How to Be A Competitive Tax Preparer in Our Current Reality
Moving to the cloud delivers many benefits for profits and efficiency.
Many experts believe that life and our current reality may not ever quite go back to what it was before the pandemic. When COVID-19 forced businesses to shut down or go remote in the spring of 2020, consumers, business owners and employees all made major changes nearly overnight.
Tax preparers, like other businesses, had to quickly pivot their operations and go remote. Many who had been considering moving to the cloud finally took the plunge, and are reaping the many benefits of being able to work from anywhere anytime.
One benefit is that working remotely improves work/life balance. Tax preparers, even when and if they return to the office, can go home at a responsible time and enjoy some family time, then log back in from home to get more work done later at night. Another benefit to working remotely includes greater security than when using a desktop program and physical files, as well as the cost savings of storing those physical files and then later the labor for shredding them. Using a cloud hosted software provides the flexibility to run your business from anywhere and your taxpayer data is kept secure in the cloud.
In addition, with TaxWise® Online and TaxWise® Mobile, you’ll also save time on each and every tax return since the software will auto flow information into the returns. “This cut the time it takes to do a tax return in half for each and every return,” says Jasmine Dabbs. Her office does more than 600 tax returns a year, so this savings goes right to her business’ bottom line. Faster tax return processing means you can grow your client base and your business.
Dabbs adds: “TaxWise is cutting edge software that’s always up to date. It’s software that will help you streamline to the best of your ability. You have a one-stop-shop to do everything instead of buying six or seven different things.”
Joe Rogers, Founder and CEO, Federal Direct Tax Services, highlights other benefits of TaxWise Online:
- No Installation
- No updates required on your end
- No networking setup or maintenance costs
- No need to create local backups
This all leads to even more time savings. Our current reality is anything but ordinary and businesses will need the right tools and partners to adapt to rise to the challenges that 2020 has given us and that 2021 may bring in order to thrive.
Tips for managing your remote team
Dabbs supports 18 service bureaus and has been in a cloud for about five years but was forced to move everyone to a work-from-home this past March. Here are her five tips for getting started with remote work:
- Start with the right software. After about a dozen years in the industry both as a tax preparer and as a mentor who helps other tax preparers, she recommends TaxWise Online.
- Set up a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) system that forward calls from the office number. She also says that you need a system in place for how to communicate with clients.
- Training staff on the expectations for remote work is critical, Dabbs says. Make them accountable to their work-at-home environment, make sure they have the right technology and at-home office setup, and schedule regular team meetings since people can’t physically connect.
- Share files securely using software solutions like CCH Portal and eSignature. This ensures that you’re not cutting corners on your customers’ data security.
- Communicate often. Dabbs made sure all of her staff were set up to work remotely and knew what was expected of them.
Get these advantages today
It’s too early to tell how long the pandemic will change things — and what becomes the new normal. But even before the pandemic, according to Flexjobs, 4.7 million people were working remotely. According to Buffer, 99% of remote workers would like to continue doing so to some extent. Now is the time to cater to that outstanding talent that expects to be able to work remotely, while gaining the security and the time savings advantages of the cloud.
We’ve made it simple to move to TaxWise Online, and provide training to get you up and running right away.