Ask the Expert
Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert: Catherine Tindall, CPA

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Catherine TindallWelcome to another Intuit® Accountants’ article in an ongoing series about accounting professionals who work in tax advisory services.

Catherine Tindall, CPA, is the founder of Dominion Enterprise Services. She specializes in advanced tax reduction, and works with customers to help them save money on taxes while advancing their wealth-building and life goals. Catherine is enthusiastic about helping clients reduce their overall tax burden through proactive strategies and advising.

Jim Buffington: Tell us about your tax advisory practice.

Catherine Tindall: Dominion Enterprise Services is a firm that focuses exclusively on tax planning and specialty tax credit work.

JB: Why did you decide to lead with tax advisory rather than traditional compliance?

CT: I wanted to show my clients my value as their advisor and be seen as a partner in their business. Tax advisory allows me to really move the needle forward, and have a high impact on their tax prep and planning. 

JB: What are some benefits of tax advisory?

CT: Because we keep our partner-to-client ratio small, clients enjoy better service and a more personal relationship, while also saving a lot more money on taxes. Clients are willing to pay more for this higher value and know that there are no surprises in this process. 

JB: What are some your challenges?

CT: The biggest challenge is ensuring you have the technical acumen to really know the full ramifications of different planning techniques. Another challenge is the fear of reducing your client list to pursue this higher-value work. Fear of change and jumping into something new can be scary, as well as juggling an existing practice and trying to pivot into this kind of work.

JB: Since leading with tax advisory instead of compliance, how has your lifestyle changed?

CT: It’s no longer about the amount of time spent; it’s the value we create. Clients feel more respected and grateful, and for us, the overall work burden is much lower.

JB: You’ve been on the journey to help us shape a new offering called Intuit Tax Advisor, which is launching summer 2022. What are your thoughts about it?

CT: Having different products and software to choose from allows us to offer better advisory services to our clients. Different practices have different needs, and a firm’s staff will have different technical abilities.

JB: What would you say to pros who have not yet embraced tax advisory?

CT: Look at your quality of life and personal goals. Coaching programs and working with entrepreneurial-minded CPAs pushed me in this direction. Finding a network of support is helpful for your headspace and can help you get started. Between specialty tax credit work and advisory, we’ll never go back to the old way of running a practice.

Editor’s note: The Intuit® Tax Council published “The Path to Advisory,” a comprehensive guide for firms that want to add advisory services to their practice or improve the services they already offer. In addition, check out Catherine’s article—How a niche in Employee Retention Credits drives profitability and growth—she wrote for the Intuit® Tax Pro Center. An abbreviated version of this profile was originally published by the Journal of Accountancy.

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