Earmark Podcast | Earn Free Accounting CPE

Rising CPA star Logan Graf joins Blake to discuss his success in growing a profitable firm in just three years. Logan shares his unique transparent approach, how he rapidly increases his pricing year over year, and how he structures productized service packages to maximize profits. Blake and Logan talk about automating the client onboarding process, and key strategies around requiring upfront payments. This eye-opening episode is full of actionable advice to help CPAs accelerate firm growth and build their dream practice.

  • (07:40) - How Logan spends his time making content
  • (10:41) - What type of services do you offer at your firm?
  • (17:12) - How do you reevaluate pricing and implement higher pricing?
  • (26:25) - Do you have any tips to raise prices without making clients angry?
  • (29:48) - Getting clients to pay you upfront
  • (35:55) - Have you started sending out proposals for next year yet?
  • (49:03) - Tell me about your package offerings on your website
  • (55:29) - How do you track projects and thoughts on practice management software?
  • (01:03:14) - Blake demonstrates the ChatGPT CapCut integration
  • (01:08:30) - Thanks for listening and remember to subscribe
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Connect with Our Guest, Logan Graf
: https://www.linkedin.com/in/logangraf/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoganGrafTax
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF2X_OgakltGGp-r5AJNsPQ

Learn more about The Graf Tax Co. PLLC

Connect with Blake Oliver, CPA

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/blaketoliver
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blaketoliver/

Creators & Guests

Blake Oliver, CPA
Founder and CEO of Earmark CPE
Logan Graf
Logan Graf is a CPA firm owner in Austin, TX. While Logan is running his firm, he also creates content on YouTube to help inspire the next generation of accountants.

What is Earmark Podcast | Earn Free Accounting CPE?

This show is brought to you by Earmark, your source for podcast-based continuing education for accounting and tax professionals. You can earn CPE by listening to the episodes on this podcast and more! Sign up for our mobile app to earn free CPE whenever you want, wherever you go. Learn more at https://earmarkcpe.com.

Attention: This is a machine-generated transcript. As such, there may be spelling, grammar, and accuracy errors throughout. Thank you for your understanding!

Blake Oliver: [00:00:00] Is your accounting firm ready to deliver a modern client experience? ShareFile enables secure, seamless collaboration and automates document workflows for tax, audit, and advisory engagements. It integrates directly into your existing systems and is optimized for accounting firms. Stay tuned to hear more from our sponsor ShareFile later in the episode.

Logan Graf: [00:00:21] But yeah, with my packages, I try to. I try to design my packages to where the middle package is the best looking one and the least amount of work. So I try to maximize profits, minimize capacity essentially with that middle package.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:47] If you'd like to earn CPE credit for listening to this episode, visit earmark Cpcomm. Download the app, take a short quiz, and get your CPE certificate. Continuing education has never been so easy. And now on to the episode. Hello everyone, and welcome back to the show. I'm Blake Oliver, joined today by Logan Graf. Hey, Logan. How are you doing?

Logan Graf: [00:01:12] What's up Blake. Hey, everyone.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:15] So great to have you on the show. We're talking today about getting ready for the 2024 tax season. And, Logan, you just did a live stream on your YouTube channel all about this, what you're doing. I love the transparency. You are so open about what you're doing in your practice since you started it. I believe that was 2020. You went out on your own and started your tax practice.

Logan Graf: [00:01:40] Yes, sir. 2020 launched about in the summer after purchasing some clients from a previous firm I used to work for. And it's been it's been great so far. Having a great time.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:53] Your firm is the tax graph or the Graph Tax Co plc. You are a CPA. You're based in Austin, Texas. You've got a master's in tax from Texas Tech. And tell me about your firm. You started you were on your own. It was just you. Is that still the case?

Logan Graf: [00:02:14] Yeah. So right now I have a contractor that has pretty much been with me from the start and actually used to work with them at my first job, and then I just hired my first employee over the summer, Gary. And completely transparent about that process as well. And some of my videos. So like, I'm an open book when it comes to running my firm. No secrets here. I think that's what I just put on my YouTube description.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:41] No secrets. That's great, because I feel like a lot of times when we talk about our firms in the accounting profession, we always like, there's this there's this tendency to like, I don't know, make everything look better than it really is. And when I had my firm, you know, I know that a lot of it was like sort of an organized chaos. And but people don't, you know, historically haven't wanted to share that aspect of it or even stuff like, you know, how much do I charge for my services or how much money do I make? And the video on your YouTube channel that really caught my attention when you first started doing this was you shared exactly how much money you made in your first year in practice, and I'd never seen anyone do that openly before. And it was hugely popular and I found it fascinating.

Logan Graf: [00:03:29] Y'all plugged it too, and I know y'all did. Y'all talked about me like, yeah, the next week on your podcast. So that was really cool. And it was wild doing it. Like I guess I didn't really realize what I was doing at the time because I told my wife I was like, hey, I'm making a video about like my financials and how much time, money? And she's like, wait, what? Are you crazy? And I was like, wait, should I be doing that? And had a moment of like, oh no, should I not do this? But I was like, shoot, I think it's pretty cool. So no one else is doing it, so why not?

Blake Oliver: [00:04:02] Well, I feel like it's important somebody has to do it because one of the best things about accounting, and the reason I got into it as a career changer, is because you can make really good money and you can have actually really decent work life balance if you set up things right. And, you know, I was a musician, right? And so for me, like getting into bookkeeping and accounting and technology changed my life. I think more people need to know just how good a living it can be. And you did pretty well in your first year.

Logan Graf: [00:04:36] Yeah, I made I you know, it's been a while since I've made that video, but, you know, my first year I think I grossed 90 K and I think I took home more money, a decent amount, more money than I had made in the previous year as an employee. So I probably grossed 90, took home 60, 70, I don't know, costs were a lot less back then when you're smaller. But it was it was amazing. And then the next year I pretty much doubled the revenue, which was crazy. And then this year, like it's it's going up even more, which I'm super excited to make the 2023, how much money I made video. And I think, I think I'm just going to keep doing those videos. I don't know, because people are like, well, once you get to a certain spot and you have employees, you know, that could cause some drama with, you know, them seeing how much money you make. But I don't know, I just I just love the transparency. And I think other people appreciate it too. And it's such a good video to inspire other people. I'm I'm a normal person. I'm not like some Alex Hormozi or Jason stats where I can just like. Chug out work and print money. Print money and work so hard and focus like I'm a. I'm a pretty lazy person. I consider myself a lazy person, you know, except between January and April. So, you know, if I like. It's funny. Jason put a comment on my last video. You know, my yearly financial video is like, if Logan Logan can do it, you can do it too. And that's completely it's completely true.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:17] It's funny, but it's true, right? It's like I mean, it's not out of reach. Yeah, I think I think you do undersell your abilities, Logan. I just want to say, like, you know, it's not easy to be a YouTuber and to do high quality videos like you do. And so congratulations. Oh, thanks. You broke the 2000 subscriber mark. You've done it says 73 videos here on your YouTube channel. That's a lot.

Logan Graf: [00:06:46] That is a lot. I don't know how I did that.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:48] So listeners, you can pause this right now. If you're at your computer, go subscribe to Logan Search Logan Graf. Thank you Graf or go to the username is tax Telegraph.

Logan Graf: [00:07:01] Yeah that's me. And I'm I'm also planning on launching another channel in 2024. That's just tax. So the tax telegraph brand has like morphed since I started it. And so I feel like I have to distinguish myself more and, and you know, have a more of a tax side and more of a firm running side because the two don't really mix because my audiences have has. I've realized my audience is mostly here for watching me run my firm. There's still a lot of people that that like the tax content that I produce, and I still want to make that. But I think having a more specific channel. The two specific channels would would just do better over the long, long run.

Blake Oliver: [00:07:51] Yeah. Makes sense. Taylor. Taylor. What you make to your audience, which is actually great. Just general marketing advice for firm owners like know who you're talking to, right? And that's what you're doing there. Well, let's talk about what you're doing to get ready for 2024. You are a content creator and you're dedicating when we when we saw each other at QuickBooks connect, I think you said a day, a week now to creating content. So that means you've got to be really efficient the other days running your practice, especially during tax season, because I assume you're going to keep doing the content even while you're doing the returns or.

Logan Graf: [00:08:25] That's the thing, I don't know. So I got Gary now and he's going to help me out tremendously. So if Gary helps me save enough time. I'm going to create content because it hurts me not to. But last year I didn't really create too much content during tax season. And so this will be a new new year to new situation where hopefully I have more capacity. And that's the goal to continue a video every week. But and if I'm creating a new channel so it could be two different videos a week, I don't know. So I'm really considering with the new channel doing it completely different, where maybe I hire an editor and let an editor edit the video because it's a lot of work. I'm sure if you edit like, you know.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:20] Oh, remember, I did it for years. We have an editor. Maybe we could we could help you out. Yeah.

Logan Graf: [00:09:26] So please.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:30] People don't realize that like. And it just side note, you know, like, if you're starting a podcast, you're starting a YouTube channel budget, like 4 to 5 times as much time as it takes you to record that video, to just edit the thing, right. At least to start my podcast, I dedicated a whole day to it. Wow. Because I had to learn how to do it right. I had to learn how to edit, and eventually I got it down to like a few hours. But even then, that's a lot of time when you are when your time is valuable. So we're going to we're going to sort that out for you. Logan. Okay. I want to make sure that you can keep doing content. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah, that'd be great.

Logan Graf: [00:10:07] And I've heard once you get an editor that completely changes the game for you. So it's just that it does big step for me because I enjoy the process of it. So yeah, it's not something I want to give up really.

Blake Oliver: [00:10:21] It's not that different than hiring staff actually to help you with the bookkeeping or the tax work. It's hard to let go at first, but then when you do, when you finally make that leap and you can let go and know the quality is going to be where you want it to be, it's such a relief.

Logan Graf: [00:10:38] Yeah, yeah. Okay. That's good to know because I'm entering into that space now.

Blake Oliver: [00:10:44] Well, let's talk about the tax side of things. And in terms of the mix of your services and your firm as it all tax, do you do any bookkeeping work or client advisory or client accounting services. Yes.

Logan Graf: [00:10:55] I'm probably like 75% tax right now where my income is coming from. And the rest bookkeeping, accounting type services, advisory type services. And I'm slowly growing the accounting services side and reducing the tax side. I don't know, like people keep signing up to get their tax return done. And I keep raising the prices. And it's just like, all right, well, we're just going to keep raising the prices because I need more. I need more time. And if I'm adding all these ten 40s, that's going to not help my time between January and April or, you know, the rest of the year, even though I tell new clients, you know, to expect to be extended these days. So I guess that does help. But when you.

Blake Oliver: [00:11:49] Started, what were you charging for a tax return?

Logan Graf: [00:11:52] Yeah, I was probably charging like 450. When I first started and. A. I think I went up a little bit that I started 2020 mid 2020 and then like closer towards the end of the year, I probably bumped it up to like 550 or so and then maybe like in the heat of tax season, I might have bumped it up a little more and then so I'll, I'll bump it up in stages almost. And it's basically I get to a point where I'm like, shoot, like I don't really want to add a new tax client and but I will at this price. And so yeah, it's also all about like supply and demand really is how my pricing is, which I don't think a lot of accountants go by. Like they kind of go by what's the guy down the road charging? And like the demand is there for me because I have another CPA down the road that refers to me exclusively on his website. And guess what? He he he lists his minimum. Not many other firms do. He lists his minimum like $1,500 and mine's like $1,200 right now to get in the door. And so I looked like a steal. And he's completely he says he's completely filled up. Wow. And so it's almost like go ahead.

Blake Oliver: [00:13:19] Well, you started at 400, $450 for an individual return, and now you're three years later up to 1200. Yeah.

Logan Graf: [00:13:27] Wow.

Blake Oliver: [00:13:28] Yeah. And then that's that's incredible. Logan, is that 400%?

Logan Graf: [00:13:32] I don't know, I can't do math 300, 400%.

Blake Oliver: [00:13:35] Guess three times as much. Right. So whatever that is 300%. Yeah. That's that's amazing. And you're doing it and you're not getting I mean, you're still getting clients, right?

Logan Graf: [00:13:45] Still getting clients like over the past few weeks at that 1200 mark advertised, you know, I've had like five new client meetings show up. And guess what? I charge for new client meetings, too. And I don't credit that fee back in. So it's almost like new client meetings are a revenue stream. And I've thought about having a service line where I just review your tax return. So like. Taxpayers that have their returns done by other professionals or that do themselves, and they just want like a look through, like someone goes through it and makes sure like it seems all right. Yeah. And charge like 300 bucks for that, I don't know. And have some caveats like, hey, you know, has to fall under certain jurisdictions. You know, if it's a Ohio return, good luck not doing that. But, you know, if it falls under certain guidelines for the return that fits my expertise, then, you know, maybe it takes 30 minutes to an hour to review it. Maybe they provide some context for their work papers on how they did it. So I can, you know, follow along and, and then provide some sort of summary on the, on the back end. Then they know if it's right or not. And then if I see anything wrong, well, I just created some work for myself potentially. And like, hey, here's here's how to fix it, here's how much it would cost. So I'm really curious about doing that. And you said.

Blake Oliver: [00:15:22] You've already started doing the you charge for a consultation initial. How much do you bill for that?

Logan Graf: [00:15:28] I do 150 for 40 minutes. Okay. And I actually had it at 200 at one point. And the scheduling with me, I was like, okay, I think that's a little high. So we'll drop it down a little bit and but that's okay. At the time I was like, if no one signs up, that's perfectly fine, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:15:46] And you're paying attention to the economics of it, the supply and the demand. Right. If nobody's buying, lower the price, see what happens.

Logan Graf: [00:15:53] Right.

Blake Oliver: [00:15:54] Yeah.

Logan Graf: [00:15:55] Makes sense. So it's a 40 minute meeting and I do prep. So I collect their up to two tax returns. Recently filed tax returns I'll review them and make sure they're. You know, they look okay. Sometimes I'll find mistakes, which is awesome. Sometimes I'm like, hey, you're these are returns are good. And then I also make sure, like their returns are within the mean, like the type of returns that I want to prepare so I can get some clues on their activity, and that helps me be able to price them. Well, I do like to price based on the the customer versus I think Ron Baker used to call it like price on the portfolio. So if it's like, you know, a person that makes a lot of money. I'm not going to give them a fee, the same amount as someone who makes way less money, essentially. And just like the the risk involved with preparing a return for someone that makes a lot more money is a lot more higher, and there's a lot more value to them when you prepare the return, because they have a lot, lot more opportunities to save more money. And their their savings goes a lot further because their tax rate is higher and their time is valuable, so they don't want to be wasting their time.

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[00:18:07] Specifically, ShareFile helps you enhance client onboarding, organize document collection, and orchestrate secure document exchange. It gives you complete visibility into document status so you know where things stand and the custom workflows ensure proper review and approval. ShareFile also offers robust analytics on portal usage so you can optimize the client experience, and with configurable security and compliance tools, your sensitive client data stays protected. If you're ready to take your client collaboration and firm workflows to the next level with ShareFile, head over to earmarkcpe.promo/ShareFile. That is earmarkcpe.promo/S H A R E F I L E.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:58] So we're already into pricing. And in your live stream on this topic, you mentioned that you start preparing for the new tax season by looking at your client list and looking at your pricing. So walk us through your your thought process on that. When you analyze prices, how do you decide if you're going to increase a client's fee? You said it's individualized, like I mean, how many clients do you have? It might take a lot of time or does it not?

Logan Graf: [00:19:25] Yeah. So during tax season or while I'm preparing the return, I'll make a note to where I'll see there what I'm billing them at. And I make sure like okay, was this worth it to me. Like the amount of work I'm spending on this return, the amount of emotional energy I'm giving them and strain potentially. Maybe they're a difficult client to work with. Am I having to follow up a lot with them? Are they do they follow instructions well? And then I look at their price. And if and if it doesn't match up and it's not valuable to me, then I'll write down that price, what I think would be valuable to me, and compare it to what I'm charging now, and somehow bridge the gap there a little bit. And so I do this. I've done this the last couple of years. So 2022 is when I did a huge. Tranche of clients like I'm looking at my spreadsheet.

Blake Oliver: [00:20:23] And so you took notes last year while you were doing the returns and, and decided basically what it should be this year already.

Logan Graf: [00:20:33] Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. When the emotions are there. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:20:40] And when you're feeling the pain.

Logan Graf: [00:20:42] When feel the pain. Because now if I were to look at it I'd be like, oh it's okay. I'm sure it was. Yeah. It's easy.

Blake Oliver: [00:20:49] Yeah. Exactly. After the marathon. Right. It doesn't feel so difficult.

Logan Graf: [00:20:54] Yeah, yeah. And so 2022 I did like over 40 clients where I sent out a price increase. Average increase was 50%.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:05] And like what percentage of your clients got a price increase.

Logan Graf: [00:21:10] Technically all of them like some got a standard 13% and some got like a. $300 increase, $200 increase. That was that was kind of the average like around a $300 increase. It's pretty big. Okay. So so.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:30] You when did you and when did you tell them you're going to increase the price for next.

Logan Graf: [00:21:34] Year. So so this year are you talking about this for 2023.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:41] So 2023 tax year right. You're getting ready. Like have you already told them that the price is going up. Or is this something you're doing now.

Logan Graf: [00:21:49] Yes okay. Yeah I was ahead of the game this year. And I knew what it took to to send those emails out, and I wanted to do it sooner versus later. Last year I did it. It was like more into I think I maybe sent it out. Yeah, I sent it out in November. I guess around this, like I'm looking at my my notes and I sent out emails like exactly one year ago of price increases. So this year I sent it out at the end of October. And I said, you got two weeks to respond to tell me that you're out. Or I said, I would appreciate if you told me by this deadline, if you're out, if you're in, you don't need to respond. And two people I did a way, way less like the number of clients that I increased by a lot or way less this year because a lot of it happened last year. And so I only did like 14 or 15 this year. And only two people have said that they're leaving. I expect three to to not tell me because people are just people just do that. Yeah. They they just ghost. Yeah. So and I think if three leave. So right now I've lost about $1,200 of revenue from people saying they're leaving the, the total increase of revenue that I'm gaining. Is $4,700, so I have $3,500 of work to leave before I actually lose money from the price increases. So that's the beauty of. Of price increasing. And now you've got line capacity. Yeah. And then you replace those with people that are paying twice as much. So one one new client could probably replace two clients that leave which is. Makes it makes you way more efficient.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:49] Yeah. When you do the math on focusing on price increases versus focusing on cost reductions, the price increases are always where you want to be. It makes such a huge difference. Right. Yeah.

Logan Graf: [00:24:01] And I'm I'm still like it's still an emotional process to do. And I'm still like not charging as much as I would for a new client. Like I haven't ripped the band aid completely off because it's hard. It's hard to do that to your to your clients, people that you know you care about.

Blake Oliver: [00:24:20] Haven't met anyone who hasn't been guilty of that. I've been guilty of it. It's. You feel like these are people that have been with me, you know, like, can I really charge them twice what they're paying me now? I mean, you could. Yeah. It is very emotional, isn't it?

Logan Graf: [00:24:35] Yeah. And the thing is, like, they probably wouldn't care to leave you, like, right? Like some might have some emotional attachment to you, but more than likely they're, they're gone, like, in a, in a heartbeat if they know like they're friends charging 200 bucks down the road potentially. So like you have to think about it from their angle. How much do they care about you and then how much are you caring? Why are you caring so much about it? And just just gain up a lot of courage to do it. And that's why I've been so transparent about this process. Like last year, you know, I told everyone exactly how it went. You know, a lot of a decent amount of people left last year, but I still came out ahead a lot. And I want to encourage other accountants, other firm owners to do the same because it's a hard process. They need like some encouragement to do it and know that it's going to be okay on the other side because we're yeah, we're afraid.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:43] Or we're afraid that we're going to lose all our clients and we're going to lose revenue and it's going to hit our bottom line. But I've never heard of anyone increasing prices. Well, I guess I have heard of one one listener on my podcast increased prices and lost like 10% of their revenue net. But but they had done it like they had way underpriced the clients for a really long time and did a massive increase. And that's that's where you get people that are just like angry. Then even if they're not, they've been way under paying for a long time. If you do it all at once, after many years, people are going to get frustrated and leave. Right? It's an emotional thing. So yeah, that's hard.

Logan Graf: [00:26:22] That's hard to do something like that. I'm glad I didn't get myself in that situation.

Blake Oliver: [00:26:26] You got it. You got to raise the temperature gradually. Right. Um, so and you got to communicate it right, like you got to, like, it's hard, you know, whenever you're raising prices. I get these emails, you know, when my services go up and, like, there's a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. Do you have any tips for how to raise prices and communicate that to clients in a way that you know, doesn't get them angry or doesn't result in you having to have a tough conversation or, you know, like, what have you learned after the last three years of doing it?

Logan Graf: [00:26:59] Yeah. So it's not. As bad as you think it will be, the reactions from clients will not be as negative as you expect them to be, unless you're doing that crazy price increase because you've haven't raised your rates in 20 years. So but from from my standpoint, like I haven't had any clients blow up on me. So take that into consideration. Like even if you don't really communicate it very well, you're not going to get a lot of heat from your clients. In my from my experience now, I've created an email and a template that I've shared with other people. So if those that are listening are interested in it. If you follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my YouTube channel. I know it's salesy, gimmicky, but I'll send you. They should. I'll send you that. Learn a lot. Yeah, yeah, I'll send you the exact same thing I sent my clients. And it's very it's an it's an email a lot of people will will call and I'm a millennial want to do that. And I hate talking to people on the phone. No offense to any of them, but like it, something in our blood just doesn't like picking up the phone and like, calling someone takes a tremendous amount of energy, for me at least. So sending out an email or you can make a video of it. Yes, if you want to be more personable. And it can either be you calling them by name. So individual videos, if you really, really care about it and want to provide some excellent customer service. I was at the point where, like, I like these people, I'm going to send an email that's pretty neutral and be be real with them a little bit, but not be completely real with them. So it's a pretty like. The standard email. It doesn't go into real depth on like. The whole, you know, like I'm dying here in my firm, and I need less clients. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:09] They don't they don't want to know that.

Logan Graf: [00:29:12] Yeah, it's it's very approachable and like, it's worked well. And two people have left and pretty much everyone that has left the last two years because of those emails are from clients that, like, took up the most amount of time and were paying the least amount of money, like the 8020 rule. And it was like amazing to have all those clients leave. And it's like, oh my gosh, like that was perfect. That worked out perfectly because the goal of these price increases are to hopefully, you know, reduce those clients. Yeah. And it's a really good increase capacity.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:56] So it's like not every client is equal.

Logan Graf: [00:29:59] Yeah. Some some might care about. And I didn't want them to leave but they left. But that's okay. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:30:07] So one of the other things you mentioned that you're doing that's unusual in our profession is you're working on getting more upfront payments instead of charging people after you file the return or before you after you complete the return before you file, which seems to be what most people do, you're doing upfront. Um, how much of your client base is going to pay you upfront this year? And are they paying 50%, 75%, 100%? How do you how are you setting it up?

Logan Graf: [00:30:36] Yeah. Blake. So this past year I started to dabble in it. I did a I just did like a $150 deposit when you sign the engagement and and if you depending on the package you chose, like if you basically if you chose my middle tier package, you'd have to pay for those services all up front. So year round access for quick questions and IRS notices assistance. And so you had to pay a pretty big chunk of money right up front, because if I'm providing those services throughout the year. I think paying for it up front makes sense for that. Before I would spread it out over 12 months, and that just created like an administrative nightmare and caused a lot of pain because clients would be like, all right, it's November, why am I still getting charged by you? And I'm like, well, it's because you chose the the subscription and there's like two more payments left. It's okay. And there was a lot of that because people don't read the agreements that they sign. And so I think paying all upfront. And so this next year and 2024 for 2023 tax returns, I think I'm going to do either 100% up front or 50% like I think I'm leaning more towards just go 100% because the admin of doing, you know, that means I just have to go into ignition and click more buttons and I don't want to do that.

Logan Graf: [00:32:03] So there may be an instance where I still have to charge them for something that was out of scope or like, you know, something new happened, or you know, that, you know, the return was more complicated. So I charge them again, and that's okay. But if I can get all of the money up front, then. Like no, no pay, no play basically is how it's going to be this next year. And it's hard. It's like a it's a hurdle to get over because you're like having, you know, looking forward to that money that's coming in because you did the work is like motivation. So like, oh, as soon as I do this return I get paid. And I thought like, well, what happens when I'm already paid? Am I going to want to work? Like, I think I joked on my livestream and I was like, do I just January 1st? All the money comes in, all the deposits. Do I just leave the country and just ghost everybody and never come back? I think I.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:59] Think that's happened before.

Logan Graf: [00:33:00] Yeah, people do that. Oh God, I think, I think it has.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:04] But generally it would be like a, you know, retail tax prep uh, kind of place.

Logan Graf: [00:33:10] Liberty tax. Yeah. It could.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:12] Be a story for oh my fraud, the Greg Kite and Caleb Newquist podcast.

Logan Graf: [00:33:17] Here. The story of Logan Graf. Just yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:21] Just absconded with all of his client tax deposits. Uh, I think I think, well, I mean, what you're doing there is smart because. You're saying to your clients, look, if you want me to do your return, you know, pay me now. And that way, you know how many you actually have because they've committed the money. It's one thing to say, yeah, I'm going to have you do my tax return. It's another thing to actually have them pay. And then I wonder if when they pay up front 100%, it motivates them to get you the information you need to do the return more.

Logan Graf: [00:33:53] Oh yeah. I'm hoping that happens. Like I've already paid this guy money. I need to get my stuff in because I have, like. 5 to 10 returns where I still don't have anyone's information for 2022 tax year. Like, am I preparing a return? You pay me a deposit. What happens? What happens now? So.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:19] Well, yeah. And then now you're going to have to help them sort out the fines and the penalties. And it just creates more work for you. And they they probably aren't happy to pay for that.

Logan Graf: [00:34:30] Yeah. So I've, I've heard from other colleagues that do 100% up front for tax returns is to almost like have a separate account. That the money goes into. And then when you do the return, you move that money over. That's more accessible, like a trust account.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:52] Yeah.

Logan Graf: [00:34:53] Right. So it's more accessible, like so there is that hurdle of like, okay, I haven't earned this money yet. But then again, I'm like, it's like accounting, like extra accounting work that I have to do. So. Maybe. Yeah, we'll see. I'm excited to do it. And maybe it also helps reduces the client load because they're like, I don't they have some sort of weird objection to it. And.

Blake Oliver: [00:35:21] Right. It's another it's another barrier to working with you. And in a supply demand mismatch. Right. You can ask for this. Right. If they don't want to pay up front they can go find another CPA who will do after the fact.

Logan Graf: [00:35:35] And now that I'm an employee. Go ahead. Now that I have employee like it's great to have that money available. So I know like I can pay my employee.

Blake Oliver: [00:35:46] Less.

Logan Graf: [00:35:46] Instead of burning through cash waiting for their return to get it. Because if I'm paying him up until April and they don't give me their stuff until April, let's say I would never prepare a return that late. By the way, let's say if they do well, I'm paying Gary for three months and he's not doing anything. And so like, where's that money coming from? That means I have to be extra careful with my cash flow.

Blake Oliver: [00:36:15] So you're sending out proposals via ignition? Have you started doing that yet? Or are they going out? When are they going out?

Logan Graf: [00:36:23] My initial goal was December 1st, which is a week from Friday, so or a week in a couple of days from now. And you know, it's holiday season. I don't know if that's a good goal for me. So I might extend it to middle of December and say, hey, you got two weeks, you got till January 1st to to sign and have have some sort of timeline component just to get people on the ball just because that just helps everything flow much nicer. Because if you're waiting until February to get an engagement signed, that that just means you're spending that mental energy thinking about them on if they're going to sign it or not or come back. And that creates just extra time in your life. And I don't I don't want that. So I think I saw Laurel and Wilson kind of do this. She's like, hey, if you don't have it signed by then you're not. You're like, not, I'm not working with you. Right.

Blake Oliver: [00:37:18] And you can do that in the software. You can set the proposal expiration date. So if you want to work with me sign by this date. Right.

Logan Graf: [00:37:25] Right. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:37:26] Or you can withdraw them. Yeah.

Logan Graf: [00:37:29] Yeah. Just like be like. Oh, sorry. It's gone. The time is gone.

Blake Oliver: [00:37:34] And maybe. I mean, have you thought about. You said that during tax season you raise your price sort of informally, but I mean, could you not also say like, hey, if you don't sign by this date, like the prices go up starting in January every month, right?

Logan Graf: [00:37:48] Yeah, that's been a feature request. Like, hey, can we increase the fees automatically if they don't sign within specific amount of time? Because yeah, that would be cool. And. That's something. That's something I should definitely consider too, to get them to sign as soon as possible.

Blake Oliver: [00:38:08] Yeah, I mean, that's basically how software sales work, where like, a good sales person will always create pressure, like time pressure to sign, like, okay, this this pricing is only good until the end of the quarter. Right. And then it resets. Right. Because we're trying to meet our goals. And like we can do that in accounting too, right. There's no reason. Yeah. Otherwise. Otherwise it goes to the bottom of somebody's list you know.

Logan Graf: [00:38:30] Mhm. So I don't think I think accountants need to be trained more on on pricing like I would, I would love to help lead that charge of of pricing Blair ends. He wrote win without pitching manifesto also wrote this book called pricing creativity and he he it's almost like a booklet, I guess Garrett Alexander recommended it to me. He's with Game on Financial. They do like accounting and taxes for content creators. And he recommended this book and it's it's amazing. And like we just need that book for accountants essentially. Yeah. And to get more creative with pricing because we're we're so we're so logical and linear and don't introduce any psychology at all when we price or at least most of us don't. And it's all.

Blake Oliver: [00:39:30] Psychology.

Logan Graf: [00:39:31] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:39:32] You know.

Logan Graf: [00:39:32] Right. Yeah. Yeah. Like we're so like cost accounting wise.

Blake Oliver: [00:39:37] And I feel like the biggest barrier is. For accountants in general, to generalize is that we want to have just one price. We want to know this is the right price. But even for an individual, like if you're pricing one client, there's a range of prices that might work for them. And so one way I deal with this personally is I'll say, okay, what is the least I would ever charge this client. Like what is my lowest price? And then what is my like highest price? I could say to them without laughing. Right. If I'm, if I'm on a call with you, Logan, and I'm pitching you on my, I don't know, consulting services or something, right. What is the most I could say and not, like, giggle or be embarrassed or worry about you. Just, like getting up and leaving, right? And so then then your price that you actually go for is going to be somewhere in between those two, right? And ideally closer to the high price than the low price. And like just doing that exercise like for every client I feel like helps, you know, get to that number that you actually say out loud. And unfortunately a lot of time, the number we say out loud is the lowest price.

Logan Graf: [00:40:47] Mm hmm. Yeah. That's weird. Like, why can't we be brave live when we say that price?

Blake Oliver: [00:40:57] Yeah, it's a little scary, right? I mean, and this is the thing about negotiation is if you're your client is a business owner, I think that's the hard part is a lot of times our clients are entrepreneurs and they're skilled in the art of negotiation. So here we are. We've never been trained to do this. And now we're having to basically negotiate with somebody who has been doing this a lot more than us most of the time. So that's that's scary.

Logan Graf: [00:41:19] It's always yeah, when whenever clients do push back with me, I'm like, whoa, I'm not prepared for this. Like, yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:26] Well, you know, this is something that I chat bots are fun for is practicing negotiation or like you could actually use like Claude or ChatGPT to like, practice, like, okay, here's the scenario, you know, can you help me?

Logan Graf: [00:41:41] How would you handle this?

Blake Oliver: [00:41:43] Yeah. How would you handle this? Or even just, like, paste in the email from the client if they're pushing back and say, like, how do I respond to this?

Logan Graf: [00:41:50] Wouldn't it be great if we had that sort of assistance while we're live like it's listening to us? It listens to the client as well. Yeah, there may be some ethical things about around that, but and it could look you can look to the side and it just types in like yeah. All right here's the prompt what to tell them. Like as a as a rebuttal like Logan.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:13] I think we just came up with like the next great AI tool for accountants right here is the live the live negotiation sales coach.

Logan Graf: [00:42:22] Yeah. It's like no don't do that. Like gives you like feedback like.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:28] Like red alert. Red alert.

Logan Graf: [00:42:31] Now you're.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:31] Totally blowing this sales.

Logan Graf: [00:42:33] Call. Abort. Like, just leave it. Just leave.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:38] It just ends the call. If you if you go way off track, it just ends the call. It's a courtesy disconnect. Yeah.

Logan Graf: [00:42:45] You know, we're sorry. We're no longer a good fit. Yeah. Exactly.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:49] Oh, man. So going back to the upfront payments with ignition, are you going to require the payment when they accept the proposal?

Logan Graf: [00:42:57] Always.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:59] Do you take credit cards?

Logan Graf: [00:43:00] Yeah. So last year, I bumped up 13% for everybody because I knew and I wasn't going to give them a cash discount. Well, ACH discount, and because I was tired of doing admin work, trying to figure out, okay, they paid with ACH, what's the discount on that? And it was stupid. I was stupid, but um, and so I was like, all right, I'm not doing that discount anymore. So I'm bumping everyone up 13%. It was going to be 10%, but I knew everyone would switch to their credit card since that 3% covered that. And so it's kind of a chess move almost. And I, I shielded it as, um, like inflation, you know, uh, so it's kind of always blaming inflation.

Blake Oliver: [00:43:53] You know, inflation gives us a hard time. We should benefit from it too, right?

Logan Graf: [00:43:59] That's right. Yeah. That's right. Why not? And so where was I going with that Blake. Oh, the credit card fees. So this year I ignition release a sweet feature where the if clients choose a credit card, it gives them a little prompt, like, hey, there's going to be a x percent of, of the fee going to.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:20] You can pass it through. Yeah. Yeah. Are you going to do that?

Logan Graf: [00:44:24] I think I am. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I am because credit card fees, like my ignition software costs for this year is like triple the amount because everyone selected credit card, even though I, you know, I netted it with price increases. Clients can choose now to take the hit. And it helps me like not have to figure out like okay, if they do pay with credit card, what would I charge them? Instead I can just give them the price and then they deal with it on their end and you can select what percentage it's a. Firm wide percentage. So you can't like select what percentage for each client. But it's like you. It probably be like a 3% fee that you can pass down to the client. Yep. And that's probably what I'll go with.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:21] And it's funny, there's a lot of debate about whether or not you should pass through the credit card charge. And I think in theory, like, like a pricing expert or will tell you that it's best not to charge the extra fee, that it psychologically lowers your total business. Right. You'll make more in the end if you don't. But I feel like that might not be true if you pair it with the ACH option. So if somebody doesn't want to pay the fee, they can always pay with ACH and they're a business, so they've got a business account, right? They can do it. And it's not hard. So I feel like I feel like that's good. If you have the ACH option, it's okay to pass through the fee.

Logan Graf: [00:46:00] Yeah, that's my gut feeling. Like giving customers multiple avenues for paying you always increases the rate of closing, I believe. And so our customers going to see that surcharge as like a barrier to working with me. There's some there's some clients that are heavy credit card like credit card dependent unfortunately. And can they afford to even do ACH which is worrisome. But. Like would would that fee? Be a non-negotiable for them.

Blake Oliver: [00:46:46] So guess they can always tell you, right? And then you can decide on a case by case basis what to do. Yeah, yeah. If they're arguing with you over 3%, they're probably not the best client. Right, right.

Logan Graf: [00:46:58] And if they get it back on the wards, the cash back then.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:03] So they can go take that trip to Europe and not have enough money to pay their.

Logan Graf: [00:47:07] Bills. Y'all were just talking about that on on the podcast. Like the rewards, like the mileage versus rewards. And I think, yep, you just were like, I'm just doing the cash back. Like I found it.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:21] Took up so much of my time to try to, like, game the system, to use those miles. I just simplified my life and now I just have a cash back card and, you know, whatever. Maybe I'm losing out on like an extra 1%, all right. But like to me that that time was not worth it.

Logan Graf: [00:47:38] And the IRS says it's tax free.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:42] The cash rewards, I guess. I mean, if the miles are tax free, right. The cash rewards should be too. Yeah, I don't know. Nobody's ever asked me about it. And don't do my own tax return. So hopefully my preparer isn't listening.

Logan Graf: [00:47:56] Like wait wait wait wait. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:47:59] Right. But that's not something that like is like, did you receive any like I don't get a 1099 for my cash back rewards from my credit card company, right.

Logan Graf: [00:48:08] Yeah. Like there was a court case that pretty much said like it's not taxable. There wasn't some circumstance where they were like gaming the system, I think with gift cards. Oh yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:48:21] Well, there was there was, there was a case. Where are you talking about American Express? Maybe there was like a situation where Amex was like aggressively signing up business owners for their corporate cards and like, they had a presentation that they had formally given like that, like that they were doing where it was like, here's how to basically here's how to evade taxes with your put everything for your multi-million dollar business on this card. Right. And then we're going to transfer the points to you personally.

Logan Graf: [00:48:51] Uh.

Blake Oliver: [00:48:52] That's what they were doing. They were taking the points from the business and transferring it to the individual who was then cashing out the points and making, you know, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I feel like that's that's when they got in trouble.

Logan Graf: [00:49:07] Then the IRS is like, that's like a business right there. Yeah yeah yeah yeah. For tax that.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:14] You know pigs get. What is it. Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.

Logan Graf: [00:49:18] Yeah, yeah. Don't be like that.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:22] Okay. So upfront payments, in order to do these upfront payments, you got to know what you're going to charge the client. I guess for returning clients. That's not bad. You've already repriced them and stuff for new ones. You have a productized package offering on your website. It looks like you have three tiers. There's the compliance tier, which is, you know, I do the return, right? That's no advice really, right. No planning. And then you have this these other tiers where you don't put the pricing on. You have collaboration and concierge. Yeah. So tell me about those packages. Are those new this year. Is that something you have been doing. Like how's that going.

Logan Graf: [00:50:05] Yeah, I'm. I think I'm pretty much keeping them the same. And the the big distinguishing factor between last year is getting paid up front for everything. Well, the thing with business returns though, business entity returns, I do allow payments to be spread out over the calendar year depending on when they sign. So it could be 12 payments if they sign in January. And I do that because those fees are a lot higher. And. I'm okay with with getting paid over 12 months because it also helps spread out the cash flow. So I'm getting paid in November and December.

Blake Oliver: [00:50:51] And I assume that most of those returns, you're extending them right and not doing them until September or October.

Logan Graf: [00:50:57] Yeah, a decent amount. I'm doing them in the middle of the year, so it's okay to spread those out. 1040 is getting paid all up front. But yeah, with my packages I try to I try to design my packages to where the middle package is the best looking one and the least amount of work. So I try to maximize profits, minimize capacity essentially with that middle package, because if you put too much in that middle package and everybody signs up for it, you have a lot of work to do. And the way I design the pricing is to make it valuable or, you know, seem like a lot of value for something that won't cause potentially that much more work, but is still valuable in the clients eyes and the customer's eyes. I'm not trying to rip people off. Okay, no.

Blake Oliver: [00:51:58] That's important. You're doing you're doing price anchoring, right? Which is a classic strategy where the highest tier, which is the concierge, which is everything, all the bells and whistles, is pricey, right. And some people want that and they'll pay for it. But most people that's overkill. But just by having that really expensive price, they're. It makes all your other services seem like a deal in comparison, right?

Logan Graf: [00:52:23] Yeah, exactly. I'm really proud of. So my I have like two. Two separate proposals for personal and business. And I'm really proud of my middle package for my business return clients because I think it's the best bang for your buck on it, in my opinion, for the client and for me. And that that involves year round access for me to to me for quick questions. So basically I'll answer any email, phone call, virtual meeting where you have a quick question. So something that hasn't involved, you know, some in-depth projection work or in-depth scenario running or research essentially. And so clients can are encouraged to ask me questions throughout the year. So that's great for business owners. And then I'll, I'll have IRS assistance notice assistance where if you get a notice I'll help address it. And then a tax projection as well in the fall. So really it's like a it's like everything you need as a business owner in my opinion. And then but personal level, it's harder to do that because the way I do it is I send out like pretty much all of my personal tax return proposals at once, to try to be the most efficient with that. And so I have to create packages where that it suits the, the wide range of, of my clients. And so it's I have to be a little more limited on what I offer in that middle package. So in the middle package with personal there's no tax projection. Because usually if you need a tax projection, you have a business entity that's kind of been the the, the deal. And that I think that's why I designed it that way. Now in my live stream, I told everybody watching that you could take my basic package, my compliance package for either personal or business. And if you're new to creating packages, you could separate out what I offer in my basic package compliance package into three different packages. Because in that basic package, I offer a lot of value in my opinion. So I know I keep saying that, but just want to.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:51] It's all subjective.

Logan Graf: [00:54:52] It's subjective.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:53] So value is subjective.

Logan Graf: [00:54:55] Exactly. If you're if you're like not charging that much, if you don't feel like you can charge that much, well, you take my compliance package and you only offer tax return prep, you don't let them be subscribed to my newsletter. You don't do a video summary of the tax return. And right there are that could be your middle and higher tier packages. And like I thought about it, I was like, oh I could I could do that. I could separate my basic package for the clients that always choose the basic package. And then I get upsell them with a tax return. Video summary. But I'm at such a high minimum where it's okay for me to include those services. That's that's how I charge so much and how I think I believe I can charge so much because I'm providing that value at that basic package.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:48] All right. One more thing I want to cover before we go. And that's the project tracking system, because you mentioned that you have integrated ignition with your Airtable process, Airtable for tracking the returns, the status and all that. So like is it is it magical? Like when somebody accepts the proposal, what happens?

Logan Graf: [00:56:10] It it shoots it into Airtable. I have it. Where? It'll. It'll shoot the project all the proposal details into Airtable. So it'll separate all the service items that I have created for that proposal, or which one they sign up for. So it'll be like tax return accounting, tax projection. Other stuff that I need to track that will have deadlines and it'll it'll separate all that into Airtable. And I can customize what I see and I can create all these different views on, you know, here's all my tax return projects, here's all my projects that I've assigned to my contractor, my employee, here's all my non tax return projects that I need to take care of. And it's a Frankenstein operation, so I don't know if I'd recommend it doing it this way, because now that I have, I'm building my team like I have to figure out now how I'm going to like, give them access to it and to only be able to see specific sections of it. But what if I could get even more creative? I want to this before you're in before on my, you know, proposals start getting accepted is to be like once a project does get into there, it'll create different timelines so I can track things better. So it's it's real easy to track tax returns because it's like a one off deal. Right? Like it's you're extended and you're not extended or you're extended. So there's two different deadlines. But when you have like monthly accounting work or maybe quarterly accounting work, I need to create an automation and Airtable where if it sees a specific service that was accepted, it then creates, let's say, four different timelines or 12 different time tasks that where I can track that project. So I just need to get in there and nerd out.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:10] So it sounds like you're planning on sticking with Airtable, not considering accounting practice management software at this time.

Logan Graf: [00:58:18] Right now, in next year, I'm going to highly consider Clickup because I think Clickup has a similar interface and similar capabilities that, but it makes it more like easier to use for for team teams.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:35] So yeah, I was a big asana user for years, and then Clickup came along and became like the new asana. I used it for a little while and it's pretty, pretty impressive what you can do with it. Okay, cool. I know Brandon Hall uses it at the Real Estate CPA. At least he did last year. I think probably he uses it.

Logan Graf: [00:58:54] That's like enough confirmation that, yeah, I should probably use it.

Blake Oliver: [00:58:58] Yeah, I've heard great things. It's funny. It's really interesting. Like we have all of these practice management solutions in accounting. But then there's also the general purpose software. And I find when I talk to firms there's just a huge variety. Maybe half are using the specific or no, it's more like a third have nothing or no. Maybe it's half have nothing, half have nothing at all. And then like a quarter have some accounting specific thing like a carbon or a client hub or a financial sense. Right. And then the other quarter are just using general purpose teamwork. Clickup Airtable. Nobody has won this market yet. Nobody. Nobody.

Logan Graf: [00:59:36] And like, is it possible?

Blake Oliver: [00:59:38] Maybe not, because everybody has a different way of running their firm and as different requirements, and you can't possibly solve them all. So like why.

Logan Graf: [00:59:47] Not, why not.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:49] Why not. Right.

Logan Graf: [00:59:50] Like I've been dying. I'm tired of all these softwares, all these apps. Like I have app, I have uh, change, fatigue, improve. Know I called it improvement fatigue.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:02] Yeah.

Logan Graf: [01:00:02] I'm tired of improving with these apps and like constantly having to do that.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:08] And I'm sorry to say that as you grow your firm, it gets harder because then you have to train everybody. And then once you've trained everybody and you've got data in the system, switching becomes a huge cost. So like, you only want to ever have to switch practice management software like once, you know, I did it and I only had a firm with, say, 12 people in the system. Right. And it was still like switching out was so, so bad. Yeah. But we had to, you know.

Logan Graf: [01:00:35] Oh, I'm really tempted to try to do something with the Microsoft ecosystem, because if you can get one ecosystem to do everything, then it theoretically makes things simpler. But yeah, the Microsoft ecosystem might not do specific things that I want it to do.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:55] It's getting better, though. I mean, Ashley Frances is like the huge champion of Microsoft and like just listening to her talk about what you can do with Power Automate and all that these days. I mean, it's getting easier now with AI, so maybe that's the way to go is just go all in with the Microsoft. I'm a. Person personally, which has always been a point of tension for me with anything. Accounting because I've used it ever since college and I love Google Workspace and I just like I can't, I can't use outlook, I can't do it like I, I and it's I know I could right if I but maybe I'm getting too old now and I can't learn new things like I've reached that stage in my life.

Logan Graf: [01:01:37] But like Adam Grant, what did he say? Like if you're if you've been a tax accountant for 20 or 30 years, like the newer accountants know more than you know, the new tax laws more than you do, because the older you get, like, the less you want to learn new information or something like that, I don't know.

Blake Oliver: [01:01:58] He was one of the speakers at QuickBooks connect. I unfortunately didn't get to see him.

Logan Graf: [01:02:01] That's where I got that from because he was like talking about he's kind of burning all these older preparers like, hey y'all, y'all aren't like learning new things.

Blake Oliver: [01:02:12] It's hard. I mean, everything's changing so much all the time. I guess all the tax changes, like. Yeah. And you came you came into starting your practice when I think everything was really all the shit was really hitting the fan. Right? Like, that must have been wild with, like, A and all that.

Logan Graf: [01:02:31] Yeah. It was, that was a little bit before I started, but that was still like relatively fresh, like, hey, how do we account for this still? But I was just watching a, I was doing research for a video that I'm going to make tonight, hopefully. Um, it was like this 1940s video of like what? What are accountants and what are bookkeepers? And they actually did a great job explaining the to like, here's what a bookkeeper does. Here's what an accountant does, here's what a public accountant does. And it's in the 40s. And not that it's changed very much, but even then I posted a clip of it on Twitter today. But even then they're like, the tax laws are complicated to where no one, nobody knows what should be counted as income and and expenses. Like even back in there like, yeah man, taxes are complicated and like, think about.

Blake Oliver: [01:03:25] It was a piece of cake by comparison. Yeah.

Logan Graf: [01:03:27] Think about it now. Like, oh my gosh.

Blake Oliver: [01:03:31] It's so bad now have you, have you tried the Capcut plugin for ChatGPT? No. To make to make videos should I? It's it's kind of hilarious. Um, so like, can I show you this right now since we're at the end of the video and the education has ended, and now this is just the fun part, we've reached our CPE requirement here. I want to see if I can share my screen. And then and I'll share the tab audio here. So like you want you're going to make a video right about bookkeepers versus accountants.

Logan Graf: [01:04:10] So like that's not my video, but the video that I was watching was about that. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [01:04:16] Okay. So we could actually like try to use ChatGPT to make one. Okay. And I think um, let's see. So the prompt is we got the Capcut plugin turned on here and then, you know, the video editor suite. So we can say like, you know, write a script, I don't know, 200 word script about the, the differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper. Use words, you know, like make it so a 12 year old could understand, you know, then then make the video in Capcut and you just type that. And then it's going to draft a script using its knowledge.

Logan Graf: [01:05:05] At 200 words should be it should be pretty simple for it.

Blake Oliver: [01:05:09] Like a minute or two. Right. So it's drafting the script here and it's got a few paragraphs. All right let's make the video. Using this script. And now theoretically ChatGPT is going to go to the Capcut plug in and it's going to actually create I'm going to.

Logan Graf: [01:05:28] Pull B-roll in there and.

Blake Oliver: [01:05:30] It's going to pull in B-roll, narrate.

Logan Graf: [01:05:32] It.

Blake Oliver: [01:05:33] Yes. So here it goes. It's using Capcut.

Logan Graf: [01:05:37] I mean, that that what they're what it's talking about in the script is pretty similar to that 1940s version.

Blake Oliver: [01:05:45] I should have asked it to do it in a 1940s style. It could probably do that too. Okay, so here's the video. I click the link and now we're opening up capcut.com. Can you.

Logan Graf: [01:05:55] Make revisions?

Blake Oliver: [01:05:57] You could. Yeah. Yeah. If you if you log in. So now it's loading the video.

Speaker3: [01:06:03] Hey there. Today we're going to explore the differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper in a fun and easy way. Imagine you have a piggy bank where you keep all your money. Now let's see how a bookkeeper and an accountant would help you with your piggy bank. First, meet the bookkeeper. Think of a bookkeeper as your piggy banks best friend. They keep track of every coin you put in or take out. They write down when you saved money from your allowance or spend some on a new tool. Bookkeepers are super organized and make sure every penny is accounted for. Now let's talk about accountant. An accountant is the advisor for your piggy bank. They look at what the bookkeeper has written down and then give you smart advice. They help you plan how to save more money or explain how much you can spend on treats. Accountants use skills to make big decisions about money. So in short, bookkeepers keep track of the money details and accountants use those details to help make smart money choices. Both are important, and they work together to keep your piggy bank happy and full.

Blake Oliver: [01:07:10] All right, Logan, what's your verdict?

Logan Graf: [01:07:12] That's awesome. I was like, why is this so basic? Because remember you said for a 12 year old to understand for a 12 year old. That makes complete sense now. That was awesome.

Blake Oliver: [01:07:23] It makes it. I think it helps when you make it for a 12 year old to understand, considering that the the video is about at the level of what a 12 year old could make. So yeah.

Speaker4: [01:07:34] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [01:07:34] But I mean, think about like this is incredible. Imagine like when we'll be able to make videos about tax topics and this can help. Oh I'm so.

Logan Graf: [01:07:42] Excited.

Blake Oliver: [01:07:43] Like speed up your production process.

Logan Graf: [01:07:45] Totally like the script itself. Like you could you could just have it produce that script and go from there like, I love I created a video for this nonprofit that I help with for that provides summer camp experience for foster teens. And I. I gave it my script. It's like a rules video for camp. I gave it my script and I said, rewrite this. And Mr. B's voice, oh, because he's. Yeah. So engaging. The kids connect to the kids know who Mr. Beast is most likely. And so you can basically feed it something and just be like, hey, make this like I want to write something and say like, okay, now rewrite this in Ryan Reynolds voice because, you know, he's going to make it entertaining.

Blake Oliver: [01:08:35] That's a good idea. I might try that. I might try that for my next yeah.

Logan Graf: [01:08:41] Script. Yeah, it totally resembled it. Like the Mr. Beast. Like timing. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [01:08:48] Well, Logan, it's been awesome talking to you. You too buddy me on this Wednesday before Thursday, Thanksgiving. I'm very thankful to have chatted with you. And we'll get this out, like, as soon as we can so that our listeners can enjoy learning about what you're doing and hopefully get something out of it and do something different themselves. Before January.

Logan Graf: [01:09:11] They got time to to do something about it. Yeah, hopefully there.

Blake Oliver: [01:09:15] Definitely is time. Right. It's like, and you know, I love the holidays because as an accountant, you always have an excuse to avoid your family if you really don't want to be like as soon as somebody brings up Gaza, you know, or like Trump, you know, you just like, go to go upstairs, say, sorry, I got to do some prep for my busy season, you know. Right. Like I got.

Logan Graf: [01:09:35] To increase my prices.

Speaker4: [01:09:38] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [01:09:39] All right Logan. Well have a, have a great Thanksgiving and eat a lot of turkey or whatever you eat.

Logan Graf: [01:09:43] I will do you too.

Blake Oliver: [01:09:46] Can't wait to see you around again at the next connect for sure.

Logan Graf: [01:09:49] Yeah. Talk to you soon.

Blake Oliver: [01:09:54] Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode and that you learned something new. And if you did, wouldn't it be nice to get some CPE credit for it? Well, I've got great news. My new app, earmark CPE, offers free Naspa approved CPE credits for listening to podcasts, including this one. Visit earmark Cpcomm to download the app, take a short quiz, and get your CPE certificate. That's earmark Cpcomm.