Five Ways To Prepare For An Upcoming Tax Season
With the spirit of Christmas at an all-time high, many CPAs find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on work these days. Hey, we don’t blame the aroma of fresh Yorkshire pudding and creamy eggnog in the air!
Everyone is busy organizing or attending Christmas parties, shopping for gifts (in case they haven’t already!), and just reflecting on the year that has gone by so quickly! The CPAs are not exempt from some relaxation time either.
The thing is once the holiday season is over, the tax season commences, which means the CPA firm owners need to start planning for the busy period right now - before they break for a couple of days for the holidays.
Since team QXAS is always a step ahead in keeping their clients well-prepared for the tax season, here are five tips you should follow for a successful start to the year:
1. Revisit your processes
As you start preparing for tax season, it is an excellent time to have discussions with your team about what changes you need in the way you deliver your services. Try to identify the processes that worked well and the ones that caused bottlenecks in earlier tax seasons.
Some of the aspects you could consider for the 2020 season are how to deliver tax returns faster, whether or not to move to a virtual tax process and whether to redistribute your team members so that each person is working on the projects best suited to them.
If you want to opt for outsourced accounting solutions, hold a discussion around that as well. You might want to learn everyone’s opinion on accounting outsourcing in India before taking a call.
2. Get started earlier
While the tax season always involves working overtime and rushing at the last minute, taking the effort to start preparing earlier will help you feel less of a time crunch. For example, you could make your client engagement letters in advance so that you can send them out in one go, rather than waste time writing individual emails.
You can also go over your current systems and check whether you need any software upgrades or new computers in place. That way, you avoid the risk of having to deal with bugs and delays in the middle of tax season.
Another aspect to consider is whether or not you want to take on some extra accountants part-time. Consider that if your client base is too large for your full-time team to handle, or opt for outsourced accounting solutions altogether, thus saving overhead expenses by up to 50 percent.
3. Be clear about your capacity
While tax season is gruelling for any CPA firm and everyone does end up working extra hours, it is essential to remember that employee burnout is not optimal and will only lead to higher turnover.
It is thus essential to determine whether your existing staff can handle the current portfolio of clients and whether you need extra support staff, or opt for outsourced accounting solutions during the 2020 tax season.
For instance, you might consider hiring someone on a contract basis to compile all the necessary tax documents from your clients, make the necessary follow-ups and ensure that everything is ready on time before tax season kicks off.
At the same time, you should ensure that all your team members get a certain amount of time off every week to rest and rejuvenate. This will help them work more efficiently.
4. Gather all necessary client information
When preparing for the tax season, it is essential to have all necessary client information on hand well in advance of when you start. The first thing you should ask for is a tax organizer featuring full details of your client’s business, including yearly occupations and charitable contributions.
If you go for outsourced accounting solutions, your external team can help you collate and organize client details accurately.
You should also know about any investments made by your clients over the past year, and any capital gains received so that you know precisely which deductions to claim. All government forms should be compiled well in advance, as it can be time-consuming to track those down once the tax season begins.
Itemized deductions are another point to keep track of, as these can differ from client to client depending on what kind of business they are in. That is also an excellent opportunity for you to consider letting go of any clients who routinely delay supplying information and thus cause hold-ups for your firm.
If you have all the necessary client information, you can clear up your time to serve them better, and not waste time chasing them.
5. Plan out your busy period
With a long, gruelling tax season ahead, it is vital to have a clear schedule about the order in which you will do all your clients’ tax returns. That will help ensure that you do not oversell your team’s capacity and that there is clear communication on when your clients can expect their returns to finish.
If you want to benefit from outsourced accounting solutions to tackle the workload better, find yourself an outsourcing partner now.
Better planning also helps your team pace out the number of returns to be done each day and week so that they are completed in advance of the final deadline. This, of course, depends on how promptly, clients supply the relevant data.
You must share the timeframe by which the client’s returns are expected to start so that they know that their returns will be extended and worked on only after other clients if they can’t meet the deadline for supplying the data.
That incentivizes them to be prompt about sharing what you need, which in turn helps your firm stick to the schedule.
Over to you
If you plan to go for accounting outsourcing in India, start now. Finding the right outsourcing partner is necessary to ensure your tax season is a success. But guess what? You don’t need to look anywhere else if you are serious about opting for outsourcing accounting solutions.
QXAS can help you with end-to-end tax-related requirements of your clients. Partner with us to scale your teams, reduce cost and increase profits during the 2020 tax season today! Visit www.qxas.us.com for more information.