3 ways to start preparing for tax season
August 26, 2016

Summer is just wrapping up, and the coming months will be crowded with holidays and activities. From seasonal holidays to office parties and autumn vacations, both businesses and their clients have a full agenda. However, there's another important event coming up that accountants and bookkeepers must start preparing for: tax season.

Indeed, tax season is still several months away, but it's never too early to start getting ready for this hectic and important time of year. Here are three things your firm can do right away to be prepared for the uptick in business that will start in early 2017:

1. Get up-to-date with clients
Chances are, if starting to plan for tax season in September seems early to you, it definitely seems early to your clients. Moreover, clients are likely overwhelmed with and distracted by their own business operations, so getting prepared is not at the top of their minds. Starting now, accountants and bookkeepers can start touching base with clients to see if anything has changed in their businesses that could affect the upcoming tax season. Additionally, now is a great time to set expectations with clients and ensure they give you everything you need to be efficient and productive this year.

2. Evaluate your business processes
As Lisa Simpson of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants explained to the Journal of Accountancy, it is important to evaluate your business processes from last year and determine how to streamline them. Chances are, there were hiccups that occurred during last year's busy season, so work with your team and analyze your records to determine where you can make improvements that will both impact your own work-life balance and keep your clients happy.

3. Develop a hiring strategy
Finally, it's not too early to start thinking about staffing. This is especially important because before tax season finally arrives, many accountants and bookkeepers, including your own staff, will start taking time off for the holidays, and securing interviews with potential employees will become near impossible. CPA Practice Advisor offers a number of tips for tax season staffing at accounting firms:

  • Review your recent payroll history.
  • Revisit your error rate.
  • Analyze office morale from last year.
  • Ask for feedback from your core tax team.
  • Study what others in your field are doing.

It's true that summer is hardly over. However, the reality is that now is the best time to start getting prepared for a successful tax season.

Make sure you're ahead of the competition for this year's busy tax season. Check out Sage Accountant Solutions

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