There are two things you can count on in life–death and taxes. And tax season is accounting season!
It’s no secret that the busy season for accounting firms can be hectic and overwhelming. Every year, accountants must prepare their firms and staff to handle the increased workload while maintaining excellent customer service. And nowadays it’s even harder than ever with accounting firm staffing shortages. To help make this process easier, here are five tips on how to get your accounting firm ready for the busy season.
Accounting Busy Season
As the first quarter of each year approaches, it is time to prepare for the busy CPA season. The CPA busy season typically begins on January 1st and runs until March 31st. Many accounting firms see an increased workload as clients work to get their taxes done before the April 15th deadline.
So, how do you prepare and make the most of this time? From streamlining operations to managing stress and workloads, the following tips will ensure your firm is well-prepared for the upcoming busy season.
#1 Streamline Your Processes
Streamlining processes can make a huge difference in your accounting firm’s success. This is especially true when dealing with a large volume of work and a small staff. Streamlining processes can help you manage workflow, reduce turnaround times, and improve customer satisfaction.
The first step to streamlining processes is to identify areas where inefficiencies exist. Look at each stage of the process and ask yourself if any actions could be automated or reduced.
- Do you have any manual processes that could be replaced with digital ones?
- Is there any technology that you could use to make things more efficient?
- Is there work that you’re doing that could best be managed by someone else or an outside service?
Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, start implementing changes. Invest in technology that can automate tasks like data entry and filing.
By streamlining processes, your accounting firm will be able to manage the busy CPA season with ease. With the right strategies, you can focus on providing excellent customer service to your clients while ensuring that all work is done quickly and accurately.
#2 Manage Your Stress
The tax season can be a very stressful time for accounting firms. As workloads increase and deadlines become more pressing, staying focused and managing stress levels. In fact, a survey conducted by Accountancy Age found that 99% of accountants suffer from burnout and 24% reported a medium-high level of burnout. during peak tax season. Here are a few tips on how to do this:
- Take care of yourself
Ensure adequate sleep and nutrition, and take breaks throughout the day. Exercise is also a great way to release tension and clear your mind. Get outside when you can and go on 10 minute breaks to reset.
- Outsource and delegate
Many tasks, such as phone calls, scheduling appointments, filing paperwork, and other small tasks, can be outsourced.
- Invest in services
Taking advantage of services like Abby Connect can help you manage the influx of clients during the busy season. These services allow you to communicate with clients and streamline processes efficiently, so you can focus on providing excellent customer service.
By following these steps, you can better manage the stress of the busy season and make sure your accounting firm is well-equipped to handle any workload.
#3 Staff Appropriately
As an accounting firm, you are likely aware of the CPA and staff shortages that have become an industry-wide issue. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found in the last two years, more than +3,000 accountants quit their job. This means finding qualified personnel to help manage your workload during the busy season can be challenging.
Outsourcing can be an excellent solution for staffing during the busy season. Outsourcing can help you quickly and easily access additional help to manage the increased workload, ensuring quality customer service. Many outsourcing companies specialize in providing trained personnel who can assist with various tasks, from filing to bookkeeping to call-handling.
By relying on an experienced, reliable outsourcing provider, you can ensure you have the extra help needed to get through the busy season without compromising the quality of work your firm produces.
#4 Workload & Time Management
During the busy tax season, an accounting firm can become overwhelmed with many clients and their individual needs. To help manage workloads and time, firms should consider outsourcing tasks that are not their core focus. Outsourcing can free up staff to focus on their areas of expertise and reduce the risk of overlooking details or missing deadlines.
With careful planning and proper management, outsourcing can help ensure your team can deliver high-quality services without feeling overworked and stressed.
#5 Drive Excellent Customer Service
Providing excellent customer service is the key to success for any accounting firm during the busy season. As workloads increase and stress levels rise, it’s essential that your team can still maintain a positive attitude and deliver exceptional customer service. Here are some tips to help you achieve this goal:
- Respond quickly to client inquiries. This includes phone calls, emails, and other forms of communication.
- Always remain professional when dealing with clients, even when faced with challenging situations.
- Utilize technology solutions to automate your workflow and streamline processes.
- Stay organized and keep detailed records of all your interactions with clients.
- Implement an answering service like Abby Connect, which allows clients to reach out 24/7 for inquiries and support.
By taking the steps above, your accounting firm can drive excellent customer service during the busy season and ensure long-term success for your business.
Abby Connect For Your Accounting Firm Needs
As an accounting firm, you know the importance of preparing for the busy season. To ensure your firm is as organized and efficient as possible, Abby Connect offers a specialized answering service that can help you manage the increased demand for customer service during the busy season.
Our service will give you peace of mind that your clients are getting the attention they need while giving your staff the time to focus on more critical tasks. A dedicated team of 5-10 virtual receptionists can provide valuable insights into customer behavior by tracking trends in call volumes, customer requests, and other data points.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare for the busy season. Abby Connect’s answering service for accountants ensures your firm is as organized and efficient as possible this year.
- Accountants and Auditors : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, September 8). Bls.gov. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
- Center. (2023). On the Brink of Busy Season: 99% of Accountants Experience Burnout – Center for Transformation. Center for Transformation. https://improvetheworld.net/news-and-updates/on-the-brink-of-busy-season-99-of-accountants-experience-burnout/