This week, we kicked off our roadshow with the National Association of Tax Professionals.
Along the way, we’ve been talking to accountants about the issues they face during tax season and what it will take to solve them.
Tax season is often marked by long nights at the office and unrelenting deadlines. There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it. It’s easy to blame your clients for bringing in their paperwork at the last minute, or losing key documents. Especially if you’re spending hours chasing clients for receipts and manually entering data. But the real culprit could be something much more prosaic.
The single biggest change we recommend making is going paperless. Once you can capture and transfer documents digitally, technology can do more of the heavy lifting when it comes to recognizing key data. All you have to do is review and publish to your ledger.
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New technology processes can help your practice stand apart from the rest. With the hours you save, you’ll have the power to reimagine what tax season looks like for you, your firm and your clients. Here’s how to transform tax season with a paperless solution and 3 steps.
TRANSFORM YOUR TAX SEASON
Long days at the office are often a result of manual processes. Chief among these are having to chase clients for paperwork, plus managing and entering data . Combined, these tasks take a ton of time when all of the tax season work is coming in at once. Technology, like Receipt Bank, gives you a chance to fix this.
The best paperless strategies are backed by software that automate the critical, but not actually valuable, processes such as data entry. With Receipt Bank, you can transform what those critical tasks look like for your firm. Many firms waste hours, and sometimes even days, chasing clients for receipts and then manually entering them. Imagine what you could do with that time back.
All of a sudden, tax season doesn’t look quite so bad.
This is why the smartest firms are implementing technology now, to ensure processes are running smoothly come tax season. It won’t happen overnight. But by introducing new tools and automated processes into your workflow, you’ll soon see the light at the end of the tax tunnel. You will also be able to test many of these processes internally before rolling out for your clients.
So, let’s take a look at a solution to the tax season time crunch.
THE PAPERLESS SOLUTION
One thing to keep in mind is that not all ways of going paperless are created equally.
For example, you could use a scanner to batch scan in receipts and invoices. This digitizes your documents, but you still have to manually enter in the data into the accounting software.
Receipt Bank’s award-winning Self Employed client solution automates the collection and extraction of clients’ expense data. It even categorizes it automatically, providing a Schedule C summary of the tax year for review any time.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Get your clients on board: All they have to do is download the Receipt Bank app and start taking photos of their documents. The mobile app is free for your clients, and gives them an easy way to record expenses on the go, at any time of the year. Plus, it provides you with documents in real-time.
- Spend less time on data entry, and more time adding value: Key data is automatically recognized and categorized. All you have to do is review and publish to your client’s accounting software in one click.
- Give your clients peace of mind: Storing documents on the cloud means you can provide protection from fraud or natural disaster and ensure that they are audit-proof. Plus, clients can rest easy knowing you have visibility into their business’s financial health.
Now, you’ll start feeling the true benefits of a transformed tax season. That means a better work/life balance, improved client relationships, and the opportunity to spend more time on value-added services.
SET YOUR FIRM APART FROM THE REST
Changing the way your firm sources, processes and manages data has wide ranging effects. If you use the right tools, you have the chance to not only improve your client retention rates, but increase your overall revenue and capacity.
Key to this is changing your client interaction from a once-a-year transaction to an ongoing relationship. With client information flowing in throughout the year, you can review it at anytime. Now, you’re much better positioned to identify other ways your services and expertise can help them, and boost your firm’s revenue with those value-added services.
Providing value-added services means that your clients will see you as more than just an obligatory tax engagement. By establishing yourself as a trusted business advisor, your clients will keep coming back to you because they realize the true value behind your services. Even more so, once your clients recognize the value you provide to them, the more likely they are to refer you to someone else.
Remember that light at the end of the tax season tunnel? It should feel a little bit closer now.
Download the Paperless Playbook today to learn the key mistakes firms make along the way and how to avoid them, plus best paperless practices from leading firms. Download now