Last year’s Wayfair decision radically altered sales and use tax. In the wake of this important court ruling, there is an opportunity to support clients that need help navigating these changes. Firms are now expanding their sales and use tax (SUT) services, but like most other practice areas, developing a business model and plan is critical for success.
So, where do you start the process? Good news – we’ve laid some of the groundwork. In our recent webinar, Charting Your Sales & Use Tax Business Model, Marianne Fisher, Product Lead – SUT discussed different business models that can be used to establish a sales and use tax offering. Marianne provides a customizable roadmap to build a successful business model and highlights the key points in the process.
We invite you to utilize the webinar content to assist your firm in creating a profitable business model for SUT services. Here’s a summary of what you’ll learn:
- The initial step for your firm when considering adding a sales and use tax offering is to examine your current capabilities – people, processes and technology. We’ve found that the following questions are helpful to consider:
- Currently offer any state and local tax as part of client services?
- Have a state and local taxes (SALT) department? Have a client accounting services (CAS) department? Outsource these services?
- Have staff knowledgeable of SUT services? Capability of providing education and training for employees?
- Have technology capable of supporting SALT?
- Just as with any part of your firm’s business, it is key to develop an actionable business plan to steer you toward growth and a profitable bottom line in your SUT services. Your firm’s plan should include:
- A defined service area of focus - advisory, compliance, or a combination of both
- A clearly communicated vision and the plan to achieve it
- Information on targeted clients
- A detailed and informed go-to-market strategy
- Encouraging employee buy in among your firm’s partners helps ensure they are highly engaged, focused and ready to support the sales and use tax business model. Here are some ways to gain employee buy in at your firm:
- Provide an explanation of your service offering
- Define the client opportunity – offer a study
- Lastly, make an effective argument
- Following employee buy in, focus on staff empowerment by appointing a champion for your firm’s SUT changes and rollout. This person will have an impact on the outcomes of the launch by helping to encourage firm-wide support and advocacy, enhance and drive the service offering and monitor progress of the rollout.
- In addition to the people factors – employee buy in and staff empowerment- internal firm collaboration helps create a more comprehensive and firm-wide offering. Your firm can accomplish this by doing the following activities:
- Engage with other departments
- Schedule time with your peers in other locations and offices
- Lastly, the most efficient SUT strategies involve a technology evaluation. Many firms are using automation to eliminate the manual processes and risk in their SUT practices. Your firm should consider the following when evaluating technology:
- Cost efficiency
- Up-to-date with rules and regulations
Watch our entire webinar, Charting Your Sales & Use Tax Business Model, to learn more details about how your firm can help clients stay in front of the changing sales and use tax landscape. If you need more help getting started, contact us a CPA.com/Vertex or call us at 855.855.5CPA.
Marianne has over 10 years of experience working with the tax and accounting profession, guiding and consulting with firms as they embrace technology, evaluate internal processes and expand service lines. She consults with firms across the profession, providing guidance on the changing SUT regulatory environment, the accounting firm opportunity and SUT business development. Marianne has also been a featured speaker at many thought leadership events on these topics.