3 easy steps to simplify tax-time processes at your accounting firm
Accounting firms across Australia are in hyperdrive right now, wading through tax return after tax return for personal and business clients, big and small. While changing up your systems and processes may not be high on your agenda right now – hello, impatient clients – July is in fact the perfect time to think about new tools to make your life easier.
In fact, embracing technology is a powerful way to simplify many core accounting processes and give your firm an edge. The latest tools boost productivity and job satisfaction amongst employees. At the same time, they enhance the customer experience – leading to faster processing times and, kerching, earlier receipt of tax refunds.
So, with all this in mind, what should you be doing from the outset of FY22 to ensure that, by the time next year’s EOFY rolls around, you’re raring to go without a paper-based worry in the world? Here are our three top tips.
1. Review your processes
Start with a little reflection. Evaluate what you’ve just been through during EOFY and identify where your team’s time was potentially wasted. For example, if your employees spend an inordinate amount of time at the printer (or, worse, running to and from the post office) then there’s clear room for improvement.
While not an accounting firm, Adelaide-based freight company Hi-Trans Express did exactly this. They took a good look at their business processes and strategies, found opportunities to save, and easily fixed them. The result? They reduced the turnaround time on getting agreements back from three weeks to as little as three days – simply by digitising some of their agreement processes.
2. Use digital tools
Digital transformation isn’t just for enterprise. Any sized business can dive in with the digitisation of key business processes – and why not, when it’s proven to help you save time and money? Contract management is a great case in point. By digitising the contracts you’re sending out to clients every week, you free up your team’s time to focus on customer service, innovation and growth.
A simple place to start is with eSignature. By switching from pen-and-paper signing to electronic signing, you eliminate arduous tasks such as printing and scanning, and save on printer ink, paper and postage. Plus, a switch to eSignature helps you keep pace with clients’ changing expectations around the digital delivery of key services.
In fact, our ROI Calculator shows that if you’re dealing with 1,000 tax returns of 10 pages each, you could save almost $30 per document – or $30,000 – by switching to electronic signatures. Your clients will also love the added convenience of being able to sign documents wherever and whenever it suits them.
3. Improve security
Accounting firms, like many others, have been exposed to increased risk of cyberattack due to the work-from-home situation we faced last year. A reassessment of your tech stack to ensure that it is as secure as can possibly be given the growing number of attack vectors is critical.
It goes without saying that DocuSign’s security credentials are second to none. Explore the resources in our Trust Centre to see for yourself just how seriously we take the security of agreements that our own customers entrust us with. In fact, you’ll likely see that our state-of-the-art security is more secure than sending someone’s personal and financial details via post.
Taking your next step
The accounting industry is changing fast. Thanks to digital transformation and the proliferation of powerful new tools to streamline your existing practices and processes, you’re in a great place to re-evaluate your systems and see how you can do things better this year.
If you need help along the way, please get in touch today. We’re here to help.