Today, accounting firms need to deal with several major challenges. We see the desire to leave behind the practice of churning out more and more tax returns every year, and to head into more of a tax advisory service model. Instead of just touching base with your clients once or twice a year, exchanging money for a tax return, firms are exploring more valuable, long-term, subscription-based business models. When firms are heads-down during busy season, predictive intelligence technology like CCH Axcess iQ helps increase busy season efficiency. With the help of technology, accountants can focus their time and attention away from more mundane tasks, to more high-profit advisory opportunities.
Spot which legislative changes have affected each client this year
Let’s say you have a client meeting this afternoon. You’ll want to talk about all the issues that are impacting that client specifically. You don’t have the time to research each recent legislative change separately to determine which ones may affect that client. Instead, you can check the CCH Axcess iQ module on the client dashboard and get a personalized list of events just for that client.
This is going to impress your clients. Even if a client is modestly informed on the issues at hand, there might be something that slipped through the cracks. There might be a new tax event, or an old event that you’ve forgotten about, that you need to be reminded about. You can use the CCH Axcess iQ events list as a quick agenda to guide the conversation. Ask your client, “Do we need to make any changes to the upcoming season’s tax return because of this?” Then, you can make changes down the road or in amendments based on this information.
Identify areas of the return that may need additional attention
Towards the end of tax season, as you’re working through returns and getting ready to sign, CCH Axcess iQ helps you do that final check to make sure that nothing is slipping through the cracks. You can shift from a tax planning perspective to a tax review perspective. Instead of focusing on last year’s tax return, you can focus on this year. With CCH Axcess iQ on one monitor, you can cross-reference the tax return, and it might spark additional conversations with your clients. You may even find more planning opportunities for the next year.
Regardless of what you find, this information is going to reinforce in your client’s mind that you have their back, that you are providing them a concierge service. That’s going to bring them back. In addition to improving your busy season efficiency, it may even increase word of mouth referrals. Your clients will know that your firm really is looking out for their best interests.
Help clients understand how changes have affected their return
The CCH Axcess iQ client letter templates provide context and insight into complex legislative changes. Some firms use the client letter templates as talking points for when they meet with their clients. This is a shortcut way to familiarize yourself with the issue that needs to be discussed. Additionally, you don’t have to spend too much time wordsmithing, thinking about how you’re going to phrase the technical IRS information in layman’s terms. And we’ve found that some users even like to put this information out on social media, company newsletters and email marketing.
There are some firms that use the client letter template as interoffice communication as well. There might be members of your firm who are just slightly familiar with particular aspects of different parts of the CARES Act, for example. This is a good way to educate everyone in your staff about these pieces of legislation.
See how CCH Axcess iQ can help your firm improve busy season efficiency. Watch the webinar, Streamline Your Tax Workflow with Predictive Intelligence webinar to learn how to save critical time and effort.