How To Be Most Helpful to the CPAs You’re Working With


Tax time’s approaching. Here’s how to be most helpful to the CPAs you’re working with as well as show your clients you have them top of mind.

  • Reach out to CPAs you share clients with to inform them about clients’ relevant account details.
  • Do this even if there have been no activities with any tax consequences because CPAs appreciate knowing that, too.
  • Start today, calendaring time to connect with CPAs and your clients in the coming weeks.

Related: How Proposed Tax Law Changes May Affect Your Retirement


Tax time’s approaching. Here’s how to be most helpful to the CPAs you’re working with as well as show your clients you have them top of mind.

February begins next week, and you need to be connecting with the CPAs of your clients, as well as connecting with your clients to let them know you’ve done that. . .

And here’s how: review your clients’ accounts, and then connect with their CPAs to let them know what needs to be taken care of, what has happened over that past year, or what might still be in a state of flux in relation to your mutual clients’ tax obligations.

You want to be doing this now. Don’t want to wait until the end of February, and definitely do not leave doing this until mid-March or later. CPAs are starting to get swamped. And by acting now, you can kill several birds with one stone. Connect with CPAs after you have reviewed your clients’ accounts. Look through everything your client has with you, taking note especially of their taxable accounts, noticing if there have been various trades done or there are other things that their CPAs need to know about so you can inform the CPAs. You may want to call them first, explaining that you’ll be sending them a detailed email shortly. (And, obviously, don’t put specific account numbers or similar details in an email.)

Next, you want to connect with your client to let them know, “Hey, Mary, I just connected with Joe, your CPA, just to let him know where things stand regarding the tax situation for your accounts for this tax season we’re moving into. There are a couple of restatements of earnings. We’re already on top of that, processing that, and so I’ve let Joe know exactly what to expect.” This way you’re also showing your client you’re paying close attention to their accounts.

When I ask advisors if they know the CPAs of every client, most of them will say, “Yes,” without really thinking about it until I press. Some advisors don’t even know all of the CPAs of their top group of “A” clients. You need to know who your clients’ CPAs are, even if they have a smaller balance. At the very least, you should know if they are working with anyone. If you don’t already have the details of all of your clients’ CPAs, this is a great opportunity to reach out to those clients and ask them. In that same conversation, you can also let them know, “By the way, I’ve reviewed your accounts before calling you, and I know things are a little turbulent for right now, but we’re on track regarding your financial plan. And so, for the time being, we just want to stay right where we’re at.” Doing this with your smaller clients especially makes sense because you won’t have spent your time simply asking a yes or no question. You’ll actually have provided them with a little portfolio review at the same time.

So, to most effectively do this as we move closer to tax season,

  1. Connect with the CPAs of existing clients. Reach out to the CPAs you know your clients have relationships with, either by phone or by phone with a follow-up email, letting them know you’ve reviewed Mary’s accounts and providing them the relevant details. Let them know if you are expecting any unstated earnings or restatements of earnings to come through. Let them know about trades in taxable accounts that they might not be aware of.

  2. Do this even if there’s nothing to report. Often advisors will say, “Well, there’s really nothing to tell the CPA.” The problem is, though, that the CPA doesn’t know that. And so, again, it’s a great way to connect with the CPA to let them know you’re on top of this, you’re watching everything, and even when there’s nothing to report, you understand they need to know that. So tell them.

  3. Start doing this today. Take action on this, reviewing all of your clients, their CPA details, and then calendaring time to connect with the CPAs. It’s just a very simple call then, letting them know, here’s everything they need to know, it’s up-to-date, and you’ll reconnect with them mid-May, when their lives have settled down a little bit.

Do this, make yourself super helpful to CPAs, and show your clients that they are top of mind for you.

I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.