Tax season is officially here with the opening of Federal Electronic Filing on Monday, January 23rd. But it’s not too late to take steps to increase productivity over the next three months and beyond. You can still implement new technologies, set up better tax workflow processes and support your staff.
Start with a Technology Review
There’s still time to take advantage of various software solutions that will help you this tax season. For example, let’s take a look at available technologies. Allow your firm to set up a Portal for each client to ensure files — such as client source documents and completed tax returns — are exchanged securely. In addition, you can leverage scanning technologies to handle the influx of paper files being provided by clients. Be sure to explore online tax organizers and e-signature solutions that can make your process paperless from beginning to end. Also consider updating your firm’s digital infrastructure with a document management system that will help you find files, manage file versioning and audit trails, and administer retention policies.
Make Sure Your Staff is Ready
Next, there’s training your staff on the tools they’ll be using every day. Make sure they’re comfortable with their software and using all of the features efficiently. Get new staff up and running by taking advantage of online, on-demand or live “in-person” training. You should also ensure existing staff is comfortable using the software by doing a refresh and/or sharing best practices – led by experienced staff.
Don’t Forget Research Needs
And finally, as is the case every year, there are numerous things that your firm’s staff will need to keep in mind and understand regarding tax code, rules and regulation, and new legislation. Be sure to sharpen staff knowledge on key tax issues and take care of CPE needs via various on-demand webinars. In addition, provide some guidance that will ensure staff can easily navigate the Internal Revenue Code so that they can get to the answers they need – when they need them.