Cryptocurrencies have gone from Satoshi Nakamoto’s hobby project to a mainstream investment in just ten years. Despite their growing popularity, the IRS and FINRA haven’t provided clear guidance to taxpayers and investors. This has created an opportunity for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and other financial professionals to help clients navigate these issues and avoid costly fines and penalties.
Let’s take a look at what makes crypto clients so valuable and how you can market to this rapidly growing demographic.
Why Target Crypto Traders as a CPA?
There are many reasons that you may want to target crypto traders and investors in their practice.
Cryptocurrencies have become common investment holdings for many high net worth individuals that recognize their growth potential and low correlation with other asset classes. These HNW leads are difficult to convert through traditional marketing, but demonstrating your crypto expertise could be enough to convert them into clients — especially given the lack of expertise among many competing CPAs.
Crypto traders may not be HNW individuals, but they could be more profitable than typical clients. The preparation of Form 1040 Schedule D, Form 8949, FinCen/FBAR and other tax paperwork means that accountants can charge more for these returns. The good news is that you can automate much of this work on the backend, as we’ll discuss later.
The widespread uncertainty surrounding the tax treatment of crypto transactions and the additional forms that must be filed also means that crypto traders and investors are seeking professional advice at a higher rate than the general public. In other words, they may be less inclined to try using TurboTax or other off the shelf software to do it themselves.
How to Become a Crypto Expert
Targeting cryptocurrency traders and investors requires expert knowledge. After all, it’s hard to trust an accountant that doesn’t understand basic crypto terminology!
The best way to get up to speed with the crypto market is by taking an accredited course. For example, the Crypto Tax Academy provides an Advanced Crypto Tax Expert (ACT-E) Designation Course that enables you to earn up to 30 hours of CE/CPE credits and learn everything you need to know about the crypto market. Topics include everything from reconciliation and tax prep to finding clients and growing your practice.
It’s also a good idea to subscribe to newsletters or industry publications to stay up-to-date with the latest regulatory trends. Since the market moves fast, it’s important to stay on top of these changes to offer the best possible service, as well as answer any questions that may arise when clients read about tax law changes.
How to Market to Crypto Traders
Many accountants have a limited familiarity with cryptocurrencies, which makes it difficult to relate to and find them in traditional outreach venues.
The best way to market to crypto traders and investors — or any market for that matter — is providing valuable advice. By providing real value, you become a trusted resource and a natural first choice for more involved services. You can also transition from outbound marketing to receiving inbound leads from people that heard you speak or read your articles.
There are a few strategies to consider:
- User Groups - Many cities have crypto user groups that meet to discuss everything from investment merits to technical implementation. You may want to consider presenting at these user groups, covering topics like short- versus long-term capital gains and record-keeping best practices.
- Industry Publications - There are many crypto publishers, both online and offline, where you can become a contributor. In addition to highlighting your expertise, you can include a brief pitch in your byline and reach thousands of leads over time with minimal effort.
- Provide Free Consults - You may want to consider offering some free services to local crypto traders and investors and upsell higher-value clients on additional services. For example, you might provide a free seminar explaining how to account for crypto transactions and offer your services for attendees that may not want to do it themselves.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the scope of the crypto market is larger than you may expect. Three in four adults have heard about cryptocurrencies and nearly ten percent of U.S. adults own cryptocurrencies, according to Dalia Research. This means that there are many potential clients in nearly every medium to large-sized city in the country.
Increase Profit Margins with Tax Software
Cryptocurrency returns can be difficult to complete since clients may have transactions spanning many different exchanges that must be reconciled into U.S. dollar values, but fortunately, there are several crypto accounting software solutions out there.
ZenLedger provides a CPA solution designed to help crypto tax professionals manage multiple clients, aggregate and reconcile transactions across exchanges and autocomplete Form 8949, Schedule D and FBAR. Unlike many blackbox competitors, you can also access an audit trail that drills down into how each line item was calculated on behalf of clients. These features can be lifesavers if your client is audited and the IRS requires more information.
Using software like ZenLedger, you can minimize the time that you spend preparing returns and maximize the value that you provide to clients. This means that you can grow revenue and profitability rather than merely increasing your number of billable hours during an already-busy tax season.
The Bottom Line
Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular over the past decade among both high net worth investors and short-term traders. With uncertain and complex tax treatment, you may want to consider marketing to these high-value clients as a way to grow their practice over time.
Sign up to try ZenLedger for free and see how it can help grow your practice and improve your margins!