How To Help Your Clients Get Organized At Tax Time

Get OrganizedEarlier this month we gave you a glimpse into the typical day of an accountant and last week, we taught you about some great time-saving hacks and technologies that you could share with the CPAs in your network. This week we’re going to give you some tips on how to add value to your relationships with clients by assisting them in coordinating their tax documents for their CPAs and get organized.

By helping your client get organized for tax season, you’ll also be helping your client’s CPA. You’ll save them from having to waste time trying to get what they need and in the process, could create relationships with CPAs that have the potential to turn into ongoing partnerships.

With that in mind, let’s look at 6 ways you can help your clients prepare for tax season in an organized fashion:

  • Teach them about the forms they’ll need. Your clients can’t file their taxes properly without the correct forms and to be honest, the number of tax forms in existence can feel overwhelming and confusing to your clients who don’t have the background and education to know exactly what they need.
  • Create a list of the documents they need to gather and help them collect everything. The amount of information needed to file taxes can be pretty extensive. Take initiative and make sure your clients know exactly what they need so they don’t have to worry that they’re missing something (or be hounded by their CPA at the last minute to get something in!)
  • Work with them to create a list of income and expenses. One of the most important things your clients will need to send to their CPA is a thorough list of income and expenses. If they use an accounting software (such as Quickbooks), this may be a fairly easy to get but if not, make sure they have a complete list of accounts and anywhere else they need to look at in order to find the information they need.
  • Go over possible deductions. Your client’s CPA will be the person to make the final call on what gets deducted and how but you can start that process and help your client to ask the right questions. Make a note of anything you see in your client’s finances that could be a deduction and be sure to mention it to them so they can bring it up to their CPA.
  • Make sure their finances are in order. Make sure your client’s record keeping is on track, current and accurate. Be sure they are recording everything they could potentially need and keeping receipts for everything that might be necessary. Also be sure they have a good record keeping system where they can save everything for at least 3 years in case of an audit.
  • Remind them that filing for an extension is an option. If your client is overwhelmed at the thought of needing to get everything done before April 15th, they may just need a reminder that they have options. Make sure they know that they are still required to pay projected taxes by April 15th and be available for any questions they may have or assistance they may need.

By being your clients’ go-to for advice on all things related to filing taxes, you’ll become much more valuable in their eyes. You’ll also create the opportunity for a mutually beneficial relationship with their CPA that could turn into a partnership lasting beyond April 15th.

Stay tuned! Next week we’ll tell you how you can add value to your relationship with your CPA partner and create more potential business by offering to conduct a tax season “Income Growth Planning Session” with your CPA partner’s clients.

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