New Year's Resolutions Worth Making (and Keeping) This Year

Bloomberg BNA's 2017 Tax & Accounting Outlook analyzed the revamped tax code that President-elect Donald Trump and House Republicans want to prioritize during the first 100 days of the new administration. The report predicts that every area of tax will be impacted through tax overhauls and changes to laws and policies.

This kind of overhaul could be overwhelming for some accountants. For others, it might mean they evolve to welcome new clients who need help with changing tax policies. Regardless of how you adapt, make it your New Year’s resolution to tackle upcoming challenges.

The following are New Year’s resolutions to better organize your practice:

Make Client Onboarding Easy

Snagging a new client isn’t necessarily the hard part for an engaging, valuable accountant with a sparkling reputation. But, knowing how to keep things moving and running smoothly can affect everything, from time management to customer retention. Integrate QuickBooks® with Practice Ignition and take the pain out of client onboarding. Easily generate and send out customized proposals, set up your workflow deployment, and focus on client collaboration.

Delegate

Delegating tasks across assistants can create a tangle of emails and unfinished projects, as well as weaken your project management goals. Use Karbon to standardize your workflow and quickly hand off complicated tasks to your team. Your entire team can log in and see exactly where the project stands, instead of trading emails back and forth and wasting time with status meetings.

Tackle Document Storage

Tackle your document and online storage needs. Sync up your key financial docs with your accounting by integrating Hubdoc with your QuickBooks. The software automatically converts receipts, bills and other financial statements, without the need for data entry or filing.

Store all your files in a secure portal to share with staff and clients, without trading hard drives and paperwork. Try SmartVault to access everything online and create a secure client portal to share documents. LedgerDocs can also create a dedicated, secure online space to upload documents into the cloud and invite your staff or clients to tag content, annotate and share additional documents.

Grow Your Business

You can’t limit your focus to the services your accounting firm provides – you also have to focus on the experience you create for your customers since it can impact their desire to continue working with you.

Keep in Touch

Keep in touch with valuable customers, remind them about urgent filing deadlines and offer promotions through a service like Constant Contact. Sync up your existing customers in QuickBooks and auto import them into a mailing list.

Streamline Your Marketing Efforts

Meanwhile, a program like Direct Mail Manager can help streamline your marketing efforts to reach new customers with customized postcard campaigns and prospect lists. Send updates for ongoing tax policy changes and new standards, and invite them to webinars that help organize their business's finances.

Find More Time in Your Day

Feel like there are never enough hours in the day? Automating repetitive tasks can alleviate the time crunch of routine data entry that consumes too much of your precious time.

Implement Receipt Capture

Start with an app, such as Receipt Bank, to make it easy for your staff and clients to submit receipts and invoices, without having to deal with the hassle of paper expense reports, or the manual data entry that goes along with those.

Automate Invoices and Bills

InvoiceSherpa can help automatically collect recurring payments, send invoice reminders and handle late fees. Bill.com offers a similar method, but works to digitize your bills so that you can approve and pay your bills from anywhere.

Make Tax Season Easier

Automating tasks during tax season can dramatically impact your schedule and open up more time for new clients. Start by using Avalara to automatically calculate and apply sales tax to all your invoices. Avalara prepares and submits all your sales tax forms and your payments to each taxing authority.

Meanwhile, eFile4Biz can help prepare, file and deliver your 1099 and W-2s to vendors and employees. Or, recommend eFile4Biz to clients who are lost in a sea of paperwork and are looking for ways to streamline the experience.

Accounting clients are all focused on one thing come tax time: deductions. Tax Planner Pro can help minimize taxes by identifying and applying the best deductions, exclusions and exemptions. After all, the more money you can save your clients, the more they'll rely on your expertise and services to help their business grow.