How do we provide such low cost service?
Some wonder how we can produce a professionally prepared tax return at such low fees compared to our competitors. The answer is that we employ a client based orientation through our planning and decision making. “We’re on your side.” While other firms may focus on trying to get the most money out of their clients: we try to give you the best benefit at a reasonable cost.
Other national firms can require a franchise fee of up to 30% to use the name and reputation of the firm. We see that as 30% gone for no tangible benefit to our clients. These firms may also require additional advertising expenses, furnishing and signage, computer equipment and software all of which add substantially to the cost of the operation while unnecessarily limiting the options.
By leasing space in the shopping center we have a high profile and wonderful location for business during the tax season. After the season is over, we office from home to take care of anything that might come up. This keeps our overhead costs low, even though we have some of the nicest space in the Twin Cities area.
When I see other firms in operation they often appear to have little or no business. We tend to keep a tight schedule and have been able to spread the rush times out a bit to cover most of the tax season. Because we’re more continuously preparing returns instead of waiting half the time for unscheduled clients to just show up we can prepare more returns, on average, per preparer hour worked. We’d rather prepare twice as many returns a day, and charge just half the fees.
The one thing we do not try to cut is preparer’s compensation. We pay our employees more. They are professionals, good workers, and they deserve it.