Stories of great success in the tax resolution business. Listen to CPAs and Attorneys on how they have added additional revenue, some of them upwards of a million dollars, to their existing practices.
Money Can Buy You Happiness: The Money Mindset with Dr. Patty Ann Tublin
Dr. Patty Ann Tublin is an internationally acclaimed relationship, emotional intelligence and communication expert. She is that rare individual who seamlessly moves among corporations, entrepreneurs and individuals creating business and personal success through her consulting, coaching and professional speaking.
Michael tells the story of his past business partner and his partner’s struggles with his relationship with his wife. The stress she created ultimately ended the partnership. Our conscious and unconscious attitude towards money is formed by the age of 12. It’s formed from the conversations and fights the adults in our lives have when we are in our youth. Fighting about money has nothing to do with whether or not you have money and has everything to do with what the money represents to you. Chances are Michael’s business partner’s wife was raised in a saver household and had a scarcity mindset around money. Depending on how we are raised, we either imitate the path our parents showed us or do the complete opposite. We have a relationship with money just as much as we have a relationship with people and they are both heavily influenced by your environment when growing up. People don’t do a financial audit of their attitudes towards money before they get married, and that can come back to haunt them. As a couple, you need to identify your investing goals and what money represents to each of you. Money is a way to buy stress out of our lives and give us choices that would otherwise not be open to us. Many people deny the role that money plays in our lives. Your money mindset comes into play whenever you make a purchase so it’s definitely a conversation you need to have with your significant other. When it comes to investing, if you don’t invest today to make your future better then you will have to be satisfied with what you end up with. There is no reward without some element of risk, but if you find you or your spouse resistant to the idea of investing in something, you need to address the mindset of why it feels too risky. If you don’t understand your risk tolerance you won’t be able to make timely decisions. Differing risk tolerance is the most common money stressor between married couples. The fear of losing money has to be addressed, acknowledged, and respected. Chances are that fear is from experience. There is a lot of power and control attached to money as well that people should keep in mind. A risk-averse partner might be trying to wield their power over the other, more dominant, partner. One of the most difficult conversations anyone can have is asking for a raise, despite the fact that the amount of money involved is rarely life-changing. Money is fraught with emotion for most people. When someone in a relationship does show resistance to spending money, ask them their concerns and then dig deeper to the real issue. Listen to what’s not being said. If you really want to learn about someone, either live with them or lend them money. The way people pay their bills tells you a lot about them. A couple that is on the same page about money can grow their business faster and with less stress. It may take some coaching or therapy to get there but it’s worth it. As an entrepreneur, you have to understand your relationship with money. How much money will you have to put in your business? What about the money you will have to spend on your personal development? If you don’t figure out your relationship with money before you start your business, there will come a time later when you’ll be forced to. Both partners don’t have to be fully involved in the investments, but there has to be trust and transparency, and clarity on the goals. In marriages where the husband handles the money entirely, it’s often because of the wife’s money mindset. In order to best take care of their significant other, they need to have access to that information. They need to understand where their financia
The Future Of Continuing Professional Education is Online at CPAacademy.org with Scott Zarret
Scott Zarret is a CPA who went to school at the University of Maryland and is the founder of CPAacademy.org. They are the largest provider of free continuing education to the accounting profession and have over 365,000 members.
Scott comes from a family of accountants/educators so what he’s doing now is not a far cry from what he grew up with. He started out in public accounting but quickly realized that it wasn’t his cup of tea. He worked several jobs since that first foray into the business until he was introduced to the idea of selling cost segregation studies. He put on his entrepreneurial hat and thought about how to sell something like that and realized that education was the way to go. He put on a live event that went really well but realized that live events don’t scale well, so he started pursuing the idea of online education with a model similar to the major universities. The first few years in business weren’t easy, but that struggle is what taught Scott the lessons he needed to learn in order to build the business he has today. Every state requires an average of 40 hours of continuing professional education to maintain your CPA license. There is no other profession with that level of requirement. From a marketing perspective, this is a great captive audience and there is a huge demand for this kind of education. Anything where you can make the argument that the topic will make the CPA more effective at their job, it will qualify as continuing professional education. CPA academy offers these courses for free so it’s a gold mine for small to midsize firms that care about budget and want to spend their time well. Last year was the tax season from hell, and this year is looking to top it. Around this time last year, the demand for education exploded right after the stay-at-home orders. People were scrambling to understand the recent PPP legislation as well as the new work-at-home paradigm. This year, PPP is still important but there are new programs being introduced that CPA’s need to stay up to date on. Each state has its own programs and bills working their way through the system which leaves a lot of uncertainty in the business. From an educational standpoint, there is going to be a greater shift to online learning no matter what happens with Covid. The flipside to that is that live events and conferences are on the decline. Scott has also noticed a trend towards people looking for content that’s grouped together like a mini-certification. Scott opened the CPA Academy with one goal which was to deliver free continuing professional education. It started off with webinars and is developing in a number of different directions. There are seven main topics that Scott believes are going to be in high demand in the future. They are financial planning, tax controversy, estate planning, non-profits, international tax, retirement planning, state and local taxes. Tax controversy isn’t as popular as it should be which is probably an advertising issue, but it can be extremely difficult for CPA given all the educational content available. Bankruptcy, tax resolution, and tax controversy go hand in hand and we are seeing the biggest spike in bankruptcies right now since 2010. Of the 110,000 businesses that have closed during the pandemic, many of them are going to owe income taxes. For most CPA’s, they need to realize that a quarter to a third of their existing clients are going to need tax resolution representation in the near future. CPA’s and EA’s need to at least know the basics with regards to dischargeability. You don’t need to know everything about bankruptcy, you just need to know how to interpret and read the basic documents and be able to refer the client to the right professional.
Mentioned in this episode:
Michael Rozbruch's Tax & Business Solutions Academy - rozstrategies.com
Scale Your Accounting Business With Offshoring and Remote Work with Chris Rivera
Chris Rivera is the director of client relations and business development at Entigrity, a leading offshore solutions provider to the tax and accounting space. Chris’s background had always been in client relations. He came from the corporate world and worked in a number of industries but he wasn’t particularly happy with the work. It wasn’t until he saw a job posting for a remote worker did Chris learn about a new way of doing things.
Chris began working for his future founding partner who was an accountant and got a crash course in accounting over the next six months. He began working with clients and developing those relationships to help grow the fledgling business. Going through the remote hiring process himself helped establish the framework they use to help accountants find remote employees now. Remote work has been around since the introduction of the internet, but in most industries, it hasn’t been fully embraced until recently. The CPAs that Chris talks to generally need a fair bit of education to help them understand the remote aspects of the work. He helps address their concerns and uses the initial call to determine exactly what they require from a remote worker. Once onboarded, the client is assigned a relationship manager to help keep the lines of communication open. The client gets to interview the potential candidates for their project so they have full control. There is a difference between outsourcing and offshoring. They seem the same to many people, but with the offshoring model, you still have control over the employee. Working with somebody that is part of your team is a great way to scale a business while remaining flexible. There has been a spike in business since May of last year. The pandemic is showing everyone that they can work with anyone anywhere. This technology has also made it easier to conduct business as well. Clients call Chris for a number of different reasons, the main ones being bookkeeping, audits, and accounting. It’s always important to diversify your resources, and that includes your team. In regards to audits, clients are mainly looking for data entry work so they don’t get completely bogged down and end up working late hours. It’s much more cost-effective to offshore certain kinds of work. Staffing shortages in accounting are a big problem. This makes the cost savings of Entigrity for their clients even more important. The sweet spot for Entigrity clients is in the 10 to 15 employee range, where they tend to plateau and have trouble finding more people locally and taking on additional work. A common concern is privacy. Chris finds that most accountants they work with are worried their clients will not be willing to give their consent to allow a third party to work on their files, but the reality of the situation is that the vast majority of people don’t care. Most clients just want the work done at a reasonable price.
Mentioned in this episode:
Michael Rozbruch's Tax & Business Solutions Academy
Entigrity on LinkedIn - linkedin.com/company/entigrity
Chris Rivera on LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/chrisriveraus
Automate Your Tax Resolution Business with Jaime Buchwald
Jaime Buchwald is the Co-founder and CEO of Pitbull Tax Software, which is the premier software used by tax resolution professionals and the industry in general.
Jaime originally created his software company because he originally had the same problem that most successful tax resolution firms had, specifically he was able to bring in a ton of work but getting it all done became a massive hurdle. That’s why he created a full automation software package which allows tax resolution firms to run their business more efficiently. He’s also currently a practicing tax resolution professional in addition to running his software company. The IRS is coming back with a vengeance. The cases are coming in hot as they begin ramping up operations again. In 2019 levies were up 32% and notices of Federal tax liens were up 13%. A few months ago the IRS sent out over 2 million notices to people who are falling behind and they will need to address these before long. We will likely see more bankruptcies in the next 12 months than ever before. The good news for tax resolution practitioners is that you can’t use bankruptcy to escape certain taxes and this is going to lead to a flood of business. Practitioners need to realize that every payroll tax case is actually two cases due to the associated trust fund recovery penalty. It’s predicted that 40% of small businesses have closed or will close over the next few months. Tax resolution professionals have an opportunity to help these people find relief from a very miserable situation. It’s incumbent on us to protect our clients from this coming deluge of tax cases. Practitioners that have a book of business have a huge opportunity to help their existing clients with tax resolution. By not doing anything they are doing a disservice to their clients. There are now so many resources available to the up-and-coming tax resolution professional. It’s very lucrative and well worth your time to work with either Michael or Jaime to add tax resolution services to your business. There are thousands of practitioners on the Pitbull Tax platform and due to the nature of the system, it’s possible for tax resolution firms to work completely remotely while still offering them hands-on support. The platform can even help new tax resolution practitioners understand the business and how to serve their clients the best. Tax resolution is one of the fastest-growing aspects of the industry right now and there are a huge number of tools and resources available to make adding it as a service easier than ever. Successful tax resolution practitioners all share the same attributes. They invest in themselves and their education, but they don’t just invest. They implement it too. The tax resolution industry changes constantly, so investing a little time and education is crucial to stay on top of what’s happening. The best time to invest in new employees or a new coach is when you can least afford it. Doing so motivates you to bring in the cases and justify the expense. You don’t have to know everything about the business, you just need to know who to ask or where to look. Will the IRS ever automate tax resolution the way they have with compliance? It seems pretty unlikely at this point. Other than that, the future is good for tax resolution professionals. Once you learn about tax resolution you’ll start to notice the opportunities that are all around you. There are between 4500-5000 firms that are marketing tax resolution services in any meaningful way. Contrast that with the 11.2 million people in the collection division of the IRS. We are likely to see roughly 20 million collection cases by the end of 2021 which means there is way more demand than there is supply. The major firms in your local area offering tax resolution services are actually helping your business by educating the customer base. Don’t be afraid to “compete” with them.
Mentioned in this episode:
Michael Rozbruch's Tax & Business
The Most Unpopular Tax Resolution Marketing Strategy that Works! with Justin Miller
Justin Miller’s agency runs a marketing company that does both online and print marketing. Before the agency, Justin was a disc jockey and he grew that business for 20 years. Around the 15th year, Justin decided that he really wanted to focus on the marketing specifically. He dabbled with consulting and after a few more years sold the disc jockey business and opened his current consulting business.
Direct mail is taking over the marketing world in 2021. The reason that it works is that it’s unpopular. Not many businesses are doing it, and surveys have shown that people feel more connection to a physical piece of mail than an ad in their Facebook feed. It’s a great way to get noticed, assuming you have a viable product or service to sell once you have their attention. The average person only gets one personalized letter every 62 days. This means that mailboxes are very uncluttered and are a great channel to use. Direct mail done right works. Always have an offer when using direct mail. Most of the time the whole point of the campaign is lead generation, so you don’t need to force a sale. Justin would rather have someone mail a smaller list 3 to 4 times than a larger list just once. Repetition matters. Make sure you have a clear call to action and multiple ways for them to respond. This can take the form of a landing page, a phone number to call, or a number to text. The goal is to have your piece not perceived as junk mail. Doing an every-door direct mail campaign on the main business route in your city would be a great place to find IRS problem clients. For high value service providers, even tiny numbers make direct mail campaigns very successful. It only takes a couple responses to make a campaign profitable. If you’re going to be in the direct mail business, knowing your numbers is crucial. You have to trace everything from the cost per lead to cost per acquisition to your conversion rate. The issue is that the numbers are not statistically relevant to making decisions. For a high ticket service you need to stay the course for at least 90 days. If you can do that you should be able to see the value of the direct mail campaign. The main goal is to try to get your piece of mail opened. Things like a stamp on the envelope and a handwritten-style address are necessary to achieve that goal. The return address is typically just the street address which is just enough information to pique someone’s interest and get the mail piece opened. Once it’s opened you have a second challenge. Most people don’t pay attention to the way something goes into an envelope. The first thing you want people to see is your headline. Extra weight or thickness can make your piece stand out and increase the odds of it being opened, but the best thing you can do is reach the right person at the right time. If you’ve picked the right mailing list you have the right person, but you also have to arrive at the right time, which is out of your control. This is why repetition is the most important thing, because it gives you more than one chance to be there at the right time. If your prospect is worth a lot of money to you, the more times you can mail them, the better. One of the more time consuming tips is to go through your list and use your personal perspective to prune those who you think aren’t worth the time of sending to. Go through your list and take the time to save money up front so you can send more often to the right people. As long as the post office gets back to its previous level of service, direct mail should definitely be in most business owner’s toolkits. It always comes down to getting started. You don’t have to have a big list to make direct mail work for your business. A small number of prospects can make a big difference.
Mentioned in this episode:
Michael Rozbruch's Tax & Business Solutions Academy
The Billionaire’s Secrets to Managing Wealth with Jim Dew
Jim Dew specializes in working with owner/founder entrepreneurs. Most financial advisors and wealth management people will work with anyone who has money, but there are unique problems and opportunities facing entrepreneurs.
His ideal client is a business owner or entrepreneur who is doing more than $1 million EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization). A company that has revenue and profits is where Jim can really add value. Jim builds virtual family offices for entrepreneurs, which is the wealth management solution that the billionaire club uses to manage their wealth. A family office is where a billionaire will simply hire all the needed tax, legal, insurance, and investment professionals and bring them under payroll for the family. Jim learned about the process from a billionaire family that was willing to show him the processes and he decided to help entrepreneurs achieve similar results. Every entrepreneur needs to protect, manage, and grow their wealth. Jim helps entrepreneurs in nine different areas under those categories by coordinating the different professionals involved. In most situations, the entrepreneur in the middle trying to manage those relationships is the weakest link. Jim’s company takes a central role so that all the players are collaborating and coordinating together to achieve better results. Most financial advisors either get paid for selling products or managing assets. Jim’s company does neither, they represent the entrepreneur and negotiate on their behalf. Jim believes that the incentives need to be aligned because they drive where you get advice and the results you get. This is why all of Jim’s advisors are compensated with salary and bonuses, this way they are aligned with the client’s needs in a true fiduciary relationship. Covid-19 has affected entrepreneurs all over the world. If you were in the right space your business exploded, like Peleton did. If you were in the wrong space though your business suffered. Jim’s company has been helping clients navigate the situation no matter what they are facing. One of the lessons that Jim’s clients have learned is that you have to know your numbers, that’s how you navigate hard times like this. Entrepreneurs need a great team with a CPA and a tax attorney who are proactively looking at their situation and coming up with great ideas. The tax code is complicated and set up in a way that an experienced tax planner on your team is a major asset. You won’t go to jail for screwing up the deductions, the danger is in hiding revenue. There are a number of strategies that you can use to minimize your taxes, but you have to be careful and have smart people on your team to help you implement them. Jim was raised by parents that went through the depression, so he learned to be very frugal with money. He had always been idealistic and was good at math and science, so Jim started off as a public school teacher. He did that for five years and learned two important lessons from the experience. The first is that he loved making a difference and helping people, and the second was that he couldn’t work in a broken system. Jim got into financial services and after getting into an argument with the manager of the firm Jim went on the path of starting his own company. The basic fundamental truth is that entrepreneurs get rich by being concentrated in a business, but you stay rich by being diversified outside that business. Every great investor has a discipline. Jim starts with where his clients are now and then comes up with a strategy to get to where they want to go. This allows them to quickly evaluate investment opportunities. Often people look at election results and other economic indicators to try to determine their investment strategy. When it comes to investing, you want to invest on probabilities, not possibilities. Every politician promises a number of changes, but they rarely get turned into law without conside
Tax resolution at its best.
If you’re starting out or been in the tax resolutions business for years. Listen to Rob and find out the secrets you don’t know!