Tax software, accounting integrations and tax TikTok: Interview with IncSight

What’s the next big thing in accounting technology and how can we stay on top of it all? With tax law in the US being ever-changing and complex, there’s lots of room for disruption in tax prep and tax planning technology. The complexities have also led to a wave of new information and it’s important for accountants to help clients understand what’s reputable.

As part of an interview series we’re running with a range of accounting technologists listed on the Amaka Advisor Directory, we spoke to Mike Jesowshek, Partner at IncSight and Podcast Host at Small Business Tax Savings Podcast. This is number four of four snippets discussing how the US-based accounting firm has used technology to create a better client experience.

Below, you’ll find the recording of the interview snippet, a summary of key points and the full transcript.

Key points on tax software, integrations and TikTok

  • Tax software in the US is behind, none offer 100% cloud-based features and integrations to all the major accounting software
  • There’s room for disruption on both the tax prep side and the tax planning side
  • Software often claims to be good at everything but ultimately have weak areas, instead there needs to be more focus on being great at one thing
  • For example, when we introduced advisory, we started with small video snippets that accompany financials rather than starting with a full advisory offering
  • With so much tax information, it’s important to take time to figure out who’s reputable
  • Many tips on TikTok are inaccurate, illegal, or much more complex it seems
  • On Mike’s Small Business Tax Savings Podcast, he answers the questions that clients are actually asking

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Full interview transcript with Amplify Advisors

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Hi, everyone. Today, I’m joined by Mike Jesowshek, CPA brand ambassador at IncSight and also founder and host of the Small Business Tax Savings Podcast. For those of you who don’t know, IncSight is a full service accounting practice located out of West Palm Beach, Florida, offering accounting, bookkeeping, taxation, payroll and advisory services. Mike and his team are an industry leading practice that puts technology first for small, medium business owners.

Mike also doubles up, as I mentioned, as the founder and host of the Small Business Tax Savings Podcast, which has a mission of helping hardworking business owners overcome complicated taxation rules, which can often lead to over inflated tax bills. Thanks for joining us today, Mike.

Mike Jesowshek (IncSight)

Yeah, thanks for having me. Super exciting.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Awesome. I wanted to kind of pick your brain about a bit more of a forward looking statement. Obviously, the ways that people are developing integrations, obviously I know that firsthand, but then even outside of that, the way that technology firms are identifying inefficiencies across the accounting space and developing new technologies to shorten the time that one type of workflow can take is increasing in number. The way in which accounting practices can find these applications are becoming more easily and easily accessible.

What’s your view on, I guess, the next big thing in the accounting technology space?

Mike Jesowshek (IncSight)

Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, one big thing in the US specifically is tax software right now. There’s some tax software to say they’re cloud-based, but it’s more just like a virtual computer. There’s one tax software that is 100% cloud-based from a reputable company.

But I just think that, you know, not only in the tax prep side and in how that’s talking to your accounting software, I think that there’s a lot of development there. When we look at the tax product that we use, which is an Intuit product, it does work with QuickBooks online, but we don’t use QuickBooks Online.

So it’s that same scenario where we have a software that we utilize, the integration doesn’t work with that software. So there’s added time there. And I think that there’s a lot of room for disruption on the tax side, especially in the US. And it’s not just on the tax prep side, but also the tax planning side. We’re looking at quarterly estimates.

How much do I need to pay on a quarterly basis? What are tax strategies that can be implemented? That’s I think where we’re tying those into all, you know, not not just your accounting software, but tying in tax prep, tying in tax planning, quarterly estimates or accounting software all together I just think there’s a lot of room for disruption there.

Now, thanks to our lovely government, we have very complex tax codes and an ever changing tax law so I think that’s what is really that pain point. That’s kind of that sucker that’s saying, hey, this isn’t this isn’t as easy or you know, everyone knows it might be a problem but it’s not as easy to fix as one might think simply because of the complexities.

But then when I go deeper into that, you know, it’s a lot of these things that we spend a lot of time getting information from clients. And so what type of automation, how can we make that painless for not only our team but the client? You know, a client is hiring us to do some of the work, but we also need stuff from them.

And the client oftentimes feels like we might be asking too much you know, why do you need this, this and this? We need this to have, you know, more accurate financials, but because we have to ask them or to get something from them, it’s just making that process a lot more difficult, taking a lot more time to gather that information from them.

So, you know, that piece, I think that there’s room for disruption there and there’s different pieces of software that pop up and in and solve a problem. But it’s never something that’s a complete overarching solution. And then we look at that and say, that’s fine. Like if a software is really good at one thing, data, data gathering for transactions, you know, what was this for?

You know, why did you spend this much at Walmart? That’s good. That’s all they do. But then we also say, how can we integrate that with maybe another software that is good at data gathering for loan statements and everything else? And that’s where that kind of integration piece comes in. We look at software that, you know, I don’t expect one software to be great at everything.

And because I’ve seen the softwares that claims that they are and, you know, there’s weaknesses in different areas of it. But I think as a software developer, it’s the piece of understanding that understands that, hey, we don’t need to be great at everything, but we’re great at one thing. How can we integrate with another company that is great at the thing we’re not to help create more of a seamless solution across all them and making sure that integration again, as we talked about, is something that is set up properly and really talks to each other. And it’s not just kind of this afterthought of an integration.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Yeah, and I think it’s very important when anyone uses the term integration, it’s automatically connecting to different softwares that shouldn’t ordinarily talk to each other. Now, when you make such a big statement, again, the trust that customers place in you is that the two systems need to talk in a perfect manner. So I think that’s why just being clear and upfront from the outset about exactly what integration does, not only prevents time wasting but it also adds another layer of confidence and trust in your product to start with.

Because when you have that first negative experience, which will ultimately come one or two days after activation, that’s when I guess it’s very hard to overturn that negative experience on the customer’s side.

Mike Jesowshek (IncSight)

Yeah, you know, I’ve always, you know, we had a conversation about this a couple of weeks back, but, you know, our company, when we first started a firm, we didn’t have a project management system and there wasn’t any out there available to accountants. So we created our own. Unfortunately, that took longer than we expected and it was more painful than we could have ever expected.

And by the time we launched, there were a lot of competitors out there that had a much superior service in our offering. But one thing that we’ve learned from that and one thing that we’ve learned working with other software companies is, is to have something if you have an idea, if you have a solution, let’s get that out there.

So we call it kind of a minimum viable product. Let’s get that MVP out there to gain that interest and once we know we have interest, we know it works well. Now we can take it and expand on it. But instead of having everything, you know, this big robust with so many features work from the beginning, why not start as a small solution that we can just continue to build up, build upon from there?

And I think that was something that we learned painfully as a software developer in the beginning. But, you know, we correlate that to our service offering too, you know, if we want to really dig into advisory type services, a move that we’ve made recently, that’s maybe not something that we want to go all the way in year one.

You know, let’s start just taking it up a notch, but let’s start offering, you know, this little extra piece of advisory and from what we’ve seen, clients love it. You know, we do something as simple as when we send financials over instead of sending an Excel doc or PDF, we’re including a video that walks through those financials.

That’s a very easy thing. And all we hear is great feedback from that. So like, okay, clients love that. Yeah. Now, now that we know that, let’s take it a step further. How can we do that next best thing and slowly get to that full on advisory? We want to get to without having to try something that we know doesn’t work or try something that we’re not sure if it’s going to work.

And we also see that on the other side, we try something and there’s no feedback. Clients say nothing about it. They don’t appreciate it. They don’t show interest in it. Well, that’s an indication saying, Hey, let’s not spend a bunch of time on this task or this type of an advisor level service because clearly the interest isn’t there.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Yeah, and that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And look, I mean, as a final question around things up and I know you’re a big advocate of this yourself with the podcast that you have started, but it’d be good for you to give some ways that other accountants can stay ahead of the curve in terms of technology. Automation, tax understanding.

You know, again, it’s an option if you do, I guess give a plug to your podcast that, you know, there just now an abundance of different avenues that young and also mature accountants can access unique information about the new types of technologies, the new app trends that can actually help their their business succeed. Keen to know whether there are any, you know, subscriptions or platforms that you and the guys at each use to keep up to date.

Mike Jesowshek (IncSight)

Yeah. Now, I think when we look at this, the problem nowadays is that there’s so much information, so many different areas, and you don’t necessarily necessarily know the source of it. And so you might go to TikTok, you might hear a tax strategy on TikTok. And also then, you know, kind of show me a video and I’m like, that’s, that’s completely inaccurate.

Like that’s illegal. If you do what that TikTok or told you to do it’s illegal. Yeah. But at the same time, sometimes a client, they’ll say, hey, TikTok says I can do this. And I’m like, you can do that. But it’s much more complex than, you know, a ten second rule might tell you. And so, you know, it’s finding those sources that you can know and trust and feel that whatever they’re getting information from, it’s something that’s a valuable source.

And, you know, as far as, you know, we listen to all sorts of podcasts, you know, listening to various different websites. But the key thing is finding out which ones of those can you trust. And so I think it’s doing a little due diligence in the beginning when you’re first testing out a different area, you know, someone’s talking about tax strategy or talking about this type of way to do cash flow forecasting or whatever it might be.

You’re doing some due diligence on that and saying, hey, you know, do I am confident in what they’re telling me and a lot of times, most of the time you will be if you’re looking at the right sources. So I think it’s finding that right source, finding that, you know, that repetition of someone that’s been doing it for a while, you know, if you see someone talk about tax rates and TikTok for the past week, and they don’t know what they’re talking about, they’re right out of college like that might be something like, okay, maybe we want to make sure that we can trust their resources.

But at the same time, I think as accountants, this is an area that we’re really bad at, providing that content to you or knowing what to look into. And that’s something as part of our Small Business Tax Savings Podcast, we do a lot of listening. What are our clients asking us? What type of questions are they asking us?

Because if we know if one client asks us that there’s probably ten more that want to know the answer to that question that just start asking us. And so when you’re looking at learning and looking at that kind of continuing education, I think the key thing is also spending that time to learn about it on the right topics.

You know, don’t learn about something that isn’t relevant, isn’t going to help your clients because you’re just wasting their time on areas that could be spent on topics that are relevant to your clients. And so that’s always been where our podcast comes from. Where our topics come from are all sourced from clients or listeners of our podcast say, Hey, I want to know more about this, any more details on this?

And I think that that goes again towards that idea of that minimal viable product is we might try creating content that nobody even wants, nobody even needs. Instead, let’s try to resurface. Then say Okay, let’s look at what people are asking for, what do people need, and then let’s develop our content or whatever it might be based on that analogy.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Awesome, awesome. That’s a really great insight. And I mean the audience listening or watching, where are they able to access your podcast?

Mike Jesowshek (IncSight)

Yes, our podcast is Small Business Tax Savings Podcast. You can find it on any podcasting platform. We’re also going right to our website at

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Awesome. Thanks again, Mike. Thanks for your time. Very valuable insights and I’m sure everyone listening has learned a thing or two from you.

Mike Jesowshek (IncSight)

Yeah, thanks for having me on.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Thanks Mike.