Practice Management

4 Key Performance Checklists for Accountants After Tax Season

Swaneet Mand
May 1, 2023

There’s no greater relief than wrapping up your busiest work period and enjoying a well-earned break. But once you’ve had the time to breathe, post-tax season is the best time to assess your most profitable time and identify key areas for improvement and growth. By looking back at your past performance, you can create a better strategy for the future.

  • Did any invoices slip through the cracks?
  • Did you really make the most of this season, or did you leave money on the table?
  • Were you turning away potential high-value customers?

Let’s take a look at four checklists to measure and analyze your performance this year.

1. Client Engagement / Onboarding Process

Smooth client communication and frictionless onboarding are essential for creating and maintaining a good relationship with your clients. Onboarding is their first impression of your firm and its capabilities in handling their financial information. During this process, it’s important that clients can easily communicate with you throughout their entire engagement. An excellent overall client experience can ultimately affect your bottom line, as happy clients are likely to refer others and return every year for your services. Here are some questions you can ask about your clients' experiences to determine whether this is an area for improvement:

  • Was onboarding clients a smooth and frictionless experience?
  • Did you have to chase clients for information?
  • Were there any complaints from clients? If so, what kind?
  • Did you have to turn any clients away? Are you managing capacity to avoid burnout?
  • Was contacting or communicating with clients frustrating, slow, or inefficient?

Standardized intake forms can streamline your onboarding process. Download our free Accounting Client Intake Form Templates and personalize for your firm.

2. Preparation, Review, & Delivery

A slow or outdated preparation, review, and delivery process can result in lost revenue, not only because it limits the number of clients you can intake, but also by creating a frustrating experience for your staff. As a result, this can lead to burnout and costly turnovers. Below are questions that can help you evaluate your existing processes:

  • Was the turnaround time efficient?
  • Were there any issues with scanning, finding, or organizing documents?
  • Were the preparators properly trained on procedures?
  • Was the review time less than 25% of preparation time?
  • Were review comments quickly and effectively addressed?
  • Were there communication delays or difficulties between the preparator and reviewers?
  • Was last year’s information easily accessible for comparison?
  • Was this year’s information easily stored?
  • Were returns delivered in a timely manner?
  • Were there any issues with completing delivery?

3. Billing & Payments

We don’t need to elucidate the importance of getting paid for hard work. Revenue keeps your business thriving, and analyzing your financial performance and processes is essential to maintaining that growth. With a modern payment system in place, you can increase the rate at which you get paid, and decrease the number of invoices that go unpaid. Plus, your clients and staff will benefit from a simpler, easier process that reduces frustration and saves time. Here are some questions to determine if your current billing and payments processes are proficient:

  • Were you paid adequately and on time for your services?
  • Was payment processing unnecessarily difficult or time-consuming?
  • Were you able to maximize profits and make the most of your busiest season?
  • Were there any issues in receiving payments?
  • Did your clients forget or struggle to pay? What was the most common reason for delayed payments?
  • How much time did you spend processing invoices and payments?
  • Did you waste time hunting down late payments or unpaid invoices?
  • Are you still waiting for paper checks to arrive in the mail?

Did you know online payments can get you paid up to 39% faster? Try out our interactive tool to calculate how much time you could save when switching to an online payment solution.

4. Administration / Staff

Hiring and training new employees as a result of staff burnout and resignations takes up precious time that could be spent growing your business. You’ll attract the best talent while reducing the turnover rate by creating an environment where staff feel appreciated and work on meaningful assignments. Ultimately, an empowered, talented staff will help increase profits. . Here are some questions to assess your staffing situation:

  • Did any of your staff quit in frustration? What was the source of the frustration?
  • How much time was wasted on tasks that could’ve been automated?
  • Were any staff members working more or less than others?
  • Did your staff need to work overtime? If so, why?
  • Were there issues in scheduling or hiring enough staff?
  • Was there any new staff? How did they perform, and was the onboarding difficult or easy?
  • Were there any issues in training new staff?
  • Was the staff able to easily access all the information they needed?

Now that you’ve had a chance to review four key areas, how would you say your firm performed this year? Were you able to identify areas for improvement? It might seem extraneous to prepare this far in advance, but tax season tends to linger even after April. With extensions for small businesses and natural disasters, an accounting professional can count on more new clients.

Therefore, greet new and old clients with an efficient, streamlined system that supports their needs. Use this time now to take the first steps toward creating a profitable business with tried and true methods that will maximize profits both on and off-season.

An essential tool for tax season and beyond, CPACharge’s robust features and integrations make it easy for accounting professionals to get paid more reliably and frequently. Schedule a demo today to discover how you can maintain a profitable business year-round.