different! Participating means having access to free tools, resources, information and more, while spending time with your fellow financial scholars.

4.      Explore career options. There are tons of different professions available to finance students. Have you ever heard of a forensic accountant? A hedge fund manager? How about a loan officer? Take some time to scope out your career options, and contact your college’s Career Services department to help you out. There are plenty of cool finance careers available. You just have to know where to look!

5.       Keep your grades up. This goes without being said. While some employers may not even look at your GPA, others will not hire you despite having a great resume. Plus, you’ll up your chances for getting into graduate school!

Armed with these strategies, entering 2014 will be your best year as an accounting student yet! The bottom line? You’re in college; It’s OK to have fun! However, just remember that these are also the years that you have an abundance of resources available at your fingertips to help you be a stellar finance professional. Taking advantages of all that your school has to offer will put you well on the path to success.

Advice for a Successful Local CPA Practice

The Finance Writer has worked with a few individuals wanting help becoming CPAs as well as many who obtained Enrolled Agent certification. The brand recognition of a CPA license simply remains superior to the Enrolled Agent designation. Hence, even individuals who want to specialize in tax work still pursue the rigorous CPA exam, which encompasses a variety of accounting matters. The best course to study for the CPA exam is at Fast Forward Academy.

After starting a local CPA practice, an effective web presence allows people to find you for tax preparation services.

A good mixture of bookkeeping tax services tends to deliver successful results for small accounting firms. The formula works best by selective acceptance of bookkeeping clients. Young practices have a tendency to accept every business owner that walks in the door. Choose industries to focus upon… and hire bookkeeping staff who know those areas. At the very least, list types of businesses you will not accept for bookkeeping services. The best avenue, however, is limiting your practice to specific categories – such as medical practices (or all professional service providers, if you take a broader approach). Remember that retail operations with a lot of inventory or restaurants are really challenging.

Also, consider not being a turnkey service for every bookkeeping element. For instance, I’ve never found payroll preparation as a profit generator for a CPA practice. It is occasionally acceptable as a loss leader to delivery of other services, but that’s a consideration for a mature practice that can afford strategic loss endeavors.

Tax services are the main profit generator at local accounting firms. In fact, the key justification for rendering bookkeeping operations is that it simplifies tax return preparation. While bookkeeping itself will not bring much profit margin, the eventual tax preparation more than makes up for the trouble. You charge market rates for the tax returns despite completing them in half the time required for entities that handle their own bookkeeping.

I’m leery of acquiring other CPA practices. Sometimes, however, the terms are acceptable. Deferred payment amounts based upon client retention is a must. Some clients you expect as part of an acquisition were only interested in working with a particular person at the acquired firm. You can bring that existing CPA into your fold, but make sure he or she fits into the culture of your business. Just remember to consider why the existing CPA is selling. If the client relationships are so great, why would a thriving CPA want to sell?

I prefer gradual expansion rather than growing by acquisition of other CPA practices. This relates back to my earlier comment about having the right web marketing strategy. Growth is quite rapid when operating with sound planning. This is crucial to efficiently deploying your capital.

As I’m sure you realize, you’ll need to add staff at some point to accommodate a rising number of tax returns. This means turning your attention to training and supervision. Too many tax accountants want to become wealthier but expect to continue only preparing tax returns. If you want to be a tax preparer, go work for someone else without taking the risk of owning your own practice. Don’t think that simply owning an enterprise where you prepare tax returns leads to greater financial rewards than a tax employee. It doesn’t.

The value of entrepreneurship is derived from leveraging the efforts of others. You agree to give them a paycheck every other Friday and – in exchange for that guarantee – they sacrifice a part of the expected fruits from their labor. (Yes, I focus on economics first and accounting second.) The more patience you exercise with training and guidance for lower-compensated employees, the greater your share of their output. However, too much training puts you in a large shortfall of capital before worker output generates a return on your investment.

Hence, whom you hire is crucial. Experienced individuals are immediately productive, but also have immediate high salary demands. (This is a primary cost concern when bringing a CPA into the practice from an acquisition.) Alternatively, raw recruits have too little value and mostly become mentoring projects with payoffs that are too distant.

Fortunately, tax practices can easily resolve this problem by hiring people with no experience as long as they have some proven skills. They develop tax expertise by studying for the Enrolled Agent exam. Ideal prospects are recent college graduates with just bachelor’s degrees in accounting (or even finance or economics) as well as individuals with bookkeeping ability, especially those already you working for you in bookkeeping posts. Send them to take the course at Fast Forward Academy where they are likely to pass the EA exam on their first attempts. This arms them with all the knowledge needed for preparing tax returns. They only need some training with tax preparation software and file documentation procedures. The CPA practice delivering this environment is destined to maximize profits in the most efficient and timely way.

Completing CPA Requirements Opens Opportunities in Tax Accounting Plus Creates Obligations

Obtaining a CPA license requires years of study and renders accountants with special advantages and obligations. One of the benefits a CPA immediately enjoys is the right to charge fees to prepare federal income tax returns for others. No other steps are necessary. The IRS doesn’t impose any mandates for a CPA to initiate a tax practice. Simply meeting and maintaining CPA requirements within a state is sufficient.

However, the privilege granted by the IRS also imposes a duty for CPAs. They must obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) from the IRS and follow the Regulations Governing Practice before the Internal Revenue Service, which are described in Circular 230. The rules contained in Circular 230 apply to every situation of tax preparation and tax advice.

Failure to comply with Circular 230 presents the possibility of losing authorization to operate in the tax business. Therefore, any accountant who intends to engage in the tax industry must understand Circular 230 as much as the details in CPA exam material.

As tax collection garners increasing attention from the federal government, the provisions of Circular 230 gain greater significance. The IRS believes that much of the burden for accurate tax reporting rests with tax preparers. This has led to measures that increase the sanctions on tax professionals for non-compliance with Circular 230.

More than ever before, tax accountants must educate themselves about Circular 230 in addition to completing other CPA courses. Giving false or misleading information to the IRS can derail a tax career. Hence, tax industry CPAs must remain ever vigilant in averting disreputable conduct and identifying fraudulent taxpayers.

Role Helping Family Businesses Awaits Accountants that Take CPA Exam

Long before stock markets and venture capital, aspiring entrepreneurs created businesses to attain personal profit from serving consumer demands. These family owned operations stood as testaments to an advancing standard of living. Although this phenomenon arose well before external audits and quarterly reports, family enterprises still recognized the value of accurate accounting work. Despite the lack of a CPA exam, skilled accountants were key members of every entrepreneur’s team.

Family businesses are still the largest group of commercial entities in the US economy. More importantly, they are achieving a larger scale than ever before. This only increases their need for accountants. Fortunately, locating elite accountants is now easier than a century ago by seeking those with a CPA license.

Today, family businesses operate in both local and expanded markets. Many of them sell products globally. They employ more people than all companies with public stockholders. In addition, family enterprises generate a substantial amount of economic activity.

A growing family business is faced with the same challenges as a major corporation. This requires monitoring of costs and measurement of success from a new product, location, or group of customers. After passing CPA exam criteria, an accountant is prepared to embark on a career that helps family businesses innovate and thrive throughout generational transitions.

If you strive for this role, be sure to become a trusted source of advice to family businesses. Don’t price your services in a way that discourages contact. Provide brief phone conversations and email responses free of charge. Use these opportunities to communicate your value at delivering extra services for a contractually arranged fee. Soon, your CPA practice will advance beyond delivering financial reports and tax returns. You will help balance business strategy with family goals by devising fair procedural and control structures. Rendering effective decision-making advice to family enterprises demands that you follow the right path with your own business after mastering accounting skills to successfully take CPA exam completion.

Tax Preparation Prices

When I tell people who question the price for tax return preparation about me – as a person, not an indistinct “tax preparer” clicking some computer keys – they either never again mention price or they leave immediately and stop wasting my time. Plus, I tell the tax professionals I coach to talk about me when anyone even hints that a tax return seems to cost too much.

I remember getting dinner with my grandfather that cost $1.25 – including desert – and then going to a movie for 50 cents. That doesn’t mean we were always getting a good value. Sometimes the pie was day-old and the movie was bad. I like people who understand value, not merely prices. A first grader understands how to place price numbers in order. I don’t have clients who are in first grade. Savvy adults know that bargains are measured in terms of value relative to price. I’m the biggest cheapskate SOB that ever lived… from long before it became fashionable after the Great Recession… but I’ve spent more money to experience a rich life than any person who ever complained about prices alone… and I still have a bank account that should permit me to eat regularly if I live to be 110.

People who care only about price can spend the least by doing the work themselves. They can go prepare their own tax returns. A person who spends any amount at all – even one dollar – for preparation of a tax return proves that maximum savings is not the objective. If it were, that person would self prepare. Now that we’ve established some valid price exists, assessment of the value for tax work is appropriate. One avenue for discovering the tax details I understand is looking over the free test bank of sample questions for the tax exam of Enrolled Agents at Fast Forward Academy. That should be sufficient to appreciate that the value of accurate tax work is not cheap.

Every year, I freelance reviewing the output of novice tax preparers. The best ones are capable of taking a taxpayers pile o’ stuff and preparing a Schedule C or Schedule E on about the 20th try that doesn’t require my correction. So, go ahead Mr. Taxpayer, save the most by preparing your own tax return or use one of those novice tax preparers who don’t have someone like me checking their work. See what kind of value that’s worth.

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