5 Things CPAs Should Focus on During Tax Season

Tax season 2022 is fast approaching. While the general process of auditing, tax reviews, and compiling is the same every year, the work still remains tedious and overbearing. Despite the challenges, tax season is also when you gain the most experience as an accountant and increase your chances of climbing up the career ladder.

In a few months, your work desk is going to get stacked with files with pages running out of them. Your online calendar will be fully reserved, and your phone may not stop ringing for a few days. This workload can be draining. 

However, managing these few busy weeks doesn’t have to be as challenging if you know how to make the most out of it. 

Here are some important things to focus on during the peak tax season.

Work From Home

Since productivity is correlated with accountants working from home, you can and should define terms of your employment or contracts with conditions of working from home. In 2018, 43% of CPA worked remotely. This 43% included not the people who switched their work environment from office to home, but also the accountants that were hired remotely directly.

Other than securing the work from home option, you can make your schedule more flexible by leaving cushion gaps in it. After setting your deadlines early, place a small interval to complete any remaining work, fulfill personal commitments, or simply take a break. These breaks will allow you to adjust your schedule if you are behind or have unexpected work come in.

Outsource Tasks

With deadlines just around the corner and clients getting frustrated, it might not be possible for you to complete all tasks independently, especially with a packed schedule. The tax season does not have to be a one-person show. You need to learn how to delegate tasks where you can. 

If you’re dealing with big companies, business owners, and private corporations instead of just entrepreneurs, you may need additional help. You can either hire a small freelance team to work with you for a few months or outsource work.

Outsourcing will not only reduce your burden and relax your schedule; it will also increase efficiency and workflow.

Invest in Technology 

Accounting has evolved in the past decades, so it’s no surprise that clients’ demands and tax filing requirements and procedures have also become complicated. With information technology revolutionizing major world processes and business, it has improved the area of accountancy too. 

Increased productivity, accuracy, and efficiency are strong reasons why you should consider automating your processes. Using efficient accounting automation tools, you can cut down on manual labor and prevent data loss. Software like Botkeeper and Bench can make bookkeeping a piece of cake. Additionally, cloud-based solutions can make your client interaction effortless and efficient. Accounting automation can cut down on time-taking activities, such as number crunching and transaction tracking, out of your schedule by putting a tick on your checklist almost instantly. Only with a few clicks, the computerized accounting assistance can generate reports for you too, often more precisely than most of your teammates. With data integration processes on the software, you can have access to all updated and accurate information. If there are areas of concern related to transactions, you can detect and address them accurately and efficiently. Putting software to use, you can make more time for human interaction, strategy generation, and data analysis.

Be Organized and Proactive

It is easier to work when you have a clear goal for the day. Organization, thus, makes your hectic weeks bearable. Having a to-do list for the day will not only help you decide which tasks and meetings to prioritize but also prevent the hassle of switching between various responsibilities without a clear idea of progress. 

To prevent sudden workload, consider reconnecting with your regular clients before the season starts. Since taxation involves a lot of form filling and compilation of documents, you can send lists or filing packets to them. Giving them a heads-up gives you sufficient time to go through everything and eases the workload in peak season. 

When using software that sets up transparent accountancy details of your client, you can forecast potential issues and find solutions for them. Keep abreast with regulatory changes that could impact your clients. You can make changes in your approach accordingly. 

Clean up your workspace, at company or home, before the tax season starts. Make room for your due tax files influx. Assign compartments or places to categorize files and make your life easier.

Set Boundaries

Your clients are running out of time. They are bound to get frustrated or confused about any minor detail. So you may find yourself constantly on call or text explaining the process and progress. While it’s vital to keep clients in the loop, frequent contacts and calls can disrupt your productivity and put you under more pressure. 

Setting boundaries and giving them clear timelines of what to expect, when to expect it and how to contact you without eating up your personal time will make your life during tax season easy. 

As an accountant, you will sometimes feel obligated to provide service or assistance to any client who wants to work with you.  With all the people knocking at your door being welcomed, having a packed schedule won’t be surprising. Moreover, you might be working on cases you don’t find interesting. Your work does not have to feel like a punishment; that is why you should sift your clients. 

Understand your interests and compare the effort you would need to put in with the amount of review and appreciation or compensation you would receive.  You might find it surprising, but you can generate as much revenue from the tax season with limited ideal clients as numerous clients with multiple backgrounds. Learning to decline potential clients will give you more power over who you would be working with. With a more specific approach, your clients will be more satisfied. The more the satisfaction rating, the more the chances of retaining regular clients while also attracting high-paying clients.

Final Thoughts

Burnout during tax season is common for accountants. However, it doesn’t have to be your fate. Make this next tax season easier by taking the measures we discussed above. From remote work to outsourcing work and using automation tools, not only can you improve productivity but maintain a work-life balance.