With the Holidays coming up and Tax Season just around the corner, now is the time to set your firm up for a successful busy season.
And, we don’t just mean stocking the office kitchen with coffee and energy drinks. Instead, we recommend focusing on two areas to get ahead now, while you still have time: preparing your processes and preparing your clients.
Success looks different for everyone. Yet, one thing we know from working with thousands of accountants worldwide is that many struggle with keeping their head above water in the first few months of the year. Add in the pressure of delivering a great customer experience so that clients return year after year and tax season can quickly take a turn for the worse. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
By preparing now you can get ahead and ensure that you are set up for success come 2019.
Follow the checklist below to make sure your team doesn’t burn out during an already stressful season and that they are able to give clients the service they deserve.
SET UP FOR SUCCESS
First, we suggest examining how your firm currently manages tax prep. Review what your internal tax production process looks like as soon as possible. This will help identify what you need to focus on to best prepare your firm’s processes for busy season.
- Examine your current workflow and identify where you can save time.
- Are you using a workflow or project management tool to ensure you meet deadlines?
- Does your technology stack save you as much time as possible?
- Decide if you need to implement any new technology. For instance, are you paperless yet?
- Ensure you and your team are trained on new technology and tax legislation. When clients come to you with questions, you’ll be ready to provide the answers.
- Establish a process for handling files you receive from clients, whether paper or digital.
- Double-check you have enough storage on your servers and on the cloud.
- Optimise your tax workstations for any new processes and digital applications.
- Do you need additional monitors?
- Does your team have necessary access to digital applications for communication, file sharing, etc.?
TALK TO YOUR CLIENTS
Next, think strategically about your clients. What do they need to know now in order to make tax season run smoother?
With so many client interactions happening digitally these days, it is important to schedule in a face-to-face meeting – even if over Skype or Zoom – while you still have the time. Not only will this help you prepare for upcoming tax season but also to set the tone for an advisory relationship going forwards.
- Plan your client meetings before year-end.
- Consider producing tax projections for your clients to add value and take a more consultative approach to your relationship.
- Talk to your clients about the benefits and security of your digital processes.
- Use this as an opportunity to check they’re using Receipt Bank efficiently. Show them how Receipt Bank works if necessary – simply, treat them to a coffee and use the app to snap a photo of your receipt!
- Develop client communications.
- Send out client prep materials
- For our US partners this might look like an organizer and engagement letter
- Policies: invoicing, deadlines, and any changes to the process they are used to.
- Make sure your website is up-to-date, including any content that explains how new tax legislation will impact your clients.
The beginning of the new year is always going to be crunch-time for tax professionals, but with technology like Receipt Bank, it no longer needs to be overwhelming. If you start preparing now, you’ll be well positioned for a successful busy season. You’ll be able to give your clients top-notch service so they return year after year, plus keep your team from burning out.
Of course, it never hurts to have a little extra coffee on hand.
DOWNLOAD THE PAPERLESS PLAYBOOK TODAY TO LEARN YOUR FIRST STEPS TO IMPLEMENTING NEW, GROWTH DRIVING PAPERLESS PROCESSES TO SET UP YOUR FIRM FOR SUCCESS. Download now