AA 113 | Tax Planning

 

Tax season is now behind us, but that doesn’t mean we move on and think about it later when it comes back. Don’t leave tax planning for the next season. Start doing it now! In this episode, we look ahead to plan for the next tax season, so we’re better equipped to facilitate the changes in our business. Joining Michelle Weinstein is a nationally recognized speaker and educator on federal tax law matters, Thomas A. Gorczynski, EA, USTCP. Among the titles under his belt, Tom is the editor-in-chief of EA Journal, co-author of the PassKey Learning Systems EA Review Series, and co-owner of Compass Tax Educators. He brings his expertise and insights to today’s show to prepare us for the next tax season with a list of the top ten areas to assess in your firm. What are the common mistakes people make? What is the future of the accounting profession? What client metrics should you consider? Tom answers these and more. So tune in to learn and hopefully skip past the tears and anxiety of the tax season when it arrives.

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Start Planning For The Next Tax Season NOW With Thomas A. Gorczynski, EA, USTCP

We have a very guest and a very important topic. Make sure to have a pen and paper to take notes. Before we welcome our special guest to the show, I have been helping tax and accounting firm owners have more freedom, time, and money, get paid first and upfront, but confidently charge the fees they know they deserve. I know our system works and that I can help you create the firm you have always wanted, but it’s up to you to take the next steps.

Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com to book a free session with my team where we are going to cover three main things. That is where your firm is at and the things that have been keeping you stuck and overwhelmed even maybe this past tax season, where you want to be in your firm in your life to ensure you are paid first, avoiding all the pitfalls along the way and saving you a ton of money in the process, and the exact next steps to take to double your firm revenue for the rest of 2023.

Every one of our success stories started with this phone call. It has turned into more confidence, charging premium fees, doubling top-line revenue, eliminating burnout, and feeling excited about your work again and being in control of your firm and your future. Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com.

Our very special guest is the nationally recognized speaker and educator on federal tax law matters. He is an Editor-in-Chief of EA Journal, the co-author of the Passkey Learning Systems EA Review series, and Co-owner of Compass Tax Educators. He’s an EA. He’s a certified tax planner, a National Tax Practice Institute fellow, a certified tax resolution specialist, and admitted to the bar of the US Tax Court as a non-attorney. Our special guest is Tom Gorczynski. Tom’s tax practice in Phoenix, Arizona focuses on implementing advanced tax reduction strategies and representing taxpayers with complex tax problems before the IRS and the US tax court. Let’s welcome Tom to the show.

Welcome, Tom, to the show.

Thanks. I hope you have been doing well.

I’m very excited to have you back here on the show. It’s always super fun to have you here.

Thank you for having me back. I appreciate it.

You are a wealth of knowledge and a true genius. Others might believe and think the same, but for those people that don’t know you, could you share with us in 30 seconds to 1 minute who you are and what you do?

My name is Tom Gorczynski. I’m an enrolled agent and a United States tax core practitioner. I’m based in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m also a nationally known tax educator. I teach all over the country. I have a mastermind group called The Inner Circle with Tom where I help tax professionals answer the most challenging questions and help build profitable and efficient practices. I also have a newsletter called Tom Talks Taxes that provides accurate technical information that’s important for tax professionals to know. I have got a lot going on.

That is a lot. I’m honored that you took out the time to be here with us. Tax season is at the end. It’s behind us. It’s important to think about, and you have so much insight on this, how to prepare for next tax season and create that top ten list of areas to assess in someone’s firm. I’m excited to put together this list with you or go through it.

For those of you reading, you might want to grab a pen and paper because this is proactive practice planning. While it’s fresh in your head, you have it written down so you don’t forget. From what I hear from many firm owners, it’s that, “I’m not going to do what I did last year. I can’t do it again. I can’t burn myself out. I can’t work with those clients. I’m going to make all these changes one day.” The next year comes around and those changes aren’t made. The next year comes around and it’s like, “I can’t keep going this way. I’m going to not make it. I’m working 12, 14, or 18-hour days. I don’t want to continue this cycle. Yet, every single year after year, the cycle still continues.”

The reason why that happens is we get caught up in taking a break after the season. We might have some extension stuff to do. We will worry about planning for the next tax season after the September/October deadlines. That rolls around and then you only have two months to make serious and intentional changes to your business.

It’s not enough time, frankly. When we start the change process for our practices when it comes to pricing, automation, and efficiencies, we need to start early and look at it as a solution we take small bites to over time. If we don’t, it’s unmanageable. We stick our heads in the sand and do it next year. Ten years later, it never got done.

When we start the change process for our practices, we need to start early and look at it as a solution we take small bites at over time. If we don't, it becomes unmanageable. Share on X

That’s exactly correct. Once we are fed up, sick, and tired of the way we have been going, not seeing our families, not seeing our kids, and having a lot of health challenges, then maybe that’s the time when we want to make a change. Sometimes, it’s almost too late. I’d love to hear from some of the clients that you have worked with or other firm owners that you have mentored in Tom’s Inner Circle for the last couple of years that are creating this list of areas to assess in their practices where you have seen success from other firm owners.

Sharing some great stories will be more impactful. We can give you a list of some of the biggest mistakes other firm owners made, but I’d love to share exactly how they fixed that mistake. What was that solution? Take us to that place of that firm owner. How were they feeling before? What did they do to make that shift and change? How did that shift make one of their biggest mistakes never happen again in the future? That’s what I thought we would discuss.

For each of you that’s reading, please take notes. Tom always has so many golden nuggets. We will get started. Hopefully, we get to ten different areas. I’m sure each of you has some areas that you want to assess in your firm. You might want to write those down. For example, people should be considering their pricing for 2024. That would probably be one of the areas that you would want to assess at the top line. What have you seen in another firm owner who has considered their pricing to make the change? How did it work out for them? What did you see through that process?

I have seen several firm owners that I work with who took the plunge and changed how they priced. It was partially due to my influence and partially due to your influence, to be completely honest. They have all had fewer clients during the season. Their revenue has been around the same amount. A lot of them were surprised. The fear mentality says, “I’m going to lose all of my clients. This is going to be a failure. It’s not going to work.” One of the firm owners that I work with, let’s call her Sharon. Sharon raised her minimum fee significantly.

What was it before, and what did she raise it to significantly?

I believe it was in the $200,000s and now it’s $695,000. She said this was the first tax season so far that she hasn’t cried during tax season. It’s also the first tax season where she’s not consistently weeks behind in work.

It’s powerful to not cry during tax season. That’s the norm for many firm owners.

The norm is to feel so far behind that you are never going to dig yourself out. $695 a month is a very good average minimum price for the level of complexity that we have to deal with, in my opinion, in tax returns going forward. The reality is the tax world has gotten more complex. People need additional help, services, and guidance. The returns themselves take more brain power to do during the season, which means you need more space.

AA 113 | Tax Planning

Tax Planning: The tax world has gotten more and more complex. People need additional help, services, and guidance, and the returns themselves take more brain power to do during the season.

 

Sharon also said that because she’s had fewer clients, she has identified errors she made on prior year returns because she was so stressed about pushing them out on time. I thought that was a very honest conversation to admit to. Also, the space has allowed her to provide more ongoing planning and advisory. The space has allowed her to work with the clients to give them what they wanted, which was ideas to help their overall financial and tax situation.

That’s crucial. When you were saying provider of the space, another area to assess is if you have a brick-and-mortar office, assess physical space. Can you go virtual? Can you go remote? I know a lot of firm owners have made that transition. However, there’s still a significant amount that is paying for a lot of overhead that can reduce completely and reduce expenses. That would be another area to assess. It’s interesting what you are sharing about Sharon.

We will call her Candace. I had a client, which is Candace, her year-over-year revenue from January to March 2023 was $12,700 higher this 2023. She didn’t feel as behind. It’s the same thing as Sharon. She was paid 100% upfront. She made a commitment to herself that starting this 2023, she would no longer accept payments after the fact.

There are a lot of firm owners not billing or are like, “I will get to it later,” and sending the invoices in the future. That’s another area to assess. How are you doing with your payments? Are you getting paid upfront? Are you getting deposits upfront next tax season? A lot of my clients have been having people reserve their spots. You know the quantity or the volume that will be coming to you that next tax season instead of wondering, “Am I going to get all my clients back? Am I going to have more plus referrals? How many do I need to get rid of? How much staff do I need? How do you deal with the capacity?”

I know you go out to nice dinners all the time. Here in San Diego, and I don’t know if you have experienced this in Phoenix, in order to go somewhere nice, you have to put a credit card down for $100 per person for a reservation fee. If you don’t show up, they are going to charge you. That’s for dinner. We are talking about someone’s financial responsibility in living in this country to do a tax return. How come we are not charging a reservation fee?

I can’t keep track of how many things we put on the list. We have pricing, brick-and-mortar virtual, reservation fees, and how you are doing your payments. Are you collecting upfront? Are you going to do the invoices before you deliver the return, or are you going to do it at the end of the season and hope you remember everybody? Candace made a 180 in her firm. She said, “I never want to do that again,” meaning the way she’d been running herself and feeling so behind. It’s powerful. Kudos to Candace and Sharon.

We are going to give people 30 items to consider.

Let’s max it at ten so we don’t get everyone too overwhelmed. If you make these ten changes and prepare for 2024, you are going to have a different outcome. You will be prepared. A lot of us were going, and then it is the October deadline, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. It’s like, “I didn’t do any of that.” If you do it and create your systems, put them in place, and send out notices to your clients to let them know, “Here’s what’s happening,” then you don’t have to worry about any of that later on.

Can I give you two more examples of colleagues of mine?

Yes.

These two individuals are friends of mine. We have discussed some changes they have made in their practices. The audience would find it very useful.

Is this another thing to add to our list?

Yes. The reason these two folks have been successful in transforming their practices is they have honed in on a specialty, a niche, where they have made themselves out to be true experts in that area. Let’s go through the two people. One, we will call her Sarah. Her firm minimum is $5,000 a year. That’s the entry point to working with Sarah.

Sarah, after hitting about 35 or 40 clients, decided, “I’m full. I have enough to meet my needs financially and not work too much during the year.” This fee is for ongoing work throughout the year. It’s not the return. People have approached Sarah saying, “Last year, we talked and I wasn’t ready to move forward. I’m ready now,” but Sarah said no. She’s like, “I’m at capacity. I’m happy with where my business is.” Let’s take my other colleague. We will call him William. William is in a high-demand specialty area.

What is the specialty?

I’m not going to say it because it might give it away. William killed himself in 2022 with so much demand for his work. He was working unhealthy, excessive hours. This 2023, it is down to 35% of the level of 2022. It is to the point where William can do a return or two a day and that’s sufficient at the pricing level that he changed to.

What did he change to?

I don’t know the details. All I know is that William, in the middle of tax season, took a European trip. I’m going to Hawaii because we have designed our practices where the priority is us. We have built our practices such that the pricing and the number of clients allow us the space to do those types of things and not kill ourselves. Does that mean that not every taxpayer can have access to our services? Yes. The reality is when you have a specialization or a specific knowledge base, that allows you to charge more for your knowledge. That means that not everybody is going to be fit for that firm.

Honestly, we have to let go of the fact that we can’t help everyone. When we work so hard, like Sharon, and try and help everyone, we don’t help them because we don’t give them advice. We make errors on returns. We need the space to ensure accuracy. We need the space to help give advice and planning. That, in my view, is where the future of the accounting profession is headed. It’s not in turning and burning fifteen returns a day where the taxpayer gets a piece of paper, a pat on the head, and, “Come back next year.” They don’t see value in that. In several years, AI is going to automate those types of clients out of our portfolios.

Not everybody is going to be fit for the firm. We have to let go of the fact that we can't help everyone. When we work so hard to try and help everyone, we actually don't help them. Share on X

I’m curious about these two examples that you shared and picking their niche, and with William killing himself in 2022 at the demand, but now he’s down 35% but still going on vacation.

He is not down 35%. It is 35% of 2022, so down well more than half. It was a significant decrease because that was a breaking point for him.

I’m also curious about Sarah being at capacity saying no, making sure that every client is generating a minimum of $5,000, and turning away people. For someone who wants to plan and schedule their niche properly for next tax season, what would be the biggest, most impactful exercise for them to do to make this decision on, “Who is the ideal client and who’s not? What’s the specialty that I’m going to focus on?”

I look at it this way. When you look at your client base, pick out those clients who spark joy. Who are the ones you love to work with? Once you have picked them out, is there something that binds them together? Is it a type of business? Is it a geographic area? Is it an area of tax law that you know well? What is it? Why are those clients sparking joy? That’s the type of niche you want. You want a niche where every client is going to make you happy and excited to work with them. If they are happy and excited to work with you and you are providing value in that engagement because you are excited, have ideas, and are proactive, you are able to charge an appropriate value so that it’s a win for you and a win for them.

You want a niche where every client is going to make you happy and excited to work with them. Share on X

Your perceived value increases. The value of William or Sarah in their perceived value from clients, new people, and referrals has done a 180. They are perceived as a much more quality, highly-skilled professional that not everyone can have access to. I love it. We have a list so far. It is pricing. It is their reservation fee or how they are going to invoice and bill in advance instead of dealing with accounts receivable. It’s picking a niche and getting somewhere in the specialized department like Sarah and William.

I also hear on one of our lists to assess is prioritizing yourself. It’s figuring out how much revenue you want to generate in 2024 and what is the minimum per client. You are good at math. Let’s say you want to do $100,000 in your firm. You have a minim of $5,000 like Sarah per client for the year. How many total clients do you need?

That total revenue number, I’m not going to be able to tell you. It depends on what you want.

You have to figure it out, but that’s part of the planning and scheduling for next tax season. When you are feeling burnt out, annoyed, feeling you didn’t price high enough, overworked, and underpaid, right now is the time to figure out what that number is.

Once you find out an appropriate minimum fee and figure out the number of clients you need at that fee to meet your revenue goals, then at that point, you don’t have to take additional clients unless they make sense. It’s your choice.

For Sarah, it is 20 clients if her goal was $100,000. That’s it.

Under the model that a lot of accountants work under, there is this idea, “If I don’t help everybody, there is a risk I will not make enough money.” We are not thinking proactively. We are thinking reactively. That’s why we need to shift that mindset. That’s why after this, we need to start thinking about what is the firm that we want to look like. We need to start early because some of these items take planning.

For example, if you want to have a niche and you have found an area that sparks joy and that people need help in, you have got two major things you got to do when that season is over. One, get referrals. Get connections in that niche to start to bring in more of your ideal client. Second, and this is a big thing for me, enhance your education. Focus your education in that area so that you truly are an expert. You don’t purport to say you are. You are because you have the technical knowledge to back it up.

What are some areas that maybe you can give an example of if someone’s going to enhance their education or their specialty that they came up with like William or Sarah did? Can you run us through a specific example? If someone wanted to become a specialist in X, what are some educational conferences or CE things they should do to make that happen in the next nine months?

There are a lot of educational opportunities out there. Unfortunately, there is a lot of education that can be done like McDonald’s. It’s cheap and quick, but not filling. You then have quality education, which is not cheap and not quick. Who you use as a provider depends on what you are looking to learn, but always look at the expertise. Is the instructor an expert? Is it someone that is highly regarded? There are a lot of people out there purporting to be tax instructors who I would never sit in a class and listen to. That’s my opinion.

You need to be intentional about what events you are choosing and who the instructor is. I have sat in classes where incorrect things are taught. I have had to walk out because I couldn’t sit there and listen to it anymore. Be very cognizant of it’s not the cheapest and the fastest. If you are getting your CE by taking it online, not even looking at the materials, and answering the questions to get the credit, you are cheating your clients and yourself. This is something you have to invest time, money, and effort in to learn and become an expert in what you are looking to do.

AA 113 | Tax Planning

Tax Planning: Education is something you have to invest time, money, and effort in to really learn and become an expert in what you’re looking to do.

 

I love how you said cheap, quick, and not filling is not the way to go. That will not get you to a specialty in being able to command $5,000 fees for the all-year-round type of clients and only work with 20 or, let’s say, 40 clients and still have a practice doing $200,000 to $250,000 a year. It never will happen.

If you want to be someone’s trusted advisor, you need to walk the walk. To walk the walk is not talking about it. It’s doing it. I believe so strongly that education is the foundation of what you need to have a successful practice. You need a pricing strategy and a marking strategy, but if you don’t know the technical or you don’t know what you are doing, you can bring everybody in and it’s not going to work. Don’t skimp on that item. It’s so important.

Are there any off top of your head quality education options that are very high investments that you would recommend?

I do own a webinar company, Compass Tax Educators. We do very high-quality webinar education. I’m the primary instructor. I also select who I consider to be experts and up-and-coming educators in the field to help complement what we do. We are intentional about the education we offer. There are other also live events. I also recommend to anybody who’s looking at educational opportunities that in-person events are essential. You are going to get networking. You are going to talk to your peers. You are going to get ideas from the networking and the conversations you have there that you may not get anywhere else.

Honestly, one of my favorite in-person events that I speak at most years is the California Society of Enrolled Agents Super Seminar. It’s in Reno in June 2023. It’s a good event. There are other events as well, but I can only speak to the events that I go to regularly. For example, I go there and take classes for my continuing education. There are good events. There are a lot of organizations that offer it. Do a mix of in-person and webinars. Get exposure to different ideas, different ways of thinking, and different topics.

Look for filling and quality versus cheap, quick, and not filling. Our list for those of you taking notes is pricing, reservation fees, collecting money upfront, and making sure that you have your payment situations in place before the next tax season. There’s also having a niche or specialty, prioritizing yourself, not killing yourself, and limiting and saying, “This is how many hours I’m going to work. This is how I’m going to go on vacation during tax season.” It’s booking the plane and figuring out where you are going to go on vacation.

It’s asking for referrals, enhancing your education, and making sure it’s quality education and not the fastest and not the cheapest. It’s going into more in-person education, like the Reno conference and your Compass webinars. Those all sound like great options. What about their client base? The fear of losing clients and letting go of clients is terrifying. What have you seen one of your firm-owner colleague clients do to reduce the volume to make that shift and change to say, “My new minimum is $5,000 a year,” like Sarah did?

What I have been recommending is that during a season or after season, which we are after season, but in 2024 during, come up with a way of assessing each client you are working with. If you do it in a uniform way, give each client a grade. At the end of the season, rank them. Your priority is to keep the highest-ranked clients. Often, I’m asked, “How do you rank clients? What metrics do you use?” I don’t think I can tell you what metrics to use because every firm owner has different priorities as to what’s important to them.

The way I might weigh a client’s value to my firm or their fit to my firm may be very different from somebody else’s. I will give you some metrics that everyone should consider. One of the metrics is financial value. It’s not necessarily the exclusive metric. Here are some things to think about. Attitude is a metric. If you have staff and someone is rude to your staff and rude to you, that doesn’t make it a conducive environment to help any of your clients.

Communication is another metric. Is a client very communicative? Do they follow up, or are they off the radar until October 12th? What’s important to you? There is also record keeping. Do they keep decent records? Do they keep immaculate records? Are the records so bad you can’t do proactive work with them because they are scrambling at the last minute and are on the back of the McDonald’s receipt they got their Big Mac at? There is timeliness. Do they value your time in the engagement? If you ask for something, do they give it to you promptly or do they give it to you six months later? These are some of the attributes to think about.

For you, you may have a personality where you value communication. You want all of your clients to be communicative, honest, and forthright with how you operate together so maybe you weigh that metric more. Maybe you don’t want to be constantly chasing clients for information, so then maybe timeliness is the most important metric or a higher-up metric. How you weigh them is up to you. You are probably coming up with others as I’m mentioning these.

AA 113 | Tax Planning

Tax Planning: You want all of your clients to be communicative, honest, and forthright with how you operate together.

 

If you have your ideas, write them down. Grade your clients. Keep the A ones. Anyone that’s scored a C, D, E, or F, they got to go.

When we are looking to transition to a new model of work, we want the highest folks with the highest average rating. That takes into account our most important attributes in those clients are likely to be highly rated. Some may say, “That seems very mechanical,” but it’s also objective. Part of the problems that tax pros have with transitioning to change is they feel bad about letting go or not helping all of the clients they are used to helping. Therefore, we need to have some objectivity to the process on how they can make those choices in a more dispassionate way.

That’s the dispassionate Tom way.

There’s passion behind it, right?

There is because you put a lot of thought in. You have to do it. This is how you plan for 2024. If you don’t go through these lists, I guarantee that a lot of these, you won’t remember 6 or 9 months from now. Another area to assess, and we are at number eight, is the biggest mistakes that you experienced over the last couple of months. What are some of your personal mistakes that you saw your admin do or you did, be it on tax returns or in general? Are there any mistakes that you can identify in your firm that you want to make a change to? Write those down.

Can I add to that?

Yes, please.

Also, missed opportunities. What items, things, or planning would you have liked to have done with clients but couldn’t because you were time-pressed? I saw an example in one of my online social media groups where a tax pro said, “This client needs an amended return done. I don’t have the time to do it now.” That’s something they had to give up. It could be, “I’m too busy to properly make an extension estimate, so I use the number or I had the client make up their number and they filed it.” That’s not doing the best work for the client.

It makes more mistakes than missed opportunities because of the time pressure. Sharon caught errors on her returns when she went back after she had increased her price from $200,000 to $600,000 or $695,000 or something. That’s huge. That’s horrible. The fact that there are so many people making mistakes, it’s a missed opportunity for you to increase your fee, not have so much volume, and get your life back and go to Hawaii as Tom or his other client, William.

It’s imperative to figure out the ways and identify the areas you made the biggest mistakes and where you saw some missed opportunities. Assess where you were the most time-pressed and how you can make these changes and set some boundaries for yourself. Make the priority. I always say to the clients that work with me or even you, “Congrats on putting yourself first. Finally, you are taking care of yourself. You are putting your oxygen mask on first. Kudos to you.”

I have to say it. I have the opportunity. I’m blessed in my career where it has gone. It’s fair to say hundreds of returns are prepared by other tax professionals. With some of the blatant problems and errors, the only thing I can attribute it to is there is such a rush to get things done. Things are missed or plugged, the client doesn’t win in that model. If they have 45 minutes to sit down and get that return done, if I don’t have the information while we sally, which is the same as 2022, and move on, they are not getting what they deserve.

It’s not fair to them. To everyone here reading, I know that you want to help people. A lot are people pleasers. You can’t bend over backward to make errors with them and put them in a worse-off position. That’s ultimately what’s happened. What is number nine which is another area to assess in their firm? We have got two more to go on how one can make a plan, make a different schedule, and assess where they can change for 2024 but change it now. What would you say it is?

Get your calendar or your planner out or whatever tool you use to organize your time. I want you to pick two hours every week that are the same time and same day and block it out. That’s practice building. Zero out your calendar for those two hours. When you get to it, the only thing you do in those two hours each week going forward for the rest of this post-filing season through 2024 is to strategize, make plans, and take action on how to transform your practice to the way you want it to be. I want you to block that time.

For that time, you can go through the other eight items we talked about and work on those. This is what Tom calls his PPP. It’s your personal PPP loan, which is Proactive Practice Planning. Which conferences are you going to go to? Which webinars of Tom’s on Compass are you going to watch and learn? What specialty are you going to create? What is the revenue you are going to achieve in 2024?

When you work it backward, how many clients do you want to work with not based on your situation, but on what you are going to have to change to? What vacation are you going to plan during tax season to prioritize yourself and put your oxygen mask on first? Do all of that and pick two hours. What has worked best for you as you have grown over the last few years? What two hours on what day of the week worked for you?

I generally leave Friday afternoons as my downtime for the week. That’s on my calendar. My assistant knows nothing gets booked on Friday afternoons. It’s partially because I go out to dinner every Friday night and I don’t want anything to interfere with that. That’s my time to reflect. It’s my time to say, “There’s something I need to get done. It’s my time to think about what needs to happen going forward for the next couple of weeks.” That, to me, is what I want to do. If it’s also time that I need for personal things, that’s the time I use for that if I have something I need to take care of. That’s the time I usually use.

I also love Friday afternoons. I don’t have any proactive practice planning, but I have the Abundant Accountant planning for the show, ads, working on homework assignments, and editing. I love Friday afternoons for that.

That’s a good point. As a business owner, you have to put the time into your own business. You can’t just do for others.

As a business owner, you have to put the time into your own business. You can't just do for others. Share on X

You serve the clients by doing the planning. They go hand in hand.

I realized that there is no way I could do what I do without taking time for my own business planning, development, and admin every week. It’s not possible. With tax practice owners, it’s the same thing. Our businesses can often come last when they should be first. If the business doesn’t succeed, thrive, and grow, then you can’t help anyone.

It’s the foundation. Let’s wrap it up and take it home. What is the last area to assess, plan, and schedule for 2024 that you are going to do during this two-hour-a-week proactive practice planning session?

This is the one thing I did for myself for the first time. Are you ready? I hired help. Are you a one-man or woman show? Are you afraid to give up control? I get it. I have all of these different things I do and I never had help. For the first time, and I started in January 2023, I have a part-time executive assistant. One of my goals for the first quarter of 2023 was to train that assistant to do the things that I need to do. Honestly, having done that has lifted not only my spirits. It has also given me more space to do other things that I need to get done that have normally been pushed to the back burner. It’s okay to have help. Many of you do have help, but do you have enough help? I’m also going to go there.

It goes back to your burger. Is that cheap, quick, and not filling help? You pay your executive assistant a premium. It’s important to think about how much is that space valued to you. Since it’s lifted your spirit, it has brought you more joy at home, at Friday night dinners, and during your two-hour proactive practice planning session. That all has a price to it. We have to assess that price in the value and what we are paying for our help.

By having staff do the things that we as business owners shouldn’t be doing, we can focus on providing the high-value services that those that we work with deserve. If we don’t have that help, we are often stuck in things that are a waste of our time and our expertise. That means either the high-value services don’t get done or you are killing yourself working 70 or 80 hours a week trying to do it all. Neither of these, in my view, are acceptable options.

AA 113 | Tax Planning

Tax Planning: By having staff do the things we, as business owners, shouldn’t be doing, we can focus on providing the high-value services that those we work with deserve.

 

I agree. Thank you so much for sharing part of your two hours out of your week with us. It’s been an honor to have you here, as always. There are so many golden nuggets and lots of thinking to do in this episode. There is a lot of action-taking to block out that two hours. Make that a commitment to yourself so 2024 isn’t like 2023. Is there anything else that you would love to share with the audience before we sign off?

You are not alone. Have faith. Get a mentor. You can do this.

Thank you again. It was an honor. I can’t wait to have you here again in the future.

Thank you. Have a great day.

Thank you all so much for joining Tom and me on another amazing episode of the show. It’s been an honor to be here with Tom and with you. I hope that you block out these two hours a week and put into action the things that can make a difference so you can plan for the next tax season. Put your top ten list of areas to assess. Make your two hours of proactive practice planning very impactful and also profitable.

If some of you need a little bit more help, I have been helping firm owners, be it bookkeeping, accounting, or tax, have more freedom, time, and money not only to get paid upfront and first but confidently charge those fees that they know they deserve. I know that our systems worked. I have helped over 162 firm owners in the last few years add an additional $10 million of revenue to their top-line revenue. You can create a firm that you have always dreamt of as they did. It’s up to you to take that next step.

Head on over to The Abundant Call to book your session with me and my team. We are going to talk about three main things. One is where your firm is at, the things that are keeping you stuck, and maybe the things that didn’t work out so well in the first half of 2023. Another is where you want to be in your firm in your life to ensure you are paid upfront first, avoiding any pitfall along the way and saving you a ton of money in the process by not having to collect AR chase invoices and interest on that money.

Number three is the exact next steps you can take to double your firm revenue by the end of 2023. Every one of our success stories started with this call. It has turned into more confidence, charging premium fees, doubling revenue, eliminating burnout, and feeling excited about your work and being in control of your future. Head on over to TheAbundantCall.com. Myself and my partner, Denise, look forward to talking to you. Have a beautiful day.

 

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About Thomas A. Gorczynski, EA, USTCP

AA 113 | Tax PlanningThomas A. Gorczynski, EA, USTCP is a nationally recognized speaker and educator on federal tax law matters. He is editor-in-chief of EA Journal, the co-author of the PassKey Learning Systems EA Review Series and co-owner of Compass Tax Educators.

He is an Enrolled Agent, a Certified Tax Planner, a National Tax Practice InstituteTM Fellow, a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, and admitted to the bar of the United States Tax Court as a non-attorney.

Tom earned a Master of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University and a Certificate in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received the 2019 Excellence in Education Award from the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the 2018 Member of the Year Award from the American Institute of Certified Tax Planners.

Tom’s tax practice in Phoenix, Arizona focuses on implementing advanced tax reduction strategies and representing taxpayers with complex tax problems before the IRS and in the United States Tax Court.

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