Are you good with numbers? Do documents and legal puzzles interest you? Does the day April 15th sound exciting rather than stressful? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may want to consider a future in the tax industry. As an accountant or tax preparer, you can help others navigate the confusing waters of tax forms, deductibles, and other ways to save more money.
Perhaps you’ve already spent years helping your family and close friends prepare their taxes. If you enjoy the work, they’re sure to be grateful for your help. But when you really have a talent for that line of work, you may be able to create your own tax practice and do it professionally. As you consider launching your own business there are a few things to consider. Of course, there are legalities and tax forms (as you probably already know), but also you’ll need to find your professional voice and decide what tools will best fit your business. As you reach for success with your tax practice, here are a few tips to launch your business in the best way.
Set Up a Business Plan
Doing a friend’s taxes or working for an established accounting firm is a much different beast than starting out on your own. You need to develop a comprehensive business plan for your new company. Not having a plan could stunt your business growth or lose potential investors. You want to set specific goals. Often this will come in the form of Objective and Key Results (OKR) software. Your OKR objectives will help lead you and your team where you want to go with measurable business goals and transparency. Stay outcome focused on your tax practice and you’re sure to see those key results you’re striving for.
Look and Act Professional
Some new businesses like tech startups can get away with a more lax look and brand. As someone who is dealing with money and an individual’s entire finances, you need to look and act professionally at all times. This can mean anything from a great selection of suits for meetings to professional business cards, envelopes, and forms. Well put together, specific w2 envelopes will look more presentable than a sloppy, generic envelope. It’s not just about how you look, it’s about taking extra steps to prove that your business matters and people should take you seriously.
In addition to setting up your business plan and getting supplies, you’ll need specific licenses and tax IDs to start your company. Usually, this means setting up your own LLC as well as a degree in finance or at least some course work in this field. Taking on a high volume of clients will require you to have an Employer Identification Number, Electronic Filing Identification Number, and Preparer Tax Identification Number from the IRS. While these forms and laws may be second nature to you, it is important to cross the “T”s and dot your ”I”s as you’re starting your company.
Find the Right Tools
Tax preparation has moved online in many cases. You need to determine which professional tax preparation software will be best for your business. Do some research and see what will give you the most benefit for your money. Remember, you need something flexible that can process all your clients’ information. You’re looking for an effective tool that will help you streamline your work.
Dealing with people’s finances requires a heightened level of security. You have sensitive information coming across your desk at all times. Set up secure servers and anti-virus locks on your computer to keep out hackers. If you’re working with physical documents, you may even want to consider a safe or surveillance equipment to ensure everything is as safe as possible.