“I discovered the application just months ago, and it has made my life so much easier. The system is packed with valuable templates, explanations, practice tips, pop-up reminder notes, and a secure client portal. It also offers a comprehensive knowledgebase of general IRS procedure. There is nothing else like it.”
In 2012, Richards’ plan is to be the “go-to” firm for clients that require expert IRS representation.
Education and Research Are Key
Richards shared that her IRS expertise has been the result of years of manual, time-consuming research. She has spent hours on the phone, in person at the local IRS offices, writing letters, and building relationships in order to get her cases handled effectively. Then one day, that all changed.
“This all started with an online CPE course I took through Drake, which was hosted by the IRS experts who developed the Beyond415 application. The course covered the top 40 IRS notices…explained the different types, when certain notices come out, why clients receive them, how to address them, and more. It was incredibly helpful information,” stated Richards. “I then took a look at the application and was impressed right off the bat.”
Richards explained the depth of detailed research within the program. “I can get any question about a notice answered, find the proper methodology for response, and keep track of it within the system. It’s so easy; the system guides you step by step through the process. The research functionality for IRS notices is out of this world.”
Richards specifically mentioned research in relation to Form 7216 – Consent to Disclosure. There is no question that many practitioners still find the when, why, and which level to secure the 7216 confusing, and Richards is one of them.
“Form 7216 is a tricky one, and if not used properly puts my firm at risk of non-compliance. But now I don’t have to worry about that because Beyond415 provides all the information about 7216 that I need to make a decision on what level I need,” Richards explained. “They [the application’s developers] really thought through everything that an accounting professional needs. I feel like they have my back.”
Ready and Waiting
Because the IRS is on a mission to close the tax gap, firms will continue to see a rise in notices. And whether it’s an individual or a small business client, nothing strikes fear in the heart more than a notice from the Internal Revenue Service. In the role of trusted advisor, clients will look to their accounting professional for help—and no doubt expect a fast and pain-free resolution process.
In years past, a quick resolution wasn’t necessarily realistic. The level of complexity in research and drafting of letters typically meant a slow and frustrating process. For firms like Lisa Richard’s, this gave little hope for building a profitable business from IRS representation work. But not anymore…
“I’m loaded for bear,” Richards stated. “I have this powerful technology in place to help me solve my client IRS issues quickly and cost effectively. It’s like a dream come true.
Stats at a Glance
- Year founded: 1989
- Total employees: 3
- Home base: Deer Park, TX
- Firm description: Offers tax, accounting, and business consulting services
- Technology of Choice: Beyond415, Drake, EZ Acct, QuickBooks, Sage Business Works
Kristy Short, Ed.D, is partner and Chief Marketing Officer in RootWorks LLC (www.RootWorks.com) and president of SAS Communications 360 (www.SAScommunications360.com)—firms dedicated to providing practice management education, branding, marketing, and public relations services to the accounting profession. She is also a professor of English and marketing. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.