As soon as the tax season is in the books, the continuing education education, or CE credit, renewal process. Federal law requires all tax preparers to go through training before they can assist taxpayers during the next tax season. One of the easiest (and most fun!) ways to get the continuing tax education credits is […]
Simple Steps for Tax Office
Small business owners are often advised to create a business plan when they start their business. This business plan is designed to help guide decisions, serve as business structure documentation, and outline financial projections. However, money management plans and budgets often move to the wayside as the actual work of day-to-day business takes over.
It’s time to advocate for your business success with smarter money management. Make sure you don’t get side tracked when the tax season begins, and you’ll be able to monitor and improve cash flow in real time. Help ensure your tax office future with these three steps:
Step 1 – Create at Budget
Not having a budget is like driving with a blindfold. It’s not a complicated process. While it might seem intimidating, it’s a fairly simple money management process. Having a budget will help you clarify how much working capital you need to run your business every year.
You or your management team will need to consider:
- Business monthly income
- Determine fixed costs (ex. tax software purchase, insurance, payroll)
- List all the variable expenses (ex. trade shows for continuing education, marketing supplies)
- Include one-time spends (ex. office supplies, furniture)
Then pull it all together to see where funds should be allocated against your annual business spend. If you can, set a specific amount or percentage of money aside every month into an emergency fund. It’s considered good practice to have a separate business bank account so your daily transactions do not mix with your personal savings.
Step 2 – Get an Outside Opinion
You budget is now outlined and you’re ready to move on to the next step. Before you do that, ask yourself how realistic your plan is. If it feels right, the next step in your money management journey to success is having a specialized, third-party review your plan. A good financial plan acts as a guiding hand rather than locking you into decisions for months and years to come.
For this step, it’s best to work with a bank representative or a financial advisor to make sure your current outline is feasible. You want to challenge yourself without setting yourself up for failure. Having an independent party review your plan’s strengths and weaknesses will ensure you’re on a practical path to success.
Step 3 – Plan a Cash Flow Strategy
Managing money is more than just budgeting cash flow — it’s maintaining it. After you have a feasible budget established, it may be helpful to create a few strategies to boost cash flow to better prepare for spring and summer time when business is slow.
Credit accounts such as credit cards and business loans can be a power tool for your business as long as they’re handled responsibly. It can build your business credit score and open the door to better lending opportunities and potentially lower interest rates.
Even if you’re still building your credit, you may be eligible for office loans based on your bank product volume. Our ERO loans¹ are available early October and range between $2,000 to $50,000. You can use the funds as working capital to power your office for the tax season within two business days of approval.
Step 4 – Broaden your market appeal
Offering low-pricing or discounts are money management power moves in our competitive market.
But this doesn’t just apply to your fees, you can offer your customers refund transfers² for as low as $20 to your customers through e-Collect.
Another tool you may want to consider in a competitive market is the Taxpayer Advance Loan³. With us, your customers to get up to $1,000 at no cost4 to them or you.
Additional ways to boost cash flow and improve your balance sheets.
- Look to add additional services to your offering such as notary or bookkeeping.
- Have a free statement analysis done on your credit card processing system to see where you can save.
- Consider starting a rewards program to keep customers coming back for more.
Plan for Your Future
The best part of owning a business is providing great products and services to your customer base, but if you can’t keep up with your bills, you’ll be out of business before your dream is truly realized. Work on your short-term and long-term money management plans wisely to keep your tax office healthy for years to come!
Learn more about:
- EPS Financial
- Refund Transfers
- ERO Loans
- Taxpayer Advance Loans
- e-Pay Debit and Credit Card Processing Solutions
- Prepaid Cards
1.Office loan availability dependent on ERO application approval and eligibility criteria. Terms and conditions apply.
2.The Refund Transfer is an optional tax refund-related product offered by Pathward® Member FDIC. The Refund Transfer is not a loan. E-filing of tax return is required to be eligible for the product. Subject to approval. Fees apply. See terms and conditions for details.
3.The Refund Advance is an optional tax-refund related loan provided by Pathward® Member FDIC (it is not the actual tax refund) at participating locations. Program availability and loan amounts may vary based on state and software provider. The amount of the loan and applicable interest will be deducted from tax refunds and reduce the amount that is paid directly to the taxpayer. Fees for other optional products or product features may apply. Tax returns may be filed electronically without applying for this loan. Loans offered in amounts of $250 (where available), $500, $1,000, 25%, 50%, or 75% of your expected tax refund from $250 – $6,000. Loans in the amounts of $250, $500, and $1,000 have an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 0.00%. Loans in the amounts of 25%, 50% or 75% of your expected tax refund have an APR of 36.0% with a minimum loan of $1,250. For example, $2,500 loan representing 50% of expected refund borrowed over 29 day term, total amount payable in a single payment is $2,571.51 including interest. Availability is subject to satisfaction of identity verification, eligibility criteria, and underwriting standards.
4.Certain Refund Advance Loans are available at no cost to tax preparers and taxpayers; however other options include a marketing fee and consumer fee.