Increasing revenue and saving countless hours during tax season

Enrolled Agent Josh Youngblood uses engagement letters to reduce the headache of accounts receivable 

Joshua Youngblood
EA, CTRS, CRETS, NTPI Fellow Founder, The Youngblood Group, LLC

About Joshua Youngblood and The Youngblood Group, LLC

Joshua started his entrepreneurial journey at 15 and later became an Enrolled Agent (EA), inspired by his grandmother. He passed his EA exams on the first try, demonstrating his proficiency in taxation.

He founded The Youngblood Group, LLC, helping small businesses overcome challenges during the global pandemic. Josh is committed to professional development, completing over 70 hours of continuing education yearly and earning accolades such as becoming an NTPI Fellow, Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS), and Certified Real Estate Tax Strategist (CRETS).

Active in the tax community, Josh serves as Vice Chair of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion committee of the NAEA and is involved with ASTPS, NATP, and the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce. 

The problem

Before Joshua used Ignition, he would send out an engagement letter, get it signed, complete the work, and then send an invoice. 

“Yes, we got burned a couple of times,” he says. “Ignition has reduced the headaches around dealing with accounts receivable, making sure we have signed engagement letters for all work before we perform it.”

You might ask: How does Josh know what to charge? What if there is a surprise when he’s doing the return? 

“Certainly, we all know the client who says, ‘My return is very simple. I only have a W2,’ leaving out the information about their five foreign bank accounts and crypto investing,” Josh says. To accommodate for these kinds of revelations, Josh’s engagement letter states that anything outside the proposal is subject to an additional charge.

“With Ignition, you can highlight parts of your engagement letter. For example, I highlight our communication policy to emphasize these details for my clients. In case you’re curious, it says: ‘All calls must be scheduled. Emails are typically returned within 24 hours during business hours’,” he says.

The fix

Joshua says, “the beauty of Ignition is in its simplicity”, especially when it comes to client payments. 

“It just works well and is visually stunning. In setting up the customer interface, you upload a brochure for your firm – Ignition can even create this for you with your input. Templates are available for use or simply inspiration,” he says.

With Ignition, you have the option of payment collection upon signing or later, or you can trigger payment collection manually. “Ignition shows you when clients view their proposal, lessening the likelihood of the ‘I-never-got-this’ client response,” Josh adds.

He says the support he receives from the Ignition team is outstanding. “Like any time you engage with new software, you might have questions that arise, and Ignition shines here. Simply click the ignition logo in the bottom right of the platform, and a chat window opens. Assistance is usually available immediately – if not, they answer quickly. The Ignition team checks in with you throughout the year, letting you know about valuable features and upcoming webinars,” he explains.

“All in all, Ignition’s cost is well worth it, saving my firm countless hours and forcing us to stick to a process. This alone has increased revenue,” he says.

Josh adds: “I paid the renewal price for Ignition a couple of months ago, and I’m enjoying how easy it is to send out renewals.”

Joshua’s tips: Embrace change and value your worth

Change is hard and can be scary, but it is essential. When I first started out, I made most of the classic new-firm mistakes: I charged too little, gave discounts, and felt sorry for people. I looked at how much time I spent on a client instead of the value I was bringing,” he says. 

“No one should be working 100 hours a week and doing $100 tax returns unless you enjoy that. Time, experience, and learning to value myself taught me I needed to make changes. You can, too. Charge your worth, and enjoy your life. If you drop dead tomorrow, your clients will replace you – your family and friends don’t have that privilege.”

“I can’t take the credit for inspiring all the positive changes in my firm. I attribute much of my growth to what I learned in Tom’s Inner Circle – I highly recommend you check this out if you want to increase your technical tax knowledge and gain valuable insights on how to have a successful practice,” Josh says.

Spark your own success story

See why thousands of accounting professionals use Ignition to grow their business with a 14 day free trial. No credit card needed.