[IMGCAP(1)]I’m writing this at 9 a.m. on April 14th and thinking, “It’s almost over.” I’m actually feeling pretty good as I finish up a few large extension payments and double-check my extension list. In fact, I’m feeling so good about where we are that I’m mulling over where we will take our staff to celebrate another successful tax season.

This tax season was somewhat crazy as we worked through many, many changes. But we got through it, swimmingly. And here’s part of how we made that happen:

•    We implemented a practice management system this year, which was not an easy transition at first. However, now that we are up and running, it was worth all the effort. We now have a “hub” where all data flows through and allows us to maintain a real-time view of all firm, client and staff information. It’s exciting to hear our staff talk about the positive change in workflow and process.

•    We continue to harness the power of SaaS and best practices for a streamlined, paperless tax workflow. One of our principals was taken out of the office for two weeks in March due to a family emergency. With a SaaS platform in place and by adhering to a structured tax process—which included scanning upfront and use of a powerful scan and organize solution—we didn’t miss a beat. A special thanks goes out to Copanion for that!   

•    We also did a little house cleaning. In mid March, we let our new administrative staff person go. There was a conflict in work ethic and we decided that the negative affect on our firm’s culture was more important than keeping the position filled. Eliminating this position actually improved productivity because the culture improved almost immediately.

As a competitive swimmer in high school, college and now with U.S. Masters Swimming, I’ve learned that when the waters get rough, you just have to put your head down and swim through it. During tax season, you have to do the same thing: work through the issues, find resolutions, and continuously improve processes and workflow. After all this effort, rest assured that you will be well-conditioned to swim faster and more efficiently next tax season.