Making tax season simpler

April 17, 2017 by Matt Marcum

A financial advisor does tax planning for a client

About the author

Matt Marcum

Director, marketing

As director of marketing, Matt oversees the breadth of go-to-market initiatives for Advicent, including product marketing, lead generation, and public relations. Drawing from a nearly decade-long background at Advicent, Matt works closely with the sales, product development, and executive teams to successfully align Advicent products with the evolving business needs of the financial services industry.

It is that time of the year again. For CPAs and other advisors that do any sort of tax planning, March and April represent an extremely busy time of the year, packed with meetings and harping on clients to locate and share important financial documents. For myself, a former account executive, it also meant it was the time of year to hear how advisors were "too busy" to speak about the value of FinTech or financial planning tools.

On the surface, it makes sense. There are only so many hours in the day and good advisors and CPAs want to be spending their time with their clients. However, I could never shake the feeling that advisors were missing out on the ability to talk to their clients about financial planning at a time when their clients were most organized with their finances.

Think about it; tax time requires people to get organized quickly and reflect about their finances and investments. They have a very real deadline (April 18) provided by a very real authority (the IRS) to get their financial house in order. So if you are an advisor, why not take advantage?

Making tax season simpler

As an advisor during tax season, there are many financial planning tools available to make this time of year easier and more efficient. Account aggregation and client portal tools are making it easier than ever to get accurate and up-to-date insights on a client’s financial situation. Personal Financial Management tools are allowing a closer look at an individual’s budgeting skills and spending tendencies.

Additionally, document vaults make sharing documents easier than ever. There are even marketing libraries such as Advisor Briefcase to help answer one-off questions that your clients may have, or educate on the benefits of different strategies and investment tools.

Even for CPAs or tax professionals that have never offered planning, it has never been to add financial planning to their list of services. Since you have a client already bringing in their financial statements, why not discuss the broader implications and their goals? Tools like NaviPlan are making it easy to offer financial planning with collaborative fact finding and account aggregation functionalities.

March and April can be extremely challenging time for advisors, but a little more investment in financial planning tools, alongside account aggregation and collaborative fact finding can go a long ways not only towards being more efficient with your clients, but also in acquiring new clients and revenue streams.