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.

3. Evaluate your business processes
It is important to start evaluating 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. One idea, as suggested by CPA Canada, is to institute weekly workflow meetings.

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. According to Richter, a Montreal-based licensed public accounting firm, one issue of particular importance is office morale and work-life balance. Developing a hiring strategy should also involve checking in with current staff and finding ways to improve this year.

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.

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