May 6, 2009

Educating our Clients

In seeking ideas on topics to write about, I was asked if there may not be a need to discuss tax terms specific to our business that may help our clients better understand the process of resolving past tax liabilities. I thought this was a great topic, however, the list of terms is so lengthy that I decided to take another tact. But, before I dive into that, I do want to make it clear that at one time Clear Creek posted a glossary of terms on our website with one goal in mind. This goal was and still is to educate our clients on terminology that will help them better understand the tax liability resolution process.

With respect to this glossary, we found that our clients did not use this glossary much. Instead, they asked their Associate team for clarification on terms as it was made very clear upon our first contact with our new client that one of our desires that sets us apart from our competition is that we do take pride in educating our clients so that they understand how we are going attack their tax liability in the most efficient manner possible in order to secure the best resolution possible.

We know from experience that business owners and individuals alike want to be empowered when it comes to better understanding their financial situation so that they can make informed decisions to better their long term financial situation. Not only is this true for a specific tax issue, but true for all financial decisions that not only have important ramifications now, but long term implications as well. This being said, we know that to make informed decisions, one has to be engaged in the process, understand the process, and be able to take part or ownership in the process. And, this can only be done if one fully understands the process which begins by being educated in the process.

As you know from your own experience, no matter what field you are in, there are industry specific acronyms with which you and others in your field understand and toss back and forth to not only demonstrate knowledge, but to move a conversation forward. Our industry is no different, other than the fact, we know that many of our clients are overwhelmed by their tax liability and in such a situation, may appear to understand what we are trying to communicate, but may not fully understand the implications or finer details of some of the tax terms that get tossed around in our offices all the time.

To mitigate the assumption that our clients fully understand what we may be discussing, and may feel awkward asking what they perceive is a stupid question, let me be absolutely clear. I ask all of our clients to never hang up the phone until they fully understand the terminology we are using and the direction in which their case is headed. I cannot stress this enough. Again, please do not hang up until you fully understand what we are trying to convey so that you can feel secure knowing that our case management is going to secure the best results possible for you, your family or your business and that you fully understand the prescribed resolution, but the other options as well.

This is also important because we need our clients to participate in the resolution of their tax matter so they feel confident that they know all their options and why we believe a certain direction is in their best interest. If a client does not feel they are headed in the right direction, not only must they contact their associate team immediately, they must understand why we believe that this is the best manner in which to move forward.

So, for purposes of this blog, I am not going to list hundreds of tax terms, form numbers, and other industry acronyms here, but will politely ask that our clients make certain that if they do not completely understand a topic, that they demand clarification from their Associate team. This way, we are empowering our clients to better understand how we are attacking their specific tax issue and how we are moving forward to maximize their desired results.

We look forward to answering your questions!