What Would You Do If You Were a Real Estate CPA?

7 Replies

Some ideas:

  1. Connect deals with capital
  2. Deal feasibility advisory
  3. Package a REI start up service by aligning with other professionals, like attorneys, property managers, etc.
  4. Co-brand valuable content with real estate brokers, e.g. why to use SDIRA (or not?)
  5. Co-host events with deal makers to build each other's network
  6. Partner with brokers to provide fair market value (FMV) services for private placements
  7. QuickBooks consulting for syndicators
  8. Crowdfunding (Regulation A) audits
  9. Notary
  10. Email drip campaign mini-course on common mistakes real estate investors run into (and solutions)

It was a little bit of a stretch to get to 10, but I hope some of this is helpful.

Originally posted by @John Wijtenburg :

Some ideas:

  1. Connect deals with capital
  2. Deal feasibility advisory
  3. Package a REI start up service by aligning with other professionals, like attorneys, property managers, etc.
  4. Co-brand valuable content with real estate brokers, e.g. why to use SDIRA (or not?)
  5. Co-host events with deal makers to build each other's network
  6. Partner with brokers to provide fair market value (FMV) services for private placements
  7. QuickBooks consulting for syndicators
  8. Crowdfunding (Regulation A) audits
  9. Notary
  10. Email drip campaign mini-course on common mistakes real estate investors run into (and solutions)

It was a little bit of a stretch to get to 10, but I hope some of this is helpful.

Half of these things will make their E&O Insurance have a heart attack lol

Tax pros need to walk a careful line in terms of what they advise on and services. Most who work in tax don't do audits. Some do both- most smaller specialized firms don't do audits at all though because it opens you to peer review and a bunch of other regulatory issues. 

And so items like matching deals with capitals- we run into SEC issues, if they're not securities licensed, also you can't disclose your client's information to others so there are some very careful nuances to these circumstances.

And if a CPA is also a notary I'm going to assume they're a crap CPA. That's a $350 an hour minimum qualification they needed a masters degree to get. Notary is like a 3 hour class at a mc donalds on a saturday. 

 

@Zev Jankovic

Hi Zev,

1. Have a customer service attitude at all times as well as being an expert in Real Estate (Dr's may call it bedside manner).

2. Don't be so lost in work that time is not taken to return phone calls QUICKLY. (Tomorrow is not as good as in 15 minutes.)

3. If you have Communication Dark Times, and Grey Times (when you're on vacation or doing other pressing things were you don't want to interact with clients) list those times so all of the clients know about them ahead of time as soon as they come on board. And if they change email everyone with the updates on this. (Oh, Zev is going to be out of the office for the next 2 weeks on a cruise to the Bahamas is not something many clients want to find out about for the first time when they call up with a question--let them know well ahead of time).

4. Have a couple of comfortable chairs in front of your desk for clients vs. small tight uncomfortable chairs. (part of the customer experience when communicating with you).

5. Hire reliable personnel--Mrs. X (who does your books) is out of the office AGAIN due to (insert excuse here) so we are behind on your Z--creates client stress (another part of the client experience).

6. Explain to the tax client ahead of time--the riskiness (in terms of client cost to defend) certain tax strategies, vs we can get you X back by doing this. Different clients have different risk tolerances regarding the IRS--at both extremes.

7. Do Real Estate only, it's a huge knowledge base. My thoughts are those who do 7-11's, Dr's practices, Bars, Fast Food, and etc.. as well as Real Estate, may not be as Sharp of a Knife in Real Estate as someone who only focuses on Real Estate (although this is a business decision you will have to make).

8. Keep you office orderly. Tons of file folders stacked on the floor looks unorganized (even though it may work for you).

Just my 2 cents

Good Luck!

 

Love the suggestions by @John Wijtenburg   - to @Natalie Kolodij point, a couple of these services should not be offered by the CPA for compensation, but larger firms would have separate legal entities that make the entire "firm" more of a one-stop shop. For example, Regional CPA Firm has a separate entity that does valuations for private placements or an investment banking / capital group. 

Crowdfunding securitizations require an audit, but other securitizations only require financial statement reviews, which are of much lesser scope, and do not require peer review.

I don't understand Natalie's comment toward CPA's with notary services - I am not a notary, but our paralegal is. Our in-house attorney is also a notary - he's a great attorney. If a CPA firm offers notary services, that doesn't mean they are "crappy", it is just another convenience to the client.

@Scott Mac great suggestions as well, you would think a lot of that would be common sense! But I think a huge mistake people make is working with a CPA who does not specialize in their industry. And shame on the CPA for not having a specialty - it is really easy to take every client that comes your way, but both parties end up being done a disservice - the client (for obvious reasons), and the CPA (for inherently lower revenue and higher stress).

Originally posted by @Eric Brunner :

Love the suggestions by @John Wijtenburg   - to @Natalie Kolodij point, a couple of these services should not be offered by the CPA for compensation, but larger firms would have separate legal entities that make the entire "firm" more of a one-stop shop. For example, Regional CPA Firm has a separate entity that does valuations for private placements or an investment banking / capital group. 

Crowdfunding securitizations require an audit, but other securitizations only require financial statement reviews, which are of much lesser scope, and do not require peer review.

I don't understand Natalie's comment toward CPA's with notary services - I am not a notary, but our paralegal is. Our in-house attorney is also a notary - he's a great attorney. If a CPA firm offers notary services, that doesn't mean they are "crappy", it is just another convenience to the client.

@Scott Mac great suggestions as well, you would think a lot of that would be common sense! But I think a huge mistake people make is working with a CPA who does not specialize in their industry. And shame on the CPA for not having a specialty - it is really easy to take every client that comes your way, but both parties end up being done a disservice - the client (for obvious reasons), and the CPA (for inherently lower revenue and higher stress).

It makes sense for a paralegal or an attorney to be a notary. They deal with contracts all day. 

It doesn't fit in as a tax professional- and the value of the service comparable to the rest of their time/services doesn't make sense. 

At CPA firms where I've worked we've mad the admin get get notary stamp- so a small specialized REI CPA where it's only him or maybe him and 1 employee, not a value to him.

 

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