5 Ways for an Accounting Department to Prepare for Tax Season
The ball has dropped, the confetti has fallen, the fireworks have burst, and the parties have ended: 2017 is finally here! Now that the New Year is in full swing, tax season has officially begun, meaning that accounting departments everywhere are gearing up for busy season. Single clients, families, small businesses, eCommerce companies and even working accountants can all benefit from accounting departments working to prepare themselves for the approaching tax season.
During every tax season, it’s important for everyone from the IRS down to ensure that taxes are done in a timely fashion, that they’re done correctly and that they’re done efficiently. With this in mind, accounting departments and companies across the nation can try these five ways to prepare for a tax season that’s both smooth and successful for them and their clients.
Prepare Your Accounting Department for Tax Season with These 5 Tips
Different accounting departments may have different ways of doing things, but the following five tips can make tax season easy for any accountant working with any client.
Knowing how to prepare for tax season is half the battle, and revolutionizing the whole accounting department can make things easier not only this tax season, but for many to come. These tips can totally renovate an accounting department structure, as well as revolutionize accounting services for small businesses and even businesses that are solely online.
Whether you’re a member of an accounting department or the head of an accounting firm, these tips can make a positive difference for both clients and accountants.
Rest, Rest, Rest
It may seem like an odd step to take, but getting proper rest and relaxation before a big project is always beneficial. An accounting department can see a lot of improvements both in wellness and morale by taking some intentional time to rest before having to buckle down and focus on crunching numbers and helping dozens of clients file their taxes the right way.
Perhaps the accounting department can ease up on work leading up to tax season, or else promote time for rest over the holidays. However it’s done, capitalizing on rest is perhaps one of the most useful ways to prepare for the coming tax season.
Upgrade Your Software
Is the accounting department’s accounting software a little old and slow? This simply won’t do for the coming tax season. Everyone knows that when technology is most needed, it’s most likely to act up. Avoid this frustrating phenomenon by upgrading old department software or totally revamping which software the department uses.
There are various tax documentation systems designed specifically to make taxes a lot easier, so consider purchasing and upgrading software well before the rush comes in.
Get Rid of Old Files
It’s common for an accounting department to hold onto old records about different things. This can come in handy should a client need a backlogged document, but it can quickly get out of hand. The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) have rules explaining how long financial documents can be kept on file before they are considered expired and defunct.
What better time than the new tax season to go through old files and see which ones should be thrown out? Be sure to delete what needs to be deleted in order to free up some necessary space.
Set Up Tax Planning Meetings with Your Clients
For any accounting department, it’s a good idea to notify clients ahead of time and schedule planning meetings. This simply prepares both the clients and their accountant to get the necessary documents and forms in order, to provide any necessary information that might be needed, and for both parties (especially when it comes to new clients) to meet and get acquainted before diving into their taxes.
Tie Up Any Loose Ends
This is a great preparation step for clients as well as the accounting department. If there are any loose ends from the previous tax season, advise clients to get them under control and squared away before beginning this next season. If there are any outstanding charges, payments, invoices, or more, it’s best for clients to get these taken care of before embarking on their new file.
For clients, finding the right accounting services, especially those for small business owners can really make the difference between a smooth tax season and a difficult one. Try these tips to revamp the accounting department and make tax season better, smoother, and easier for everyone.