Meet Cassandra Centeno, owner of Total Tax Services. Cassandra’s getting ready for her third tax season. Last year she grew her client base to 150 clients, and she’s planning on doubling this number this year.
In previous years, Total Tax Services got clients by referral only. This year, they’re growing the client base with the help of social media and paid marketing. Cassandra planned on hiring employees at first but realized she could automate most of her admin work with TaxDome. New clients have already started signing up for her services from TikTok videos with tax tips.
“I saw TaxDome can automate onboarding — it’s huge for converting clients when they come to my site from ads. I’ve had two people sign up who I don’t even know who they are. Sometimes I post videos on TikTok with tax tips — and I put my website in my profile. They went to my website, clicked on get started, and they got started in the portal without me doing anything”.
Examples of Facebook stories that keep Total Tax Services’ clients engaged.
Convincing clients to go virtual
Total Tax Services has been a virtual firm from the very beginning, but not as virtual as Cassandra wanted it to be. Luckily, TaxDome provided Total Tax Services with a white-labeled client portal so that their clients don’t need to use other tools.
“When the client signs up, it shows up as gototaltax.com instead of a generic website. This is huge for my brand.”
Cassandra aims to meet clients in person as seldom as possible, keeping all their communication online. Of course, not all clients like that. We asked her how she convinces such clients:
“I explain to them that online is for their benefit. Everything that can be done in person can also be done online.
I’ve had a few people who say they prefer to meet in person, and when they push back, I explain the above. Today, taking time to leave your work or home to meet a tax appointment is not necessary. We can do it remotely — since I’ve been pushing that, it’s been working great. It’s very rare to lose a client over this. But in the end, it’s important to run your business how you want to.”
To help clients go virtual, Total Tax Services sent physical mail inviting clients to join the portal. Cassandra explains:
“I didn’t have all my clients’ emails, but I let them know via physical mail to sign up on my site, and a lot of them have already started doing so. A lot of my clients follow me on social media, so they can find this info there. Having an easy process to sign up makes it so easy for me to convert my old clients to the new platform.”
Automating tax business
Total Tax Services uses TaxDome to the full to get rid of tedious admin work. Cassandra has set up a simple process (workflow) that automatically moves tax return jobs forward — like a huge Trello board — but without her changing statuses manually.
It appeared that many tasks in the process didn’t require her attention: emails, tax organizers, engagement letters — all these are now sent automatically while Cassandra’s spending time with her daughter.
“When clients sign up, the sign-up form asks them whether they’re interested in personal or business taxes. Depending on their answers, it will assign them a tax organizer automatically based on their needs. They will also receive an automatic engagement letter. Before, I was doing this manually and using DocuSign, which I had to pay for. As soon as they sign their engagement letter, they get an email and a message that I’m already working on their return.
It automatically moves within the workflow – I don’t have to manually transition the client.”
Cutting costs of tax business
As a new business owner, Cassandra strives to cut costs where possible. We asked her what software Total Tax Services used prior to TaxDome.
“Before TaxDome, I tried a few systems, but they were too tedious. The client had to complete too much info. The client could do it on Turbotax, and I want the client to submit the documents, and I will do the work for them. Now I got rid of DocuSign, PayPal, and Wave Accounting, my old practice management app. TaxDome isn’t just a CRM – it’s a portal, it’s signatures, it’s billing – everything is all in one place.”
To scale the business faster, Total Tax Services needed to satisfy clients’ needs with minimal spending. And TaxDome checked all the boxes allowing Cassandra to pay one price for many tools.
“I asked one of my clients how she liked the process, and she said it was great to have everything in one place and fewer passwords to remember. I’m only 24 – my clients are the same age as me, and they definitely prefer an easy online portal.”Watch the full video of Cassandra describing her workflow with examples: