by Danyca Wallis, Marketing & Client Relations SmartPractice | 24 February 2022 

With tax season almost at its end, the onslaught of longer hours and more stress than usual during the last couple of days, we are sure that all accountants are looking forward to taking a bit of a break until the next deadline arises.

It is important to take time to reflect on the effectiveness of the current tax season to plan better for the next season. Equally important is the restoration of your mental, physical and social wellbeing in order to reestablish a good work-life balance again and clear your mind to be ready to tackle business stability and growth.

Based on what accountants are experiencing this season, we have come up with a few tips to help you prepare and recover, which will support your planning and wellbeing for the next season.


Improve your Communication

Tax staff usually involve over one person having to play their part in getting tax calculated and submitted, so it is important to make sure the communication around this is coordinated correctly.

Making sure your staff knows what needs to happen and when is vital for planning and efficient submission. Holding weekly meetings to evaluate where you are and what still needs to be done would benefit you and your staff. Another way to take the anxiety out of provisional tax is by making use of DreamTax. All your client data and processes are outlined in one space and can be handled in different phases where original staff members (supervisor etc) can handle if need be. DreamTax also integrates directly with the eFiling system and lets you submit in bulk too. Stress levels are back to normal…


Improve internal staff management

Did you have enough staff to complete the work which was required? If the answer is “Yes”, was their time utilized correctly and efficiently? Reviewing productivity from this season can open up the opportunity for better efficiency or change towards the next season.

If you are making use of the SmartPractice Projects module, you will distribute and manage the tasks and time effectively. You will know who needs to work on what and how long it should take for that task, and you will understand the time that will need to be billed. By reviewing the previous season, you can then understand what tasks require more or less time for next season. (and who and on what task was time overspend)


Manage your documents better

Staying organized is the core of a successful tax season. Poor file management can leave you and your clients frustrated. That’s why our Client Portal is such a vital part of your SmartPractice profile, and it's available to you for free. When you do not have a centralized space for all your client documents, it can use up a lot of your valuable time.

Before the next tax season, set up Client Portals for your clients and request all the important documents you require from them so you already have access to it. Create a custom file category specifically for tax requirements so you know exactly where to go when you need them.


Use a strong CRM to create a better impression and get those documents in

Having to chase clients for documents is a task no one enjoys doing. That is why you need to manage what you need from your clients and buy when you need them.

By making use of SmartPractice’s bulk communications, you can email all the clients you need to remind for required documents. Not only will you have a paper trail for your reminders, but your clients can easily upload those documents straight into their portal.


Look after yourself

Tax season takes a toll on all accountants and it is important to remember that you need to take some time to recoup before you dive headfirst into the next season.

Switch off from work: remember to take a mental-health break from work for a day or two. Don’t open any work emails; forward them to someone else to handle. Divert work calls so you can have some time to give your working brain some time to relax.

Divide time off for staff effectively: make sure you still have staff in your office for any important queries and work out a schedule where staff can choose time off to also recoup.

Take a holiday: if you can take more than a few short days off, book a getaway to help you feel refreshed. A holiday at the coast or even a week-long safari stay can do wonders.

Be social: reconnecting with friends or family will give you some time to relax and be present. Nothing reduces stress more than a lekker braai with friends.


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