Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

How to Stand out in Today's Marketplace

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

How to Stand out in Today's Marketplace

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The Institute has developed a multiyear marketing campaign to differentiate CPAs from other tax preparers. The initiative includes a set of tools to help members promote the value of CPA providers of tax services and to distinguish them from their competitors, and a comprehensive tax website for consumers with dynamic content and interactive functionality.

The AICPA is offering a marketing toolkit that is free to members. It includes:

* Print ads and a radio spot.

* Tweets to post on Twitter as part of CPAs' social media campaigns centered around holidays throughout the year.

* Suggestions CPAs can use to pitch local newspaper and television stations for tax-related stories using the member as an expert.

* A tax savings brochure for clients that includes information on tax rates, exemptions, deductions and additional tips.

* A PowerPoint presentation and speech (one for individuals, one for small businesses) CPAs can give to potential clients and/or use in their communities.

* A brochure promoting the value of a CPA. This also includes information about the types of year-round services CPAs provide, including retirement planning, education planning, estate planning and day-to-day budgeting, among other things.

"As stewards of the CPA brand, we help our members create market awareness and establish themselves as the trusted financial adviser in their communities by providing them with marketing materials that showcase their expertise, qualifications and breadth of knowledge," said Cheryl Reynolds, director-Communications, Advertising & Brand Management for the AICPA.

In particular, the AICPA is concerned that the IRS regulation of paid tax preparers may create confusion among consumers. As a result, it is important for CPAs to educate their existing and prospective clients about what makes them the preferred providers of tax services, Reynolds said.

Recent regulations require paid preparers to register with the ILLS, obtain and use a preparer tax identification number, comply with Circular 230 ethical standards and, in the future, pass a minimum competency exam and undergo continuing education. CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents are exempt from the examination and continuing education requirements. …

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