Tax Preparation Services Fee Reduction with Outsourced Teammates
Like many industries, accountants too are facing staff shortages and overstressed on the longer work days on an ever shrinking tax season. As a result of this Lang Allan has partnered with an outsourcing firm in an effort to reduce the time crunch of busy season and the cost of certain tax preparation services.
We began using this team, both for our internal firm staffing needs and with client production in 2021 and are continuing to utilize this talent pool in an effort to produce work efficiently and cost effectively. As of today, the IRS is still behind on processing 2021 notices and tax returns. By utilizing this outsourced team we are able to get work started, reviewed, finalized and to you for signature quicker; to file sooner!
In order for a client to participate in this program, a client (and spouse if married), MUST sign off on this consent, which has the explicit language you are authorizing this service.
By you allowing us to prepare your tax returns in this process, we have agreed to reduce your bill for preparation services from our 2022 minimum fee of $750 to $550 (our minimum fee from 2020) or reduce your bill 15% from our current year rates and time expended.
In doing our review and preparation of this for the upcoming season and based on client inquiries last year, we have highlighted some preliminary questions/comments/concerns that clients have expressed with us. We hope this can be of help to you.
Myth: If you outsource tax returns offshore, my data won’t be secure.
In the past, client data protection was the first question for firms when discussing tax outsourcing services. However, as firms and staff become more comfortable with cloud accounting and security, and clients trust the firm to protect their data, these concerns have decreased. Clients expect the firm has done its due diligence during the vetting process and chose a tax-outsourcing provider who will protect their information against external and internal risks.
Our outsourced teams operate remotely on computers that prevent data sharing/saving files to external sources. In addition, each user has a security access card to access their work location and work from a secure building and not “from home.”
What Lang Allan has done: Lang Allan has authorized specific users to access our network from the outsourced team, each with a unique password, username and multifactor authentication systems in place. Lang Allan will only share specific data and data locations within our network with our outsourced team. We will also be able to monitor and restrict data access at a moment’s notice.
In addition, our outsourced team will operate in a technology environment that are compliant with ISO 9001 and 27001 two of the highest global certificates in data security and privacy a company can achieve to deliver the best-in-class client services.
Myth: Outsourced returns are of inferior quality; your staff will waste time fixing the returns.
To avoid receiving low-quality or error-filled returns, Lang Allan will work with an experienced outsourcing provider who hires qualified and skilled professionals who are highly trained to meet or exceed the quality of preparation done in the “back office” of most CPA firms. The outsourced team hires staff based on experience and offers continuing education, including how often the staff receives training on U.S. tax laws and regulations. In addition, we have selected an outsourced team that is familiar with our tax software and existing systems.
What Lang Allan has done: We have interviewed third parties who have used providers in the past and reviewed and discussed with industry experts on this topic. All work prepared by our outsourced team will be reviewed and signed off by someone in our office before a return goes to a client for signature.
Ultimately, Adam Allan is responsible for your final return, whether Darin, John, an outsourced team member or he prepared it.
Myth: I won’t know the status of my return.
Control and visibility into the return’s status and expected delivery dates can be accessed on-demand when our firm communicates a workflow solution with our outsourced team.
What Lang Allan has done: I have been working with the outsource team for a while now to get the workflow down, communicate with the team on the processes and workflow and will be involved in the status of returns. Adam has a scheduled call each Monday evening to discuss the upcoming week work schedule and follow up on any open items.
Myth: Your staff will be replaced if the firm uses outsourcing.
Tax outsourcing is not designed to replace existing staff; it’s designed to reduce stress and late-night hours amongst staff during busy season and other peak times of the year.
As many people around us have witnessed of late, the IRS and state agencies have made it harder to do the work necessary of a small firm today. The last two years has added stress to the world at every level; our industry is not different. With increased costs all around us for rent, staff, training, software and simply limited hours of a day, this is an avenue to reduce the stresses on staff during peak demand.
What Lang Allan has done: Our staff still will have plenty of involvement in your return process, in fact, it may allow a greater detail to the return, as they can see the forest through the trees! All client interactions and open item requests will be maintained by our office, in an effort to finish your return in an efficient and timely manner.
You are not forced to do this. Our staff will still be working during tax season! We are simply offering this as a solution to have your fees reduced for the time it takes to prepare your tax return. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, either through a call or email.
On a side note, I began using them for our own internal accounting department in 2021 to be the “guinea pig”; I’m still using the team for this and we constantly talk (outside of busy season two weeks, during busy season each week) via zoom calls to go over any work loads, projects and/or ways they can help us and or team out.