Robert Seth, CPA
Welcome to Robert Seth, CPA – A Division of Complicated to Simple
If you’ve arrived here looking for my Robert Seth, CPA site, you’re in the right place. In April 2011, we made a change to the scope and breadth of our service and our website.
Rather than just providing the usual services of a CPA firm, we decided to try something completely new. Let me explain if I may. In December of 2010, we decided it was finally time to get our website up and running. Before doing so, we thought we’d get some ideas from other CPA websites. However, in reviewing those websites, we were shocked at how little value they offered. Most were just electronic business cards that told you in great detail about all the things each firm can do for you.
Some of these sites provided a little bit of upfront value by including simple utilities like amortization schedule calculators, tax forms and tax calendars. But it was truly just a little bit. They clearly were not intended to provide much value or help you learn anything new.
We also noticed some other things about these sites. Very few are designed by the people performing the services. They aren’t even designed by anyone working in the same firm. Most small to medium sized CPA firm sites are designed by companies that are in the business of doing just that – designing websites. These website developers have a set of templates the firms can choose from that can be slightly customized. This is why many of the sites have such similar content. They are more or less fill-in-the-blank websites.
The other thing we noticed about these sites is that they can be painfully boring. I mean no disrespect by this as I know everyone works hard to provide the best service they can. But honestly, in reading through some of these sites to get ideas, sometimes I had a pretty hard time just staying awake! They read more like financial statements (not too surprising) rather than the interesting, interactive, and helpful sites they could be.
We think a website should be a reflection of the company it represents. It should reflect the company in more ways than just listing the available services. It should show how much the company cares about their clients by demonstrating some of that caring before you ever walk in the door, pick up the phone, or communicate with them electronically.
The website should give you something as a token of goodwill. Let me give you an example of this in the real world instead of this virtual one we’re looking at now.
We get phone calls all the time during tax season from people that just need a tiny bit of help. They are honest people that are not trying to get a bunch of help for free. Most just have one question that is a little unusual and they simply can’t find the answer. One phone call I got is a perfect example of this.
The call was from a gentleman who had bought into a limited partnership that was doing business in many states around the country. He had gotten a tax form from the state of Kansas showing $15 of income for the year. This was a law abiding man that did not want to get in trouble for not reporting $15. The trouble is, he had called two or three firms before us and all told him they would either not even talk to him for less than $60 up front, or they would do the state return for $60.
Needless to say, I was shocked and felt very sorry for this man. What ever happened to good old fashioned goodwill and customer service? What ever happened to gaining trust by showing you care? I don’t know how those other firms can hold their heads very high while treating people like that.
I spent about ten minutes talking with this man. Not much longer than it would have taken to tell him what the other firms had told him. Yet instead of making him feel lost and helpless, I made a friend! I answered his question instead of telling him our prices. This is exactly what a website should do too. It should give you something before it tries to sell you something. In ten minutes my phone call did what thousands of dollars of advertising could not have done. It built a relationship and showed this man that we cared about HIM!
I love thinking about what this man will tell his friends next time the subject of taxes comes up. He’s going to be telling them about this cool firm that he came across and how much good will they demonstrated. If he ever needs help, or he runs across anyone that does, I bet I know which firm he will be giving his referral to. So not only does this attitude provide lots of value to people and promote goodwill, it can result in more business! Everybody wins!
Notice though that the focus is not on more business. The focus is on providing value. The increased business is just a result. Think of what an amazing world this would be if everybody had this attitude.
So let’s come back to the website, which is what we were talking about. We want our website to be a place you come to to find answers. Not just to hear about what our services are. For the moment, the CPA section is just a tab on the website because we plan to provide much more than CPA help. We’re not certain just how many areas we’ll get into but it will be more than just CPA stuff. So be sure and come back often to see what else we’ve added.
By the way, if you’d like and example of this value, check out our free video series on how to tune up your computer. This video series teaches you how to significantly speed up your computer in less time than it would take to drive your computer somewhere to have someone else do it. It’s also free as well as always available. You can even share it with your friends to add some value to their lives. Click here for immediate delivery to your inbox!
This electronic age has made it possible for a small group, or even one person, to help millions of others. Clearly we would not have time to answer millions of questions by telephone. We wouldn’t get any work done and wouldn’t even be able to afford to maintain this website. However, the website can help millions for the same effort it would take to just help one. So we say, why not?
After all, if lots of folks follow our example, we could be responsible for helping make this world a lot better place.
1. Tax preparation and planning
2. Full accounting services
3. Financial statement preparation – compilations, reviews, and audits
4. QuickBooks Training – We are QuickBooks Proadvisors
5. QuickBooks installation
6. Computer and network installation, upgrades, and training
7. Business consulting
This is a general list. If something is not listed here but you’re curious if we can help, please email, or call. You can find our contact information on our “Contact Us” page.
Thanks for visiting and we look forward to meeting and serving you!
Robert Seth, CPA