The countdown to tax time: How accounting firms can prepare for the busiest time in the yea

With the end of the financial year fast approaching, every accounting firm should be thinking, “How can we do things a little better this time around?” This year, in particular, accountants will be juggling an influx of JobKeeper declarations as part of the normal EOFY workflow – so any strategies to make the whole task easier are a bonus. 

Here’s one simple thing every accounting firm can do now 

If your accounting firm still handles piles of paperwork every EOFY, then a really simple way you can improve your process is by adopting eSignatures for tax time documents. Think about it. How much time does your team spend printing out 10-plus page tax returns, sifting through them to add those little ‘sign here’ stickers, then slipping the whole she-bang into an envelope to be posted out to clients? How much money are you spending on incidentals like printer ink, paper and postage?

According to the Docusign ROI Calculator, if you’re dealing with 1,000 tax returns of 10 pages each, you could save almost $30 per document – or $30,000 all up – by switching to an eSignature solution like Docusign. Every accountant should be doing the maths on this one. 

Beyond the dollar savings, you’ll delight clients

It’s not just dollars and cents you’ll save. By switching to an eSignature solution, you’ll hold onto your clients, too. People today are incredibly tech-savvy. The young and old expect the convenience of being able to sign important documents like a tax return from their phone or laptop. They certainly don’t want the hassle of having to find a scanner or drive over to your office to drop it off once signed. 

Accounting firms which still hang on to traditional pen-and-paper tax returns risk getting left behind – as more clients will actively seek out professional services companies that offer the speed and convenience of digital returns. 

Speed matters at tax time, too

By switching to eSignatures, you can process tax returns much faster, too. For clients who are expecting a refund, this is a huge bonus – who doesn’t like to see their tax refund land in their bank account ASAP?

William Buck Victoria, a Chartered Accounting firm that uses Docusign, has reported that over half of its tax returns are now signed within 24 hours and can be lodged on the same day thanks to Docusign. In the past, it would have taken at least a week.

So the question is, where to start?

You’ve still got a couple of months up your sleeve to get up and running with Docusign. This gives you plenty of time to take a free trial to make sure it’s right for you, and set up your templates so that come tax-time you can hit the ground running with electronic tax returns.

And the best bit? Beyond the maelstrom of tax time, you can keep using Docusign for all the other accounting documents you deal with week in, week out, from employment contracts to confidentiality agreements.

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