A Return to Traditional Accounting

3 minute read—Beginner|I Know Things|Expert CPA

Intuit has recently begun promoting TurboTax’s new TurboTax Live service that allows live CPAs to assist customers when filing returns. Intuit encourages customers to use their products, like QuickBooks and TurboTax, instead of seeking the services of a CPA. This is fine for clients who are informed and experienced enough to do their own taxes. For others, specifically business owners, this DIY method is less than effective than traditional accounting.

Working for TurboTax’s new program doesn’t seem to be a great deal for CPAs, either—a phone screening and online assessment, followed by a 40-hour training program that leads them to talking on a landline in four-hour shifts at $24/hour to taxpayers who need help. 

CPAs who join this live service are only allowed to help clients with what they’ve called in for help with; they can’t engage in tax planning, offer suggestions to help clients legally save on their taxes, or even follow up with them. Once you end your conversation, you will likely never talk to the same CPA again. You can’t call a direct line or ask to be transferred to them specifically.

Although this is a legitimate job opportunity for someone looking to fill time and improve on their customer service skills, there is a bigger, underlying problem with TurboTax Live. The respected CPA profession in the tax industry, that many work hard to achieve, has been reduced to a customer service job helping to troubleshoot issues on a computer program designed to do your own taxes.

Thanks to Intuit and similar accounting software, the position of a licensed CPA has been cheapened. The true value that CPAs can bring to individuals and businesses—helping to lower taxes as much as legally possible, and providing businesses with information that helps them make critical financial decisions—is diminished when they are positioned incorrectly.

A return to traditional accounting means a return to the value-add that a licensed CPA brings to your business. At Insogna CPA, we are committed to bridging the gap between CPAs and business owners who are looking beyond just transactional tax prep help and rather looking for advice that helps our business owners maximize their deductions. Technology can do a lot for you, but it can’t do what we can; Insogna CPA shifts the focus back onto helping our clients build their businesses and grow personal wealth.

Contact Insogna CPA today to find out how our integrated team of experts can put a human touch back into your business’s accounting and taxes.