How to Make Sure You Are Getting Paid During the Busy Season
Tax season is officially upon us, which means things are about to get hectic at your accounting firm. You’re not just fielding tax returns and anxious clients. You also have to keep your practice running as smoothly as possible. Among other things, that means ensuring a steady cash flow.
But here’s the thing: from January through April, accountants don’t have time to chase down late payments or overdue accounts.
You need every last hour of the day to keep up with the pace of tax season. And without a strategy for a straightforward, easy-to-manage payment process, you could be left struggling.
Set yourself up for success this tax season by following these steps.
Set up transparent payment processes and policies in advance (or as soon as possible)
One surefire way to avoid headaches when handling invoicing and payment during tax season is to ensure that your clients know what to expect when it’s time to pay their bills. Your payment policies should address:
- When your firm sends invoices
- How much time your clients have to pay
- Stipulations for advances or deposit
- Conditions of payment plans (as applicable)
- Accepted payment methods
Build better client relationships with clear and consistent expectations
Good client relationships are vital to your accounting firm’s success, and establishing clear expectations for payments plays a role in building those relationships.
We know talking about payment can sometimes be a bit awkward. However, educating clients about how your payment processes work can prevent them from feeling blindsided when it’s time to pay the bill.
There are numerous ways to establish clear expectations with clients about payments:
- Discuss payment terms before any contracts are signed
- Make sure your invoices are detailed and consistent
- Include terms of payment in client contracts and in every invoice
- Train your staff on your payment practices so they can thoroughly answer client questions
One of the keys here is consistency. When you provide clients with the same information across the board, it helps create trust in your accounting firm and the quality of service you’re providing them.
Meet with clients regularly
While things may be hectic right now, it’s worth noting that setting a regular meeting with your clients can go a long way toward getting you paid promptly.
You might not have time for weekly or monthly meetings with all your clients, but prioritizing some of your more complex or high-value ones can help make them feel at ease and give them a clear picture of how things are going with their business. Touching base regularly can also give them insight into the value of your services (and make them feel valued in return), making them more likely to provide prompt payment.
If you don’t have time for extra meetings, consider increasing other forms of communication. For example, a monthly newsletter can help keep your accounting practice top of mind, which can support getting paid faster.
Increase client convenience with client portals and online payments
One thing everybody loves is convenience—we do our shopping, order food, and even have meetings on our phones and computers. Making things convenient for your customers keeps them happy.
One of the most impactful ways to increase convenience for your clients is to offer online payments. When you allow clients to pay online, you can increase the speed of payments. Not only are clients more likely to promptly pay, but funds are also available faster for your firm.
Another time-saving practice you can put into place for your clients is the option to set up recurring invoices. This provides your firm with consistent revenue and reduces your workload. The bonus for you is that you’ll receive your money faster with online payments than with traditional payment methods.
Along with online payments, client portals are another fantastic way to make things more convenient for your clients. Client portals make communicating with your clients a snap by centralizing all the tools you need to keep your customers aware of what’s happening with their accounts. You can easily upload any digital files and general information and answer most, if not all, of your client’s questions without any lengthy back and forth.
Templatize workflows so you can streamline payment processes
During tax season, you’re already busy enough working with clients and trying to make sure that you’re meeting their needs. The last thing you need on your plate is a set of repetitive, tedious tasks that require manual input.
To save time, streamline your payment processes by creating templates for use in current and future project workflows, saving you valuable time to focus on the needs of your clients.
With Mango, you can choose from a variety of predefined project templates (or build your project templates with custom workflows), assign tasks to your team, and track their progress. Once you’ve created a set of tasks, you can save them in a template for later use. Your employees can view their tasks in the workflow from whatever device they’re logged into, making it easier for them to keep up with their projects and keep your team moving in the right direction.
Regularly review payment data
With the hectic pace of tax season, it’s easy to let tasks like reviewing your payment metrics fall by the wayside. But trust us: it’s worth the little extra time to ensure your payment processes are running smoothly and that you can head off problems before they snowball.
Important metrics to track include:
- Monthly recurring revenue
- Write up/write down rate
- Work in progress (WIP)
- Accounts Receivable aging
- Client profitability
Get paid on time with Mango Practice Management
Mango’s practice management software was made by accountants, for accountants, so we know the exact tools you need to stay ahead of the curve this tax season. Mango’s clean, intuitive interface is easy to understand, so your team can adopt the software quickly to save valuable time and ensure that your firm is getting paid promptly.
Schedule a demo with Mango today and get ready to breeze through the 2023 tax season.
8 Tips to Make File Sharing Easier for Your Bookkeeping Clients
Check out these best practices for file sharing with your bookkeeping clients.
How Accounting Project Management Software Helps Bookkeepers
If you’re like most bookkeepers, you probably work with dozens of different…
How to Prepare Your Accounting Firm for the 2023 Tax Season
Here are the tips and tricks to prepare your accounting firm for the 2023 tax season.
Maximize Efficiency and Avoid Burnout During the Busy Season
Accounting professionals are no strangers to burnout, especially during tax season. With…
Critical Accounting Software Tools for Client Collaboration
Positive, productive client relationships are a selling point for any accounting firm.…