A Successful Business Website

8 Tips in Turning Your Site into a Marketing Force

If you don’t already have a website, you should get one. Progressive businesses have an internet presence; it speaks volumes of their professionalism and ability to keep up with current trends. A good website will represent you well and increase your clientele. It will also work 24/7 as a virtual receptionist, getting the word out about your business while you spend your time doing what you do best: tax preparation. And if well developed, your business website can act as an inexpensive marketing tool and a good point of contact. It can also help to further brand your business.As you consider building a new website or enhancing a current one, refer to the following 8 tips in turning your site into a marketing force:

1. Clearly state who you are and what you do.

While most visitors will probably land on your website because you gave them your URL or they performed an internet search on tax preparers, there will be some who will immediately want to know who you are and what you do. This information should be easy to access from your homepage. Also be sure to include easy-to-find contact information. Your website’s ultimate objective is to enable people to retain your services. They can’t do that unless they know who you are and how to contact you.

2. Ensure your website is easily accessible.

You want your target market to be able to access your website with ease. This means you must design it in such a way that your typical visitor would be able to download your site without expending too much time or energy. And no matter what you do, test your site to ensure others can access it without any problems. This will require you to test the site on different computers using different browsers, but it will be well worth your time.

3. Use a clean, professional design.

How do you respond to Power Point Presentations with neon text, flashing graphics, and nifty rollover effects? It may be hypnotic at first, but can quickly become distracting. While you want your site to be visually appealing, you need to remember that your content is on display, not the clever programming.

Your navigation should also be clear. The internet is all about quick and easy access to data. If your navigation slows users down, chances are they won’t hang around to find the information they’re looking for; they’ll go to a website that’s more transparent.

4. Include valuable content.

Visitors will continually return if they find valuable content on your website. If you provide valuable tax tips for the small business owner, you’ll find they use your site as a reference and perhaps even bookmark it. And when they need professional tax help who do you think they’ll go to? You, of course!

5. Update regularly.

Nothing is more frustrating to users than an out-of-date website that lists old promotions and dated information. While this may take some time, it will totally pay off in internet traffic.

6. Ensure all the links, etc. work properly.

This tip is closely related to number five. Broken links, missing graphics, and malfunctioning navigation communicate a sloppy regard for your internet visitors. And even though it’s unintended, it will reflect poorly on your tax preparation skills as well.

7. Include exclusive website promotions.

Reward your internet visitors by offering special promotions. Consider providing them with a free tax consultation that will afford you the opportunity to further promote your value as a tax professional.

8. Distribute your URL.

A website will do you no good unless you promote it. There are inexpensive ways to get your website out there. Here are just a few:

  • Put the URL on your business cards
  • Include the URL with your email signature
  • Issue a press release in your local paper
  • Whenever possible, get other websites to link to your site
  • Submit your site to directory listings
  • Include the URL in your Yellow-page listing
  • Include the URL on your stationary

Universal Accounting Center Can Help You Create a Custom Website for Your Practice

Imagine how difficult it would be to create your own website with all the above features without spending much of your own time managing the process. Now imagine that UAC can manage that process for you, enabling you to create a strong web presence without expending much energy. Universal Accounting Center (UAC) has recently released an expanded and improved Accountweb website development tool, available exclusively for accounting, tax, and bookkeeping professionals. Within a number of business days you can create a personalized website for your practice, enabling potential clients to access your business even after your office closes.To see a sample of a website developed from the Universal Accountweb platform, go to www.universalaccountingservices.com.Whether you run a full-time practice or do taxes on the side, you need a website that tells potential clients about your business even when you are unable to. If you haven’t yet developed a website for your business, today is the day! Order your subscription now-your website will be up and running by the following business week. And if you are a Universal Accounting student you will receive a free six-month trial!

IRS Warns of “Phishing” Scam

fraudOn September 24th, the IRS issued a press release warning financial institutions of scams designed to steal FATCA-related account data.  Scam artists posing as the IRS have fraudulently requested Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) holder identity and financial account information.  The press release emphasizes that the IRS does not require institutions to provide such data over the phone, by fax or via email.  Nor does the IRS ever require FATCA registration passwords or other confidential account access information.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen explains, “Tax scams using the IRS name can take many forms and they are not limited by national borders.  People should always be cautious before sending sensitive information to anyone.”

Reports of such fraud have been reported in multiple countries and continents.  Those targeted are financial institutions registered to comply with FATCA and those in jurisdictions required to uphold intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to implement FATCA.

These types of fraudulent requests qualify as “phishing” scams, and anyone who suspects having been likewise approached are asked to report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or through the TIGTA secure website.  For more information, please visit the official IRS website.

Become an Official Tax Professional

Tax preparation is a lucrative business.  Consider that first-time preparers submit tax forms for 50 clients, charging an average of $150 each.  They make, roughly, $7500 working the 45 days before April 15th, and that’s before they have had much time to build a solid clientele.  For many people, this represents 3 months of salary.  That’s an appealing career path for many individuals.

Whether you want to earn a significant amount of money on the side or start your own full-time tax practice, you can appreciate the value of comprehensive tax preparation training.

The Professional Tax Preparer Program 

UAC’s Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program will enable you to become proficient in the completion of individual and business returns.  The PTP provides you with the following:

  • Convenient online training
  • 20 hours of valuable video instruction
  • Hands-on training in completing full individual (1040) and business returns (1065, 1120, 1120S)
  • Step-by-step instruction in becoming a sole practitioner
  • One year of follow-up support from expert tax preparers
  • The opportunity to earn valuable professional certification
  • Our iron-clad, risk-free guarantee 

The Value of Tax Training

In today’s world of complex tax laws and increasing tax fraud occurrences, like the one described above, tax payers are looking for specialists with credentials.  It affords clients peace of mind to know that the individual they’re working with is qualified and knowledgeable.  It also affords the tax preparer peace of mind to know they’ve been properly trained.  Universal recognizes the value of a professional designation and awards Professional Tax Preparer Certification to those who successfully pass the final exam with a score of 90% or higher.

The program is comprised of the following 4 modules with their corresponding topics: 

  1. Module I establishing the Tax foundation
  2. Module II Becoming the 1040 Expert
  3. Module III Profitable Business Returns
  4. Module IV Building Your Successful Tax Practice 

A Lucrative Investment

Acquiring tax preparation skills not only affords you the opportunity to earn upwards of $100 per hour, but it exposes you to a limitless potential client base.  The fact that nearly every adult and business in the nation must report their tax liability on a yearly bases means that your tax preparation skills will be very appealing to a significant population.  And as your practice grows, so will your income.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll now!

Resource

–.  “IRS Warns Financial Institutions of Scams Designed to Steal FATCA-Related Account Data.”  24 September 2014  IRS.gov

Strategic Budgeting

cut-costsAs a financial professional you probably think you’ve got your budget under control.  You know numbers and watch your spending to ensure that you are managing your money well.  But unless you’re applying crucial budgeting strategies, you’re not using this valuable tool to its full advantage. 

Here are 5 tips that will help:

1. Ensure your budget aligns with your business strategy. This may seem obvious, but in the day-to-day tasks required in business management, strategy may be forgotten.  There are fires to put out, emergency expenses to pay, and last-minute purchases to make.  So unless you’re vigilantly monitoring your outflow, your strategy may be nickel and dimed into extinction.

If you don’t yet have a strategy, now is the time to develop one.  Does your business require more aggressive marketing techniques?  Are you attempting to grow your firm by hiring a support staff?  Or do you want to focus on retaining current clients?  Whatever your strategy, you should devise a budget that supports and sustains it.

2. Assess your Chart of Accounts. As a financial professional, you are likely familiar with the Chart of Accounts.  The Chart of Accounts enables you to set up categories that align with your management strategies.  It also enables you to establish a healthy balance between control and responsibility regarding business spending.

3. Establish accountability.  Anyone responsible for spending within your business needs to be accountable for their choices.  You may currently be the only person responsible.  However, it’s important that you acknowledge and assess your spending and then make any necessary changes.  You may determine that your budgetary items are best distributed among control areas like marketing, skills development, client retention, management, etc.  This may provide you with more control over outflow.

4. Regularly review your budget. Establishing a budget and then ensuring that it aligns with your business strategy is only part of this valuable process.  The true benefit of budgeting comes when you regularly review your budget with key players in your business.  In your review you can compare budgeted expenses with actual expenses and discuss discrepancies.  You can also talk with those responsible for various expenses and see how they might revise some of their spending choices.  This is also a good time to implement necessary changes and assess any changes implemented since your last budgetary review.

5. Revise as necessary.  A budget is not set in stone.  As mentioned in the previous tip, as you assess and review your progress it’s important that you make necessary changes.  In fact, that’s the beauty of budgeting.  As you monitor your income and outflow, you can make changes that will influence the future profitability of your business.

As a tax preprarer you may assume that you’ve been using this tool to its full advantage.  But if you haven’t been applying the above tips, you may be missing out of some of the best benefits of budgeting.

QuickBooks Made Profitable

Budgeting isn’t the only tool you can use to increase your business’s profitability.  Our program, QuickBooks Made Profitable, will teach you just how to use QuickBooks accounting software to attract and retain more clients.

Nearly 80% of small businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks software.  While other programs may be useful, QuickBooks has definitely captured the small business market.  Mastering QuickBooks will not only enable you to better manage your budget and keep more efficient records, but it will also help you teach your clients how to use the software so that you can get the information you need which, making your job much easier.  This program will teach you how to leverage your time while saving clients money in taxes and helping them increase their profits.  What client wouldn’t be interested in that?  We’ll teach you how to use this valuable software package to generate more income!

Don’t wait to grow your business and experience the success your budget will certainly help you achieve.  There are countless potential clients out there in need of these specific services.  You can be the one to provide them.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to order QuickBooks Made Profitable today!

 

Commissioner Danny Werfel Speaks at IRS Nationwide Tax Forum

On July 30th, newly appointed Deputy Commissioner Danny Werfel spoke at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum in Dallas, Texas.  There he addressed key IRS accomplishments and struggles while sharing his vision for the Internal Revenue Service as the organization continues to move forward and fulfill its obligations and responsibilities.

Werfel took the time to acknowledge the IRS’s accomplishments, which he believes have been overlooked amidst recent controversy.  He praised the organization’s ability to continually manage the submission of returns in a fairly seamless fashion regardless of the growing complexity of the tax code.  Also, Werfel felt the IRS’s ability to complete a successful 2012 filing season—collecting more than $2.5 trillion to fund the federal government—following significant budget cuts was commendable. Other notable accomplishments included the following:

  • Improved international tax compliance
  • Modernization of IRS technology to ensure improved filing experiences
  • Efforts to eliminate identify theft and refund fraud, including the resolution of more than 565,000 cases, three times the number resolved last year at this same time
  • Expansion of fraud detection efforts
  • Upcoming deployment of a new Enterprise Risk Management Program to detect and address risk across the IRS

Werfel took a considerable amount of time to address his concern over recent budget cuts and the impact it will have on the IRS.  He expressed his concern in the following statement:

“Ultimately, I believe a high performing IRS is in the best interest of the nation. To be high performing, we must be able to invest for the future in areas such as strategic hiring, critical training and further technology modernization. We will also lose critical institutional knowledge and compromise overall productivity if we fail to replace departing staff. Thus, before such cuts are implemented in response to potential IRS waste, we must carefully consider the state of IRS spending today to determine if such waste persists, and the impact that such cuts will have on the core mission of taxpayer service and enforcement.”

Werfel continually praised the efforts of dedicated IRS employees and took the time, at the close of his speech, to commend their efforts.  He explained, “It is easy to forget that, in the middle of the tempest in Washington that we have found ourselves in, there are thousands of dedicated employees and leaders, who have no connection to the events of the past few months…”

Universal Accounting’s Tax Training

UA’s Professional Tax Preparer program will help you establish yourself as a trained and trustworthy tax professional.  You can earn the Professional Tax Preparer Designation will receiving up to 60 CPE credits, depending on the number of modules you complete.

Acquire the expertise necessary to become a Professional Tax Preparer.  UAC’s Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program will not only give you hands-on training in completing full individual (1040) and business returns (1065, 1120, 1120S), but it will also provide you with the following:

  • 20 hours of valuable video instruction
  • 2 instructional manuals
  • Step-by-step instruction in becoming a sole practitioner
  • One year of follow-up support from expert tax preparers
  • The opportunity to earn valuable professional certification
  • Our iron-clad, risk-free guarantee

Call 1-877-833-7909 to enroll today, and improve your competitive advantage while securing your professional standing in the tax industry.

Resource

–.  “Prepared Remards of Danny Werfel, Principal Deputy Commissioner, Before the 2013 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum.” 30 July 2013  IRS.gov

Is a Tax Franchise Right For Me

Some Straight Talk About Tax FranchisesIs a Tax Franchise Right For Me?
Entreprenuer.com lists and rates 12 different Income Tax Franchise opportunities. These opportunities are available just about everywhere in the United States. As tax time approaches people all over the country consider a Tax Franchise a great business opportunity.You have probably heard about franchises before. What could owning a tax preparation franchise mean for you?As you may already know, owning a franchise is one way to start your own business, but it isn’t the only way. And at the end of this article, we’ll tell you what lower priced alternatives to a franchise exist. Thousands of people every year, people like you and me, start successful businesses all over the country without purchasing a franchise.If you’ve been reading this newsletter for long, you know that I’m a strong proponent of starting a Tax Preparation business. Because of that, I think this is a great time to talk about the ins-and-outs of purchasing a Tax Franchise.
What They Didn’t Say About H&R Block
I don’t think any discussion of purchasing a franchise in the Income Tax Business would be complete without at least a mention of H&R Block. I don’t know why they weren’t included on the list, but can only assume that it’s because Entrepreneur wasn’t able to get enough information from them to make a complete comparison. So I decided to do a little research on my own.Unfortunately, short of signing up, the only information I was able to obtain was that there was a “low initial investment.” They did require a security deposit of $2500, but other than that you have to sign-up and talk to one of their salesman.In all fairness to H&R Block, you are talking 50 years of doing income taxes, one of the most advertised brands in the business and one of the most recognized names in the market.
What are the Advantages of a Franchise?
Franchises are a very popular way to start your own business without having to worry about such things as branding, national marketing and credibility . . . right? Most companies offering franchises want you to believe that the typical start-up costs of $30,000 to $85,000 will offer you everything you’ll need to get started. Some even include their education and national marketing in those fees . . . but you need those advertising dollars spent in your home town, not in some major market 4,000 miles away.H&R Block, for instance, will provide you with signage, their software and a grand opening advertising campaign, but the rest of their advertising is focused on a national level, which may or may not help your local franchise. You may still need to do some advertising on your own, to bring clients into your business.
What is a 7% to 15% Royalty Fee?
Every single month you will pay a royalty on every dollar that your franchise earns. In real dollars, that’s up to $1.50 out of every $10.00 you earn for up to 20 years. I think the “free” national advertising you receive as part of your franchise, is more than paid for.Don’t forget, you must also pay for computers, employees, rent, utilities, office supplies, local marketing, sales . . . all the things that you would otherwise pay to start your own business anyway.In fact, if you are going to finance your franchise with H&R Block, for example, they suggest that you have an alternate source of income until you’ve paid off the franchise fees, which they will finance for a 5 year term. Here’s what they have to say about financing:
“The amount of your down payment.“”Without a sizeable down payment, during the first few years, it may be necessary to rely on other sources of cash to meet your living expenses. At some higher prices, with a five-year seller-financed term loan, most of the business’s cash flow may have to go to just paying off the acquisition debt.”—H&R Block (hrblock.com)
In a nutshell, you may be able to finance your franchise, but don’t plan on taking any income home for a few years. ” . . . most of the business’s cash flow may have to go to just paying off the acquisition debt.” Most people just don’t have the kind of cash available to drop $30,000 to $85,000 into a new business, but you don’t need to.You don’t have to quit your job and roll the dice to start a tax preparation business. Start-up costs are low enough that you can keep your current job until you have the clientele to justify making it a full-time business. (For many of our graduates, all they are looking for is a great part-time income.)Click Here for the Complete List of Entrepreneurs 12 Tax Franchises
You’ve Been Talking About Starting a Tax Preparation Business . . . If a Franchise Isn’t For Me, How Should I Start?
The method I’m about to describe may not appear as easy as starting a franchise, but it is. Universal Accounting Center has been teaching people the ins-and-outs of small business accounting and tax since 1979. Universal may not have been around as long as H&R Block, but we offer the most complete and comprehensive accounting and tax preparation education in the business. And that includes H&R Block.
Let’s Start at the Beginning — You Need an Education
You don’t need a college or university education to learn tax preparation, but you do need to have a complete and specialized education. Most franchise opportunities out there will teach you how to prepare individual income taxes, here at Universal, we feel that would only be ½ an education.We’ve been the small business accounting and tax experts for over 25 years, and feel that if you are unable to file the returns for small businesses as well as individuals, you are unprepared to enter the most exciting and profitable business of professional tax preparation.With Universal, you’ll learn everything you’ll need to know to prepare and file for individuals and small businesses. (And I won’t charge you a 15% Royalty fee for the privilege, either.)
Next, You’ll Need Help Getting Your Business Started
For the first 12 months after you’ve finished your course, you’ll have access to a live voice on the other end of the phone who can help you with everything from making suggestions on computer programs, to office equipment and marketing. Your coach will be there to answer your tax and accounting questions too. By the way, did I mention that this is a FREE service for the first 12 months?
You May Want Help Marketing Your Business Too
Universal has some of the finest marketing experts anywhere who are willing and able to offer their expertise to help you market your new tax preparation business. We can’t do it for you, but you’ll be surprised at how simple and inexpensive really effective marketing can be. It’s not rocket science — you can do it.
You May Want to Know What Others are Doing — What Works and What Doesn’t
Through the Forum offered by Universal Accounting, you can find out what others are doing to make their businesses successful and ask questions of people who are out in the field doing just what you are doing.
No Tax Preparation Business is Complete Until it’s . . . Complete
Tax Preparation is only a part of the puzzle. Bookkeeping and Accounting services not only compliment Tax Preparation services, but are an important part of offering your clients a complete financial services package. Universal Accounting also offers the most complete small business bookkeeping program anywhere.Adding small business bookkeeping and accounting to your tax practice, you’ll be able to offer your clients a full service financial offering. Tax Planning takes place long before the books are closed out on January 31st. As your client’s bookkeeper/accountant and professional tax prepare, you’ll be in a unique position to offer your clients advice on a monthly basis that will impact their tax return as well as their monthly profits. (Information that they will gladly pay for enabling you to create a very rewarding lifestyle for you and your family.)
Why Should I Consider Adding Bookkeeping and Accounting to My New Tax Preparation Business?
As you can see on the graph at the left, income from a tax preparation business will peak during the first four months of the year. Many professional tax preparers are able to bill at rates that are $100 per hour or more, enabling them to work for 4 to 6 months per year and semi-retire the rest of the year.As you are building your tax preparation practice, many of our graduates have found that adding a bookkeeping and accounting service has provided a means for them to stabilize their income throughout the year.At Universal Accounting, we’ve discovered over the years that the average small business bookkeeping account will generate an income of approximately $300 per month. By billing your tax clients on a monthly basis and offering tax planning services along with year-end tax preparation services, you can feel confident billing $100 per month for tax preparation services creating a gross billing of $400 per month to clients who receive a complete financial service.The graph below shows the impact that adding bookkeeping services and tax preparation services can produce for your business. Click on the link below for a more complete description of what combining a tax preparation business with a bookkeeping and accounting practice can do for you.graphClick Here and Find Out More About Offering Full-Service Financial Services
Starting a Tax Preparation Business Makes Sense
I may not be a big fan of the Tax Preparation Franchise opportunities that are available today, but there’s never been a better time to start a professional tax preparation and accounting practice. Most of the college and university programs out there don’t prepare their graduates for a career in small business accounting and tax preparation. Unfortunately, neither do the franchise programs that we’ve talked about today.Unlike the franchises we’ve talked about, with an education from Universal Accounting you can begin your tax practice by operating out of your home. In fact, that’s what we’d recommend. There’s no need to run an accounting or tax service out of an expensive office space. The only people who will find you in an office will be the people trying to sell you something.When you look at starting any business, the right training and support is critical. At Universal, we offer the following:

The Most Complete Training Anywhere
Support for 12 Months After You Complete the Course
Marketing Support for 12 Months After You Complete the Course
Continuing Tax and Marketing Support After Your First Year Available

I haven’t found a more comprehensive program to help you succeed anywhere, including the franchise opportunities. But that’s not all, at Universal Accounting we back it up 100%.
Universal Accounting’s Ironclad100% Money Back Guarantee

“If, after completing the course, you feel the course didn’t live up to yourexpectation, simply return the materials to Universal, for a 100% refund of any monies paid.”

Become a Full Financial Services Provider
The Universal Accounting Financial Services program teaches you both Tax Preparation for individuals and businesses as well as how to service the Accounting and Bookkeeping needs of your clients. Combine the two services and greatly increase your profits and make marketing your service to businesses with varied needs much easier.
Add Up the Value! Save $$$ Today!

Next Page »