New regulations requiring paid tax preparers to register with the IRS have the AICPA mobilizing a multiyear campaign to reduce consumer confusion about the difference between CPA providers of tax services and tax preparers. The campaign consists of 360Taxes.org, a comprehensive tax website for consumers, and a variety of promotional materials to help AICPA members distinguish themselves from competitors within their local markets.
“It is important for CPAs to educate both their existing and prospective clients about what makes them the preferred providers of tax services,” said Cheryl Reynolds, director of communications, advertising, and brand management for the AICPA.
The AICPA offers a regularly updated free marketing toolkit online to members, including print ads and radio spots, tweets for posting to Twitter as part of a social media campaign, suggested story pitches for local media outlets, brochures, PowerPoint presentations, and speeches. The toolkit, which also includes a brochure highlighting the value of a CPA, is available online.
“We have always supported our members with annual tax season promotional materials,” Reynolds said. “This year we have expanded our efforts with the addition of the 360Taxes.org site and a year-long presence.”
Launched on December 15, 360Taxes.org offers consumers a year-round destination site for all things tax. The new site highlights the importance of building a relationship with a CPA throughout the year, not just as tax day rolls around. The site puts knowledge and information from CPAs at the fingertips of the consumer and features tax articles, calculators, FAQs, resources for choosing a CPA, and CPA-written tax blogs. In addition, consumers can ask CPA members vital, tax-related questions at Ask a CPA, and their answers will be posted on the site.