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  • Writer's pictureAlik Mock

The Benefits Of Tax Planning & Choosing The Right Tax Planning Software




Tax planning is an under-utilized service in accounting firms, but it offers many opportunities for revenue growth beyond traditional tax preparation. If you’re an accounting firm owner, slow practice growth and disengaged clients can present significant challenges. You might be stuck with stagnant revenue streams, with your clients seeking more value from your services. There’s increasingly more competition in the accounting industry, which means it’s more important than ever to offer additional value. Amidst these challenges lies a powerful solution: offering automated tax planning services.

What Is Tax Planning?

Tax planning is a strategic financial approach with the goal of legally minimizing tax liabilities for individuals and businesses. Unlike tax preparation, which centers on completing tax returns accurately, tax planning involves year-round analysis and proactive measures to optimize tax outcomes for your clients. It’s a service which allows CPAs in your firm to charge additional hours at a higher rate (especially when combined with other CFO services), which makes it an important revenue driver to focus on.


Tax Planning vs Tax Prep

While tax preparation focuses on the past and present, tax planning is a forward-looking process that considers the past tax filings, current financial situation, and future goals of your clients. It aligns their financial activities with their long-term objectives to reduce unnecessary taxes and maximize savings.


By offering tax planning services, you’re able to keep your clients engaged on a year-round basis while creating additional value for them. In doing so, you are able to retain your clients while maximizing your revenue per client. Most taxpayers don’t take advantage of tax planning. By highlighting the financial benefits to your clients, they’re less likely to look elsewhere for accounting services, and more likely to refer you to their friends and family.


Using Automation + Software For Tax Planning

Automation revolutionizes tax planning by streamlining your workflow. It automates client data collection, tax calculations, and compliance processes, and fosters collaboration between CPAs and clients. This leads to increased efficiency, reduced errors, and cost savings, enabling you to provide more value-added services and increase your firm’s profitability and scalability.


  • Streamlined Workflows – Automated software streamlines your workflows by importing client data, automating tax planning calculations, and keeping electronic records of important information.

  • Improved Collaboration – Tax planning software improves communication between your staff and clients. Automation makes it easy to share documents, and data, track progress, and send electronic updates.

  • Reduced Costs – Automating your tax planning process reduces manual administrative work for you and your staff. This means you can focus on more strategic tasks and value-added services, resulting in lower operating costs.

  • Improved Client Financials – Automation allows you to help more of your clients reduce their taxes, which improves their cash flow and provides better financial flexibility.

  • Peace Of Mind – Tax planning software gives you peace of mind by knowing that you comply with all applicable IRS tax laws and regulations.

Why Expand Your Tax Planning Services?

Expanding tax planning services offers numerous benefits. It reduces missed tax deadlines and inaccuracies identifies upselling opportunities, reduces tax prep time, improves the client experience, and creates new revenue streams for your firm.


  • Eliminate Missed Deadlines: Various tax planning software allows for reminders to ensure you hit deadlines in line with your tax planning process.

  • Increased Accuracy – Automated data entry leads to higher accuracy and reduces the risk of errors in tax planning and tax preparation.

  • Additional Revenue Streams: If you don't offer tax planning services, you’re missing out on opportunities to upsell to clients and offer them more value. For example, your clients may not be aware of all of the tax-advantaged savings accounts that are available to them.

  • Reduced Tax Prep Time: By utilizing tax planning software, you can reduce your tax preparation time. You’ll already have most of the information you need to complete your client’s tax returns.


  • Better Client Communication: Offering tax planning services increases client touch points and builds a stronger relationship with them. They’re also more likely to get documents to you on time which helps with the entire tax process.

To maximize your revenue from tax planning, it’s important to choose a tax planning strategy for your accounting firm. By scheduling early, gathering documents ahead of time, and completing client tax filings sooner, you’ll increase client satisfaction and make more money.

In addition to helping accounting firms, tax planning offers various benefits to individuals and businesses:


  • Individuals: Clients with complex tax situations can benefit from tax planning. This includes individuals who are self-employed, have multiple income sources, own investment properties, or are high-income earners. It’s important to review your clients’ tax positions regularly to ensure that they are taking advantage of and maximizing all available tax deductions and credits. You can also help them optimize tax-free retirement contributions and achieve their financial goals.

  • Businesses: Clients who operate LLCs, corporations, or partnerships can also benefit from tax planning. By strategically optimizing business expenses, deductions, asset depreciation, and R&D tax credits across various industries, you can help your clients reduce their tax liability. In conducting a thorough tax planning analysis, you’ll improve their cash flow and profitability, while ensuring they comply with all applicable tax laws and regulations.

How to Choose Tax Planning Software

Choosing the right tax planning software is crucial. It’s important to assess the specific needs within your accounting firm, analyze software features, consider pricing, and leverage free trials and demos to test software before making a decision. It’s also helpful to consult your staff to see what software will integrate best in your firm. Including your employees in the decision-making process will help them feel valued and ensure a high engagement rate.


What Is the Best Tax Planning Software?

Researching tax planning software can be a time-consuming process. To help you out, we’ve put together a comparison table for the different types of tax planning software that are available, including benefits, features, and pricing to help you decide which platform is right for you. Most programs are cloud-based and accessible online, with reporting, data collection, and various integrations supported. Here’s a quick summary of each tax planning option:


  • TaxplanIQ: With TaxplanIQ you can organize your clients’ tax strategies easily and efficiently. This helps you demonstrate the value of tax planning to your clients and allows you to charge more for tax-related services.

  • Intuit: You can quickly create custom tax plans and demonstrate tax savings in real time. Intuit allows you to automatically generate information from your ProConnect Tax or Lacerte returns.

  • Holistiplan: With Holistiplan, you can build a customized, white-labeled tax report complete with relevant observations. It helps speed up the financial planning process so that you can offer more value to your clients.

  • Corvee: This program allows you to do multi-entity planning and review state and federal tax strategies. Corvee is a thorough tax planning solution, however, it’s priced higher than other programs and may not have all of the features you need.













PORTFOLIO



Service Range

- Tax Planning - Financial Advisory

- Tax planning - Tax Prep - Book Keeping - CFO - Wealth Management

-Tax Preparation -Tax Planning -Tax Advisory

-Tax Planning -Tax Advisory


SCOPE

Tax Planning Expertise

80+ Tax planning strategies.

Access a huge library of tax strategies or create your own.

26,000+ advisors are using Holistiplan.

1,500+ Tax planning strategies.l


OUTPUT

Reporting Dashboards

Dashboards with ROI updates, tax projections, planning, and performances.

Deduction & credits, tax planning recommendations, tax payments, refunds.

​The dashboard includes tax projections, balance sheets, net worth, cash flow, investment performance, tax refunds, and liabilities. They also have an instant scenario analysis.

Gives you insight into each client’s tax performance by sharing the net worth of clients, tax liability, returns, credits, and tax planning opportunities.



PRICING



Pricing Plan

​-Free 14-day trial

- Starter = $150/mth

- Professional = $600/mth


Starting at $75 per client credit per year.

​Free 7-day trial

- Standard = $499/yr - Premium = $999/yr - Premium+ = $1,899 - $9,999 /yr


​- Starting at $1,000 a month



OFFERS



Special Offers

Sign up and earn $100 for every Professional plan customer who stays for 30 Days. Your friends receive $100 off their first month of TaxplanIQ.

Get 3 free credits by chatting with one of their tax specialists.

​7-day free trial.

​Many special offers are designed for regular customers, startup discount, Nonprofit discount, Early-bird discount, Referral bonus, and volume discount.



INFORMATION MANAGEMENT



Data Collection Methods

​Customized Questionnaire.

​AI-based questionnaire.

​AI-based tax return reader which projects future estimates.

​Smart Questionnaire.



ADD-ONS



Features

​ Unlimited tax strategies. - Custom branding.

- ROI proposal and client reports.

- Quarterly tax estimates.


​- Build custom and personalized tax plans in minutes. - Strategies generated from ProConnect or Lacerte software. - No scanning or manual data entry. - Client-friendly reports.

​ Reviews tax returns in seconds. - Provides white-labeled client reports. - Instant scenario analysis and comparison.


​ Multi-entity tax calculations. - Entity and compensation optimization.

- Smart questionnaires for gathering client data.

- Tax calculations for every jurisdiction.




AUTOMATIONS



Integrations

​Supports integration with Zapier, QuickBooks, Google Calendar, AppToTo, WiseStamp, & Chargebee.

​Supports integration with Zapier, QuickBooks, Google Calendar, AppToTo, WiseStamp, Chargebee, CCH, ProSystem fx, Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting, Clio, and TaxDome. It also seamlessly integrates with ProConnect Tax or Lacerte.

​Allows integration with fpPathfinder, Redtail, and Wealthbox.

​Corvee currently integrates with 2,000+ web applications via Zapier.

Implementing Tax Planning Software In Your Firm


If you’re interested in implementing tax planning software in your accounting firm, here are the steps involved:


  1. Identify Your Needs & Priorities – Review your current tax planning process, and identify any problems or opportunities. Decide what features you want in tax planning software.

  2. Analyze Your Tax System – Review your entire tax preparation and tax planning process, the integration between each, and how your accounting firm is currently set up. It’s important to choose automation software that integrates with your existing processes and software stack.

  3. Consider Your Budget – Decide what your budget is for tax planning software. Review the tax processes you want to automate and find a software solution in your budget that matches your needs.

  4. Free Trials & Demos – Most tax planning software offers free trials and demos. Don’t rush into a decision, be sure to try out a few different options to get a feel for what will work best for your firm. Don’t be afraid of trial and error.

Conclusion

Tax planning is an effective business strategy. When paired with software and automation, you can offer additional value-added services to your clients and grow your business, without hiring additional staff. With the right software tools, you can elevate your tax offerings, improve client satisfaction, and drive revenue growth. Contact us today to find out more and book a free 15-minute consultation.


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