Social Media Tactics – 5 Simples Methods for Promoting Your Accounting Business

You may not think that social media marketing is a viable form of marketing for an accounting firm. Traditionally, accounting firms gain business via word of mouth, or via SEO and Google rankings, for example. However, social media can be a huge boost to your business, reputation, and customer base. We look at five simple social media tactics below, so you can improve your social media tactics for your accounting business.

1. Follow complementary businesses

A great social media tactic to use for any industry on social media is to follow complementary businesses. Ideally, the people you follow will be a well-curated list of similar businesses. Social media accounts that make sense for your business. 

For example, you could follow the social media profiles of accounting software companies. Make sure you take time curating your social media following and only try to have relevant businesses and/or people who you follow. Also, regularly check your followers to remove any spam accounts as this can be detrimental to your reputation.

2. Provide free advice for people and businesses

While the main aim of your accounting business is to make money and get people to pay for your services, that doesn’t mean you can’t give advice for free! Good social media tactics are using your social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn as a places to respond to queries, and give people general advice about managing their finances etc.

By doing this, you can boost your brand reputation and brand recognition. Be sure to incorporate logos and color schemes into your posts too (you can use logo design platforms to do this, for example). By offering help, and using your brand, people will start to trust your business and see you in a positive light.

3. Utilize popular trends with an accounting spin

Today, we have a craze of making subjects “trend” or become “viral”. This means that they become incredibly popular. Businesses often utilize these short-lasting trends to boost their own popularity by talking about them in their social media posts. It can be a highly useful method of promotion.

You could do this for your accounting business. To make it more interesting, you could reference popular trends, but place them in an accounting setting, or incorporate accounting-based humor into your posts (Yes, accountants can be funny!).

4. Provide social media-only discounts/promotions

Customers love promotions and discounts – regardless of the industry. To prompt social media activity and brand loyalty, you could consider providing discounts to social media followers for completing specific actions.

This could be something simple like holding prize draws. For example, you could hold a prize draw. To enter, each person has to like your Facebook page, share a post, and share it with 10 of their friends. The prize could be something related to your accounting business – like a 10% discount on the first year of accounting service. This helps promote your business but gives customers something valuable too.

5. Post reviews and comments to boost reputation

People are far more likely to use an accounting business if they can see the results and know the company has a great reputation. A great social media tactic to boost your reputation is to share real customer reviews and feedback about your business via social media which is referred to as “social proof”. Obviously, you must ask permission first, but positive customer reviews can be a great reputation booster.

We hope you have found this article useful! Accounting firms can easily make social media a viable marketing method to bring in new customers and to boost their brand reputation. The ideas we have listed above should help you do this!

To learn more, attend this webinar to leverage your online presence to get you new clients using technology and automation.  Register NOW!

Written by Dora Diaz

Why is Bookkeeping Important?

The absence of bookkeeping in a business is like a road without signs because you’re likely to arrive at a different place than intended. Any large business learned the value of financial records produced by bookkeepers is crucial for proper management.

Bookkeeping is essential to every business for both financial and legal reasons. Without record keeping, it is difficult to get a business loan, and impossible to do taxes. Even more importantly, without the information that bookkeeping provides, wise decision-making is tricky and can lead to disastrous conditions.

There is a close correlation of success with those that realized the importance of bookkeeping and those that did not. Those that thought bookkeeping was an unnecessary luxury judged the success of their business by the amount of money in their bank account. Their thinking was “If I have money, I must be doing well.” That assumption, all too often, caused them to always be in the “fire-fighting” mode of management. Unfortunately, a lack of a bookkeeping system would end disastrously for the owner, with mortgages on their home, and bill-collectors hassling them. It even led to bankruptcy too many times.

Certainly, bookkeeping does not guarantee success. Nor is it all that is needed. Yet it leads us to information that can help us make well-informed decisions. Allen Bostrom, in his book “In the Black”, states “You hear a lot about the importance of making decisions based on data. What I have learned is that decisions should be based on wisdom, not necessarily data alone.” He goes on by describing the Wisdom Pyramid which is a triangular shape with “Data” at the bottom and topped by “Wisdom”. In other words, data leads to information, information leads to knowledge, and knowledge leads to wisdom.

In summary, the difference between achieving entrepreneurial dreams and disaster for a small business owner is often based on their appreciation or lack of appreciation for the information coming from a bookkeeping system.

10 Reasons to Start a Solo Bookkeeping & Tax Business

Are you thinking about starting a tax services or solo bookkeeping business of your own? The time is right for entrepreneurs with these kinds of skills. Here are some of the reasons an accounting-related startup makes sense.

Clients Are Plentiful
No matter what niche of the wide field of accountancy you choose to specialize in, you will not be at a loss for customers. In every kind of economy, people who can keep accurate financial records, prepare individual or commercial taxes, or offer an eclectic menu of services are in high demand. The trick is deciding where your skills lie and what you enjoy doing. This is where solo bookkeeping comes in.

You Can Earn a Degree While Working
When you run a one-person solo bookkeeping enterprise, you make your own schedule. That means it’s much easier to earn a college degree even while working full-time. Many solo bookkeeping and tax practitioners use weekends and evenings for taking online or in-person courses, and pay all the expenses with a student loan from a private lender. Tuition and fees can add up, even if you’re just needing to add an extra year of credits to sit for the CPA exam. Private lenders offer competitive rates and their online applications easy to fill out.

Business is Year-Round
Because many individuals file their returns in April every year, there’s a misconception that the entire field of accounting is highly seasonal. Nothing could be more inaccurate. For example, among entrepreneurs, most filing is a quarterly affair. Many other in-demand services are enjoying year-round demand, like bookkeeping, tax planning, preparation of financial reports, loan applications, and countless more. Even the personal taxation season is much longer than it used to be in the days when the majority of citizens waited until the last minute to transmit their returns. In the digital age, when online filing is simple and quick, and when most working adults receive W-2s electronically, the busy season for preparers now runs for nearly four full months.

You Can Specialize in Tax Resolution
For better or worse, there are thousands of individuals and businesses that are facing huge bills from the IRS. Sometimes, their best hope is to get an OIC (offer in compromise) or one of several other settlements that prevents payment of the entire amount owed. This niche of the taxation services sector is highly specialized but also quite lucrative for practitioners who want to hone in on a narrow field of operation. And because there’s never a shortage who owe large sums in back taxes and penalties, accountants who do resolution work rarely have difficulty keeping their schedules full.

Adding EA and CPA Credentials Will Expand Your Clientele
If your business card carries an EA (enrolled agent) or CPA (certified public accountant) designation, clients will notice. Even though the EA designation is newer and not well-known to individuals, the letters are familiar in the world of small businesses. Having both credentials prove to prospective clients that you are adept in the wide field of accounting but have special expertise in preparing tax returns such as a Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) and/or Professional Bookkeeper (PB).

Most Entrepreneurs Avoid Taxes and Bookkeeping
Except for the occasional startup or small business owner who majored in accounting, few entrepreneurs want anything to do with filing tax returns, keeping books, or installing purpose-designed software for the job. Like legal, payroll, and security functions, most small business owners prefer to hire someone else to take care of their monthly books, maintain tax records, and handle core accounting functions. That’s one of the central reasons that accounting service providers of all kinds have done well as solo operators and small partnerships for more than a century. It’s just a fact of human nature that people who are good at sales, management, and entrepreneurship don’t want to be bothered with number crunching.

You Have Full Control
As an owner, you make all the key decisions about what kind of clients to seek out, how many hours to work, what combination of tax, bookkeeping, and other services you wish to provide. If you choose to take on a partner, that too is your decision, as is the choice of office location, what software programs to use, and what functions to outsource. Solo owners have 100 percent control of the operation, which is one of the most attractive aspects of working alone for the vast majority of people who choose to do so. As a solopreneur (a solo bookkeeper), you dictate who to work for and when, and what to charge.

Long-Term Industry Prospects Are Excellent
Unlike many other entrepreneurial business sectors, taxation-related services will be in high demand for many years to come. No matter which political party is in power, the constant tax law changes, amendments, and enhancements mean that the entire body of the legislative code is not static. Individuals and small business owners need professional guidance and are willing to pay for the best advice possible.

You Can Outsource Tax Season Overload
One challenge many new owners face is the deluge of work that appears from early January through mid-April. How best to handle tax season if you run a one-person shop and manage perfectly well the rest of the year? Often, the most effective approach is to hire as many temp workers as needed. Or, you can simply outsource your overload to a local firm that accepts batch jobs during the busiest months of the year. The main thing is to be prepared for several weeks of intense work and identify temps or outsource assistance before the filing wave hits.

Office Expenses Are Minimal
If this is your first foray into solopreneurship, it’s important to know that you can handle a sizeable number of clients from a bare-bones office setup. It’s fully up to you whether that means renting a small office or operating from home. In fact, for many one-person-shop bookkeepers and tax specialists, rent isn’t even close to being the primary expense. Expect to spend more, especially during the first year, on software, new computers and peripherals, and advertising. Of course, if working alone is not something you enjoy, or if you see an advantage in teaming up with a partner, consider other options besides going it alone. But, of all the business professions, accounting is perhaps the one that most readily lends itself to a solitary pursuit of profits.

Don’t wait, get started now on your journey.

Do I Qualify to Start an Income Tax Preparation Service?

The IRS is not restrictive in who may start an income tax preparation service, other than they require a person to get a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). To get your PTIN, go to the IRS.gov website, and it will direct you to the online application. It costs under $40 and takes about 15 minutes to complete the application to start a tax preparation service and receive the number. Generally, those having a felony conviction for tax fraud and other forms of financial crimes are not eligible.

A few states such as California have additional qualifications. If you want to prepare taxes in these states, you may have to take a test and register with the state licensing department. If you want to determine if your State is one of these, call the state department over licensing, or check it out online. They can tell you of any special requirements for tax preparation services.

Most municipalities require you to have a business license. This fee could range from $50 to hundreds of dollars. To research what it will cost you, search on “business license cost for (your city)”. In most cases, you can also complete the application online.

Contrary to a common misconception, a person need not have an accounting degree or be a CPA to prepare taxes. In fact, no specific education is necessary although it is a good idea to understand the basic definitions in the tax law before you hang out your shingle.

Though the income tax software does the hard work, a tax preparer should understand how to determine income tax status, who qualifies as a dependent, the process for calculating itemized deductions, and how to read the tax tables. With this simple knowledge and the help of software, a person can prepare more than half the returns they may be asked to prepare.

Nonetheless, the more income tax knowledge a person has, the more confident they will feel and the more returns they will be able to complete. Furthermore, the more complex a return, the higher fees, and the more income per hour a person will generate. For instance, a simple return may only generate a $75 fee. Yet, a more sophisticated return could earn hundreds of dollars and take less than one additional hour to complete.

The upfront investment, though not a qualifier, is among the lowest of any new startup. Other than the PTIN and business license fees mentioned above, the tax preparer needs a computer, printer, and tax preparation software. TurboTax and H&R Block, to name a couple, are not good software for the tax preparation business. With these individual packages, you will be limited in the number of returns, and your ability to complete all returns.

Instead, you will want a more robust package designed for professional tax preparers such as Intuit ProSeries, TaxWise, and Drake costing well over $1,500. These software packages are designed to be efficient, accurate, and for unlimited number and sophistication of returns. Take time to make the right choice, because you will likely want to use the same software for at least five years.

In summary, most people with basic knowledge of tax law and the help of a software package can thrive in a tax preparation business.

Print and Digital Marketing

Advertisement is at the core of our society, whether we look at marketing campaigns targeted at customers (B2C) or companies (B2B). Knowing how to market your services or provide your clients with marketing tips is crucial, even if your primary concern lies in accounting.

According to published reports, 69% of businesses have a fully documented marketing strategy in place, with 76% using organic traffic, or SEO, to measure success. Blog posts, which are the most popular means of marketing a website, also take far longer to write now than only a few years ago. Readers’ expectations have skyrocketed over the years, and writing, editing, formatting, and publishing marketing content is an industry in itself.

Given that we live in a cloud-based, post-COVID world, digital marketing takes precedent over printed campaigns at the moment. Despite that, taking both into account, no pun intended, can help your brand stand out and attract more clients. Let’s discuss marketing know-how for accounting professionals and how you can jump-start your content marketing efforts in 2021.

Printed and Digital Marketing – Using Both to your Advantage

When you decide to market your services as an accountant, you can go about it in two distinct ways – through printed or digital media. As their names might suggest, both rely on drastically different mediums for distribution. Some marketing content formats you can consider using for your purposes include:

Printed media

  • Business cards – traditional cards used for networking with clients
  • Brochures – fold-up paper sheets with your accounting business’ services
  • Posters – one-way printed papers which can be glued or stapled on walls
  • Printed ads – ads that you can order from newspapers for the sake of marketing
  • Office miscellanea – pens, pins, lighters, mugs, and other office items with your logo/info

Digital media

  • Blog posts – online articles discussing industry topics, how-to guides, and accounting trends
  • Social media posts – images, status updates, polls, live Q&A, and other content specific to social media
  • Podcasts – discussions with accounting professionals and influential guests about various topics
  • Videos – tutorials, discussions, news reports, and other types of videos you can personally host
  • Freebies – PDFs, eBooks, presentations, and other free materials on accounting topics you can share

It may seem overwhelming to choose which marketing content would best suit your accounting business. You can also refer to TrustMyPaper to assist you in writing and editing your marketing plan once you start creating your content. You don’t have to commit to anything upfront, and you can pick and choose different content types to create a unique set of options.

Marketing Content Tools to Consider Using

When it comes to marketing tools, most of them fall into the “creation” part of marketing, and there are plenty of options to choose from. As we’ve mentioned, printed and digital marketing vary in terms of format, so different tools will be more or less suited for each medium. Some tools available to you online include:

Google Docs – all-in-one general document platform suitable for digital marketing content management.

Evernote – a platform dedicated to written content creation, marketing planning, and cloud storage.

Grammarly – editing platform which used to clean up your writing and grammar before publishing.

SEM Rush – a platform that will help you find the right keywords to use for better search engine ranking.

Pexels – stock photo platform with a vast library of professionally curated free-to-use images.

Canva – visual content platform suitable for presentations, infographics, and social media content.

Gimp – photo editing and content creation tool which you can use for both printed and digital marketing.

Mail Chimp – centralized marketing platform which can help you publish content and analyze its performance.

While these are only a select few tools that you can find online, their combined features will allow you to start on the right foot. If you find yourself busy with accounting obligations, referring to Supreme Dissertations and outsourcing some of your content writing or editing is a smart move. Use the available online resources to your advantage, most of which are free and highly user-friendly, and you will slowly build up your marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategies to Implement

Now that we’ve talked about the mediums and the tools you can use, let’s combine the two and talk about specific tips and strategies. Given that you are an accounting professional, you already know who your audience is and what exactly you can do for them. This makes coming up with marketing content much easier, as you don’t have to research your audience – focus on how you can help them instead.

  • Use Accounting-Specific Keywords in your Marketing

As an accountant, your clients will expect you to be familiar with niche terminology and keywords specific to accounting. Using those words will enable your marketing materials to show up much more frequently in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In turn, more people will click on your content and visit your website.

  • Create a Schedule and Stick to It

Publishing marketing content under your brand’s banner should never be sporadic and unorganized. Instead, use a digital calendar or a notepad and start planning your content ahead of time. For example, you can write a blog post and publish it each Tuesday, while you answer accounting questions live on social media on Fridays. There are no rules to creating a content calendar, but prepare your own nonetheless and try sticking to it.

  • Never Copy Content – Be Original

Copying marketing content from popular websites and brands will always backfire. Search engines are designed to detect copied content and treat it as spam. Your clients will be equally displeased and think twice whether to visit your website or reach out to you with such a practice in place. Use the tools available to you to create something unique and your own – your brand’s followers will appreciate the effort.

  • Make Good Use of Social Proof

Social proof represents marketing content generated by your clients and brand advocates. Satisfied clients and accounting professionals familiar with your work can write quotes and reviews for you to use for marketing. This is an effective way for accounting professionals to build trust and brand image, given how trust-reliant their profession is. Reach out to your clients and ask for quotes or reviews – make it a practice to ask for them going forward as well.

Wrapping Up and Starting Off

Marketing is a vast pool of possibilities, and the best way to learn about it is to start producing your content. It can be overwhelming to carry the weight of PR management on your shoulders. Yet, accounting professionals can market their businesses very successfully.

Go through the tools and tips we’ve discussed and take note of how bigger, more popular competitors market their services. The right marketing strategy for your business will click in your mind sooner than you think, and the rest will take care of itself.

Also, learn more how you can also Market & Sell your services online.  Get 2+ clients a month leveraging your social media presence and technology to get the clients you need to grow your business.

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/gcsNOsPEXfs

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