Tax Season 2017: Hang on, we’re almost there!

We are more than half way through tax season 2017, and I can see the light. Or is that a train?

All kidding aside, except for some heated emotions from some tired CPAs, the season seems to be moving right along.

The change up of tax return due dates wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it would be.  But is it ever as bad as your imagination?

We had a plan, and it worked well for us. We proactively set up our extensions. This meant that we told our business customers they would be extended in January but finished before April. We know our customers well and know when their information comes in from outside reviews and audits. It’s funny, but I can tell you which week we will receive information from certain customers. Customers and their information are creatures of habit. We created the plan in advance instead of being bombarded at the end. I know “plan” is a four-letter word. But having that conversation in January was much better than having it last week when emotions were high. Proactive practice management works wonders.

New season, new discoveries

Did you see the new icons for CCH Axcess? We were happily surprised one day when we saw the update. Axcess is starting to look like the up-to-the-minute cloud-based software it is. I know it was only cosmetic but you know, cool icons are important. It was the talk of the morning.  Yes, it’s the little things and well, the coffee cake that seems to make tax season bearable.

I’m also happy to say that our ProSystem fx Scan with Autoflow is working well! You remember this is our first year after some start-stops. And we are loving it! It has reduced a significant amount of time on data entry and once we got used to Scan and Autoflow’s personality we were able to adapt to her inevitable OCR errors. When she does them, we fix them and move on. She is easier to review than a first-year preparer who you never know where they will make a stray input!

All it took was someone with a little Scan and Autoflow experience to help us through a few adoption bumps.  It’s a good reminder to me that automation will work; but that sometimes it’s about having the right team, workload capacity, and attitude to work through the changes necessary for a successful outcome. I am so grateful we didn’t give up.

My partner and COO, Alex, has kept things moving along using CCH Axcess Workstream. Tax return hoarders, beware! There is no place to hide all that work piling up with Workstream in play. We know where everything is and how long it’s been sitting there. Timesheets got nothing on workflow management.

Our digital admin is thrilled with the improvement to the e-file dashboard.   It’s so much easier to track all the e-files and their corresponding stages.

It’s the little things in your workplace space that make for a happy space.

Looking ahead

Right before March 15, Axcess was busy processing lots and lots of data. But thankfully, it never quit on us.  Although it was not lightning speed fast, it pulled us through. Was it all the tax work or was March Madness at play?

This next month will challenge us all. It always does. Somehow, we have to get four months of work out in four weeks. Yet with the right attitude, the right team, and the right set of tools it all gets done. It always does- or there are always extensions.

Find out how an integrated, cloud-based system helps New Vision CPA Group stay future-ready. Download the whitepaper “A Match Made in the Cloud” today!

AUTHOR

Jody Padar, CPA, MST

CEO & Principal, New Vision CPA Group

All stories by: Jody Padar, CPA, MST

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