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Michale Erat’s Five-Stage Model

In the novice stage, a person follows rules as given, without context, with no sense of responsibility beyond following the rules exactly.

‘The Beginning is the Most Important Part of the Work’ - Plato

The quote by Plato ‘The Beginning is the Most Important Part of the Work’ sums up the central issue some accountants have with tax planning, they just cannot get started.

Tax Planning Sin 7: Inadequate Tax Planning Training

Tax planning is like a forgotten bespoke craft that is only provided by a few expert craftsmen (who pass the knowledge onto their ‘apprentices’).

Tax Planning Sin 6: Failing to Provide the Client with a Written Tax Plan including Implementation Process and Cost/Benefits.

All important client advice should be provided to the client in writing (irrespective of whether also provided to the client verbally as well).

Tax Planning Sin 5 | Inadequate Tax Strategies Database

The tax strategies database is the intellectual knowledge and know-how that is the horsepower behind the whole tax planning process.

Tax Planning Sin 4: Failing to Gather Client Information and Data

Just as financial planners need to know their clients when preparing a financial plan, so too do accountants need to know their clients when preparing a tax plan.
Just as financial planners need to know their clients when preparing a financial plan, so too do accountants need to know their clients when preparing a tax plan.
Just as financial planners need to know their clients when preparing a financial plan, so too do accountants need to know their clients when preparing a tax plan.

Tax Planning Sin 3: Inadequate Time Spent on the Tax Plan

The Tax Planning Interview with the client requires an investment of one hour to ensure the tax strategies are actually implemented and they save the client tax.

Tax Planning Sin 2: Undercharging for Tax Planning

 Most practice principals will tell you they do provide tax planning services to their clients, but just don’t charge for it.

Tax Planning Sin 1: Failing to Offer Tax Planning Services to Every Client

Industry data shows that approximately 10% of practices are currently providing tax planning services to their clients.

Manual Systems vs Software Tools

 It doesn’t matter what the practice service is, or task involved, without exception, automated software tools provide superior performance for both the client and the practice. 

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