How To Price Tax Returns

value pricing Dec 03, 2019

I’m guessing, if you are a CPA, accountant or Enrolled Agent, you probably prepare hundreds of tax returns a year.

If you could increase the price of these by just £100, or $100, that would multiply across and make a huge difference to your profits.

I’m going to share with you three ideas that you should be doing to get those higher prices.

You can watch the video here.

#1 - Charge different people different prices

Everyone is different. We value things differently. So give people choices.

One way fo doing that is Menu Pricing.

That means creating a Bronze, Silver and Gold package of services. Think of what the Bronze, Silver and Gold version of a tax return is. You can get creative here.

You have to start by understanding what is important to different types of clients. Some clients may just want the bare minimum compliance work doing. Some may be more interested in saving tax so would prefer a premium service.

You need to have an option available to those people that are willing to spend more money for a more premium service that will save them tax. If you don’t have such an option, then your clients won’t have the chance to spend more money.

#2 - Put your prices up

If you want higher prices, but your prices up.

You are too cheap. Most accountants and bookkeepers are too cheap.

The reason you don’t put your prices up is because you are scared of losing clients. That won’t happen because your clients love the value that you provide. They have a relationship with you and they will stick with you.

I recently got this from one of the firms I mentor on my monthly mentoring programme:

“Thanks Mark, I raised my 2018 tax return prices by 25% on returns that were less than $300, and 50% on returns $300 and above. So far, my clients have been wonderful about it. I’ve lost less than a handful. I sent a letter explaining in detail the need to do so, I’ve been doing 10% or less for years, and due to satisfied client referrals, I was getting more than I could do and do well. I had to do something”

That’s from Wanda Wilson Reynolds, I just taught her the process for increasing the prices of her tax returns.

Think about the impact of Wanda’s results. She’s increasing her prices between 25% and 50%. That means she’s adding $150, $200, $300 dollars to the price. Multiply that across all of the tax returns and the difference to bottom line profits is going to be profound.

#3 - Reward your clients

One of the big problems in our profession is the tax return deadline.

In the UK it’s January. In the US and Canada it’s April. That’s the busiest time of the year.

You can encourage your clients to bring their information in early by offering a lower price. You can charge a penalty for those people that hand it in really late - but language here is really important.

Don’t penalise clients, instead give them a discount for helpful behaviour.

Obviously, you don’t want to be giving a low price though, so you need to raise your prices first and then offer a discount if they bring things in by a certain date.

Either the client brings the work in early and they get a better price and you aren’t rushing around. Or, they bring it in late and you get a higher price to compensate.

If you would like to learn more from me, I run a free online monthly training session with a different topic every month. You can attend and ask me questions which I answer live in session. Click here to register and I will send you an invitation to the next session.

And if you would like to join a community of like-minded accounting professionals learning to price more effectively and confidently, you can join my Facebook Support Group here.

Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.

Mark Wickersham

Chartered Accountant, Public Speaker and Author of Amazon #1 Best Seller “Effective Pricing for Accountants”

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