Improving Tax Season Workflow for Accounting Practices
As tax season rapidly approaches, accounting and tax prep-aration firms are preparing for another onslaught of workload.
Instead of simply “gearing-up” and attempting to get through it until April 16th, some practices are investing in application and business processes to improve accounting workflow management.
Here are tips that can help to optimize and increase your practical accounting workflow for tax Season from Jenifer Katrulya CPA:
- Get to know your accounting work flow: The 1st step in optimizing your work flow is to understand it. Take necessary time to look at the underlying business process of how your practice accomplishes its tasks and look for opportunities to increase the firm’s work flow efficiency.
- Pay attention to staff attendance: Even with the best financial practice accounting workflow management system, having staff away during tax season can be problematic. While many practices avoid scheduling vacations, you can go even further. Consider offering better schedule flexibility to save staff from taking a day off for personal work, or offering a subsidy for flu shots to reduce the risk of absences due to sickness.
- Get the correct hardware: Technology is a major aspect of managing accounting work flow. Having the right tech, like robust servers and high-speed scanners, will create more efficiency. Even better, consider today’s leading hosted and cloud software services as a way to lower IT costs, protect your firm against technology disasters, and provide reliable 24/7 access for your staff and your clients! Offering first-class cloud tech may also assist you to attract top clients.
Get the right software: While many offices achieve good results with off-the-shelf general purpose tools like spreadsheets or Adobe Acrobat, specialized software that automates your work flow can save time, especially if you implement it before tax season.
- Go paperless: Having technology is useless if you do not use it. Consider joining the large number of firms that now require electronic submission of all documents. Cloud-based tools can make this easy for your clients.
- Organize your files: When you create files, make sure they are in a central repository where everyone that needs them can get to them. This is especially important if you do not have specialized accounting workflow management software.
- Find best practices. Use resources that can connect you to other accounting firms so that you can share best practices. Other firms have grappled with these issues and can share their experiences.
Jennifer Katrulya is a licensed CPA and President & CEO of Business Management Resource Group, LLC (BMRG). Since the firm’s launch in 2004, BMRG has provided outsourced accounting and advisory services to several hundred small and mid-sized privately held companies.
If you would like to know more about how cloud computing can improve your business processes please call on Cloud9 Real Time, the number one cloud computing solution of accountants throughout North America. Professional practices, attorneys, and small and medium size business owners are invited to take a test drive of Cloud9’s Simpler, Safer, and Seamless cloud computing solutions.
At Cloud9 real Time we have IT covered.