Preparers who add more employees during tax season -- especially employees new to a practice -- must develop standards of communication and management, according to the Income Tax School’s white paper, “Leveling the Playing Field: How to Compete with the National Firms.”
“As you add more employees, communication and management become more complex,” writes author Chuck McCabe, CEO of the Income Tax School and of Peoples Income Tax. “Preparers and other office employees might not be able to turn to you whenever they have a question about how a particular situation should be handled.”
In this unexpected lull before the season, preparers should prepare standardized answers to questions such as how does the staff:
- Answer the phone?
- Resolve client problems?
- Price, prepare, check, process and e-file returns?
- Meet IRS due-diligence requirements?
- Handle payments and bank deposits?
- Report daily results?
McCabe recommends documenting operating methods that have worked well for a practice in the past. The resulting manual can be an “essential training tool, as well as a reference guide.”
He also lists several resources to help preparers develop best practices:
- The National Association of Tax Professionals;
- The National Alliance of Tax Business Owners;
- National Tax Publications;
- Tax Firm Technology Links;