There are so many tasks to complete before CPAs can even think of entering the tax season, so it only makes sense that the sooner you begin this process the more time and energy you will save. Today, CPAs have access to so many training programs that can help them prep for any big event such as this.
While there is no doubt that given the responsibility of your role you should be preparing year-round, a little ‘extra’ hard work towards the end is always a great idea! Get a head start with this small list:
1. Stay updated.
First things first – the most important job of an accountant is to make sure their clients save money on their taxes. One way to ensure this is to stay updated of all the changes to tax laws, publications, and forms (especially since the new tax laws for 2017 have been passed).
2. Talk to your clients.
Touch base with your clients to find out about any new developments that may have taken place in the past one year, or if they have had any life-changing events such as buying a house, getting married, or having a child. Also, gather information about any investments or acquisitions they may have partaken in – might be a good time to find out if they bought any bitcoin. Try to avoid any added stress during the tax-prep process by finding out any of this information from your clients.
3. Know the rules.
Staying current with professional rules of conduct changes is just as important to CPAs as keeping current with any tax law changes. Keep an eye on the ethics courses you are required to take and the number of credits needed to register for each course. Check with your respective states as they may have specific requirements. Check out Professional Education Services(PES) that offers a wide range of state and non-state-specific professional conduct courses.
4. Check your technology.
Hopefully you have taken the necessary steps to make sure all of your hardware and software is running at full speed. Don’t wait for the tax season to start making upgrades and testing your network security. Even getting that finicky copier will make the lives of tax prepares that much easier.
5. Tax fraud is real.
Tax fraud is a pressing issue in the industry, and is illegal. Using stolen identity information in filing tax returns is a serious issue. Naturally, CPAs and accounting firms have to keep an eye out for such cases. The Income Tax School offers an array of courses on tax fraud and explains ways to prevent it from happening and catching it. In case you haven’t ever taken a course on this topic or want to advance in it, please look into it.
Lastly, if you or your accounting firm needs help with some overflow work, we are always here to help. Even if you just have a question about increasing the efficiency of your firm, we are more than willing to talk. Contact us here!