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New Service Aims to Help Clients Find Accountants

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By Michael Cohn
January 25, 2011

A new Web site called Teaspiller launched on Tuesday with the aim of helping taxpayers find accountants, especially during tax season.

Taking a page from the burgeoning Tea Party movement, Teaspiller also found inspiration from the Boston Tea Party. According to the company’s Web site, CEO Amit Vemuri, an Internet entrepreneur and former vice president at travel site Travelocity, was in a library reading up on tax and accounting history and came across an editorial reference to the Boston Tea Party protestors as “teaspillers.” He decided to use the name for the Web site he wanted to launch.

The company, which was founded in 2009, claims to already have a network of 20,000+ accountants across the country in place for the site launch. However, it’s going to be challenging some established sites like AccountantsWorld.com, CPAFinder.com, and LocalAccountingFirms.com, as well as services run by accounting organizations like the AICPA.

The New York-based startup claims to have several technology advantages, including complex algorithms to match various kinds of accounting and tax preparation needs with accountants who possess the appropriate skill sets and industry expertise.

Along with the search and matching technology, Teaspiller offers an individualized accountant reviews system. Maintained by the community, the reviews system aims to match accountants and customers based on factors such as tax preparation needs, specific industry characteristics and their associated tax issues, location, size, and more.

According to the announcement of the site’s launch, Vemuri wants to make his accountant-matching service into what Travelocity is for travel and Netflix is for movie rentals. Of course, if he follows in Netflix’s footsteps, he’ll have to figure out how to ship accountants in little postage-paid red envelopes or stream them over the Internet.

2 Comments

Well,

Whatever the site does, they are taking the names and addresses of the people without their knowledge and consent. Which is an infringement of their rights. So many people are there who are lot more than just tax preparers and do not want to be known in the public as tax preparers. How can a site just like that publicize the name, address and telephone numbers of that person without their consent. This is not IRS publicizing the people registered with them. It is a third party company using the names of all those CPAs, Attorneys and all such other people who registered as a paid preparer. It is absolutely without their consent.

I believe that it is a clear violation of the rights of those who does not want to get exposed through a third party website.

Posted by: saketponmana | October 20, 2011 7:06 PM

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Thanks Michael for the great coverage!

1. Teaspiller actually does stream accountants over the internet =)

When a client selects an accountant on our site, the client has the option to get quotes, share files, receive invoices, and handle payment ALL online. So a client doesn't even have to walk into an accountant's office =)

This allows a client to work with an accountant pretty conveniently, and it allows accountants to get clients outside the radius of their practice's office.

Plus, we help accountants digitize referrals from the client at the end of the engagement--which helps get even more clients because we turn this into a user review on their profile.

2. Teaspiller is better than a directory, template website, or client portal.

We spoke to thousands of accountants and clients to help build the product.

Directories don't work -- that's why a lot of accountants have stopped advertising in them. The reason is client's don't find the information in a directory compelling.

Template websites aren't effective. A lot of accountant's are using template websites that are generic and don't really help differentiate their practice (or communicate the quality of their practice).

We've done a lot of usability studies (watching clients interact with accountant websites) and saw that potential customers didn't really find accountant websites useful except for finding a number, address, and using it as a reference point (e.g. clients often said, "at least this accountant has a website").

The current portal offerings out there are designed for accountants, not clients. We really care about design at Teaspiller. So our workflow gets clients to efficiently convert into paying customers. Clients love it because they know exactly where they are in the engagement process; and accountants love it because it helps them get paid faster (and again, help digitize referrals from the client).

All in all, we really believe Teaspiller's focus on quality and convenience is going to help convince customers to stop walking into an H&R Block Office--and even think twice about struggling using Turbotax. So definitely expect to hear more innovation from us in the tax & accounting space.

Amit Vemuri CEO teaspiller.com | Love your accountant.

Posted by: amit | January 26, 2011 10:40 AM

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