Center >> January 2009
to Market to CPAs in ‘Busy Season’
Tip: Prepare CPAs for ‘Buying Season'.
by Rick Telberg/For the CPA Channel Marketer
AICPA Custom Media Solutions
The economy may be sputtering,
but CPAs are gearing up for one of their busiest “Busy Seasons”
CPA Trendlines research
shows that 42 percent of CPAs expect the 2009 season to surpass
last year’s season, compared with 36 percent who expect to
do at least as well and only 22 percent who are bracing for declines.
(Source: CPA Trendlines
from Bay Street Group LLC)
will this year’s Busy Season compare to last year’s?
Than Last Year
Than Last Year
I’ve been canvassing CPAs about busy season
expectations and performance for several years now. Although there
is much more uncertainty in the air, CPAs are as confident as ever.
If past tracking is a guide, then the season could finish even stronger
than usually conservative CPAs are currently predicting.
“While there is increasing fee pressure for
compliance services,” according to CPA Blake Christian, who
is also an editorial contributor to the Insider newsletters, “we
saw a very strong year-end, particularly with respect to year-end
and advance 2009 tax planning.”
“The favorable tax changes under the Stimulus
Package, as well as uncertainty over the 2009 economy and Obama
tax regime, focused our clients more intensely on short-term and
long-term tax planning,” Christian said.
Busy season always presents special issues and opportunities
to CPA channel marketers.
On the one hand, CPAs are too busy making money
to spend money. So many marketers naturally make the mistake of
pulling back. But, in fact, CPAs are more engaged in their business
during busy season than at any other time of year.
In the “off-season,” CPAs have the time
to relax a little and to delay decision-making. But during busy
season, CPAs are making decisions — buying decisions —
every minute. To be sure, those decisions don’t get implemented
until after April 15.
But if you haven’t been advertising to CPAs
during busy season, you’ll be caught flat-footed during the
“buying” season. That’s because CPAs will have
already made up their minds.
During busy season, you see, CPAs are paying attention
to every detail of their operation. They are deciding what to keep
for next year, what to change, what to buy, who to hire and fire
and which new products and services they’ll need.
So, during busy season, the most successful CPA
channel marketers maintain constant contact with CPAs.
In fact, veteran CPA marketers can pretty well predict
who among their competitors will succeed and who will fail based
on the level and intensity of their busy season advertising.
MORE, FOR CPA CHANNEL MARKETERS:
is president of Bay
Street Group LLC, which provides research and marketing and
communications services to CPA firms and the vendors who serve them.
He is the founding editor of the Insider newsletters and serves
as AICPA Editor at Large and Director of Online Content. In his
two decades in media and marketing for the finance, tax and accounting
industries, Telberg has played pivotal roles in the development
and operation of the leading media and e-commerce outlets in the
business, including Accounting Today, The Practical Accountant,
Accounting Technology, WebCPA.com, SmartPros.com, and CPA2Biz.com.
Contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (914) 674-4531. He blogs at cpatrendlines.com.