Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s advice that’s been around for decades, however in 1985 Richard Carlson wrote a hugely popular book with that title and used it as the premise for building a stress free life. Although he did not coin the expression, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff”, he was awarded the trademark for bringing it into the American pop culture.
Now, over 30 years later, it’s January 2018 and for most CPAs, whether they work in a large or small firm, the beginning of tax season is anything but stress free. Lots of late nights to put in and fires to put out between now and the end of tax season, especially in the wake of the new tax reform bill.
So what do I recommendation for any CPA looking to reduce stress during tax season and make it smoother and easier? Don’t listen to the age old advice and start sweating the small stuff!
There are hundreds of moving parts in the preparation of a tax return. Most firms get the “big things” right. They automate the tax return process using one of the many (very good) tax compliance and preparation solutions. These digital solutions offer all the forms under the sun, allow you to run diagnostics and error checks, keep you in compliance and allow you to e-file your returns.
Get the big stuff right and the small stuff will take care of itself – right? The hard truth is it’s the small stuff that will drive you crazy during tax season. What’s the small stuff?
- Client engagement letters: You’ve completed a return and realize you never sent out or received a signed engagement letter. Avoid the fire drill and insure that you have captured the engagement letter creation step along with integration with an e-signature platform within your tax process.
- Tracking due dates and client deliverables: Stop wasting time chasing after information and documents that your clients were supposed to provide you with. With an automated process management platform, like Amelio, you can easily track deliverables along with tax return due dates.
- Integration: If your systems are not talking to each other, the only thing you can be sure of is that your staff’s time is being wasted.
So to reduce stress during tax season be sure to pay attention to the small stuff. It is all fixable and Amelio can make it much easier than you think.