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Building a Plan for Landing More Advisory Clients (TaxPlanIQ Case Study)

June 9, 2022 TaxPlanIQ Support team

In today’s TaxPlanIQ Case Study, we hosted a question and answer session. We walked through some technical questions and how to set plans for landing more advisory clients. 

Let’s dive into some of the questions: 

Naming Your Services/Packages

Gary: I often have clients asking what I will be doing for them each month and have trouble explaining exactly what my “monthly subscription and implementation plan” includes. 

Sharla: Instead of calling it that, use words with value. Try calling it “monthly advisory and compliance”. This will include tax return fees, bookkeeping fees, and annual planning fees. 

This terminology doesn’t mean you have to meet with them every month but it does give the option and provides a bit more of an explanation of what they can expect from you.

Family Limited Partnership

Luba: I have a client who has a couple of rentals, is single with no kids, a W-2 income, and has different investment accounts (K1 investments and different brokerage companies). Do you think he is a good candidate for FLP (family limited partnership)?

Sharla: Yes, as long as he has consistent capital gains that’s probably something you can work with. Find out what his investments and income typically are. Once you do, we’ll run a tax plan on it to really figure it out.

HRA and HSA? Entity Choice Worksheet?

Vonda: I recently sold a tax plan and decided to do an HRA. When I was in Advanced Tax Strategies someone suggested I couldn’t do an HSA with an HRA. Is that true? I planned to set it up so the husband has a schedule C and he pays for the medical expenses through the HRA and then they can have an HSA from the s-corp.

Sharla: You can do it together but there are rules. Be careful on the reimbursement end that you don’t double-dip and really understand the HRA rules. You can read more about it in the tax strategies resource section in TaxPlanIQ and we also have a preferred vendor listed.

Vonda: I have another question. Do we have an entity choice worksheet? I have a client I’m setting up a plan for but they are currently a schedule-c. I want to see if they should be an S- or C-corp instead.

Sharla: I have two answers. In TaxPlanIQ under entity selections, there's a worksheet with a link that tells you how to select the best entity structure. I also have a worksheet but it has a lot of “if/then” statements and isn’t published yet. This may be helpful down the road.

Any More Ideas?

Shanli: I’d like to discuss some of the clients we’ve talked about before. The wife was making a $1 million salary and her husband had just quit his job. We walked away from that case study with a lot of open-ended questions but now I have some answers. 

The husband is now getting a K1 instead of a W2. His job limits him from creating his own business on the side. The wife is open to having a side hustle with a schedule C income on the side. She’s doing speaking engagements and advisor-type work and is expecting roughly $20,000 from misc engagements. 

I could work in a schedule C for her but otherwise, I feel pretty limited at the moment. Is there anything I can do with the husband? 

Sharla: There’s currently not a whole lot of planning to do since most of it was centered around the husband. For this year, just keep an eye out, and if the wife's side hustle ends up producing more then make them a plan. Just copy your current plan in TaxPlanIQ and adjust your numbers based on how you think things will go and we will take another look. 

Building a Plan for Landing More Advisory Clients

Sharla: Since tax season is over you’re now moving into a slower time and need to plan how to increase your income through tax planning. I’d like to work with you to build a plan to help you sell plans. I want to make sure the time you’re spending pays off. 

Realistically, how many cases do you want to put together in a month? I know you have existing clients and while you can’t control how many new clients come in, you do have access to the existing ones. Let’s identify the good candidates for tax planning and get a plan designed and pitched. What do you guys think?

Vonda: I have a few high-end clients but most of them are W-2s and I’m not sure if we can do anything with that. 

Sharla: Most of the time there’s nothing we can do with that. Instead, identify those clients and see if they have a side hustle or could implement one. Let them know you are doing tax planning and can help them if they ever decide to start one. 

Ade: I have a client that wants to work with me but is currently making $1.1 million on W-2’s and only has been for 2 years. What would that look like? 

Sharla: Since they are fairly new to that income bracket, let's look at the lifecycle of money. After a few years of making that much, they shouldn’t have any debt. 

However, there should be residue in the form of brokerage accounts, rental properties, and K-1 investments. They should be putting their money somewhere. If not then they are spending a lot so you need to educate them about what they should be doing. Think about the lifecycle of financial success and guide them through the process.

Sharla: What is a reasonable number of plans to sell/ your expectation each month?

Ade: At least 1 a month. 

Sharla: Great! Make it a goal to build at least one pitchable plan a month. Make a list of which clients you think who be interested and go from there. 

Vonda: I’d like to pitch two a month. I’m also trying to upgrade my referrals by turning away clients that don’t fit so realistically I can do two per month starting in July.

Shanli: I can commit to two a month starting in May. However, I am also working to fire clients that aren’t a good fit. I’d like to upgrade my practice to just tax planning rather than tax prep.

Luba: I got a referral for being a bookkeeper and had to say no.

Sharla: That’s great you are all working to find clients within your wheelhouse. You have to set boundaries. Next week come with a list of potential clients and analyze your referrals to make sure you are getting the right clients. Network and reach out to people who may need you now or later down the road. 

One Last Question

Luba: My client has a C-corp marketing business with 6 full-time employees and several part-time employees. They all make closer to $100,000. He wants to maximize his retirement but since he has so many employees he doesn’t want to find a benefit plan because it’s too expensive for him. He does have a 401K. How do I maximize this for him?

Sharla: It’s worth someone getting a quote for a benefit plan because the actuaries are good at creating and carving out subclasses and employees. You could try profit-sharing and defined contributions to help with the 401K, he’ll have to contribute to employees but most of it can go to the owner. 85%/15% or something like that. 

I’m working on a sheet that will explain all of this stuff but it’s not ready yet. 

You could also just do a SEP IRA instead of the 401K since he is a business owner. This is probably the best way to go. 

Ade: You need to make sure he understands the defined benefit plan will be more helpful for them in the long run. Your job is to advise them on best practices and set some boundaries. Try modeling it for them.

TaxPlanIQ lets you plug in different tax-saving strategies to create unique plans for your clients. It also works as a tool for presenting your value to your clients.

If you’re interested in leveraging advisory to grow your firm, try using TaxPlanIQ! If you take on the Professional Plan or Elite Plan you’ll also gain access to our Case Study Labs!

 

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