Keeping up with tax law changes

Do you feel overwhelmed with all the new tax law changes that happen in December under Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017?  Do you understand them as professional but can’t figure out an efficient or effective way to communicate them to your customer base? And do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to take all the changes and apply them to customers’ specific situations? I know that I do.

Yes, I understand the new tax law. And yes, I, like the rest of us, have been telling customers we are still waiting for clarification. But, I wonder, once we have a little more clarification, how I will have the resources to examine and review all returns for our customer base.

That’s why I got really excited when I saw a demo of the new software by Wolters Kluwer.

Since trends in the accounting industry show that clients are looking to purchase financial advice, rather than a finished product, Wolters Kluwer has created a new software, CCH Axcess iQ, to help CPAs better advise clients.

A Proactive Idea

How cool is the idea that we can get the insight into each individual return based on tax law changes that impact a specific customer’s situation? That the software will give us a “cheat sheet” per customer. Then we can either send them more information or pick up the phone and have a conversation. It’s a way to take the data that sits in our tax software and make it proactive… Amen!

CCH Axcess iQ first identifies events that could disrupt clients. Then it shows the CPA which clients are disrupted, and then offers an article written in common language to explain how this event affects individual clients. This way, CPAs can share with clients exactly how any specific event will affect them.

You can customize the communication for each client, unlike a general article the client might read on his/her own online.

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act positioned to impact clients for many years to come, and more legislation sure to follow, this software is being introduced during the perfect time. There is so much confusion whenever new tax laws are passed. This software will help CPAs explain any changes to their clients in language that they can understand.

This software will essentially “do the work” that bigger firms have full staffs to complete, giving smaller firms the chance to compete. CPAs will be able to better advise their clients, which is where the real value in our profession lies.

Long Term Changes

The question for you is… Are you willing to take the risk and start advising on tax laws that aren’t completely hashed out yet? If we want to remain relevant and valuable, we don’t have a choice.

In the Tax Reform Act of 1986, it took almost 8 years for the new PALs laws to be defined. Therefore, we will have at least 8 years of proactive advisory work to attack. And the TCJA will certainly not be the last word in tax legislation. Our business future looks good. Just remember to charge for it.

Find out how CCH Axcess iQ will help firms inform clients about tax law changes. Learn More.

AUTHOR

Jody Padar, CPA, MST

CEO & Principal, New Vision CPA Group

All stories by: Jody Padar, CPA, MST