While 2020 definitely threw unexpected challenges at us from all directions, when it comes to tax season many challenges remain the same.
What are your biggest tax season challenges? How many of these challenges are you facing?
- Client preparedness
- Software problems
- Staffing issues
- Time compression
- Security and privacy of data
- Pricing pressures
- Managing technology
- Streamlining workflows
Regardless of the number, now is the time to pay attention to them. In addition to the big problems, also focus on your day-to-day challenges. Interestingly, it is those daily frustrations that get overlooked often because the time and money wasted is in small amounts. However, when you consider how many times a day, week, or month you encounter them – well, that adds up!
Strategies that overcome tax season challenges
Therefore, you should consider strategies that can mitigate some of those tax season challenges. Here are three:
- Start by leveraging cloud technology. Investing in technology and innovation pays off in both profits and quality of work. Several reasons explain exactly how you benefit from the cloud, including:
- Better security – cloud providers regularly have security audits, like SOC2 or SIG, that include more controls than a local IT department could manage
- Work anytime / anywhere – this boils down to a better work/life balance for your employees, and happy employees lead to better retention and more productivity
- Less IT cost – with cloud, you do not have to worry about installing software updates because they automatically push to you, thus reducing IT services
- Next, investigate software integration. Consider all software applications you use daily to perform your work and run your firm. How nice would it be if your software applications talked with each other and matched your workflow? When applications are integrated, you increase data accuracy and free up staff from manual tasks and multiple steps. This results in more time to spend on value-added services for your clients. Additionally, you will realize these benefits immediately!
- The third strategy is trial balance management. It may not be top-of-mind when you think of efficiencies for tax season. However, it is one area where accountants waste a lot of time trying to get the trial balance finalized for the tax return. Think about how clients tend to come in at the last minute. You likely have to add adjusting entries. That, in turn, compresses the time you have to work on the tax return. Conversely, integration between your trial balance application and your tax application will increase efficiencies and help you face pricing pressures.
Meet CCH Axcess Financial Prep
Fortunately, Wolters Kluwer’s solutions can help, like CCH Axcess Financial Prep. In fact, Accounting Today named CCH Axcess™ Financial Prep top new product in 2019. Additionally, the solution also won both Golden Bridge and Stevie awards. Here is what Accounting Today had to say:
- “Reducing friction in data and workflows is a key to more efficient, more profitable practices, and CCH Axcess Financial Prep is all about moving things along smoothly and easily. In this case, it’s about hastening trial balance data into a business tax return: Once users upload the data, the cloud-based solution groups accounts intelligently and assigns the appropriate tax codes, so that users can more quickly make the necessary high-level adjustments before sending it along to CCH Axcess Tax.”
(Note: this blog was updated on 2/15/21)