Tax Season is a time of tight deadlines, high-blood pressure and late nights. But it can also be one of opportunity. Here four more cloud accounting experts share their top tax season tips for making the most of it.
1. It's not the work you do, it's the effect you have
In tax season you help your clients in more ways than they tell you.
You might find out how much you've saved them but you don't often find out, what they did with the money saved. Often that money saved funds new capital purchases, funds jobs, puts deposits down on new homes, relieves marital pressure and so on. You are at the heart of all this and yet we the business owners don't know the impact you create for your clients.
So the top tip is to find out the outcomes that you create in your client's lives and use those stories via your marketing channels to attract new Grade A opportunities into your firm.
Martin Bisset, Founder, The Upward Spiral Partnership
2. “How to make an accountant fall in love”
Having to reconcile Retained Earnings before starting a tax return is not sexy.
The best way you can prepare this year's client files for the year-end process is to start from last year. By ensuring the prior year adjusting journal entries have been completed and accruals reversed where needed, that this year's opening trial balance matches last year's ending trial balance, and that there have been no changes in retained earnings, you are guaranteeing a happy year-end team.
Remember to close or lock the books before submitting for year-end completion to preserve that beautiful trial balance. When the year-end package is done, take the time to finish these entries and balancing right away so it doesn't become an after thought during your busiest time next year. I promise the tax preparer will love you for it!
Rachel Fisch, National Bookkeeping Lead, Deloitte Canada
3. Be Flexible With Your Team
Find ways to offer some flexibility so your people can have a little more work-life balance during tax season.
If work can get done at home, let them do it at home. Remember, the workforce is changing and people want to work from anywhere they want, anytime they want.
Try some little experiments this busy season to see if you can improve morale and retention.
Jeff Phillips, CEO, Accountingfly
4.Forget the B word
Drop the word ‘busy’ from your vocab this tax season.
Being busy is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If your clients hear it from you, they may be less inclined to refer business to you.
They’ll want you to get their work done, and not burden you with more business of their friends. It’s not just the word busy, but it’s also your customer service.
If you don’t return your client’s emails or calls in a timely manner they may not ask you the questions that are keeping them up at night. Set up a swear jar for the office - anyone who uses the B-word owes the swear jar! And make sure you or your team replies to your clients in a timely manner.
Often a reply along the lines of, “Thanks so much for your email, great question, can I call you tomorrow to discuss - does 11 am or 3 pm work best for you?” is all it takes.
Damien Greathead, VP North America, Receipt Bank
Free Tax Season Tips, Resources And Guides
Our Tax Season Survival Kit is a helpful library of resources, including client checklists, step-by-step guides to using data to manage processes and battle cards to conduct client conversations, free for North American accountants and bookkeepers.
Log in to find out:
- How to get deal with the Tax Season rush more efficiently than ever
- Streamlining your administrative processes to stop wasting time
- The key tech tools that you wonder how you ever did without
- How to make your clients’ habits work for you