Revolutionize Tax Season! Start mastering the art of spreading the workload all year long.
May 17, 2023
The start of a new year brings with it a great deal of stress for Canadian accountants as they prepare for the upcoming tax season. There are many factors that contribute to the challenges of this time of year, including changes in tax laws and regulations, enhanced scrutiny from the government, and an inevitable surge of new clients seeking tax services. Furthermore, clients often wait until the last minute to file their taxes, which can create a backlog of work that needs to be done quickly.
While the business of the season is somewhat unavoidable, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to mitigate the workload and minimize the stress load. By taking proactive steps to spread the workload through the entire year, accountants can reduce the burden and avoid burnout. We share four strategies below.
Review Tax Changes Prior to the Start of the Season
Don’t wait until the tax paperwork starts rolling in to bring yourself up to speed on any tax and legislative changes that have transpired during the past year. Take advantage of the slower season to review any changes in tax laws and regulations or review any new deductions or credits that may impact your clients and provide potential tax savings. Not only is this a great way to get caught up on your Professional Development, facing the season head-on with a thorough understanding of new tax laws, regulations, and policies will make the entire process way more manageable, leading to a smoother and more efficient experience for both you and your clients.
Get a Jump on Client Communications
Streamlined and consistent communication is another tool in your accountant toolkit that can be a tremendous asset during a hectic and stressful time. Requesting and obtaining all required documentation well in advance of the crunch time and providing clear instructions and deadlines for submitting documents is an optimal way to be able to manage your seasonal workload. It is important to establish a strong working relationship with your client early on and have open lines of communication throughout the year, so questions and concerns don’t compound during this already busy period. Regular check-ins, client newsletters, and educational resources can help clients stay up-to-date on tax laws and regulations and avoid feeling blindsided. Ultimately, effective communication can reduce stress and increase client satisfaction during what can be a daunting time of year.
Implement Workflows and Processes
Another strategy for making the tax season more manageable, is to implement workflows and processes to streamline their work and improve efficiency. This can include setting up a client portal to securely exchange documents, creating a checklist of required documents and deadlines, and utilizing tax preparation software to automate data entry and validation. Whether it's adopting digital tools for document management, breaking down work into smaller tasks, or delegating duties among team members, there are a variety of ways that accountants can increase their productivity and reduce time spent on repetitive tasks.
Technology truly can be an accountant's best friend. With the rise of cloud-based accounting software, managing taxes has become easier than ever. This software not only assists in organizing financial information and tax documents, but it also has the capability to automatically fill in tax forms. This can save hours of time that would have traditionally been spent manually filling out forms. Online tax filing options can streamline the process and reduce the need for in-person meetings. Furthermore, the use of technology can provide real-time insights, allowing accountants to make informed financial decisions for their clients. By embracing technology, accountants can not only make the tax season more manageable, but they can also enhance their services and provide better outcomes for their clients.
As tax season looms closer, accountants know there will be an influx of work coming their way. By partnering with other professionals, like those in the Integrated Advisory Network, can help accountants delegate tasks and ease the burden of the workload. Take the time during this slower season to ensure that you are making the most of your network and setting yourself up for a tax season that is as streamlined and efficient as possible.
The Integrated Advisory Network consists of a community of progressive CPA firms, along with best-in-class professional advisors, service, and product specialists, who work together to deliver an elevated and holistic client experience. One that optimizes both their personal and professional lives with an integrated financial strategy designed to help clients reach their goals.