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tax season checklists

bonus #1:the getting-your-affairs-in-order toolkit (25 worksheets)

bonus #2: year-roundmanagement templates and guidance

more than 40 tax seasons distilled into over 100 essential tools, tips & techniques
by edward mendlowitz, cpa, abv, pfs
– customizable word.doc
– practice-proven, easy-to-use checklists.
– more than 250 pages of list after list.
– thousands of important items, street-smart insights, and not-to-be-overlooked details.

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portrait of ed mendlowitz
ed mendlowitz, the 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 “practice doctor”

about the tax season checklists

these checklists have evolved over the years and are, in some respect, a collaboration of professionals seeking to improve the quality of their practice and create methods to work more effectively and efficiently.

some of the checklists are formatted to be printed and hung on walls as posters such as the key for a “successful tax season,” “cpa firm business model,” and “advantages of tax season” pages. since the checklists are presented in word format, they can be reformatted and customized to suit a particular practice if desired.

the word® file is set up so you can copy and paste the checklists and adapt as you see fit. any checklist can be accessed by searching this document using any keyword.

the complete checklist of checklists

checklist listing

the checklists are in no particular order, but i tried to group them as much as possible.the checklist numbers do not appear on the checklists and i did not number the pages.this word® file is set up so you can copy and adapt the checklists as you see do not need to credit me unless you use the checklists externally from your office.

– ed mendlowitz

general issues and posters for your office

    1. key for a successful tax season – can be posted on your wall
    2. accounting firm busine$$ model – can be posted
    3. advantages of tax season – chart can be reproduced and distributed to staff or posted
    4. three questions to ask regarding quality of work performed or to be performed
    5. goals of tax season
    6. choose a best practice for your tax season
    7. 10 ways to stay in control
    8. 50 ways to make more money during tax season including increasing and improving productivity

tax return preparation and review checklist

    1. preparer’s work process and procedures checklist
    2. reviewer’s procedural checklist for individual tax returns
    3. reviewer’s procedural checklist for business tax returns
    4. reviewer’s review notes
    5. tax season follow up form
    6. reviewer’s pre-review of complicated transactions
    7. purpose of tax comparison worksheets
    8. easing tax season workload compression checklist
    9. top 12 tax return preparation errors
    10. checklist of 46 tax filing errors clients should avoid
    11. reviewer qualification test
    12. answers
    13. tax research request
    14. 20 reasons for obtaining extensions
    15. training a new tax specialist

tax client relations and services

    1. top 10 client pet peeves
    2. what makes a good client
    3. for clients: how to make your tax return easier to do & reduce tax preparation fees
    4. things to consider when accepting a new client and establishing a fee arrangement
    5. additional services checklist for clients
    6. sample listing of additional services for tax clients
    7. tax department services
    8. sample tax notice service letter
    9. bill accompanying the tax notice service described in the letter
    10. preparing bills for tax returns
    11. letter to inform a client of a fee increase for the coming year
    12. letter to inform a client of a minimum fee that is higher than they should pay
    13. ways to get additional tax clients
    14. ways to get additional business clients
    15. 21 reasons for lack of tax client retention
    16. why should a client use you to prepare their tax return?
    17. why a client should use you to prepare their tax return
    18. advantages of a cpa preparing tax returns
    19. checklist of questions to ask a non filer who wants to file their delinquent returns

post tax season retrospective

    1. post-tax season retrospective checklist
    2. getting rid of tax preparation clutter

staff management

    1. advice toa beginnerevery tax preparer
    2. ways to make tax season better and more fun for you and your staff
    3. additional ways to excite staff that are not during tax season
    4. things to consider while training staff
    5. staff development and growth checklist
    6. ways to evaluate staff tax season performance
    7. deciding who to let go
    8. 30:30 training method crib sheet

controllership and attest work

    1. controller’s checklist
    2. cfo responsibility checklist
    3. questions for interviewing a bookkeeper
    4. responsibilities of an in-house bookkeeper
    5. ruben’s a.u.d.i.t. acronym
    6. for staff: what you should do before starting to work on an audit
    7. for staff: what you should do when you finish working on an audit
    8. initial audit planning for non-managerial staff
    9. questions to ask a client that wants the first audit
    10. factors to consider when estimating the cost of a review report
    11. checklist for establishing a fixed price
    12. sample term sheet descriptions for bank loan


    1. services an accountant can perform to assist financially troubled clients or clients that have financially troubled customers
    2. informal arrangement in lieu of a chapter 11 filing
    3. protecting a client from a customer planning a bankruptcy

succession planning

    1. needed for every succession plan
    2. 30 ways to transfer ownership to a successor

business valuation

    1. 50 reasons for a business appraisal
    2. 64 ways to increase and enhance the value of a business
    3. preliminary document request for a business valuation or for a consultation engagement

mergers and acquisitions services for clients

    1. tasklist for when a client wants to sell their business
    2. tasklist for when a client wants to buy a business

financial planning and investment management

    1. financial planning engagement document request
    2. initial financial (and/or estate) planning meeting checklist
    3. reasons for pursuing a life settlement checklist
    4. getting married financial planning issues checklist
    5. prenuptial agreement checklist
    6. changing state of residence checklist
    7. ed’s stock market investing beliefs (a “how to invest” summary)
    8. 10 investing watch-outs
    9. 15 investing axioms
    10. how to be your own financial planner
    11. a client’s personal investing vision and mission statements
    12. questions a client should ask their financial advisor
    13. investment policy statement template
    14. family budget worksheet
    15. eldercare and family bill paying and planning checklist or for family office services


    1. buy-sell agreement issues to consider checklist
    2. checklist for starting a business
    3. setting up an office checklist
    4. preparing a business plan checklist
    5. checklist for preparing financial projections for a business plan
    6. not-for-profit board member responsibility checklist of tips
    7. “absentee” owner technique and checklist
    8. daily flash numbers’ report (3 versions)
    9. 40 concerns of business owners
    10. 25 benjamin franklin maxims

managing an accounting practice

    1. annual 2022 practice management & growth calendar
    2. swot analysis
    3. checklist of reasons for a cpa firm merger or acquisition
    4. critical issues in running an accounting firm checklist
    5. 12 tips to increase billing and collections
    6. credit card authorization worksheet
    7. sample employment policies checklist
    8. checklist of items to put in permanent file
    9. organization minutes checklist
    10. running a meeting checklist
    11. checklist for change projects
    12. why am i talking
    13. books to boost your practice
    14. top 10 all-time leadership and management books

personal checklists

    1. autocorrect shortcuts
    2. benjamin franklin’s top 15 items to take on a cruise
    3. checklist for traveling
    4. things to pack for a trip
    5. checklist for golf
    6. checklist for card game
    7. bbq checklist
    8. framing and attending virtual meetings
    9. checklist for using outsourced art services
    10. 10 do nots
    11. things to do to start the year on a high note
    12. start the new year without clutter
    13. tax and other financial records you should keep forever —and those you should toss
    14. sustainability – 12 easy things you can do
    15. ed’s “k” rules

bonus: getting your affairs in order – tool kit

worksheet 1 – checklist of estate planning things to do
worksheet 2 – people to call about my death or permanent disability
worksheet 3 – designation sheet
worksheet 4 – people to include in will or trust
worksheet 5 – specific bequests
worksheet 6 – obituary questionnaire
worksheet 7 – checklist to prepare for the death of a spouse or partner or a close person you would be responsible for handling their affairs
worksheet 8 – important papers listing and checklist short form
worksheet 9 – important papers listing and checklist long-form with space for complete details
worksheet 10 – balance sheet
worksheet 11 – cash flow and income
worksheet 12 – estimated assets to be included in estate and potential distribution to beneficiaries
worksheet 13 – terms of trusts
worksheet 14 – life insurance
worksheet 15 – pensions and annuities
worksheet 16 – financial obligations
worksheet 17 – passwords
worksheet 18 – escheat or unclaimed funds request forms
worksheet 19 – warning letter to ira beneficiaries
worksheet 20 – how to protect your children against identity theft
worksheet 21 – 10 non-tax reasons for estate planning
worksheet 22 – forms of ownership
worksheet 23 – managing other people’s money
worksheet 24 – how to give to charity from your ira (and avoid taxes)
worksheet 25 – what you should tell your family about your will

you are welcome to use the checklists in your office without attribution.
if you use them in a speech handout or presentation outside your firm, you are also welcome to use them, but i would appreciate an acknowledgment of the source such as:
prepared by edward mendlowitz, cpa, partner, withumsmith+brown, pc.

enjoy, use, and have a great tax season!

– edward mendlowitz, cpa

tax season checklists


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