7 things every accountant should do post-tax season
7 things every accountant should do post-tax season
The end of the tax season should bring accountants an opportunity to kick back and relax after long, gruelling weeks. But if you are wondering if that is all they do the post-tax season, then you are mistaken.
The work of accountants never ends as they have to do so many things to ensure their practice staff is fully energised, and clients are completely satisfied to take over another financial year head-on.
At Fin-eX, we ensure our accounting clients pay special attention to after-tax season tasks precisely because these tasks are the foundation of the next tax season. Adding to that, here are seven things you must do post-tax season:
1. Examine your company finances
While diving into finances right after filing returns for your clients might not sound like fun, it is vital for your accounting firm’s financial health. Tax season is typically a lucrative time for accountants, so it is essential to evaluate exactly how much you have earned afterwards.
Act on those lessons you continually tell your clients. Only after you have paid out your staff’s salaries and your company expenses will you get an accurate picture of how much you have made. If the numbers reveal that you have not met your financial goals, take the time out to evaluate what could have gone wrong and how you can plan better next time.
2. Delegate tasks
No matter how good you are at your job, no one can manage everything alone without the risk of burning out. If you found yourself running ragged throughout the tax season trying to do everything, decide which tasks need your immediate and ongoing attention and then take help for the rest. Or schedule them in when you have more time.
Less critical tasks such as admin, for instance, can be handed to others in your team. For the rest of the financial year, get into the habit of asking for help when you need it, even if it means hiring someone new or outsourcing specific functions such as bookkeeping and payroll to accounting experts.
3. Stay organised
In the last-minute fluster of the tax season, you might have completed some tasks haphazardly. However, this will only add to your stress when you come back to them.
Practise taking a little time out at the start of your day and your week to organise things. Please make a list of to-dos, check them off one by one, and mark off time blocks on your calendar for specific things.
Try to keep your most critical tasks for the time of day when you are most productive, whether that is the first thing in the morning, after lunch or whenever.
Tools such as Evernote or Google Keep can also help you stay on top of things. This way, you will be ready to tackle the new season more calmly and efficiently.
4. Optimise your use of technology
While going digital has become the norm, having the right tools in place can make a big difference to your accounting productivity. Use your newfound free time to explore new tools that you can integrate into your workflow.
With regulations changing every day, it makes sense to invest in technologies that are automatically synced with the latest norms so that you do not need to stay personally updated. Also, ask your staff to read up on the news continuously.
Do some research on what your competitors are using, or attend tech webinars for ideas. Then, test out the tools you like the best and are suitable for your accounting firm, and reach a consensus with your staff on which ones to invest in.
5. Run audits
Audits are a normal part of the post-tax season landscape. However, the focus here is on running internal audits of your staff to see how they have performed during tax season both individually and collectively, what your clients have to say, any hurdles your team faced, and so on.
Once your audit is done, prepare a detailed report on the insights you got so that you can identify the significant problem areas and anything that went incredibly well.
This will give you ideas on how to proceed, such as any workflow practices that need upgrading, any tools your team might benefit from and any reallocation of roles or assignments based on skill sets.
6. Check in with your clients
Once the stress of tax season is over, the time is ripe for you to connect personally with your clients and obtain their feedback on how your performance has been.
Schedule time for a call or a face-to-face meeting and hear them out on the things they liked and the things that could be improved. This is valuable feedback and will help you get a clearer picture of what to focus on.
You should also invest in client feedback before launching a new service so that you know it is in tune with what they want in the new financial year.
7. Take a break
Tax season is hectic no matter how organised you are and how well you have planned.
Once it is over, cut yourself and the practice staff some slack by taking a few days off work. Apart from spending time with your family and friends, be sure to unwind with your team too — by having a virtual dinner party, lunch or drinks, for instance.
By relaxing, your mind is refreshed, and you can come back to work with the energy you need to plan for the upcoming financial year.
Over to you
The tax season’s adrenaline rush should not be the only thing that makes you work your most challenging for your accounting firm and your clients. To set yourself apart, you must initiate driving your business growth during this relatively free period.
Set up processes, expand your team, seek outsourcing help and upgrade your technology. Make the most of this time so that you can have even a more prosperous financial year. Talk to us to know how we can help cut costs and streamline your accounting functions today!