Every business owner has to make decisions that are outside his or her expertise. When it comes to small business 401(k) plans, our internal research shows that an accountant or bookkeeper is most likely to be the first person a business owner turns to for answers. So, we want to help.
Guideline will be on site at QuickBooks Connect again this year to help accountants and bookkeepers understand how introducing our retirement platform to you and your clients will help differentiate your practice, scaling it to new heights in the process.
Limited time promotional offer for accountants
Aside from 401(k) education, need even more incentive to visit our booth? This year, in honor of QuickBooks Connect, we’re introducing a promotional offer for accountants and bookkeepers. If you establish a new Guideline 401(k) plan for your business, or convert your existing 401(k) plan to the Guideline platform, between now and December 31, 2019, we’ll give you your first 6 months free. But the offer doesn’t stop there. If one of your clients either establishes a new Guideline 401(k) plan, or converts its existing plan to Guideline’s platform, in the aforementioned timeframe, we’ll give them their first three months free. To redeem this offer, simply reach out to [email protected] and we’ll walk you through it.
Recap: why tax pros should be up to speed on 401(k) plans
Ahead of this year’s event, we wanted to recap why tax pros should be up to speed on 401(k) plans in the first place. If you’re a CPA or another kind of tax professional, you probably know the tax benefits and contribution limits of a 401(k) plan, but do you have the information you need to help your clients choose the plan design that makes the most sense for them? Like, what do typical fee structures look like or what common mistakes do smaller employers often make?
Implementing the right plan can mean saving more for retirement, improving your client’s relationship with employees, and avoiding extra work. Here’s some basic information about how people like your clients think about retirement plans and what you can do to help them make good decisions.
A little info about small businesses (and their employees)
Recent research from Guideline indicates that of the 5.8 million small businesses in this country, 90 percent of them do not offer their employees a retirement plan. So when one of your clients decides to go the extra mile by offering a 401(k) plan, it can have a big impact on the way their employees think about them. Some points worth noting:
- Close to 6 in 10 workers who are extremely satisfied with their benefits are also extremely satisfied with their jobs.
- Retirement benefits are one of the two benefits employees want the most.
- Employees with a retirement plan are significantly less likely to consider leaving their current job.
- When offered, over 80 percent of employees participate in company-sponsored retirement plans.
Are 401(k)s Required?
No states currently require employers to offer a specific kind of retirement plan, but several states have passed legislation that establishes a state-sponsored retirement plan (like CalSavers in California and OregonSaves in Oregon) and/or mandates that businesses provide a retirement plan. These state-sponsored plans are a helpful step for putting employees in better shape to retire, but a well-run 401(k) plan provides significantly higher annual contribution limits than existing state-sponsored plans.
Is a 401(k) the right type of retirement plan to recommend?
Over the past 30 years, defined contribution plans, including 401(k) plans, have become the most common type of employer sponsored plans. They provide employees more flexibility to take control of their own retirement contributions than defined benefit pension plans. What’s more: if a company is offering a 401(k) for the first time, they could be eligible for up to $1,500 in tax credits over a three year period.
401(k) plans also give participants control over investment decisions and the employee accounts are portable. If an employee leaves the company (or if the plan terminates), their account can easily be rolled over into another 401(k) plan, or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
With a Guideline 401(k) plan, things are even more simple. Your clients never have to worry about hidden fees or being charged based on assets in the plan—Guideline charges a transparent flat monthly rate. The investment fund options available on the Guideline platform are strictly low-cost index funds and Guideline never receives “revenue sharing” or any other kind of payments from the funds. Additionally, Guideline integrates with many of the most popular payroll providers, which greatly streamlines, or outright eliminates, your clients’ involvement in processing 401(k) contributions, employee enrollment and payroll contribution reports every pay period.
Why accountants and bookkeepers should offer help with retirement plans
Offering retirement plans (or at least some good advice about them) is another way for you to be useful to your clients. At the very least, you’ll be showing off the expertise that brings clients to you in the first place. But some accountants are also able to monetize the retirement plans help they offer.
For an example of how a 401(k) provider can help accountants or bookkeepers by providing their clients that sponsor 401(k) plans with a turn-key level of service, take a look at our 401(k) plans for accountants.
If you have any questions about how Guideline can work with your business, we’re standing by to help you out. Give us a shout any time at [email protected]
This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as tax advice. As a tax professional, it is your responsibility to ensure you understand tax regulations and take your clients’ unique circumstances into account when furnishing tax advice.