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TaxPlanIQ CEO Jackie Meyer spent some time demoing the new updates for TaxPlanIQ. She described these updates as “new enhancements and features… that are skyrocketing the value of the product.” The goal for TaxPlanIQ’s team is “... to bring one BIG advancement every month.” However, with every advancement that TaxPlanIQ makes, the goal is to supplement your efforts as a tax expert.
“We all want to save time in our practices, but I don’t ever want to replace you as the accountant,” Meyer said. “And if we bake all of that technology into a software or make it kind of like a simplified software for tax planning then you’re not needed and there’s no value there. Every advancement that we make, we’re thinking about how we’re elevating the accountants out there versus replacing them.”
Currently, the software is not able to import data directly from tax preparation software, but it is something that TaxPlanIQ is working on—potentially available this year. One of the other things Meyer wants to continue to work on is the overall look and feel of the product to make it more visually appealing and modern. But, that’s an ongoing process.
There were several enhancements that Meyer demoed for tax planners during a live session on the Accounting Firm Influencers Facebook group. The first enhancement had to do with the ROI dashboard.
In addition to their trademark proposal system, the ROI method, TaxPlanIQ has added a fully downloadable and printable client report. The report offers an introductory letter that can be fully customized to show the client how much in tax savings they’re projected to get, an overview of the tax strategy, the eligibility criteria, opportunities and risks, and any to-dos the client has to take care of.
“If you want a highly customizable deliverable that you can print or download, this is it,” Meyer said. “This is really handy if you are not in our Professional or Elite subscriptions or if you don’t have the client portal. If you are using our portal, you can publish all of this information within the portal.”
This is going to give tax planners that little extra oomph when they're going to do their presentation to their clients and will give those clients a level of confidence that the presenter has come up with something that is both substantive and substantial. The ROI and client report will be available in all versions of TaxPlanIQ, even the basic version. However, the rest of the changes coming to TaxPlanIQ will only be available in the Professional and Elite versions of the system, as they took quite a bit of time and effort to get off the ground.
“If you’re on basic, now is the time to upgrade,” Meyer said. “There’s a lot of really cool stuff, here.”
The next change Meyer presented was the “Presentation View.”
“A lot of clients don't necessarily want to read a bunch of words and numbers, right? They are not what we would call ‘thinkers,’” Meyer said. “They want to see visuals—‘Get to the point. What are you saving me? How is this helping me?’”
The presentation view begins with a slide that indicates who it was made for followed by a slide with some proprietary information. The presentation view also gives a high-level overview of how you created the tax packages—analysis, income shifting, tax loopholes & credits, business entity formation, retirement planning, asset protection, etc. After the overview, it presents a summary of the various strategies that the tax planner has come up with, including tax savings opportunities, Year One tax savings (after fees), Return on Investment after 10 years, Immediate ROI in percentage, and Year Two onward ROI in percentage.
In the following screens, the summary items are broken down by opportunity category, giving the estimated tax savings for each category, projected gain on investment, and ROI in percentage. The next slide is a line graph showing the ROI over a 10-year period. The next slide has to do with the client’s next steps: client engagement letter, ACH information, satisfaction guarantees, and client onboarding guidelines.
This can also be downloaded and included in a larger presentation about you, your staff, and your firm. Most clients will be ecstatic about what you’re presenting to them, because while “they’re paying us more for it, but they’re getting a net ROI that’s much higher.”
Tax Estimate Tab
The next update Jackie discussed was the tax estimate tab. The tax projection process is something that you will be able to use with all of your clients whether you’re doing ROI projections or not.
“We use ProConnect Tax Online as our tax prep software, right? So you’ve got your projection that it does in there. That is super limited in most tax prep software. And then, we’ve got an Excel file that we like to use.”
Traditionally, Jackie and her team would copy the data from the tax prep software into this Excel sheet, and then uses the document to communicate quarterly tax payment estimates to their clients. However, the new estimate tab in TaxPlanIQ replicates that function. The estimates tab automatically assigns those estimated quarterly payments to the client as a to-do. This to-do function tells the client the estimated payment, when the payments are due, and how to pay them.
“So often clients say that you didn’t tell them what their upcoming tax estimate was. Well, now, it’s right there in front of them. Additionally, the detailed calculation behind the scenes hasn’t been integrated into TaxPlanIQ yet, but we’re working on it.”
Replacing Excel in Your Tax Workflow
Jackie says that she essentially wants to completely replace Excel when it comes to doing tax projections. The TaxPlanIQ estimation tab has the client’s prior year’s tax, current year’s tax, prior year’s tax AGI, current year’s tax AGI, and filing status. This data in the tab is something that you can publish out to the client’s portal or to a PDF or Excel. The tab automatically calculates the Safe Harbor Tax due, Expected Minimum Tax due, Minimum Amount Due to the IRS, Overpayments from the Prior Year, and Tax Withholding. It includes the ability to switch between Federal Tax, State Tax, and C-Corp Tax projections.
See the Updates for Yourself!
If you are interested in taking advantage of these great enhancements and the other awesome tools in TaxPlanIQ, sign up for a free trial today!