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5 things accountants need to do after tax season

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 6 minute read

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 6 minute read

Once tax season comes to an end, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief — and then shift your focus to the future. Below are five steps to making the most of your time after tax season and improving your firm from the inside out.

Jump to:

  Take a break

  Educate yourself

  Develop a marketing plan

  Implement AI-powered tax software

  Expand into advisory services

1. Take a break

You and your staff have been working hard for the last several months, and it’s important to take a break for the good of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Luckily, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so there’s no better time to take a step back and recharge — and encourage your staff to do the same.  

Here are a few ideas for how to “check out” and unwind: 

  • Take an afternoon out of the office 
  • Turn your phone off for a weekend 
  • Get outside 
  • Spend time with family and loved ones 
  • Meditate or practice breathing exercises 

Whatever a mental recharge looks like for you, make it intentional and commit to it so that you can come back refreshed and ready to take on the following post-tax season tasks. 

2. Educate yourself

An important part of any career is maintaining certifications and continuing to learn as you grow. For CPAs, this often comes in the form of Continuing Professional Education (CPE).  

Post-tax season is the ideal time to earn your CPE credits and make sure you’re up to date on your professional competence and skills. While it may be an easy thing to brush off for another time, getting your annual CPE credits checked off early allows you to take learnings from your courses and apply them to your firm’s operations before the stress of next tax season. 

3. Develop a marketing plan

Now that you’ve got more time to evaluate your firm’s operations, take the opportunity to develop a strategy for marketing your services to prep for the next tax season.  

While many accountants say their marketing muscle is on the softer side, follow this basic checklist to better market yourself as an expert in your field. 

  • Set a budget and tracking system. Marketing costs can add up quickly! Aim to set aside a specific amount annually or quarterly and have a system in place for tracking marketing spend. 
  • Determine measurements and targets for your marketing efforts. Once you’ve got a budget, you can get specific about what your firm’s goals are for marketing efforts and how those goals can be tracked.  
  • Develop messaging. Identify a few personas your firm seeks to serve and create a list of their common pain points. Once you’ve nailed down your customer, develop messaging — like slogans, mottos, and taglines — that connects the customer’s concerns to the services your firm offers. 
  • Get creative! The most memorable marketing efforts are the ones that stand out. Don’t be afraid to try something new like getting involved on social media or designing a new, more modern logo. 

To aid in your marketing efforts, consider gathering input from clients immediately following tax season, when their interactions with your staff are fresh in their minds. If you’re looking to make any sort of improvement in your client experience, it should start with their feedback.   

Getting feedback from clients can be as simple as a 2-3 question survey sent via mail or email. Collecting this data allows you to make informed decisions about changes you may want to make to the client experience ahead of next tax season and the ways in which your firm can measure improvement over time. 


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4. Implement AI-powered tax software

AI-powered tax software is more than just a trend. It offers a multitude of benefits, from transforming workflow to enhancing the overall efficiency and accuracy of your firm’s tax processes.   

Similar to the way an athlete trains in the off-season, use the time after tax season to implement new AI-powered software or optimize the tax technology you already have. By the time next tax season rolls around, you’ll have automated repetitive tasks such as data entry, categorization, and calculation, reduced manual errors, and saved valuable time that can be used for more profitable activities like tax strategy and analysis. 

In addition, AI algorithms enable faster data processing which allows your firm to handle larger volumes of data and complete tax filings more quickly. Alongside an integrated AI-powered tax research platform, you can stay ahead of the latest tax laws and regulations, ensuring compliance and reducing the risk of penalties. 

AI tax software can also analyze historical data and trends to provide predictive insights, so you can help your clients make more informed financial decisions — which is the key to increased profitability and sustained client relationships.

5. Expand into advisory services

Now it’s time to take a critical look at the services your firm offers. Conventional 1040 tax preparation is increasingly seen as a commodified, transactional task rather than a service that adds substantial value. This growing perception can undermine your expertise.  

To counter this trend, more and more accounting firms are adopting an advisory model which enables them to become strategic partners to their clients throughout the entire year. With a focus on proactive tax planning, financial management, and business strategy, the advisory approach offers substantial value beyond tax preparation. 

As you develop your marketing strategy and harness AI for strategic insights, you can position your firm as a trusted advisor rather than simply tax preparers. This shift in perspective can lead to increased job satisfaction for you and your staff, meaningful tax insights for your clients year-round, and greater profitability for your firm overall. 

Learn more about advisory methodology at Advisory Bootcamp, a virtual event where you can explore how to redefine your practice to build a more progressive firm. Register for an upcoming session presented by Thomson Reuters experts and guest practitioners.  

Increase your firm’s value today 

If you’re ready to turn your knowledge and expertise into a new revenue stream this post-tax season, visit Practice Forward and learn how to implement an advisory services model.


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