During your busiest season, finding time to do more may seem like a challenge. However, we believe that this is actually the perfect opportunity to shape your firm’s overall strategy. Why? Because it’s during this time that you gain clear insight into where your workflow faces obstacles and bottlenecks. By addressing these issues now, you can plan for a more efficient and successful future for your business.
There are four effective strategies that can help your firm streamline and expand during the busy tax return season. By implementing these methods, you can ensure a healthy boost to your business growth and operational efficiency.
1. Add Extra-Value Teasers
During the busy season, there is a simple way to impress your clients and make yourself stand out as a hero. Along with every tax return, include a personalised note offering an additional service. For instance, if Client A is a small business owner, you can mention that you have been contemplating strategies to help reduce their inventory overhead and save them money. If Client B is self-employed, provide them with tips on how to cut expenses when setting up a home office. By going above and beyond in this manner, you are accomplishing two important objectives:
a.) By personalising the client, they will no longer perceive themselves as just another case in your firm; instead, they will recognize that you took the extra effort to prioritise their needs even when it was not required.
b.) You have the opportunity to introduce additional services to your customers in a subtle and non-pushy manner. These services will not only meet their current needs but also provide value and convenience for them moving forward.
Both factors contribute to business growth. The latter results in increased sales of services, while the former generates word-of-mouth promotion, which is the most effective form of advertisement for any company.
2. Encourage Your Clients Toward Cloud Services
Attempting to make sense of the disarray caused by an unorganised client can be a significant waste of time. And when you multiply that effort by ten or even a hundred clients, your workload quickly becomes overwhelming, leading to late nights and lost sleep.
But by embracing cloud services, you can minimise, if not eliminate entirely, the need for extensive data entry and coding. Instead, you’ll have organised files readily available, saving you days worth of work.
Furthermore, with online cloud solutions, there’s no longer a need to wait for physical receipts to be delivered. All the necessary information will be at your fingertips in an instant.
Now comes the challenge of convincing your clients to shift towards utilising these online cloud services. It may require some additional effort on their part – something they’ve historically relied on you to handle.
a.) By using services such as BankLink or Receipt Bank, clients can easily and quickly access vital financial information. These tools enable instant visibility into cash flow, projections, and management reports, empowering clients to take greater control of their business and make informed decisions for the future.
By becoming more efficient, you will have the opportunity for growth. This means you’ll be able to handle a greater number of clients and provide them with even better service. As a result, your clients will be more satisfied and likely to recommend your business to others, leading to an increase in referrals and overall success.
3. Integrate Practice Management Software Into Your Routine
Practice management software is a valuable tool that can benefit not only your clients, but also your entire accounting team. This comprehensive program allows everyone on your team to collaborate and contribute to any file directly through the software. With just a few clicks, you or your manager can access information on any file from your desk, eliminating the need for time-consuming meetings or face-to-face interactions.
By utilising the right software, you can easily manage and analyse various aspects of your clients’ financials, including retirement contributions, mortgage payments, expenses, and income sources. Additionally, you can streamline internal processes such as billing and file management within your organisation. Take advantage of cloud-based services like Xero’s Practice Manager module to enhance efficiency and maximise productivity.
Similar to Point 2, implementing this strategy will significantly save you time and effectively position your business for client expansion.
4. Identify Workflow Blockages
As previously discussed, the busy season is the period during which your firm’s processes are prone to becoming congested. Therefore, it presents an opportune time to assess which areas require improvement or expansion within your systems. There are two approaches to resolving these bottlenecks:
a.) Hire more in-house talent – Although it may seem like a good idea, implementing this plan can significantly increase expenses. It’s important to consider that in addition to the salaries and benefits of new employees, there are other costs to consider. These include expenditures for office furniture, computers, power, HR resources dedicated to recruiting and training, as well as rent for a larger location if needed. Finding a suitable space entails additional time and moving costs, which might lead to higher rental expenses.
b.) Outsource your accounting services – Option 2 is the clear choice when it comes to reaping the benefits of experienced and trained staff without the burden of in-house overhead expenses. By eliminating workflow blockages through this option, you can streamline your operations and save a significant amount of time, all without incurring the high costs associated with hiring and managing additional internal staff members.
Make Time for Yourself
During the overwhelmingly busy returns season, it can be easy to get caught up in the daily tasks and deadlines that come with the job. However, it is crucial to take a moment to step back and evaluate the big picture of your firm. By doing so, you gain a clearer understanding of what is working well and what areas need improvement. This reflection time is immensely rewarding as it allows for self-assessment and the opportunity to make necessary changes.
By taking the time to analyse your firm’s big picture, you can become a more efficient professional. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your firm enables you to streamline processes and implement strategies that increase productivity. This not only benefits you but also contributes to the overall growth and success of your firm.
Moreover, evaluating the big picture provides meaningful insights into your client base. By identifying what is working well in terms of client satisfaction and feedback, you can continue to build strong relationships and exceed their expectations. Addressing areas that need improvement ensures a happier client base, as you are constantly striving to provide the best service possible.
Ultimately, the combination of being a more efficient professional and having a satisfied client base has exponential benefits for your firm. Increased efficiency leads to higher productivity and more effective results. Happy clients are more likely to refer your services to others, resulting in a larger client base and potential business growth. Thus, taking the time to step back and assess the big picture of your firm is not only rewarding but also vital for long-term success.