Art of Accounting: Tax process tips
I have a million tax process tips for my colleagues. The only problem is no one will listen to me at this time of year. Very few, a miniscule few, would consider changing any part of their system a month before tax season ends, so I won’t offer any of my sage advice. But I will make a suggestion.
I suggest you follow the system you already have. Do not shortcut it—do not skip any steps—do not let partners make any unilateral changes. You have a system; for better or worse, it is your system. Follow it. If it isn’t working right, then it hasn’t been working right for years, not just now for this tax season. Now is not the time to fix it.
Use it and resolve that you will make changes, if necessary, once the current busy season ends. Make that your first order of business after you catch your breath and catch up on your other work. Schedule a meeting now for the first week in May or the first week you and your partners are all back from your post-tax season vacations.
Schedule the meeting for a location out of your office and seriously examine what went right and what did not go well, and work out the changes. You are all smart people; you can get it done, but it will only get done if you work on it and do not let your business run using default options.
I know what I am saying works, because that is how I did it and how I got tax season to work. Also, if you don’t follow your system, then you do not have a system.
Good luck with the rest of tax season.
Oh, if you haven’t already scheduled your vacation, what are you waiting for?
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, and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition.” 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.