Many financial planners start their practice with anything but tax preparation and planning in mind. They may have had a negative experience with tax prep in the past, or maybe taxes just don’t interest them as much as holistic financial planning strategy does. However, many ACP members have leaned toward incorporating tax services as part of their comprehensive model in recent years – and our team is expecting this trend to continue.
Let’s dig into the “why” behind leveraging tax services in your fee-only financial planning practice, and how it can help you to uplevel your planning model.
Is Tax Preparation an ACP Requirement?
First and foremost, we want to be clear: tax preparation isn’t a requirement of ACP membership. Still, we do see ACP members tend to gravitate toward tax-focused planning models.
The impact of poor tax preparation on a holistic financial plan can be catastrophic. As a financial planner, your ultimate goal is to help your clients achieve their ideal lives through proactive planning. When tax preparation is done poorly, or worse, incorrectly, by another firm, much of your hard work and strategy can be seen going down the drain.
Many ACP members find that by bringing tax planning and preparation in-house they’re able to control this key element of their clients’ holistic financial plans and offer a higher level of service. This is true even for those advisors who weren’t initially inclined to focus on tax planning and preparation as part of their practice.
Tax Services as a Differentiator
A large percentage of ACP members find that prospective clients who are interested in incorporating tax planning and preparation into their financial plan are more inclined to follow a holistic approach that the ACP System™ offers. Financial planners often talk to prospective clients about their value.
Today’s investors are savvy, and are often seeking comprehensive financial advice that not only aligns with their personal goals and values, but also helps them to “save” or “earn back” the fee they’re paying advisors over time. In some cases, demonstrating value as a financial planner is easy and straightforward. Other times, value may feel too nebulous to clearly articulate.
Tax planning and preparation is a clear way to highlight hard numbers that demonstrate your value as an advisor. You can show clients’ current tax savings, and future projected tax savings that will carry them to and through retirement – or whatever their next chapter may bring.
Building Competence and Confidence in Tax Planning
If you’re like many financial advisors, you may feel an initial aversion to tax planning. It often feels like a complex system, and one that doesn’t necessarily come naturally after years of financial planning training and education. If this sounds like your experience, fear not. The best way to start building confidence in the world of tax planning is to get started – and ACP can help.
Per ACP member Tim Caban, EA, CFP®, the ACP System™ tax planning training module gave him the basis he needed to begin preparing tax returns for his clients. Then, after he laid a foundation of education in the tax prep space, he was able to leverage the ACP community and other members as mentors to help him hone his craft.
The ACP Brain Trust is one of the core benefits of being an ACP member. This holds true for Tim, and many of our members, who are looking to increase their know-how in the tax planning space. Members are available to discuss processes, knowledge, and client experiences to raise one another’s confidence and empower each other to provide exceptional service.
Joining ACP and Gaining Access to the Brain Trust
At ACP, members truly care about helping one another expand their knowledge in tax preparation and all areas of holistic financial planning. If learning how to incorporate tax planning into your service model is something that interests you, and you want to have a close-knit community available to help you grow, we’d love to talk with you.
Our members are fee-only financial planning professionals who are focused on providing exceptional, comprehensive financial advice to their clients across the country. While tax planning is one key element of the ACP System™, and our members often incorporate it into their service model, we offer numerous additional benefits and resources that can help you build a practice you love.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how joining our community of like-minded advisors can positively impact your practice and the lives of your clients!