The world of accounting is ever-changing. In fact, there are so many tax laws that new ones are often released even after the first wave of taxpayers have filed returns. Obviously, that creates a lot of uncertainty and confusion for your clients. While you aim to provide the best information as promptly as possible, it’s hard to stay on top of all the updates – especially when your primary goals are managing books, filing tax returns, and giving your clients expert advice.
Sharing Tax and Accounting Articles
That’s when you turn to industry sites, news sites and even other experts for assistance. How? By sharing helpful accounting articles with your own readers and clients. Before you hit that “post” button, however, it’s important to remember that there’s much more to sharing than just adding a link. If you want your readers to come to you for advice, you must position yourself as an expert.
So, how can you add value when sharing someone else’s article? It’s not as hard as you might think. By following these tips, you’ll likely see your engagement increase. Better yet, you can expect valuable feedback from your clients.
Shared Accounting Article Example
For our example, let’s assume we’re sharing an article about a trending topic that’s applicable to both individuals and businesses:
Source: theunion.com | Contributor: Seth Leishman
Here are some sample commentaries we might share about this article.
- Give a quick overview
Research shows that the majority of people skim articles rather than carefully reading each word. Chances are you’re one of those readers. (Don’t worry; I am, too.) That’s why your summary should be succinct and informative. Offer as much information as you can without skipping anything of importance. For our example article, you might say:
“The 2018 tax reform bill brought many changes that affect the majority of Americans, both businesses and corporations. Now that we’re well into 2019, we’re starting to see these effects on 2018 returns. While many Americans are seeing lower refunds this tax season, this has more to do with withholdings than actual tax rates. This recent article shares more detail about the myths surrounding the 2018 tax law changes”
- Share your expert opinion
Everyone has their own perspective, and your readers will appreciate hearing what you have to say, even if it’s not all complimentary. While news and accurate statistics are always helpful, there’s nothing like a lively debate to start a good conversation. Don’t be scared to share articles that are completely against your own opinions – just remember to back up your reasoning with facts. But let’s assume you agree with the statements presented in the shared article. In that situation, you might say:
“As a tax accountant, I have completed roughly 200 tax returns for 2018 to date. Thus far, I agree with Mr. Leishman’s findings: While many taxpayers are seeing lower refunds this year (or writing larger checks), this is a result of withholding changes rather than tax brackets. See the article for a full overview of the new tax law myths.”
- Ask the audience
If you really want to engage your audience, ask for their opinion! There’s no better way to drive traffic than a lively debate. Ask your readers for their own perspectives, whether that’s via Reply Tweets or the comment section of your blog. As an example, your comments might read:
“While many taxpayers are seeing lower refunds or writing larger checks this year, Mr. Leishman concludes that this isn’t due to recent tax law changes. Instead, he states that overall tax bills are decreasing, while withholdings are the real culprit behind a surprisingly expensive tax season. What is your experience? Were your taxes higher or lower this year?”
- Include a call-to-action
A call-to-action (or CTA) is simply the next step you would like your reader to take after reading the article. As a tax and accounting professional, the most obvious-call to-action would be some sort of contact so you can offer your services. When sharing any information, whether your own thoughts or someone else’s article, you can add a quick, personable reminder that you offer a professional service and would like to connect. Here’s how you might include a non-salesy call to action.
“This article states that most taxpayers actually paid fewer taxes for 2018 (compared to prior year returns). To determine whether the tax changes lowered your own taxes, you would need to follow Mr. Leishman’s advice, considering your tax bracket rather than your refund when filing your return. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance”
Sharing articles from other experts offers a bit of diversity for your readers, and referencing authoritative sources is never a bad idea. But you must be savvy when it comes to commentary. By following the tips above, you can generate useful content to more effectively engage you clients and prospects online.
Savannah Richardson is a writer and former accountant who primarily focuses on business and finance topics