Provided by Drake Software

Meet Phil Drake



Phil Drake

Phil Drake, 
Founder, President & CEO of Drake Software, 
Shares His Thoughts About The Tax Industry, 
Technology, And Business.

 

  

  • What is the biggest challenge facing the tax professional today? 
    Compliance, compliance with the EIC rules, compliance with the Due Diligence Rules, compliance with the ACA (coming up). Those used to be the responsibility of the taxpayer, to represent the true facts to the preparer. Now, more and more, the preparer is held responsible for determining the truth of the facts.
  • What technology will be the biggest catalyst for change in the accounting profession over the next 5 to 10 years? 
    Two things: Mobile technology and Cloud Computing. As late as the 1970’s, computer usage was centered around a “mainframe” and anything that was distributed was a dumb terminal, which did not house any programs or data. In the 70’s and 80’s we began the movement toward putting a computer on every desk, and pretty much achieved that before Y2K. Now, we are beginning to see the value of housing data centrally, and even housing the programs centrally, so that you can access them from anywhere. We are moving back toward a “cloud centric” model (which is very similar to the mainframe model). Mobile technology is enhanced by the cloud computing model. If you have a good connection to the internet and a browser, you can pretty much do tax returns on any device from anywhere.
  • What advice can you provide to the young tax professionals and tax entrepreneurs out there to help them achieve their goals and run successful businesses? 
    First, learn how to keep a set of books and do a tax return with a pencil. Seriously, today many folks are not learning the basics of accounting and tax preparation. Everyone needs those basic skill sets to succeed in this business. Second, after you know how to do those things, then find technology that will do all the grunt-work for you. You still need knowledge, but you can make your job easier with the right tools (or maybe the right toys).
  • What are the keys to Drake’s continued success? 
    First, availability – answering the phone for customers when they have a question is key. Next, hire good people and get out of their way.
  • What do you do in your spare time? 
    What spare time?
    Phil Drake, a native of Franklin, NC, is the Founder, President, CEO and Chief Architect for Drake Software. The software division of Drake serves over 47,000 tax offices throughout the United States. Besides software, Drake Enterprises operates 15 other community-focused businesses in Franklin, NC, where Drake Software’s corporate headquarters is located.

 

 

 

Tax Practice Success and “The Five Ps”



Tax Practice Success

Tax Practice Success

The Challenge: Sustaining growth and profitability in the mature markets for tax preparation services.

The Solution: The right marketing mix of product, pricing, place, promotion and platform.

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Larry Kessler: It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Keep



Larry Kessler: It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Keep

 

Larry Kessler Financial Services is an example of how to create an accounting firm built on friendships, trust, and fair dealings. 

“I don’t advertise,” he says. “I focus on giving each client a better job than they have ever seen, combined with the best service I can give.  I now handle second and third-generation clients, the children and grandchildren of clients I have had from my early days.” 

His tax partner of choice is Drake Software. 
[Read more...]

Securing your Client Data



Securing your Client Data 

Of all of the subjects that got the attention of the industry – the Affordable Care Act, identity theft, and licensing of tax preparers among them – one did not get much attention, but should have. 

It’s the requirement to properly secure all of the communications between you and the client. 
[Read more...]

Tax Year 2013 Desk Reference Guide



How you prepare can have a lot to do with how smoothly your season goes.

A well-organized office that has prepared for the upcoming months can make the sailing much smoother during a fast-paced time. Here are some other important steps you can take to ensure your office is prepared.

Download the most recent Desk Reference Guide Now.

Simply fill out the form below making sure your email address is correct.
[Read more...]

Long Odds



The Long Odds on Tax Reform

Tax Reform is once more on the agenda for Congress.  But Robert Samuelson, columnist for the Washington Post, says that any real reform is unlikely:

“In 2010, calculating their taxes cost Americans $168 billion, estimates the Taxpayer Advocate Service of the Internal Revenue Service. That’s about 15 percent of taxes collected — a heavy overhead. Almost 60 percent of taxpayers pay accountants or other tax preparers. Public esteem for the tax system is low; in a 2011 Pew poll, 55 percent judged it unfair. Disaffection was fairly even politically: 47 percent among Republicans, 58 percent among Democrats and 56 percent among independents. [Read more...]

SecureFilePro: Send and Receive Documents Anytime, Anywhere



SecureFilePro

Drake Software

In a world gone mobile, tax and accounting professionals need more than just a means of communicating with clients. They need a secure communications solution so that critical client data is protected. They need a branded solution that will help build recognition for their firm. They need a solution that is accessible at all hours of the day from anywhere in the world.
[Read more...]

$2 Trillion Underground Economy



$2 Trillion Underground Economy Helps and Hurts the Recovery

The growing underground economy may be helping to prevent the real economy from sinking further in debt, according to analysts.  The shadow economy composed of those who can’t find a full-time or regular job and turn to work that pays them under the table, reports no income and pays no taxes. [Read more...]

Follies



Tax Law Follies

Now that it is all over but the paying and the weeping, it may be appropriate to consider how truly absurd the tax laws in the United States have become.

The US Tax Code is so tangled and twisted that University of Florida law professor Steven J. Willis speaks amusingly about “tax humor.” While not exactly the stuff of stand-up routines, America’s surreal Tax Code is a masterpiece of dark comedy. [Read more...]

Audit Risk



Audit Risk May Depend On Where You Live

Taxpayers and preparers, worried that their returns may trigger an audit, should take special care if the return is for a small business owner in one of the wealthier suburbs of Los Angeles.  Or, for that matter, one who lives in San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta, or the District of Columbia.

A new study by the National Taxpayer Advocate used confidential IRS data to show large clusters of potential tax cheats in these five metropolitan areas. The IRS uses the information to target taxpayers for audits.  The taxpayer advocate, Nina Olsen, runs an independent office within the IRS. She got access to the data as part of an effort to learn more about why some taxpayers are more likely to cheat than others. [Read more...]