Tax Firms

10 Reasons I’m NOT Putting My Enrolled Agent License Into “Inactive Retirement” Status

Despite my recent retirement, I renewed my Enrolled Agent credential this year.

Why would I do such a thing, and continue to being subject to the requirements of the credential, if I don’t need it anymore?

For those readers that are unaware, the Enrolled Agent credential is granted by the IRS after taking a three-part exam on federal tax law. It grants tax professionals standing equal to CPAs and … [ Continue reading ]

Action Item: Issue document deadline to all extension clients

Most of the frustration stemming from tax clients that procrastinate can be eliminated via proactive client management.

Simply put, you set the rules of the engagement, not the client. If the client doesn’t want to do business with you on YOUR terms, then you encourage them to take their business elsewhere.

One of the most important client management systems to have in place is one that addresses tax … [ Continue reading ]

How NOT to Buy a Tax Practice

Several years ago, I worked with a consulting client that had a unique way of finding other tax practices to buy. This one strategy was the primary way he had grown his own CPA firm for nearly 20 years, entirely via acquisition.

His acquisition strategy was brilliant. Masterful, even.

But what he did after the acquisition was…umm… not so brilliant.

I guess there’s no point in pulling any punches … [ Continue reading ]

Tax Professionals: Eliminate Tax Season Stress

For many tax pros, filing season is the most stressful time of the year.

It’s filled with long hours, grumpy clients, software glitches, IRS headaches, and more.

So why do so many tax professionals subject themselves to it?

The answer, like many things in business and life, comes down to money. They subject themselves to the stress and anxiety of filing season because it’s where the vast majority … [ Continue reading ]

Offering Advisory Services to Real Estate Investors


It’s that buzz word that we all keep hearing. Accounting journals, CPE classes, books, podcasts, etc., all telling us that we need to start making the shift from compliance to advisory if we want our tax and accounting firms to survive in the 21st century.

Of course, that advice is quite accurate. As more and more compliance services become automatable with advances in technology, and then actually … [ Continue reading ]

Helping tax clients with real estate deal analysis

In Wednesday’s email, I outlined an example of what the annual service fees from a real estate investor tax client can look like. 

In that breakdown, I mentioned helping real estate investors with doing deal analysis. A typical analysis can be done in about half an hour or less, assuming you have all the data sources lined up (which you will, once you’ve done a few for [ Continue reading ]

How much is a real estate investor tax client worth?

There are many things to love about dedicating your tax practice to serving a specific, narrow target audience.

When you niche, you get:

  • economies of scale
  • greater operational efficiency
  • reduced marketing costs
  • simplification of lead generation efforts
  • higher fees from specialized services

This is why I always encourage tax pros to niche, niche, niche. It’s simply the smart thing to do, and it’s what the large public accounting and … [ Continue reading ]

Real Estate Investors Make Great Clients

According to IRS tax return data, over 10 million American individuals (not even counting business entities) own at least one rental property.

That’s about 1 in 15 individual income tax returns filing a Schedule E with rental income.

As both a tax pro and a real estate investor myself, I find this statistic to be absolutely fascinating, particularly when viewed through the lens of a subject that … [ Continue reading ]