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3 Reasons Tax Season is a Great Time to Talk Cash Flow with Your Clients

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Want to elevate tax season this year? Looking to add value for your clients? Interested in adding cash flow advisory to your services? 

If you said yes to at least one of the above, you’re in the right place. 

 

Helm was built by accountants for accountants, so we know how busy and frustrating this time of year can be. (Your oh-so-favourite client still hasn’t sent you their receipts, have they?). All joking aside, tax season also represents an incredible opportunity. 

I know what you’re thinking... we would say that.

So why is tax season a great time?

  1. You Have Your Client’s Attention: During tax season, your clients are already engaged with you. They’re coming to you with a pain point and ready to talk. 

  2. Up-to-Date Books: We all know that getting up-to-date books is probably one of the hardest parts of what we do. Tax season is a time of year when clients likely already have their books up to date.

  3. Your Clients are Primed to Value your Insights: Because you have your clients’ attention and their books are up to date, now is a great time to highlight the full range of services and value you can provide. 

Now What?

Ok, so tax season is one of the best times to discuss cash flow with your clients. Now what? Does this mean you should look up every phone number in your contact list and emphatically call them all before lunch? No, cash flow advisory services, like mint ice cream, pineapple on pizza, and disco, aren’t for everyone. But, they are for us and many of your clients (the cash flow part at least)! 

Start with Industries

Even if you don’t have a large client base, identifying who is in need of cash flow advisory can be daunting. Start with industries. Some industries, by nature, are more sensitive to cash flow. 

Remember though ⚠️Industry is not the same as Business⚠️.

You can have a very stable business in a cash flow-sensitive industry and vice versa. BUT industries are a great place to start because it allows you to narrow your list, saving you the tedious work of going through all your client’s files. Oh, and it keeps you from losing your mind (BONUS).

Duck, Duck, Goose

By looking at industries, what we are really trying to do is identify companies with commonalities that are tied to cash flow sensitivities. 

So, what are some of these commonalities?

  1. Project-Based: Companies that are project-based have chunky, lumpy (ew) payments coming down the road but have ongoing expenses like salaries. This mismatch makes project-based businesses, such as creatives, marketers, and architects, great candidates for cash flow advisory!

  2. Significant lead time on COGS: Companies involved in e-commerce, manufacturing, and furniture tend to be sensitive to cash flow issues. These companies take on cash flow risk by purchasing lots of inventory and selling it at a later date.

  3. Significant waiting time on Receivables:  Simplistic, but true. Any business that struggles with billing or collecting receivables may experience cash flow difficulties. Industries where this is common include construction, law and accounting (guilty)—no money in, no money out.

  4. Seasonality: When we talk about seasonality, think hospitality, tourism, and event planning to name a few. These businesses face two issues.

    a. Having enough cash to get through slow periods
    b. Having enough cash to ramp back up

  5. High growth rates: These companies generally have extremely low revenues but extremely high costs and expectations for growth. The classic example here is tech companies. 

Have questions? Reach out at: helpme@takethehelm.app or connect with us on LinkedIn!