Five things to focus on after the tax season
It’s time to start thinking ahead. These are the five things that should be on your to-do list after the tax season.
With the tax season coming to an end, we’ve compiled a list of things that you should put thought into to bring maximum efficiency to your firm:
1. Artificial intelligence
This year, artificial intelligence (AI) will finally be a reality for a large number of practices. Many of the leading accounting software providers are incorporating machine learning into their offerings.
However, you don’t have to worry about being replaced by a robot. Instead, AI will help you in your role from the background of the software that you use making data entry, coding and data analysis simple and quick and leaving you time to focus on the next point: value-add services.
2. Added value
Business clients want added value and better business advice. To be able to offer this, you will need to choose the right clients to work with, which can be done by:
- Highlight where you add value for clients: It can be by offering additional services such as cash flow forecasting, streamlining of expenses processes or analysis of cost management
- Define and find your ideal client
- Review your existing client base: Concentrate on your good clients and ditch the bad customers
3. Hiring the right people
To make the most of new AI tech and the possibilities of value-add services, you’ll need a team of experts on customer relationships, tech support and business guidance.
Some examples of these profiles are tech specialists who can help your clients to make the most of their business software, a client services manager that can become a trusted adviser to your clients or a commercial thinker that knows how to improve your client’s business model, making them more profitable.
Making Tax Digital (MTD) will begin to impact on your VAT-registered clients in 2019. If you still have clients who keep their paper receipts in a shoe-box, it’s time talk to them about the benefits of the cloud.
To get clients ready for MTD:
- Explain the need for MTD compliance
- Move clients to online accounting and promote the benefits of mobile access and real-time reporting
- Use Receipt Bank to automate bookkeeping
- Be ready for digital tax submissions, by making use of the open API and digital tax templates offered by your accounting provider and achieving full integration with the proposed HMRC portal for submitting client returns.
5. Late payment legislation
SMEs are owed £26.3 billion in overdue payment a situation that the Government is keen to reverse with the new ‘duty to report’ legislation, which makes it compulsory for bigger corporates to publicly report on, and reduce, their payment times to smaller businesses.
The new legislation provides some opportunities for accountants, including:
- Working with corporate clients to help them meet the new requirements
- Reducing aged debts for SME clients and getting smaller clients paid on time
- Offering cash flow guidance and helping both clients to get better control over their cash flow management and forecasting
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