[IMGCAP(1)]Tax season creates many opportunities for an accounting firm. One main reason is the compression of sometimes an almost unbearable amount of work into a short period with tight deadlines.

It also creates opportunities to benefit immediately from small changes in your system or in a reaction to your awareness. An on-the-spot investment in making the extra effort or change will pay dividends many times over the rest of tax season and thereafter. Here are 50 ways to make more money. For the ones that are obvious—do it! For the not so evident, try it!

Here are 50 ways to make more money during tax season, including increasing and improving productivity.

General business
1. More sales
2. More referrals from current clients
3. Better clients
4. Cross-sell services that clients should have, more effectively (get more business from existing clients)
5. Lower overall costs
6. Greater output per person
7. Better pricing
8. Faster billing
9. Faster payments by clients
10. Fewer price reductions
11. Lower bad debts

Resources
12. Better use of current technology
13. Get better and more current technology
14. Have up-to-date resources
15. Have admin and support staff trained and ready for tax season
16. Better matching of staff with work
17. Better scheduling of work
18. Better planning

Management
19. Frequent and effective oversight by managers and partners
20. Better coordination of staff scheduling and client appointments
21. More realistic deadline commitments that will reduce calls, follow-ups, pressure and client annoyance
22. Meet deadlines and meet them more consistently
23. Quicker turnaround of returns
24. Better hiring procedures
25. Improve intra-office communications
26. Quicker feedback to preparers from supervisors and reviewers
Staff
27. Better delegation
28. Delegation training
29. Assign work to lowest level of qualified staff
30. Effective teamwork
31. Greater staff empowerment
32. Staff accountability (and define what “accountability” means to each staff person for each project)

Clients
33. More responsive clients that provide data all at once, or reasonably quickly when additional information is needed.

Preparation process
34. Looking over data submitted by the client to make sure there aren’t glaring omissions before return is put into process
35. More frequent follow-ups for requested info will reduce delays in completing return
36. Fewer “touches”
37. Fewer staff reassignments
38. Fewer errors and rejects
39. Eliminate repetitive errors
40. Reduce staff changes on returns, especially on re-do’s and delays in having preparer make corrections
41. Better and more applicable staff training, including immediate on-the-job training
42. Greater and more focused supervision

Reviewing returns
43. Quicker turnaround from reviewers—monitor backup or backlog
44. Better reviewer training including return-flow management
45. Reduce back-up at reviewers
46. Oversight on preparers while they are working on returns

Big musts!
47. Stop settling and start expecting—and communicate this to your staff
48. Culture of excellence and stupendous client service
49. Leadership and management by partners
50. Create “excitement.”

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is partner at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He is on the Accounting Today Top 100 Influential People List. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns,” co-written with Andrew D. Mendlowitz, published by www.CPATrendlines.com and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition,” published by the AICPA. Ed also writes a twice-a-week blog addressing issues that clients have at www.partners-network.com. Art of Accounting is a continuing series where Ed shares autobiographical experiences with tips that he hopes can be adopted by his colleagues. Ed welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 964-9329 or emendlowitz@withum.com.