As tax season winds down, most CPA firms reflect on how they did this year and how they could be more efficient so that their team doesn’t wind up working overtime and weekends to meet the deadline next year.
At Firm360, we support these last-year reflections and hope to offer the right next-year accounting solutions. Our passion is understanding the needs of small and medium-sized accounting firms and making their processes as efficient as possible.
Every year, we interview hundreds and thousands of people in the accounting industry to accomplish this. We look at their problems and figure out how we can help them improve. Tax Return Client Delivery almost always comes up as one of the areas with room for improvement.
Does the following situation sound familiar?
You have done all the work ahead of the deadline, all you need to do now is get the client to sign off and pay so you can submit their package to the IRS, but you have to wait for the client. The waiting game is not a fun one to play, so don't play it!
Today, we'll talk about Tax Return Client Delivery processes and how to avoid typical time traps and accounting delays. First, let's take a closer look at this common pain-point situation.
You have finished the client’s tax year return. Your partner has reviewed it. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was it? You can just submit the client's tax return, and the cash is in the bank?
We wish, but no!
There are many steps required to move from a "prepared tax return" to a "done tax return." Here's a breakdown of those steps:
The stakes are big; there's no time to waste! Some firms bring in over 50% of their annual revenue during tax season, and yet, for many of us, time delays occur. This is incredibly stressful, as you just busted your tail for months to get everything done, and now if you don’t get paid for that work promptly, it can put a burden on your firm’s cash flow. So how do you ensure that time delays don't occur?
Let's break down some processes that we have seen actual accounting firms using and reflect on the issues that these standard processes bring.
Mr. Peter Paper - CPA firms have been using paper documents for years, and it has worked just fine, so why change now? Here is how this type of firm typically delivers a tax return:
Mr. Donnie Digital - This firm has been through a digital transformation, and they love it! All their files are on their computers instead of in file cabinets.
However, the tax return delivery process is still quite time-consuming. How so? Let's take a look at Mr. Donnie Digital's client delivery process.
Mr. Harry Hybrid - As they say, everything’s fine in moderation. This CPA firm uses digital technology where it makes sense, and more traditional methods where needed. What's that look like?
These common accounting scenarios have some pros and cons, but the significant disadvantage they all share is the large amount of staff time in delivering client tax returns.
At Firm360, we think that the optimal and most efficient process for tax return delivery looks something like this:
That all sounds great, but now leaves the following questions.
We're glad you asked! There are a few options for you and your accounting team to choose from to improve client delivery efficiency.
Some interesting solutions are popping up in this space, and they solve the problem well, but some solutions charge anywhere from $5-$20 per return, and for a firm with 2,000 clients, this can add up to $40,000. At this point, a reasonable alternative would be to hire an admin to deal with it and then have them help out with other projects year-round.
You can research and subscribe to a different solution for each piece of the accounting puzzle and hire someone to build out all the integrations between them, but this will be very expensive and take about 3-6 months minimum to go live. Who has that kind of time?
You can go with the all-in-one accounting software solution Firm360 - a company founded to solve these problems. At Firm360, our core concept is saving you time by having a single integrated solution to run your tax firm efficiently. With our platform, you can be up and running with the process described above in just a few short weeks, never missing or looking back to the old ways. All the tools needed to use the Tax Return Client Delivery process described in this article are included in your Firm360 subscription at no extra cost.
Sounds a bit too good to be true? We have the proof to back it up! Let's look at the benefits and honest testimonial snapshots of real Firm360 users.
When you use Firm360, your Tax Return Client Delivery collection and process become simpler and more efficient. Everything is in one place. Everything is integrated and streamlined, which saves you time and money. Win-win.
Here’s a peek at some Firm360 users and their success:
Betsy at Banks, Gray, and Crumpler estimated that they save over 100 clicks per individual tax return using the process with Firm360, compared to their previous solution.
Amanda at Moore & Spivey used to haul boxes of work documents between home and the office if they wanted to work remotely. Now they are entirely paperless, and their clients love it!
Leigh at Mark Ashman CPA was also in need of a digital overhaul of their accounting firm. They now use the Firm360 client portal to deliver documents securely and collect signatures and payments electronically.
Your firm can be next! All you have to do is book a call to discuss how we can help you revolutionize your processes.
You'll be surprised to find that we not only help resolve your issues in tax return deliverability but all other accounting issues.
In addition to Tax Return Client Delivery, Firm360 is an all-in-one solution for all your firm’s needs. We handle client relationships, project and workflow management, time and billing, invoicing, advanced reporting, and client portal. We would love nothing more than to have a call to find out how you are handling Tax Return Client Delivery and how we may be able to help you in other ways. Book a 100% free demo call with Firm360, and get started and helped today.
We look forward to talking soon!