Do you want to get a solid grasp on your client’s goals and roadmap? And identify all the possible tax advisory opportunities worth considering for your clients?
Then this blog post is for you.
The status quo has us reactively dealing with tax advice, as and when scenarios arise. Instead, you can be the trusted advisor that has everything on your radar, by ironing out your clients’ roadmap with a quick, standardised, and systemised approach.
It's in this blog, that I will go through the Diagnostax methodology on delivering tax advice to your clients. By equipping you with the relevant tools and information so you feel empowered to take the next steps with your clients when it comes to tax advice.
STEP 1 – Discovery
The first thing you need to do is invite your client to a Tax Diagnostic Review. There are two angles to take…
Sell the service from the get-go
Ask the client to complete a Discovery Form
But the desired outcome is always the same.
SELLING THE SERVICE
If your client has subscribed to other advisory or consulting services, selling can flow quite naturally. They’re already comfortable trusting you, their advisor, so you can sell the service as a concept.
Tip: Consider offering them a money-back guarantee to help get the lead over the line
DISCOVERY FORM FIRST
The Discovery Form can be downloaded from the Diagnostax Portal.
As a standalone asset, the Discovery Form can be used to get to know your clients' personal and business scenarios, goals, and tax advice needs. Once you have the information, you can naturally use it to upsell a specific area of Tax Advice, or a Tax Review to further explore their options.
DTX’ers, use our template invites in the Diagnostax Portal to get the client to answer the Discovery Form questions.
Tip: Build the discovery form digitally, so that everything is slick
ANALYSE THEIR ANSWERS
Once you have their answers, analyse them to spot any goals they might be working towards, or suggestions worth including in your final action plan.
Example Goal: The client might say that they want to pay off their mortgage.
Example Suggestion: The client might reference a family member who is suitable for employment & shares in the business. A great way to extract value from a business!
STEP 2 – Tax Diagnostic Review
If you’re new around here, we call tax reviews: Tax Diagnostics.
You can complete a Tax Diagnostic review using our Tax Diagnostic Software.
From step 1, 'The Discovery', you have some suggestions and goals in mind, but now it’s time to take a deep dive into the tax advisory opportunities available for your client.
If you know your client well, you can complete the review behind the scenes, away from the client. If you don’t know the client well, book 30 minutes to go through the questions and work together to get them answered.
Within the Tax Diagnostic Software, the functionality is simple and intuitive. Your mission is to answer as accurately as possible and ensure the questions being asked are relevant (hit ‘Client Interested’ toggle) and/or time-sensitive for the client (hit ‘Time Sensitive’ toggle); enabling you to effectively prioritise your clients' tax saving opportunities.
Once you’ve answered all the questions, it’s time to prepare an action plan.
STEP 3 – Preparing an Action Plan
You have all the data you need. Discovery answers, and Tax Diagnostic Review results.
First of all, prioritise the Tax Issues that have ‘Client Interested’ or ‘Time Sensitive’ highlighted. If this is already enough work, these will be the areas you’re going to carry forward. If there are less than 4 'Client Interested' or 'Time Sensitive' issues, have a read through the others and consider bringing a few more opportunities into the plan.
DTX’ers, you can download the action summary from your Diagnostax Portal – this document will outline your action plan.
If you don’t have access to the Diagnostax Portal, categorise your Tax Issues into…
Actions for the client
Actions for you
Actions that require specialist help
Add the goals you identified, to the top of the document.
Personalise each of the tax issue descriptions, adding in bespoke details, or specifying specific things that you have spotted in the Discovery form.
A good format to know that you’ve considered and prepared what you can, to communicate with your client, is to make sure that each Tax Issue has:
A ‘what’s next’ action.
An explanation of how it will benefit the client or their goals.
An outline of what the potential savings could look like.
Don’t worry if you can’t do all 4, this usually just signals that your action will be to ‘look into it further’ or ‘hand it over to a specialist’.
Once you’re happy with your action plan, send it to your client, alongside the full comprehensive report.
Explain what you’ve done for them and invite them to a meeting to go through the action plan and agree on the potential work revealed.
STEP 4 – Deliver your impact meeting
We will produce a further blog going into a bit more detail here, next month. Keep your eyes out!
Essentially, your Action Summary is your meeting script.
All you need to do is talk through your findings, to the best of your ability, and then agree to take the actions forward, based on what you have already decided the next action should be.
Delivery could look like…
Specific actions for the client e.g. Setup a Cycle to Work Scheme
Specific actions for you e.g. "We will calculate your optimum Salary/Dividend split."
A specific action for a Tax Specialist e.g. We have reached out to the Tax Panel (exclusive to Diagnostax subscribers) and they are preparing a proposal
A vague action e.g. "Now we’re in agreement that this is relevant, I will look into Creative Tax Reliefs further and then request a list of qualifying expenditures."
Tip: The best thing you can do is be honest, don’t pretend you know more than you do. The value is that these opportunities are being discussed. Before you completed a Tax Diagnostic Review, they were likely to be missed, or handled in a last-minute, reactive manner. You’re already winning!
Your first Tax Diagnostic might feel challenging, but it won’t be long before all these micro steps feel far from daunting. Your value is in identifying opportunities and ensuring the best course of action for your clients. It’s not about pretending that any accounting or tax professional knows all 17,000 pages of tax legislation!
Our Customer Success Team is here to support you at each step. You are more than welcome to work side-by-side with a member of our team, for an unlimited number of clients. We are here to help, not release you into the wild. We can lead, guide, or simply sign off your work!
Book a call if you’d like to talk to a member of our team 😊