three ways to improve tax returns

think “quality control,” not “review.”

by ed mendlowitz
how to review tax returns: the field-tested update

it occurs to me that there is a difference in the quality between the returns someone does for himself or herself and the returns they do for their clients.

more:tax follow-up worksheets can mean more revenue|tax: the procedural checklists your firm needs|don’t use eyes, use brain|stop tax return review shortcuts|the best way to review a tax return|three types of tax return reviews|routine is key to reviewing tax returns|why you can’t skip checklists|tax review procedures are your quality control|seven types of tax return reviews|how to turn tax returns into new business
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an informal survey by me showed that the percentage of returns with errors of sole practitioners and partners in cpa firms is less than 2 percent, while the percentage of errors by their staff ranges from a low of 25 percent to a high of 95 percent! why the difference? note that preparer errors are measured by the completed returns they submit for review. and sole practitioner and partner errors are measured by whether a notice was sent by a tax agency or an error is discovered when the following year’s return is being prepared.
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make fewer mistakes, increase revenue and capacity

businessman horrified by what he sees on computer screentackle the four error categories.

by frank stitely
the relentless cpa

determining the workflow harm that errors cause should be second nature now. errors cause rework. rework adds to work in progress (wip) and, thus, increases turnaround time.

this happens in two ways: as wip increases, capacity decreases. it’s a double whammy.

more:how small firms can win the talent wars|easy ways to avoid ‘done but’ tax returns|six ways to create a millennial-friendly firm|do you know your turnaround time?
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when a reviewer spots errors on a tax return and sends it back to the preparer, the preparer wastes at least 15 minutes, and probably more like 30 minutes, fixing the errors. the return then goes back to the reviewer, who spends another 15 minutes re-reviewing the return. we have added 30 to 45 minutes to the wip for this tax return. we know that adding to our wip numerator increases turnaround time.

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how bullish are you this tax season?

tax pros see gains in clients, revenue, and profits.

rosy scenario:75% forecast increases in revenue per client. more work, or higher fees, or both?

join the 5-minute survey. get the answers.start here.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

if the early results of the 2023 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 busy season barometer are any indication, tax practitioners can look forward to a lucrative year.

more tax season ’23:accountants’ top problems for tax season 2023|tax season 2023: better or worse?|tax: the procedural checklists your firm needs|stop tax return review shortcuts|offers in compromise aren’t for everyone|trump’s tax returns: read the originals here|survey: tax software favorite keeps crown

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over 46 percent of respondents expect a five to ten percent expansion of clientele, and another 13 percent say theirs will swell by more than ten percent.

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accountants’ top problems for tax season 2023

as tax season gets underway, a lot to worry about.

join the 5-minute survey. get the answers.
start here.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

if you’re not worried as we plow into the busy season, you aren’t paying attention.

more tax season ’23:tax season 2023: better or worse?|tax: the procedural checklists your firm needs|stop tax return review shortcuts|offers in compromise aren’t for everyone|trump’s tax returns: read the originals here|survey: tax software favorite keeps crown

on the front lines:langworthy, expanding with 200 new clients.

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and if you are concerned, you’re not alone.

  • in van nuys, calif., steve glick came up with a new concern: “now the software companies—turbotax, intuit, etc.—are competing against their customers by preparing tax returns.”
  • gretl siler, at succentrix business advisors, in panama city, fla., has the problem everyone wishes they had, plus the one everyone wishes they didn’t. she says, “note that i am not having any problem with increasing prices or with competitors. the problem is too many new clients and staffing… plus the irs is still terrible.”
  • to be sure, there’s bob langworthy, the founder of southern maine’s management accounting. he couldn’t name a single concern. “none!” he says. “we served 1,000 clients last year and already have more than 200 committed new clients this season.”

for 2023, the卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 busy season barometerexpanded the list of possible concerns, 24 in all, plus an “other” option. it’s our longest list ever, and accountants checked off each and every possible worry.

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cpa billing rates rise at 6.5% pace

the mark tops six months of steady growth.

line chart
overall pricing at cpa firms, year over year

by beth bellor
卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

pricing at cpa firms has been growing for the past six months, according to a new 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 study, and the numbers are worth noting. august was the first year-over-year hike of over 5 percent, at 5.1 percent. from there, it hopped to 5.5 percent in september, 6.3 percent in october and 6.5 percent in november.

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financial auditing at cpa firms was slightly behind, with annual differences of 4.9 percent in september, 5.5 percent in october and 5.9 percent in november.
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should the irs create a free file app of its own?

three ways to fix the program.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间

here’s something weird: the irs offers the vast majority of taxpayers the option to use the free file program to prepare returns.

more:irs audit rates are dropping, and big earners couldn’t be happier|six more ways to fix the irs|is remote the new normal?|accounting pros face challenges in turbulent times|your tax season success plan starts here, now|tax prep fintech startup: april raises $30 million|accountants agree: the top five ways to fix the irs

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it costs taxpayers nothing. yet only three percent use it. can it be fixed? should it? congress is weighing in.

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your tax season success plan starts here, now

hayden

now that everyone has (hopefully) had time to recover, there are four important steps to take to help next tax season go as smooth as possible

by christopher hayden
managing partner, hayden nelson & yoder

christopher hayden, cpa, cma, cgma is the managing partner of hayden nelson & yoder, a cpa firm based in pennsylvania, athnycpas.com.

to avoid sugar-coating it, tax season is stressful. long work hours, back-and-forth with clients and mountains of documents can keep accounting professionals in the office for 20 or more additional hours each week. and this tax season felt extra-stressful with all the tax law changes, not to mention explaining to clients who had huge capital gains why they owed taxes.

but once the busy tax season is over, it’s time to review processes and take action to help the remainder of the year go smoothly.

more:civility goes a long way|don’t overlook office relationships|how to deliver authentic value|why deadlines get missed|five reasons you’re not swot-ready|are you productive or just busy?|accounting is a profession, not an industry
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before that, allow a few weeks to:

  • rest
  • relax
  • recover

make sure to give team members a pat on the back, especially if it’s their first time going through the madness of tax season or they went above and beyond this year.

however, once everyone has recovered enough, it’s time to go through the following steps:read more →

accountants agree: the top five ways to fix the irs

the united states of frustration:schaffer, zulager, toye, devine. (word cloud: 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research)

some suggestions: burn it down and start over.abolish the income tax altogether. privatize it.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

if the 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 busy season barometer were a thermometer, it would be popping its mercury with responses to “how would you fix the irs?”

see:irs tops list of busy season problems

we’re getting alotof comments, many of them scorchingly hot. accountants and tax preparers arenothappy with the government agency that their profession depends on more than any other.

more busy season ’22:survey: big worries for u.s. and small business|working harder for every dollar|for a few: why busy season 2022 beats 2021|can the r&d tax credit be used to offset the amt?|21 reasons tax clients fire accountants|unhappy about tax season?|individual tax refunds up 13%|shut down the tax charlatans|eight quick, easy ways to fix irs filing|a tax season worse than 2021?|16 traits of the best tax clients|irs under covid: heroes or goats?

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the top five most common recommendations:
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nine tax season resources that get forgotten

happy family of four outdoors in winter clothing on snowdon’t take these for granted.

by ed mendlowitz
tax season opportunity guide

we have many resources and need to recognize that. and we need to treat each with its own importance. even if you did everything yourself, you’d still need to rely on your tax software company, fedex and the postal service, stationery supplier, computer consultant, the internet and email, cell phone provider and copier/scanner machine. and that’s just a few of the resources we rely on. managing your resources well creates an aura of security and consistency to your practice.

more:16 traits of the best tax clients|eight ways to charm a client|plug small leaks before they become big floods|you’re only as good as your last screw-up
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but there more. and they are often overlooked. or taken for granted. here are some more resources that need to be managed:
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survey: big worries for u.s. and small business

about two-thirds of accountantsexpect tougher times ahead for the nation’s economy and for small businesses. they are considerably more confident about the outlook for their firms. (卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research)
click here to launch survey
click here to launch survey

while signs are looking better for firms.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

in a contradictory combination of economic outlooks, accountants are seeing pretty good times ahead for their firms and families, but trouble for other businesses.

more busy season ’22:working harder for every dollar|irs tops list of busy season problems|for a few: why busy season 2022 beats 2021|can the r&d tax credit be used to offset the amt?|21 reasons tax clients fire accountants|unhappy about tax season?|individual tax refunds up 13%|shut down the tax charlatans|eight quick, easy ways to fix irs filing|a tax season worse than 2021?|16 traits of the best tax clients|irs under covid: heroes or goats?

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according to mid-season results from the 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 busy season barometer, 38 percent of respondents think the next 12 to 18 months will be much better (at 7 percent) or at least somewhat better (31 percent) for their own firms, and almost half – 45 percent – believe they’ll be doing at least as well as last year.
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tax season ’22: working harder for every dollar

we may be miserable but the money is rolling in.

how does your tax practice measure up?
join the survey. get the results.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

for the first time in a long time, the 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 busy season barometer is picking up signs of optimism among tax practitioners.

optimism! it seems kind of quaint today, like a rerun of mary poppins.

more:irs tops list of busy season problems|shut down the tax charlatans|tax pros preparing 46 percent of e-filings|eight quick, easy ways to fix irs filing|for a few: why busy season 2022 beats 2021|a tax season worse than 2021?|16 traits of the best tax clients|six fixable problems at the irs|irs under covid: heroes or goats?|irs launches 2022 season with “strong start”|two big (and obvious) ways irs could work with practitioners|imagine a fully online irs|the real cost of interstate sales tax|irs at death’s door?|beyond tax prep: the big cha-ching!|crisis at the irs|the irs’s 10 biggest problems|fear and loathing for tax season ’22

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but mary poppins, cpa, might have a bit of a hangover.

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shut down the tax charlatans

why shouldn’t tax practitioners be regulated? ask congress.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间

what do lawyers, cpas, truck drivers, and beauticians have that many tax preparers don’t?

certification.

more in tax:imagine a fully online irs|the real cost of interstate sales tax|irs at death’s door?|beyond tax prep: the big cha-ching!|crisis at the irs|the irs’s 10 biggest problems|fear and loathing for tax season ’22|padar joins vc-backed tax fintech for banks|covid chokes an already crippled irs|tax regs for the metaverse|10 steps to a superior tax department|accountants critical of competitor price-cutting|automate busy season with apps you already use|sales & use tax costs are higher than anyone thought|survey: nobody loves the wayfair decision|busy season forecast: more chaos|a woman named wanda leaves an ira nightmare|are you under-pricing your client accounting services?|your best advice: get smart, get tech, get moving|worries for small business clients|

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or, to use other words, proven competence. the tax preparation industry is a mixed bag of highly skilled and credentialed professionals, less skilled newbies trying to learn the trade on the job, and charlatans skilled in not much more than ripping off the unsuspecting or, at best, doing a slapdash job.read more →

six fixable problems at the irs

and the irs already knows what they are.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间

tax practitioners beware: the irs has become a mess of misinformation and missing information.

moretax:two big (and obvious) ways irs could work with practitioners|imagine a fully online irs|the real cost of interstate sales tax|irs at death’s door?|beyond tax prep: the big cha-ching!|crisis at the irs|the irs’s 10 biggest problems|fear and loathing for tax season ’22|padar joins vc-backed tax fintech for banks|covid chokes an already crippled irs|tax regs for the metaverse|10 steps to a superior tax department|accountants critical of competitor price-cutting|automate busy season with apps you already use|sales & use tax costs are higher than anyone thought|survey: nobody loves the wayfair decision|busy season forecast: more chaos|a woman named wanda leaves an ira nightmare|are you under-pricing your client accounting services?|your best advice: get smart, get tech, get moving|worries for small business clients|

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it’s isn’t a complete mess, but there are problems… and solutions. we can think of six no-brainer easy fixes.read more →

irs loves e-filing. so why the barriers?

irs buried in paper:even with 91 percent of returns e-filed, that leaves more than 33 million paper returns pouring into the irs annually.

what to do with clients who insist on paper?

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间

e-filing may be the best thing to happen to the irs—and tax preparers—since the invention of paper and red tape.

  • it beats paper on cost—just 36 cents to process, vs. $15.21.
  • it beats paper on speed—a couple of hours from sending to acceptance, vs. days to mail, more days to open, more days in storage, more days to transcribe, and maybe months more to process.
  • it beats paper on accuracy—no need for transcription.
  • it beats paper on convenience—taxpayers can e-file in minutes from a desktop; irs can store and move e-files easily and instantly.
  • it beats paper on inconvenience—e-filing allows continuous processing regardless of weather, pandemics, etc.

moretax:two big (and obvious) ways irs could work with practitioners|imagine a fully online irs|the real cost of interstate sales tax|irs at death’s door?|beyond tax prep: the big cha-ching!|crisis at the irs|the irs’s 10 biggest problems|fear and loathing for tax season ’22|padar joins vc-backed tax fintech for banks|covid chokes an already crippled irs|tax regs for the metaverse|10 steps to a superior tax department|accountants critical of competitor price-cutting|automate busy season with apps you already use|sales & use tax costs are higher than anyone thought|survey: nobody loves the wayfair decision|busy season forecast: more chaos|a woman named wanda leaves an ira nightmare|are you under-pricing your client accounting services?|your best advice: get smart, get tech, get moving|worries for small business clients|

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so why does the irs still have barriers limiting e-filing?read more →

two big (and obvious) ways irs could work with practitioners

both could be simple and cheap. if only.

by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间

the irs has been making some progress in improving the functionality of individual taxpayer online accounts. progress has been slow but in the right direction.

more tax:imagine a fully online irs|the real cost of interstate sales tax|irs at death’s door?|beyond tax prep: the big cha-ching!|crisis at the irs|the irs’s 10 biggest problems|fear and loathing for tax season ’22|padar joins vc-backed tax fintech for banks|covid chokes an already crippled irs|tax regs for the metaverse|10 steps to a superior tax department|accountants critical of competitor price-cutting|automate busy season with apps you already use|sales & use tax costs are higher than anyone thought|survey: nobody loves the wayfair decision|busy season forecast: more chaos|a woman named wanda leaves an ira nightmare|are you under-pricing your client accounting services?|your best advice: get smart, get tech, get moving|worries for small business clients|

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now it’s time for the irs to aim for two huge new improvements: online accounts for businesses, and expansion of the functionality of tax pro accounts for tax practitioners.

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