The tax season is not far away. Like every year, the tax preparers are gearing up to beat this hectic time by eliminating any chink in their armor.
So, as professional offering tax filing services, what do you think should be your preparation for the tax season?
The secret behind a stress-free and successful tax season is preparing early and not letting it get to your head. Remember if you clear your mind, you can serve all your clients without a fuss.
Here are some tips that might help you in sailing through the tax season.
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1. Don’t Stress Yourself Out
One of the main reasons why tax season feels daunting is because you let it. No doubt, tax season is the most stressful period for an accountant. However, it does not mean that you burn your candles at both ends.
Try to maintain a normal lifestyle even during the tax season. Even if you have a ton of work on your hands, do not lose your health over it. Eating a nutritious diet can help keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
Working for extended periods of time can hamper your productivity and make you prone to errors. You should try to take short breaks and meditate if possible. Desk exercises are also a great way to gain back your lost stamina.
2. Delegate Tasks
No matter how competent a tax professional may be, no one can do all the work alone. Even if you can handle all your tasks by yourself, it takes a lot out of you. Working nonstop in the tax season can have adverse effects on your health.
A helping hand in the tax season can prove a lifesaver. Try to reach out for help if you are not able to handle all the tasks by yourself. You can pass on some of the “less critical” tasks to your subordinates, which will make some time for you to focus on more pressing matters.
3. Make Use of Technology
In the current scenario, technology has anyhow become essential for any accounting process. However, during tax season, the use of the latest technologies become indispensable.
There are loads of tax software solutions available for you that not only helps you save your time but also helps in reducing some of the tax season stress. Apart from the tax solutions such as ATX, ProSeries, and Drake, there are other third-party add-ons that help you achieve additional tasks such as accounting, time tracking, expense management, among others. Some of them are QuickBooks, QuickBooks Time, Expensify etc.
Moreover, to get more comfort in your accounting process, you can choose a cloud service provider to host your tax software and data on the cloud. It will give you the ability to access your tax process from anywhere at any time.
4. Be Proactive
One of how you can ensure a smooth tax season is to prepare for it a little early. If you do most of the preparation tasks prior to the tax season, all there is left in the tax season is filing taxes.
Do not wait for the clients to submit their documents at the cusp of the tax season. Instead, ask for all the required documents and information a couple of weeks before the tax season. It will help you deliver exceptional customer services to your client as you don’t have to bother them for documents during the tax season.
A common mistake that the professionals responsible for filing tax returns make is working haphazardly. Since there are a lot of tasks you need to work on simultaneously, don’t get flustered.
You can start your day by creating a task list for the day. List out all your clients and set your priorities accordingly. You can keep the most critical work on the top of your task list. As you are the most energetic in the morning, you will be able to complete the tasks efficiently. You can use apps like Google Keep or Evernote to keep track of daily tasks.
Even if some of your tasks are incomplete at the end of the day, don’t worry. You have completed the important tasks already.
6. Go Through The Tax Regulations
As a tax professional, you can be overconfident and ignore the basic requirement of going through the tax regulations. As the tax regulations keep on changing regularly, it is imperative to go through all the tax changes as per the Internal Revenue Code (IRC, § 6695).
The IRS had already announced the new Federal Income Tax Brackets for 2019 tax filing last year. Although the tax preparers make it a necessity to know the tax laws, it is wise to go through them just before the tax season to see if you have missed something.
7. Learn To Say No
Remember that you are only human. A lot of preparers take pride over handling an ocean of clients during the tax season. However, you should also know that it is not possible to cater to them all. Stretching yourself too much will lead to cumbersome tax filing as it will become practically impossible to handle the data.
Hence, you should analyze your workforce and take on clients accordingly. Learn to say no; otherwise, there will be a situation where you will not be able to serve even the present clients.
8. Manage Your Team
You might be willing to work, day and night, during the tax season. But you can’t expect the same from your team.
Always remember that your team might need extra motivation to work tirelessly in the tax season. Do not put extra pressure on them by setting unrealistic goals. Instead, you should try to make the working conditions as relaxed as possible.
Order pizza for them if they are working late. Sit with them during coffee breaks and exchange anecdotes. You can also allow individuals that live far away to work from home. Remember that a relaxed work environment is the most productive one.
9. Relieve Yourself From All Other Tasks
As a tax preparer, filing tax returns is all that should be in your mind during the tax season. Hence, free yourself from all the personal and professional commitments during that time. If you have an event or seminar happening at that time, say no to all of it in advance. Clear your schedule of all the less important tasks and make room for the tax season.
10. Categorize Your Clients
When you have a large clientele to handle, it is always better to put your clients in different categories. You can put the clients belonging to a different industry together. As they might have a common requirement for tax filing, it will be easier for you to file their taxes.
Moreover, you can segregate the receipts and put them in different folders for the efficient management of their documents.
Tax Season Is A Prosperous Time
These tips can help you stay in the right frame of mind during the tax season. Remember that season can be the most lucrative time for the tax preparers if they get their house in order and inspire their subordinates to accomplish their task effectively and without stress.
If you know some more tips, please let us know in the comments section.