Repair, maintain, and grow: a checklist for tax and accounting firms
Self-evaluation can be an exhausting process. Determining and weighing criteria, covering the wide range of aspects that play into firm success, and simply taking the time to intentionally reflect on your firm’s performance, even when everything is going well, is a tall order for most firms.
Save time and effort with this checklist, created to help you ask the important questions to ensure that your firm is healthy and on the right track. We’ve broken down the list into phases: repair, maintain and grow. Each phase assesses a facet of your business and offers tips for how to strategically position your firm for success.
Save time for your employees
If you haven’t already, use technology to your advantage to free up time for your staff to spend on more high-value activities. Automating your entire tax workflow will not only provide a more rewarding work experience and allow staff to take on higher-level work sooner, but it will also dramatically improve overall productivity and accuracy.
Infuse work-life balance into your company values
Many candidates seeking employment today, especially younger individuals, look for employment that offers work-life balance and supports common values. Think about the type of culture you want to promote and find ways to incorporate a flexible and supportive work environment into your overall value system. Firms that prioritize quality of life for staff are sure to remain healthy in the long run.
Head to the cloud
If your firm is still stuck under piles of paper, or running everything from an on-premise server, it’s time to make a change. Invest in cloud-native software that allows employees to work securely from anywhere, on any device, with a connected workflow and automated tools. Then, they can complete work faster and more accurately.
The wellbeing of your team
Maintaining the wellbeing of your team has always been important, but in recent years the conversation has expanded. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the need for businesses of all types to offer a supportive and flexible work environment. From mental health services to balancing work and life, find ways to encourage the wellbeing of your team. When you do, you’ll find yourself surrounded by happy and engaged staff members who care about the success of the firm as a whole.
Compliance services with the best research tools
Compliance itself is an ever-changing business. Keeping up with the current tax laws is essential to any firm’s trustworthiness and efficiency. Having a reliable research tool to pair with your tax software can help your firm stay on top of the game.
Engage your team in the company culture
The impact of a firm's culture is often just as important as pay when it comes to retaining top talent. To keep morale high and staff engaged, ask yourself, "What does our firm’s culture say to employees?" With a focus on personal development and team-building activities, foster a culture that encourages staff to take an active role in building their career and contributing to the firm’s growth.
Stay up to date on how to use your tax software
Tax software can help your firm automate manual tasks, increase accuracy, and optimize your workflow. When you make an investment in new technology, it’s just as important to invest time in robust training for staff. Whether it’s new updates, additional features or interface changes, work closely with your trusted technology partner to keep staff properly trained and processes running smoothly.
Fortify strengths, repair weaknesses
This tax and accounting firm health checklist will help fortify your strengths and repair your weaknesses. Keeping an eye on your trajectory as a firm is similarly important. Look through all the checklist items, but don’t stop there. A complete examination of all your processes, as well as the foundational ideals of the firm, will best prepare you for success.
Demonstrate true leadership
As a leader, demonstrate the characteristics you want to see in your staff. Be open and transparent when it comes to communicating the firm’s goals. Make sure your employees understand the firm’s vision and their part in achieving it. Honesty and transparency cannot be overstated.
Involve your team in developing your vision
Goal setting is an important part of any growth strategy. Trajectory and a clear company vision are additional important pieces to help ensure your team is on board and on track to accomplish goals within the desired timeframe. Bring your team in with communication around your vision and allow your team to share input in the development of said vision and the future of the firm.
Expand into advisory services
Grow your firm by offering advisory services. Getting more clients on for year-round services creates stronger relationships and helps differentiate your firm from a compliance only consultant. This change will also make tax season compliance work with your clients easier and more insightful.
Attract top talent
To recruit and retain top employees successfully in a complex labor market, find ways to broaden your pool of candidates, promote benefits like work-life balance and professional development, and use technology to your advantage. Recruiting is much like marketing, but instead of selling services to potential clients, you’re promoting your firm as a desirable place to work.
Align IT goals with business objectives
Technology as part of business strategy is imperative for modern firms. From documenting internal processes to assessing software options to developing training programs, your IT strategy should be closely aligned with your overall business goals. You can ensure your firm is maximizing the benefits that the latest technology brings by staying on top of the latest in artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and machine learning technologies.