Four Ways for Accountants to Prepare for the 2016 Tax Season

Four Ways for Accountants to Prepare for the 2016 Tax Season

The joy of the post-holiday season always gets mitigated by one thing: the dread of the impending tax season and all the work that comes with it.

Take a deep breath: there’s still time to prepare before the madness begins. Follow these 4 steps to make sure you and your clients are prepared for the upcoming tax season.

1. Inform Your Clients What You Need to File

Accountants—you know how much information you need, but your clients may not. Get started now on giving clients a comprehensive list of what you’ll expect from them come January and explain how it can expedite the filing process. Schedule emails and calls to touch base with your clients—chances are something will need more in-depth explanation or at least a gentle reminder or two.

2. Advise Clients to Tie Up Loose Ends

Now’s the time for your clients to scour the preceding year’s activity for loose ends. Outstanding invoices and payments should be taken care of first—CPAs should get their clients started on trying to resolve any issues of income yet to be collected or paying vendors who’ve yet to be compensated. These are just examples; every business should have a process for tying up loose ends at the end of the year.

3. Prepare for Changes

Accountants can benefit from taking on an instructive role with their clients by sharing their expertise. One of the most practical ways is to send out communiques outlining changes in tax codes regarding the recent fiscal year and alterations to the filing process for the impending tax season. The year 2016 will not only bring Affordable Care Act penalties, but the usual substantive changes that happen to tax laws every year. Visit Paycor's CPA Resource Center for links to communications about 2016 Social Security and tax changes that you can share with your clients.

4. Check and Double Check

The cardinal virtue of tax season is thoroughness. Going over everything with a fine-toothed comb before filing can help mitigate stress or worry, but more than anything each mistake or omission caught by re-examining documentation and reports will save time and money while preventing undesirable consequences.

We advise you to start now— there are little hidden difficulties in every tax filing, only made more complex by the size and scope of a client’s business. Getting on the same page in your accountant-client relationship and having a to-do list like this to get ready for tax season are just the things that can prevent headaches and all-out panic from happening when tax season does arrive. Visit Paycor.com/CPACare for resources to help you every step of the way.

Sources: Journal of Accountancy, American Institute of CPAs, U.S. SBA

More to Discover

Banker

The Hidden Costs of In-House HR & Payroll

The Hidden Costs of In-House HR & Payroll

For years, many small businesses relied on in-house resources to process payroll and keep up with tax filings. Outsourcing payroll to a company was often deemed too costly and most businesses hesitated to relinquish full control.But with the growth of HCM technology and a host of available solutions to manage all components of the employee lifecycle, resistance to outsource HR and payroll has greatly declined. If you’re torn between the two options, check out our infographic below which highlights the risk and hidden costs of shouldering the burden alone.

Case Study: Pawtucket Red Sox

Case Study: Pawtucket Red Sox

The Pawtucket Red Sox Save 80+ Hours a Year with Paycor Solutions “Paycor’s solutions are truly influenced by the professionals who use them. I personally made a suggestion for a product enhancement and it was implemented within months. That tells me Paycor is focused on providing a useful tool and quality experience for users and not just making another sale.” - Matt Levin, Senior Vice President/Chief Financial & Technology Officer Why the Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Club Chose Paycor The Pawtucket Red Sox (Pawsox) are more than a professional minor league baseball club. They’re an organization that’s dedicated to positively impacting their local community. But since their HR & payroll technology was more of a burden than a...

Case Study: Carolina Taco

Case Study: Carolina Taco

After experiencing numerous tax filing and payroll processing errors, Carolina Taco and Prepared For You Inc. found a provider they could trust in Paycor. “My favorite thing about Paycor is the customer service. The team I work with is so helpful and responsive. They never leave me hanging and go above and beyond to answer questions and support our business.” - Diane Labiendo, Corporate Office Manager, Carolina Taco & Prepared For You Inc. Prior to Paycor Processing payroll was a time-consuming and frustrating experience. Not only did they experience multiple payroll and tax issues, but their previous provider failed to properly pay an employee’s child support. Phone calls searching for support often went unanswered, and HR is still...

What Happens if I Incorrectly Pay Employees?

What Happens if I Incorrectly Pay Employees?

Overpaying or underpaying employees seems like an easy problem to avoid. But it’s a serious challenge that plagues small and medium-sized businesses alike. In 2019 alone, the DOL collected a record $322 million in back wages for employees. With more crackdown and higher penalties, businesses need to be more prepared than ever before. But Penalties Aren’t Your Only Problems Keep in mind the DOL won’t be your only headache. Employee satisfaction, brand reputation and your bottom line are all at risk. To help, here’s everything you need to know should you ever incorrectly pay an employee. What Should You Do If You Overpay an Employee? Let’s start with the basics: According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers that make a...