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Client Handouts & Tools (for Tax & Accounting Professionals)

Video Transcript

00:00:00:10 – 00:00:37:00

Welcome to the GetNetSet Website Building Video series for tax and accounting professionals, where we cover all the essentials of creating a site that helps you grow your business. Today we’re going to talk about some tools and handouts you can add to your website for the benefit of both current and potential clients. In other GetNetSet videos, we discuss IRS tools and links, a tax newsletter, and various types of helpful articles that you can post on your site or social media pages.

00:00:37:11 – 00:01:05:11

In this video, we’ll zero in on some real nuts and bolts resources and materials that can help you build long term client relationships. Let’s start by talking about how these resources add value to your site. Sharing knowledge has always been one of the most effective ways to build a lasting bond with website visitors. A person who feels empowered is also more likely to take action,

00:01:06:04 – 00:01:31:10

so a new site visitor will be more likely to schedule that all important first appointment, while a current or past client will be more likely to reach out for additional services. Providing these resources also subtly demonstrates the breadth and depth of your expertise and knowledge. As visitors come to see your website as a go to source of tax or accounting tools,

00:01:32:01 – 00:01:57:12

they will naturally see you or your firm as their trusted source for more in-depth guidance as well. You can think of the goal as providing just enough insight and knowledge to give site users a sense of how much more you have to offer. So let’s take a look now at some of the specific resources that we recommend for tax and accounting service websites.

00:01:58:09 – 00:02:31:01

Here we have a GetNetSet demo home page, and the first item listed under the “Resources” menu heading is “Financial Calculators.” If I click here, it takes me over to this page where we have a wide variety of calculating tools for different purposes. As you can see, we have grouped the calculators by general topics like purchasing a vehicle or home, household budgeting, tax calculations, and planning for college tuition or retirement.

00:02:31:12 – 00:03:00:00

If I click on one of the headings like “Taxes,” the link takes me down to that section of the page where the general topic is further broken down with a variety of calculating tools for specific tax matters. These range from capital gains and estate taxes to paycheck withholding and standard deductions. Notice also that each section of this page includes a link that returns the user to the top of the page.

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These little details of site design are hugely important because Internet users tend to become anxious or frustrated when they feel like they have lost their place on a website. Your site should constantly reinforce the message that a relationship with you or your firm not only will not cause anxiety, but it will in fact relieve it. Now, returning to our main “Resources” heading, let’s look at the “Record Retention Guide.”

00:03:29:10 – 00:03:59:08

You can offer this guide as a page on your site, as a PDF or paper handout for clients, or a combination of all of these. The page begins with a brief summary table showing the basic IRS rules for how long taxpayers must preserve various records related to their tax returns. There is an additional note here about maintaining records of property transactions, which may have long term capital gains tax implications.

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Next, we come to this critical advisory, reminding visitors that there are many reasons to retain records besides just basic tax compliance. For example, insurance companies or lenders may require that a person or business save records beyond the IRS time limits. From here, the page goes on to explain the many other benefits of good record keeping. And then as you can see, offers more specific guidance on preserving a wide variety of types of records.

00:04:34:03 – 00:04:56:02

It’s worth noting here that providing resources like this can help you make more efficient use of your own time. For example, you might go over some of this information during an initial meeting with a new client, but thereafter you can just refer them to this resource so you don’t have to keep answering the same questions over and over again.

00:04:56:12 – 00:05:44:03

And on the topic of saving you time, not to mention a whole lot of potential frustration, one of our favorite client handouts is a tax appointment checklist. We mentioned this resource in our video on IRS tools and links, but it provides so much value that it’s worth a second look. If you offer any tax preparation, tax planning, or tax problem resolution services, then you likely know the frustration of being stymied in a client meeting because the client forgot a 1099 form, IRS notice, or other critical document. While there is no way to completely prevent these mishaps, a checklist handout can make them far, far less frequent occurrences.

00:05:45:01 – 00:06:21:11

You can customize your checklist for the specific types of tax situations you handle most often, but in general, your list might include things like personal information needed for tax returns and other tax forms, records of income with reminders about the wide variety of forms that income might take, documentation of potentially deductible expenses like education costs, charitable donations and medical expenses, and proof of eligibility for tax credits and other tax benefits.

00:06:22:09 – 00:06:51:04

In addition to providing resources like the one shown here, you could also implement a client portal which enables you to securely upload your own forms for particular clients to download. For instance, you could upload an engagement letter or questionnaire for a client to download, complete, and return to you. To learn more about how a secure client portal works, please see our videos on that topic.

00:06:52:03 – 00:07:20:06

In the end, resources like the ones we’ve discussed in this video, not only help and empower your clients, but also make it easier for you to focus on the work that matters most to you and the work that generates billable hours. Enhancing your website with these and other client tools really is a win win proposition. So that’s just a quick overview of some of the self-help resources that GetNetSet

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recommends and provides for tax and accounting professional websites. Again, please see our companion videos on IRS tools, self-help tips and articles, and other client resources as well. And of course, if you’d like to learn more about these and other GetNetSet website features, our team would be happy to speak with you. For now, we hope you found this video helpful.

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Thank you for watching and we will see you in the next one.