The normal tax preparation process is either to sit with a preparer while they spend an hour entering your documents and asking you questions or you drop your documents off and they call you to pick them up, sign and pay. Hopefully the person you sit with knows all the tax rules off the top of their head. With luck, the person you drop off with asks you enough questions to thoroughly understand your tax situation and doesn’t just assume you know what they need. They probably had you fill out an intake questionnaire that takes almost as much work to fill out as it does for them to prepare your return. To be honest, both methods work okay in a lot of situations, and many preparers do put in the time and effort to know you thoroughly – but how do you know? And let’s not even talk about offices with wall to wall desks, screaming kids, phones ringing off the hook and a waiting room full of clients. Distractions equal mistakes.
I never liked these ways of doing taxes and even when I did, I knew there was a better way. Yes, my way sometimes takes longer, but honestly not THAT much longer. One of the reasons my method works is that I have honed my communications to ensure that they are as easy to understand as possible, with very little chance of miscommunication. This SAVES time. The crazy thing about preparing taxes and time is that 10 percent of your clients take 80% of your time (exaggeration). Allowing interruptions can dramatically impact the preparation of other returns.
When I receive a tax return, it enters the queue for work and will generally get to the front of the line within 24 hours, depending on the time of the tax season it is received. Once started, it will be worked on until I have reached the natural stopping point based on information received from the client. I take notes of questions, advice and additional information needed as I go. I will also research any areas where I am not certain of my knowledge. At the stopping point, I will reach out to the client for additional information, answers to questions and confirmation of specific unusual situations to ensure they do not apply. At any point I may provide advice that is too urgent to wait for final completion. Occasionally I will stop working a return due to needing time to digest a complex situation or confer with my peers to resolve. Sometimes I just need to marinate a question in my mind overnight. When I receive answers to my questions, the return enters the “working” queue which generally gets emptied daily before starting on new returns. I will work the tax return again, and repeat the question process until I am certain of the results. I will then provide results, cost, an explanation of the results and advice for the future.
NOW is when the client decides if they are SATISFIED and if they want to continue. At any time the client can indicate that they aren’t satisfied with the process or results, and walk away with no obligation to pay and file with me. Only once the client is COMPLETELY SATISFIED will we proceed to signature, payment and filing.
Take the Time
Ask the Questions
Focus on ONE return at a time
ADVICE and EXPLANATIONS, not just results and fees.
No Obligation to Pay Unless Satisfied!
Always AVAILABLE for QUESTIONS and ADVICE