For years, the biggest complaint we’ve heard from prospective clients is that they weren’t getting pro-active tax planning from their tax advisor. This was often the driving reason for a change.
But, there are as many definitions of pro-active planning as there are prospective clients. Everybody has their own expectations based on their individual needs.
This diversity of expectations, and personalities makes it impractical for tax advisors to satisfy everybody’s expectations.
And, it’s emotional. Tax planning is very personal. It’s about you saving money that ultimately funds personal needs…children’s education, retirement, etc.
So what’s the solution?
The answer is two-pronged and actually pretty simple.
- Positive results cannot be guaranteed. An investment of a tax advisor’s time is necessary to understand your situation. The advisor needs to be paid to do this. Once the advisor is up to speed, perhaps there’s something to recommend. But it may be there’s nothing substantial to be done. You want honesty, not someone who will “make up” recommendations in order to justify their fee.
- A standardized process is required. Believe it or not, each client is not totally unique. Tax planning opportunities follow patterns. You have to be willing to be managed. Unfortunately, many tax advisors make promises they can’t keep because they don’t fully appreciate the importance of an effective business process. As a result, you end up being at the mercy of how “on their game” a tax advisor is at any given moment rather than following a proven process.
By establishing a standardized planning process that utilizes a combination of technology, personal service, and mandatory timing, you can achieve positive results. You’re not following a proven planning process just to make the tax advisors life easier…you’re following it to get the results you want.