The new year is here. Can you believe it? That means that another time of year is upon us: tax season. It’s time to get organized and prepared. No matter how you plan, it will most certainly be a hectic and stressful time of year, but there are a few steps that you can begin to take now that will help you get through these busy days with a little less chaos.
Brush Up on Tax Law Changes
There are always updates and changes to the law that will affect your work during tax season. Take time to ensure that you understand any new laws and to review updated forms. You need to be completely prepared to answer any questions that your clients or supervisors may have about these changes. This will help you prevent costly errors and troublesome audits due to incorrectly filed returns.
Ensure Your Staff is Prepared for Tax Season
Be sure that all of your staff has updated training and materials to get their jobs done, whether they are handling tax preparation or support. Assess your potential workload and hire temps if you will need additional hands on deck. Have a prep meeting to go over the timeline and expectations of this busy time of year.
Spend some time reviewing all of the accounts that you are responsible for and look for errors, gaps, or missing information. Finding discrepancies in bookkeeping and collecting on unpaid invoices will allow you to finalize the accounts and easily prepare tax documents without delays and holdups.
Reach Out to Clients or Departments
Check in with the clients and internal departments you serve to ensure that they know which tax preparation documents you’ll need. Provide them with a format or process for submitting their paperwork. Make yourself available to assist them, as needed, during the process. If appointments or deadlines are required, set those up early and send reminders as the dates draw closer.
It’s important to plan out the work that needs to be done and to start checking tasks off as soon as possible. Start early and begin data entry and setup of forms and documents ahead of time. The more work that you can complete ahead of crunch time, the less stressful your tax season will be overall.
Set Up Some Downtime
It’s important that you take care of yourself during this busy season when stress is high. Plan a post-season vacation, or schedule some relaxing activities throughout the season. Also, make some plans to reward your team for all of their hard work throughout tax season. Self care and team building will help you to prevent burnout. It will also give you something to look forward to when you’re feeling the inevitable stress.
Did you know that a Senior Tax Accountant is one of the top 10 high-level accounting and finance jobs for 2018?