The pandemic, an ongoing skills shortage and fears of a lengthy Great Resignation may not be fun reading for employers. But the truth is, people still want to build robust careers for themselves, not to mention also wanting to work for companies with a future-forward mindset, and a wealth of technology solutions at their disposal.
If you are ready to embrace the changing tax industry and attract the best people – and clients – to your practice, here are some practical tips to boost your success in the coming years.
Less time on background tasks, more time for clients
With abundant change affecting our industry, there is now a much greater onus on meeting the needs of clients. Digitalisation has meant our world is more hyperconnected than ever before – and clients are demanding more from their tax professionals.
Ultimately what every client wants is your time. But when you rely on inadequate systems and outdated processes, you often spend more time working on background tasks than helping your clients prepare for tax season.
This can all start to change today!
10 practical tips to boost your tax business
Want to work more efficiently during the busy tax season while attracting new clients to your practice? Here’s a handy checklist to guide you:
1. Switch to recurring monthly billing
Rather than relying on hourly-rate billing – which can be a detractor for clients – instead look at recurring monthly billing. Simply agree on the scope of work upfront, and build this into a regular monthly billing arrangement with your client. As a result, your clients will be happier because a budget for your services means there won’t be any surprise costs.
2. Establish a cash-flow planning service
By adding cash-flow planning to your suite of existing solutions, you can help clients feel more prepared by identifying busy periods of the year and unique business challenges.
3. Invest in your team’s development
Helping your people upskill is the best way to futureproof your firm against industry disruptions. Think about what type of training your staff will need for the coming year, and factor in their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what they could achieve with additional guidance or structure.
4. Overcome tax-time exhaustion
Even amid the hectic scheduling of tax season your staff need to enjoy a level of work-life balance. To foster this in your workplace (and avoid staff shortages during busy times) capacity planning, and the ability to scale are essential – so build out timelines and assign hours as early as possible.
5. Negotiate with the ATO for your clients
As a tax professional, you can negotiate with the ATO on your client’s behalf and set them up with more affordable payment terms. This will assist with cash flow needs and help ensure your client retains your services.
6. Be a better communicator
Your people are an integral part of your practice’s long-term goals – after all, to get where you want to go, they need to know where you are headed. After reviewing your strategic plan in the lead-up to the new financial year, communicate this strategy clearly with your team and stakeholders. Also let your clients know about any changes or big plans ahead.
7. Stay on top of new privacy and security laws
Be on the lookout for any new privacy laws or changes in the tax industry, particularly around how you can collect client data as this is the only way to ensure your firm stays compliant.
8. Upgrade your tech
Are your technology solutions fit-for-purpose, or are they outdated? If there is room for growth, set aside time to conduct due diligence around potential platforms you could integrate, then seek buy-in from senior management about how they can be deployed.
9. Choose a platform that delivers keen client insights
Software for accounting firms must be set up to collect, categorise and analyse valuable client data. With these insights handy, you can better serve clients’ needs and focus on value-add tasks.
10. Don’t be afraid to cut dead weight
It’s important to regularly review your offering and discontinue any services that are too time-consuming to be profitable, or no longer add value for your clients.
With the right accounting practice software, you can streamline your operations, make your team more productive, and learn more about your clients’ needs. Talk to us for more information or request a demo today.
APS is a division of Reckon, an ASX listed company. We develop the software used by the best accounting firms in Australia and New Zealand to run their business’ and advise their clients.