The busy season is here again; like any other tax professional, you might also be busy helping clients meet their tax obligations. While in 2020, much of the workload is added due to the coronavirus pandemic and its disruptive effects, now is time to learn from the challenges you faced and prepare your CPA firm or tax practice for this busy season.
Tips to get your practice ready for the busy tax season
Get Updated with New IRS Guidelines
If you are unaware of the recent tax law amendments, you might be missing out on several critical points in tax laws that must be considered while preparing your clients’ tax files. The coronavirus and the government’s response to this global pandemic have led to several changes in tax laws and new norms, policies coming out.
For example, the government offered PPP loans (Paycheck Protection Program) under the CARES Act to help small business owners that were struggling to stay afloat. These loans can only be used on specific business expenses such as payments for mortgage interest, payroll, office-space rent, utilities, etc. However, taxpayers cannot write off these expenses if funded with a PPP loan that is already forgiven.
Being unaware of tax law amendments can make your practice make mistakes, which may also lead to a low brand image in the market. Therefore, frequently check for the latest tax law changes and spread the word among your team too. With all the latest tax guidelines in hand, you can serve your clients with better tax solutions.
Set Clear Instructions for Your Team
Getting your team on the right path heading in the right direction can make a lot of difference in your CPA firm or tax practice. It is crucial to set clear instructions for work and expectations from them about the desired outcomes.
You may consider preparing an employee handbook in which you can include their roles and responsibilities, helping them understand what they need to do and how. This will help you handle projects more efficiently and complete them promptly.
Learn from the Feedback
Talk to your clients regularly. You might wonder what you’ll discover if you frequently ask your clients about their experience with you. They might tell you what they expect from you and how you performed previously while at their service.
Considering these factors, you can find new ways to deal with a majority of repetitive clients and their demands. Getting the feedback and improving your practice as soon as you get the reviews will help you enhance service quality and bring better results for your tax practice. Moreover, your happy clients will share the word and recommend you to others, helping you get more business.
Do You Have Enough Employees for The Busy Season?
It is essential to ensure you have enough staff density to go through the busy tax season. In the post-pandemic era, staffing is a big issue, and you are not the only one dealing with it. Finding and retaining staff is one of the most significant issues CPA and tax firms are facing, and this shortage may leave a long-lasting impact on accounting practices, an impact that can last over the next decade.
To retain your staff so that you can competitively handle the busy tax season, consider acknowledging the excellent work done by your staff members and reward them for the same. Avoid pushing them to work for extended hours (causing workplace stress and burnout) in order to cope with the additional client demands.
If you often struggle with employee retention and your practice’s overall productivity, there are chances you are usually burdened with a lot of work. The busy season is here, and the workload will undoubtedly intensify. In this situation, consider finding a reputed partner for tax outsourcing services to keep yourself away from the hustle and bustle of hiring, firing, and retaining your staff.
A reliable tax preparation outsourcing partner can help you increase your efficiency and productivity, leading to completing tax filing projects within the set deadline while maintaining complete accuracy.
Learn More & Train Your Staff
Make time for learning from your busy schedule whenever you can. There are several options, and you need to choose the one from which you can benefit the most. You should also consider selecting the medium; being busy, online courses or attending webinars would be perfect for you. Similarly, train your staff and teach them what you have learned.
Learning new things and expanding your service areas will make your CPA firm or tax practice’s foundation strong and comprehensive.
Does your staff spend a lot of time performing several tax preparation activities manually? If so, you might want to take help from technology. These days there are many options for tax software and tools in the market. Not only can these help you streamline your work with the help of automation, but some software can also ensure your tax files comply with the IRS tax guidelines.
Apart from that, when you start offering financial or tax planning services, you can invest in financial planning software, which can help you and your clients better plan finances and taxes.
Prepare Your Clients
Preparing your clients will help your practice get ready for the busy tax season. You also want to save time and avoid the headache, don’t you? If yes, help your clients by making the process easier.
Make it simple to collect clients’ tax data when required. You can send a checklist to clients asking for paperwork essentially needed to file their tax returns correctly on time. Consider setting your own ‘due date’ for clients to submit their tax data to avoid last-minute panic and filing that make you more prone to making mistakes.
As soon as you get the paperwork, you can start scheduling appointments. This will help you manage your busy schedule and ensure data collection from clients who have always been late for tax filing. Preparing your clients for the tax season will save you a lot of time and keep you away from stress, making the entire process more manageable for both of you.
In today’s highly competitive business world, it would be best to improve your tax practice, prepare it for the busy tax season, retain all your clients, and come up as a formidable competitor in the industry.
Considering the points explained above, you will be able to expand your service areas and improve the existing ones efficiently. Besides everything, if you want to save time and money so that you can focus on client servicing and satisfaction, you might want to outsource some of the most hectic and repetitive tax-preparation chores. If you are looking for an outsourcing firm, consider Accounting To Taxes as your one-stop solution provider.
We are a team of professional accountants and tax experts helping businesses, CPA firms, and tax practices across the globe since 2008. We can help you prepare tax files accurately, ensuring your clients file taxes on time. To know more about our services, call us at +1 646 688 2821 or email us at [email protected].