Paradigm. I really didn’t want to use that word. It seems so over used but it’s appropriate for this post. Like many service providers, I often get asked about the cost of our outsourcing services on the initial phone conversation or meeting. I do the same thing when I make a purchase.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. My partners and I created the factory-driven, low-cost, high-volume sales tax compliance factory back in 1998. We defined the market that everyone else was measured against. Since that time, nearly every business that has entered the sales tax outsourcing market has followed suit. They attempt to address the factors of “I’m faster”, “I process more returns”, and “I’m cheaper”.
Well, there’s a new sheriff in town. Once again, my partners and I are out to rewrite history and redefine sales tax outsourcing. No longer is the market looking for impersonal, factory-driven service. The market is demanding a knowledgeable, business-intimate relationship they can turn to that will help guide them and advise them through the morass of sales tax compliance.
What I have found is that all providers deliver the same commodity-driven return preparation service for nearly the same cost. However, this is only one aspect of the “factory” and only one aspect of your total cost. In the “factory” there are hidden costs that you WILL pay for. It’s just a matter of when you pay for them and who you pay. These other payments are made to taxing jurisdictions in the form of penalties when you discover a return came out of the factory incorrect or not on time. The payment comes with your extra time to retrain your fifth account representative in the last twelve months. You make the payment with damaged reputations with the jurisdictions. You pay with a la carte pricing models that ding you every time you need to register in a new jurisdiction or need a new report. You pay with an inexperienced clerk that is unable to answer your tax-related questions.
Don’t you deserve better?!
So here’s the new paradigm…It’s personal service delivered by highly qualified Practitioners for a flat fee. No surprises. No hidden payments.