Roz Marketing Strategies - September/October 2021

Bret Scholl, CPA Founder’s Mastermind Member Spotlight

Everyone has a different reason for adding tax resolution to their practice. For CPA Bret Scholl, owner of Scholl & Company LLP, having a lifestyle business is his. Bret is focusing part of his practice on tax resolution as a way to be less involved in the day- to-day work so he and his wife, Rose, can spend more time with their three grown children and four grandchildren as well as travel internationally. “We tracked the average hourly rate in our firm, and tax resolution just made sense,” Bret says. “Technology has made a difference, too, as far as being able to get the transcripts and manage the accounts. Tax resolution makes a nice shift for the practice and is one where I can be less involved.” In his 37 years of being a CPA, Bret has followed a career path that most CPAs will find familiar. “My first stop was with one of the Big 8 firms,” he says. “From there, I went to a large regional firm, but I didn’t see myself partnering with them. So, I opened my own firm.” Throughout his career, Bret has handled tax resolution for clients, but not as a main focus of the practice. Bret joined Roz Strategies about four years ago and recently laser-focused on tax resolution. “I love Michael’s approach, both from the practical side and from the business/operational side,” Bret says.“ He covers the entire aspect of being in a professional practice.” Taking what he learned as a Roz Strategies Founder’s Mastermind member, Bret created a new brand name and website and was set to make a substantial investment in a new division that would focus solely on tax resolution. He was ready to

start marketing for profitable tax resolution cases but needed to stop for a moment. “We got so much work that was high-end and complex in the resolution area, but I couldn’t get staffed up. One thing I’m not going to do is take on work we can’t do a great job on and expose the firm to any reputational risk. So, we pushed the pause button.” Now that he has found the right professional staff, Bret is poised to take his thumb off that button and move forward with tax resolution. But he didn’t waste the “pause.” Bret took advantage of the time to engage fully in the Mastermind group to learn the finer points of tax resolution. “Michael has the blueprint that covers the unique aspects of tax resolution cases,” Bret says. “It saves us a lot of money, time, and mistakes because we aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. Plus, you have outside, objective views of what you’re doing and how you’re doing, so there’s accountability. Honestly, 70% of what Michael is about is running a proper, profitable practice that is actually a business and not just a job you’ve created for yourself.” Bret talks about one recent large- dollar tax problem case he’s proud of resolving. “The client was a high-net- worth individual, upward of $200 million, who owed about $2 million to the IRS.” Bret shares how he used some of the tips he heard on one of Michael’s webinars, which featured a former IRS agent who talked about how to deal with various IRS personalities saying, “He gave us practical tips on how to build professional relationships from a neutral perspective of strength. And

also knowing the agent’s internal pain points.” He adds, “One pain point for an IRS agent is when they start running over their time budget.” Bret’s solution was to “see if we can help them get the case out of their inventory.” “We wound up building a good relationship with the agent and his group manager,” says Bret. “The client ended up writing a check for about $200,000 to the IRS; it should have been in the area of $2 million. So, we were happy about that!” Bret is moving everything to the next generation so he can step back and “do the fun stuff.”While he plans to remain active in the business, he will be able to spend more time pursuing other interests like spending time with friends and family. “We try to keep up with the grandkids. The oldest is only 4, so it’s exhausting, but we love it.” Bret and his wife, Rose, love to travel, especially internationally, and have booked some upcoming trips to Eastern Europe. “It’s nice to have travel opening up again.”

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