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Tax Preparation

Tax practice tune up: five tips for the off season

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 7 minute read

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 7 minute read

With busy season behind you, now is the perfect time to get a head start on next year’s tax season. Check out these five tax practice tune up tips for the off season.

Tax season can be a hectic time for tax professionals, but the off-season is a perfect opportunity to take stock of your practice and make sure you’re ready for the upcoming year. By following these five simple steps, you can make sure that your practice is running smoothly and that you’re well-prepared to provide the best service to your clients.

1. Review your processes

As the off-season continues, it’s important to take stock of your tax practice and ensure that you are prepared for the upcoming tax year. The first step in this process is to review and analyze your current workflow. Doing so will help you identify any areas where you can improve or make adjustments.

When reviewing your processes, it is essential to evaluate existing technology and software to determine if it is meeting the needs of your practice. Consider whether there are features or additional tools that could make completing tasks more efficient for your team. Also, when assessing your processes, assure that they adhere to all applicable laws and regulations.

With artificial intelligence here to stay, look for areas where manual processes can be automated – such as billing, invoicing, or customer communication – as automating these tasks can save time and effort in the long run.

2. Analyze your performance

Assessing the performance of your practice is an essential part of the off-season review process. Taking stock of how well you are serving your clients can help you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your services, which will inform decisions that will direct you towards improvement.

Taking a look at past customer feedback will give you valuable insight into aspects of your services that may require some adjustment. If multiple clients raise the same issue, it might be worth addressing. Additionally, keep track of client retention rates; if they are low, it could be a sign that customers aren’t finding enough value in what you offer, and changes may need to be made.

Evaluating customer service is also important when examining your practice’s performance. Make sure the customer experience runs as smoothly as possible and that their inquiries receive prompt, helpful replies along their journey with you.

Gathering data on these metrics allows for a better understanding of how effective certain elements of your practice are – or not – so you can make informed decisions going forward and successfully deliver improved services for customers.

3. Consider technology to improve your tax process

Technology can be a powerful asset to any tax practice, particularly when utilizing automation tools such as UltraTax CS or SurePrep to reduce manual data entry and streamline processes. Additionally, the use of analytics can help gain valuable insights into client data and performance, allowing for more efficient and accurate tax preparation.

  • Tax software: simplifies the collection of client data and filing returns – making it easier to provide accuracy by minimizing human errors, all while filing on time. These programs also provide self-help resources for those needing guidance with taxes.
  • Practice management systems: are incredibly useful when it comes to improving your business’s efficiency. These systems feature appointment scheduling, document storage capabilities, task tracking tools, and more – saving you precious time for client services or developing strategies for growth.
  • Workflow management tools: allow you to easily monitor tasks throughout your process so that customer needs are being met in an efficient manner. Analytics offer an even deeper level of understanding of customer behaviors so that you can better tailor services accordingly – such as Checkpoint Edge’s free trial which provides metrics like response times or satisfaction ratings over time.

By taking advantage of technology solutions like these at your fingertips, your tax practice can reach its full potential while providing excellent service during tax season – and beyond!


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4. Review client data

The tax season can be challenging, but taking the time to review client data before it begins can make all the difference. It’s important for tax professionals to stay current on the latest regulations and assure all of their clients’ documents are up-to-date.

Organizing your clients’ data according to the latest tax regulations provides accuracy and efficiency in your practice. Keeping track of changes in law or regulations confirms that you don’t miss any deductions or credits that could benefit your clients.

Checking for errors or discrepancies in client data reduces potential headaches later on down the line. And updating client records with new information keeps everything organized so you can provide the best service possible.

Analyzing trends and preferences in client data can give insight into what services are most requested and how satisfied clients are with the quality of service they are receiving. It also allows you to identify any areas of improvement for your practice.

Tools like Checkpoint Edge allow you to quickly access your clients’ documents and analyze filing trends with ease—saving time and money while providing better customer service overall. With automated features like real-time document synchronization, you can instantly make sure that all of your client’s documents are up-to-date with changes in law or regulations and help reduce paperwork clutter throughout the season.

5. Engage your clients in the process and prepare for new clients

Engaging with clients and getting ready for new ones is a key part of the review process in between tax seasons. Taking advantage of this time can help guarantee that quality service is provided to both current and potential customers.

It’s essential to stay connected with your existing clientele so they understand their tax duties. This could be done through regular check-ins or sending reminders about filing deadlines via email. This not only provides a high quality of service, but it can also reveal areas where extra support or guidance may be needed.

The off-season is also an excellent time to recruit new clients. Utilizing your network, attending events or seminars, and using automated onboarding processes like Checkpoint Edge are all great ways to attract customers. Following best practices like providing monthly check-ins or periodically reviewing customer data will ensure any new clients get the same level of care as the current ones.


Use off-season tax work to your advantage


By following these steps during the off-season, tax professionals can provide outstanding service while preparing for future growth in their practice.

Remember: The off-season is an opportunity to ready your game plan for the next tax season. If you put in the work now, you’ll be ready to tackle next year with confidence. Tune up your tax practice now for a successful season next year.


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