Because the sooner you begin, the more time and energy you will save. There are so many tasks to complete before CPAs can even think of entering the tax season. Moreover today, CPAs have access to so many training programs that can help them prep for any big event such as this.
While there is no doubt that given the responsibility of your role you should be preparing year-round, a little ‘extra’ hard work towards the end is always a great idea! Get a head start with this small listicle:
1. Read to update yourself First things first – the most important job of an accountant is to make sure his or clients save money or their taxes. And one way to ensure is to stay updated of all the changes to tax laws, publications and forms. We understand it’s a pretty clichéd advice but most CPAs take the learning & researching bit for granted - and this shouldn’t be the case especially when their bread ‘n’ butter lies on knowing-it-all!
2. Evaluate your client list Touch base with your clients to know about any new developments that may have taken place in the past one year. Don’t get into technical details; just gather information about any investments or acquisitions they may have partaken in. Getting to know these details at a crucial stage during the tax season can add to your stress – avoid that.
3. Professional conduct & ethics Just as law and other legal updates are important to CPAs, staying current with professional rules of conduct is equally necessary. Keep an eye on the ethics courses you are required to take and the number of credits needed to register for each course. Check with your respective states as they may have specific requirements. Check out Professional Education Services (PES) that offers a wide range of state and non-state-specific professional conduct courses.
4. Get your technology in proper order Not that it isn’t already. But please make sure your hardware and software are upgraded. If you need to make a new purchase, do it immediately. Don’t wait for the tax season to begin. Even if it is about repairing an old scanner, get it done at the earliest.
5. Learn about tax fraud Tax fraud is a pressing issue in the industry. The reason it is so is because of its use for stolen identity information in filing tax returns. Naturally, CPAs and accounting firms have to keep an eye for such cases. The Income Tax School offers an array of course on tax fraud and explain ways to prevent it from happening. In case you haven’t ever taken a course on this topic or want to advance in it, please go ahead.
Lastly, if you or your accounting firm needs help with some overflow work, please remember to contact us. Good luck!