Tax season is arguably the busiest time of year for accounting professionals in any capacity, and definitely the busiest for tax preparers. Before taxes are due, and before the bombardment of requests, questions, possible mishaps, and files come flying in, it’s best to have a list of things to stay up-to-date on to better handle the workload.
Tax preparers occasionally make mistakes and clients can take measures to see that those mistakes are paid back through a court of law. To help alleviate more stress that will be waiting this tax season, and any tax season for that matter, there are a number of best practices to take heed of.
Invest in Accountants Professional Liability
Putting the client first is key when it comes to preparing taxes, but it also helps to make sure everything is protected on the back end. Accountants professional liability insurance is specifically designed to protect accounting professionals against the wide range of possible exposures and risks. This coverage protects firms against losses resulting from negligence, error, and omissions during any time of the year, especially the very busy tax season.
Tax preparers should have an organized and clear cut place to store information that comes in during the year. All types of information related to a client’s taxes for the following year could be coming in at different times, and being able to uniformly gather and extract that information will help to streamline the tax process for them.
Things like notes, memos, and documents sent in or discussed should be blended into one folder or set of folders that can be found on a private folder. Anything from house closing statements to stock option deals, from charity receipts to a divorce agreement can be stored in this area.
Keep To A Schedule
Workflow should be scheduled out to help keep time efficient. Coordinating client meetings, client submission of data, and staff availability can all be mapped out ahead of time. Non-corporate clients can be scheduled and have their returns prepared on a first-in, first-out basis. Make sure to call clients and work out times when they can submit information that will most effectively be handled and processed. And always keep in mind that a two-week completed return policy can reduce calls, stress, late-night emails, and scheduling problems.
Always have the best and brightest staff on hand during this time of year. Mentors and trainers should be in place to help newer or less experienced CPA’s handle the stress, workload, specific requests, and all around system around tax preparation. Having an effective tracking in order for handling the workload for each staff person will help to keep everything–and everyone–on the same page. Having a well-oiled staff will most certainly lead to a successful tax season for an office and its clients.
About Walker & Associates
At Walker & Associates Insurance, we have been a leader in helping to protect businesses and families since 1960. Our coverages are written to cover your business inside out. For more information, we invite you contact us today at (800) 213-7126.