Anyone experience challenges last tax season? Certainly, things such as client readiness, workload compression, pricing pressures, securing client data, workflow process – are just a few! So, let’s talk about ways to overcome these challenges, including strategies for an efficient tax season.
3 Strategies for an Efficient Tax Season
This blog is based on a webcast – Three Strategies for Kicking Off an Efficient Tax Season – which was hosted by CPA Practice Advisor and presented by Wolters Kluwer. Co-presenters included:
- Pat Gineris, CPA, EA and Managing Principal at Gineris & Associates
- Bernie Ackerman, CPA and founder of BNA CPAs & Advisors
Interestingly, both men agreed off the bat that their top challenge is workload compression. Also, compounding that one is staffing challenges. Furthermore, polled attendees revealed that 50% find client readiness is their biggest challenge, with staffing issues coming in second place.
Next, Wolters Kluwer Technology Product Manager, Joel Ortner, broke down 3 strategies to overcome these challenges for a more efficient tax season. Those included:
- Use of Cloud Technologies
- Automation of Trial Balance Work
- Integration with other Software Applications
Overcome staffing challenges – check √
First, let’s discuss staffing challenges. Because cloud software requires no installation and no data stored locally, IT costs are less. Moreover, staff can log in from anywhere and at any time! In fact, Pat Gineris shared, “All of our applications are in the cloud, which allows us to practice virtually. That has really been a game changer for us. We’ve attracted a lot of talent all over the country that we would not have been an option before.”
Overcome technology challenges – check √
Second, let’s discuss technology challenges. Following the staffing challenges discussion, Bernie added “We’ve eliminated our server in our office, which allows us to just use software as a service. Additionally, we do not accept any clients now that aren’t using software as a service, whether it be QuickBooks Online or Xero. Basically, that’s just because that’s the way we work and that’s the way we want our clients to work.”
Overcome client readiness, workload compression and workflow challenges- check √
Third, other issues are also challenging to firms. For example, automating menial and time-consuming task, like:
- Collecting data from clients
- Importing trial balance
- Grouping accounts
- Sending balances to the tax return
Regarding those, seriously consider using software applications that are integrated and talking to each other. That will ensure that your data is streamlined to flow from the beginning to the end of your workflow.
In conclusion, we highlighted Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Axcess platform. This suite of integrated cloud-based solutions also integrates with 3rd party applications. Too, CCH Axcess™ Financial Prep was demonstrated live, showing a full workflow including:
- Importing balances in directly from QuickBooks™ Online
- Reviewing the automatic account grouping
- Adding journal entries, and
- Sending to a tax return in CCH Axcess™ Tax
An accountant’s perspective
Notably Bernie Ackerman also shared, “We use CCH Axcess Tax and have been for over six years. Also, we’re now also using the cloud-based Financial Prep solution to bring that business information into the tax return. To repeat, we use CCH Axcess for all returns, both individual and business.” Additionally, “One of our key performance indicators in our firm is velocity. We measure from the time we get information to the time we get the product out the door. To us, that’s one of our most important indicators, meaning whether we can improve the velocity on those returns. Our approach is wonderful because, again, it helps with workload compression. Not only do you increase your billings, your billings are also done at a much earlier date than they were before.”
So, are you ready to overcome your tax season challenges? Then your next easy step is to watch the full webcast recording. Do that and you will see how the CCH Axcess platform helps firms achieve a more efficient tax season. Happy New Year!