Tax season invariably conjures images of mounting paperwork, endless figures, and overtime duty. Because there are so many deductions, exemptions, and categories that can be combined, bookkeepers have to triple check their work to make sure they are filing correctly.
Add to this the various city- or territory-specific tax rules, and you have yourself a situation that would test even the most patient accountant. However, tax season should not be all that bad. Here are a few tips to help your accountants get through the busiest days of the fiscal year.
1. Prepare for tax season early
The best offense is a good defense, and for accountants, that means not procrastinating on filing. Start collating your documents for next tax season today; don’t wait until it’s the month of the deadline before you ring up clients for invoices and receipts.
Treat filing your taxes like cooking. You don’t start on a dish without having all the ingredients laid out. Or if you do, it will take you longer than if you gathered everything before turning the stove on. When preparing the documents for filing, you will need to refer to the collated papers. Make things easier for you by keeping consistent records.
2. Go paperless using cloud-based drives
A cloud-based database would greatly streamline the tax documentation process. Because you are handling plenty of sensitive documents, you have to deal with them safely and efficiently. Going online is not only earth-friendly, but it is also more secure than keeping records on paper.
With a physical database, you have theft and acts of God to worry about. In going paperless, your information is encrypted and secured via document management software. To further speed up your processes, look for a document manager that integrates with other electronic collaboration platforms your company uses.
3. Conduct your CRM on electronic platforms
Client relationship management or CRM keeps your business going. If your firm is just starting out it may be easier to monitor how satisfied your clients are with your business. It is also simpler to gather receipts. However, if you have clients numbering in the hundreds, keeping everybody happy needs a little more juggling on your end.
This is where client relationship management software makes a difference. It will be much easier to do your books if you have all the customer information in one place. With CRM software, you or your accountants would not have to switch between electronic and physical ledgers. Having one place to keep records of billable hours, call times, notes, call logs, and project invoices will reduce the stress of bookkeeping.
4. Touch base frequently with collaboration tools
Have a way to set and measure goals, as well as a place to monitor if people are on-task. Using time tracking software will keep people mindful of the amount of time they are spending on something, and it allows managers to track the hours each client gets.
Workflow routing software, meanwhile, keeps everybody caught up on the progress of a project. Having visible milestones helps staffers with accountability, which contributes to their efficiency. Use workflow tools to send them reminders of upcoming deadlines, or quickly get newcomers onboard.
The Bottom Line
Tax season can be a heavy time for businesses, most especially accounting firms. Staying on top of the work to be done requires collaboration and efficient systems. Making use of small business accounting software helps build those systems and keeps firms on-task. When choosing your software, however, it is best to use an all-in-one solution, so that your collaborative tools and data drive are all in one place.
Firm 360 provides efficient, organized accounting services support. Our platform was developed by a team of accountants who are passionate about simplifying people’s lives and keeping accounting firms in step with today’s fast-paced marketplace. Get in touch with us today to learn more.