AICPA has held recent conversations that point to resources CPAs can use on how to remain relevant as the marketplace for tax compliance services is becoming commoditized by advances in technology.
An emerging trend is that clients are realizing they need a primary point of contact to advise on a full range of financial needs, including estate and gift planning, retirement planning and risk management.
Many financial plans require input from professionals beyond CPAs, such as estate planning attorneys, investment advisers and insurance brokers. But if these professionals do not know the client’s entire portfolio, they may give advice without understanding how the recommendations affect other areas of the client’s life. This is where CPAs can step in as a primary point of contact who can integrate the advice.
AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning and Tax Divisions can also assist with “future-proofing” a practice. Visit aicpa.org/pfp/pathway for resources tailored to CPAs interested in expanding their service offerings, aicpa.org/taxreform for comprehensive AICPA coverage on tax reform, and aicpa.org/pfp/proactiveplanning for proactive financial and tax planning strategies .
Checklists for value-added ideas for tax planning can be found at AICPA resources such as the Analysis of a Tax Return for Financial Planning Opportunities and Personal Financial Outlook.
These initiatives can begin by the CPA starting the conversation with clients. AICPA offers free checklists to help review clients’ tax returns to identify issues and opportunities for planning conversations.