Eliminate Wasted Time with Tax Workflows

Tim Sines

Two individuals shaking hands over documents on a brown wooden table

Tax season can get hectic. That’s where tax and accounting workflows come in handy. They’re like roadmaps that help accountants get things done smoothly and on time. By following these roadmaps, everything becomes clearer and easier.

A quick heads-up: For clarity, we distinguish "accounting workflows" as those related to general accounting processes and "tax workflows" as those specific to tax-related tasks. We'll use "tax and accounting workflows" to refer to both types of processes in this discussion.

Now that we’ve got that sorted, let’s examine why setting up these workflows in accounting firms is a game-changer.

The Benefits of Creating Tax and Accounting Workflows

A female accountant is busy thinking about tax season.

Tax and accounting workflows provide an organized approach to managing and completing projects and tax-related tasks. They offer a structured sequence to ensure that no step is missed. These workflows start the moment you collect tax-related data from your clients or business and only stop once you’ve filed the necessary documents.

Why should you take the time to develop workflows for tax pros? Let’s explore the benefits of setting up accounting firm workflows that you and your team can use:

Increased Efficiency – Well-defined tax and accounting workflows clearly outline the steps and procedures. By eliminating redundancies, your tasks can be accomplished more quickly.

Enhanced Accuracy – With standardized processes, you’ll make fewer errors in your tax preparation.

Time Savings – Structured workflows eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth and the associated frustration. With the saved time, you can focus on your high-level tasks.

Better Client Experience – A streamlined tax and accounting workflow means your clients receive timely updates, clear communication, and faster service. This enhances their overall satisfaction.

Improved Compliance – Consistent workflows ensure that all tax regulations and guidelines are adhered to. This reduces the risk of non-compliance penalties.

Reduced Stress – Knowing each step of the process and what’s coming next provides clarity for your team. Having structured tax and accounting workflows during the busy tax season makes the day more manageable and less stressful.

Enhanced Scalability – As your client base grows, well-defined tax and accounting workflows can easily adapt to increased demand. By laying the groundwork now, you can ensure consistent quality service for your clients today and in the future.

Better Training – There’s nothing worse than starting a new job with poor employee onboarding. With clear and detailed tax and accounting workflows, your newest team members will have a stellar onboarding experience and be in a better position to deliver consistent service to your clients.

Never Miss a Beat—Streamline Your Accounting Practice with Mango’s Workflow Management Software

Our workflow management solution is designed by accountants for accountants. You can rest easy knowing that when you work with Mango, you’re working with a workflow solution that was created with your business operations in mind.

How to Achieve Effective Tax and Accounting Workflows

Mastering your tax and accounting workflows is crucial. An efficient process is vital for both accuracy and time management. Here are several best practices to empower your accounting firm’s workflows: 

1. Maintain Proper Documentation 

Every tax and accounting workflow begins with a critical step: documentation. Thorough documentation ensures that you have all the necessary information to prepare your client’s taxes. 

Mastering documentation simplifies each subsequent step, making the entire process smoother and more efficient. Without comprehensive and accurate documentation from the very start, the entire process can become chaotic and error-prone. Think of this initial step as setting the foundation for a building; a strong foundation is essential for the stability and integrity of the entire structure.

Streamline your documentation process with these essential steps and tips: 

  • Collect and Organize Start by providing clients with a checklist of all the documents you require for tax preparation, such as income statements, expense receipts, and other relevant financial documents. Also, have a checklist on your end. As the client submits each document, mark off what you’ve received so that nothing is missed.

Within your workflow management software, organize client documents into folders. You may categorize folders by year, type of document, or tax category. This not only keeps things tidy but also facilitates quicker document retrieval. More importantly, you'll reduce mid-process hiccups and last-minute back-and-forths with your clients. This leads to a more efficient tax preparation process.

  • Analyze and Review – Analyze the data, conduct necessary calculations, and draft the tax returns. Next, thoroughly check every tax document to ensure accuracy and completeness. This step ensures all financial information aligns with tax regulations and client information.
  • File and Submit – Once confident in the accuracy of the returns, these need to be sent to the appropriate tax agencies. This step ensures timely submission in compliance with deadlines.
  • Monitor and Refresh – After submission, keep track of the status of each return. Make sure that all pending payments are made on time and address any feedback or adjustments that may arise.

2. Use a Client Portal

Allow your clients to access a dedicated portal within your practice management software so they may view their document submission status, any pending requests, and updates. This keeps them in the loop and fosters responsibility on their end.

By fully leveraging your software’s client portal feature, gathering and organizing documents can become a systematic, hassle-free process. It not only enhances accuracy but also dramatically improves the experience for both the accountant and the client.

3. Crunch the Numbers

Once all data is in place, the next step is to crunch those numbers. Here, accuracy is paramount. This phase involves the detailed process of computing tax liabilities or returns based on the provided records. But it doesn’t stop at just calculations. A thorough review follows to ensure there are no errors or oversights.

4. Submit and Verify

After calculations and reviews come the formal part: Submitting the tax returns to the relevant authorities. Depending on where you are, this could mean sending it to a federal, state, or local tax agency. But submission isn’t just about sending off a bunch of papers or files. It also involves verifying that the authorities have received the documents and that they align with their requirements. Verification ensures that you’ve met your responsibilities. This is crucial in preventing penalties or additional scrutiny.

5. Track and Stay Updated

Filing your taxes is only part of the journey. In the world of taxation, the rules change regularly. Also, once submitted, a tax return may require further clarification or adjustments. You’ll need to keep an eye on the status of your submission so that any due payments are made on time and you promptly collect any feedback from tax authorities.

6. Streamline Payment Processes

Waiting to get paid can cause quite a delay. Cut down on wasted time by embracing integrated payment systems. Integrated payment technology automatically syncs payment data within your business software, enabling upfront payment requests and expediting invoicing and payment collection. Among the evident benefits of using integrated payments are reduced manual input errors, faster and more accurate transactions, and improved cash flow. This leads to better operational stability and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Want to enhance your tax workflows?

Mango's workflow management templates ensure a efficient, streamlined & accurate process

How to Automate Tax and Accounting Workflows

A female accountant discussing

Without accounting and tax workflow automation, your accounting practice can easily be hampered by inefficiencies, resulting in wasted resources and missed opportunities.

Recognizing this, the accounting industry has been significantly moving toward utilizing advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence. AI is transforming the industry by automating data entry, improving accuracy, and enabling real-time financial insights. AI's predictive capabilities refine workflows through continuous, tailored improvements and ensure compliance by automatically adjusting processes in response to changes in tax regulations. 

However, there is still much to be done to realize the potential of AI in fully enhancing tax and accounting workflows. This underscores the importance of adopting sophisticated technologies that can help address the unique needs of each practice. 

Accounting practices can maintain flexibility and control over their processes, even without AI integration, using a comprehensive workflow management solution like Mango. Mango provides a structured framework for managing the overall engagement lifecycle, from initial data collection to final filing.

By leveraging Mango's workflow management capabilities, accounting practices can optimize their processes, free up time for higher-value work, and deliver exceptional service to their clients. 

Let’s explore how you can leverage tax and accounting workflow management software for maximum efficiency.

1. Use Tax and Accounting Software Integration

Use comprehensive project management software that integrates seamlessly with bookkeeping and tax tools. Mango Practice Management is a prime example, offering robust integrations with essential platforms like QuickBooks, Google Workspace, and more. 

Mango Practice Management connects with QuickBooks to sync financial data, import client information, and update invoices and payments, ensuring accurate and consistent records. Its integration with Google Workspace simplifies scheduling, reminders, and document management, enhancing team collaboration and communication. These features streamline your tax and accounting workflow. 

2. Go Digital With Your Documentation

An easy way to automate is to avoid snail mail altogether. Go digital by allowing your clients to use your software’s file-sharing feature to upload their documents directly to your project management system. This eliminates the manual task of sorting physical papers and allows for quicker organization. This way, you can receive the necessary files promptly, and they’ll automatically be stored securely in an easy-to-access location.

Enjoy File-Sharing That’s Fast, Secure, and Easy with MangoShare

Take control of your file-sharing. Stop wasting time waiting for clients to remember their passwords and log into your portal. Regain precious hours during tax season by sending documents securely via email and receiving electronic signatures in a snap.

3. Leverage Engagement Letter Software

A CPA engagement letter, or a client engagement letter in accounting, is an engagement letter tailored for accounting services. 

Engagement letters are different from proposals, which are more like pitches you send out to potential clients before any agreements are signed. Rather, engagement letters are written, legally binding documents that lay out the terms of your work with a client. They cover what services you'll provide, how and when you'll get paid, and the project timelines. By clearly defining expectations, they ensure everyone is on the same page from the start. This helps prevent misunderstandings and scope creep, where clients may want out-of-scope work done. 

Using engagement letter software can boost your tax and accounting workflows by automating all processes, from creation to storage. With templates and electronic signatures, it cuts down on repetitive tasks and manual errors. By linking engagement letters directly to the invoicing process, the software ensures that billing is accurate, timely, and aligned with client agreements.

Hit All the Right Marks with Mango’s Engagement Letter Software

Mango’s engagement letter software empowers you to create effective letters that enhance clarity, prevent misunderstandings and conflicts, and help you remain cost-effective. With Mango, you pay per client, not per engagement letter, allowing you to generate unlimited letters at no extra charge.

4. Utilize Smart Scanning

Smart scanning significantly improves the digitization of physical documents like invoices by using AI-powered optical character recognition (OCR) to scan and extract data from documents. The extracted data is then sent directly to a secure cloud-based system for storage and management. This technology reduces manual entry errors, speeds up document processing, and ensures important financial documents are securely backed up in the cloud. Consequently, this leads to more efficient workflows, cost savings, and better data management for accounting firms, allowing them to focus more on strategic tasks.

5. Set Automated Reminders

Set up automated notifications for your clients so that they meet document submission deadlines, payment reminders, or any other crucial dates. You can schedule automated messages to deploy automatically, which ensures timely action and reduces manual follow-ups. This proactive approach makes it possible to receive your document submissions on time while reducing last-minute rushes.

6. Opt for E-Filing

Choose electronic filing of tax returns, which is not only faster but also provides immediate confirmations and feedback.

7. Turn on Automatic Updates

Ensure your project management software is set to automatically receive and implement updates about the latest tax rules and regulations. This helps you stay compliant without manually checking for changes.

8. Create Reporting and Analytics

Use the reporting features of your project management software to generate automated reports. This can give an insight into your workflow efficiency, client trends, and areas of improvement.

Final Thoughts

By adopting these automation practices, you can transform your tax and accounting workflows into more efficient, accurate, and streamlined processes. No longer will you be bogged down by manual tasks or lost in heaps of paperwork. Instead, you’ll be equipped to tackle the challenges of tax season with renewed confidence.

Automation not only elevates the quality of service you offer to clients but also empowers you and your team to work smarter, not harder. Leverage technology to your advantage. Make the shift, optimize your workflows, and witness the tangible benefits of productivity, client satisfaction, and business growth.

Schedule a free demo with Mango Practice Management today and learn how you can use our software to enhance your tax and accounting workflows.