Provided by Drake Software

Two Styles; One Successful Practice



Facing Challenges – Creating Solutions

The Challenge: Melding two management styles and different levels of experience into a single, client-focused tax practice.

The Solution: Recognizing that clients have differing needs, firms need a careful blend of professionalism, responsiveness and quality. Plus strong partnerships both inside and outside of the firm.

If there is such a thing as a romantic tax practice, it surely is a cornerstone of Tom and Beanna’s Whitlock Tax Service, LLC in Reno, NV. A Texas boy away from home for the first time to attend trade school in Oklahoma City, he met Beanna when she was still in high school – the two of them children of Air Force service members. He grew up in in Paris, TX (“Only I thought he meant he grew up in Paris, France,” laughs Beanna.”) but moved to the larger city for school. She asked if his intentions were honorable, and they were married just out of high school. This marks their 46th year together. [Read more...]

What is SEO, & Why Should Tax Preparers Care?



Websites are Competing for a Position on the First Page of the Search Engine Results

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process organizations use to increase their visibility on the first page of a search engine’s unpaid listings. Generally, websites at the top of a search receive increased traffic and improved exposure for their products and services.

But optimizing a web site is hardly an easy matter. There are more than 150 different search engines. Each uses its own system to rate websites, and each will yield a different set of rankings for any given site. Even were the firm to concentrate on only the top four search engines in the US – Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask – it would have to deal with four entirely different optimization systems. Finally, the search engine providers are painfully aware that search engine optimizers are trying to “game” their systems to improve their clients’ ranking, and tweak their systems on a regular schedule to prevent this. [Read more...]

Drake’s Nashville Office is Open!



We are excited to announce that our Nashville office is open!

 

We already have a development team working out of the new location, and are in the process of recruiting for call center representatives.

 _MG_1610 The nearly 75,000 square-foot facility provides plenty of room for expanding our development and call center operations over the next few years.

Central Time Zone

One of the benefits to the new location is establishing a presence in the Central time zone. Up until now, all software facilities have been based in the Eastern time zone. “We support clients all over the country, so having a call center in the Central time zone helps us support customers on the West Coast,” said Phil Drake, CEO of Drake Software. [Read more...]

Drake e-Signatures



Drake Software e-Signature

As a tax preparer, do you think about the time it takes to sign returns and other documents? They are, after all, just signatures. But multiply those legal signatures across hundreds of tax returns in a single month, add in the cost of paper and printer ink, and the losses in time and profits can become substantial.

In the 1990s, businesses began to seek alternatives to the use of fax machines to create legally-acceptable signatures for contracts, authorization forms, consent forms and bank applications. Technology, business needs and consumer interest have now converged and are driving the use of e-Signature technology in many industries, including tax preparation. [Read more...]

Ethics – What Would You Do?



That’s the question posed on the news magazine and hidden camera television show of the same name.

Broadcast on ABC News since 2008 as part of the Primetime series, and hosted by newsman John Quiñones, it features cast members acting out scenes of conflict or illegal activity in public settings while hidden cameras videotape the scene, and the focus is on whether or not bystanders intervene, and how. It airs on a number of cable and satellite channels, including ABC News, OWN, HLN and ID Network.

But if the ethical challenges on the television show are hypothetical, the ones that can affect tax and accounting professionals are very real. The penalties for unethical conduct are likewise very real – ranging from loss of reputation and formal censure to fines and prison terms.

Ethical conduct should be simple — obey the laws and regulations, deal fairly with clients and peers, and foster a climate of ethical conduct within your own firm. It is not that simple, for four reasons: [Read more...]

IRS: Publication 1304 (Individual Tax Stats) For 2012 Now Available



Statistics of Income

The Internal Revenue Service today announced the availability of Statistics of Income—2012,

Individual Income Tax Returns Complete Report (Publication 1304). U.S. taxpayers filed 144.9 million individual income tax returns for tax year 2012, down 0.3 percent from 2011. The adjusted gross income less deficit reported on these returns totaled $9.1 trillion, which is an 8.7-percent increase from the prior year. [Read more...]

Staying in Touch During the Off-Season



Whether Seasonal or Year-Round Practice

Whether you have a seasonal tax practice or a year-round practice geared primarily toward tax preparation, staying in touch with your clients during the off-season is essential for a strong retention rate the following year.

There are a variety of ways to keep your name in front of your clients during the off-season: membership in civic organizations, sponsoring community events (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, etc.), social media, and newsletters (paper and/or electronic). [Read more...]

NATP’s Annual Tax Software Survey Results



NATP’s Annual Tax Software Survey

 

The National Association of Tax Preparers (NATP) has released its annual survey of tax preparation software, “Sorting Out Software.” The NATP survey used a different methodology than the 2014 AICPA Software Survey (included in another post), but Drake Software again leads the tax software vendor’s list with impressive scores. [Read more...]

5 Best Practices for Workflow



For the past 20 years we have considered it, adopted it, embraced it, invested in it, and even worshiped it as the key to efficiency and effectiveness in the modern tax and accounting practice. But do we really know what workflow is, and how to best harness its power?

[Read more...]

Free Download: Impact of the ACA



 The Affordable Care Act.

What’s the impact on Taxpayers?

What’s the impact on Tax Preparers?

We surveyed over 4,000 preparers nationwide. See the results in this Infographic.

 

Complete the brief form. The download link will arrive in your email. [Read more...]