By Satish Patel
The statistics are impressive: According to Statista, the accounting industry is expected to generate around 160 billion in revenue by 2018. As services move online and apps influence the way consumers conduct business, including banking, embracing technology is one of the ways to grow in a digital age. According to an overview of the Accenture Technology Vision report, today’s platforms are backed by digital tools such as cloud, mobile, etc. When surveyed, 81% of businesses believed that industry boundaries will blur. Efficiency levels are expected to increase as more businesses embrace and master digital advances.
Automation in CPA firms
For CPA firms, automation proves to be indispensable. There are large volumes of accounting data, and sifting through it requires a significant amount of time and attention. Tight time deadlines also need to be considered when processing tax data.
Compliance preparation work, such as checking documents, multiple bank accounts, card account reconciliations, and matching inventories, by itself is a time-consuming task. This entails entering data on multiple spreadsheets, checking corporate filings and extensions, audit requests, and revenue adjustments. However, organizing and managing these core tasks manually increases the chances of error, thus rendering the resulting data unreliable unless thoroughly checked.
When you automate these tasks, you ensure every bit of data is retained and recorded away to be accessible when needed.
Automating tax processes not only addresses the tasks discussed above, but also executes them rapidly, without the time delays usually associated with manually managing the tax process. Furthermore, embracing and implementing technology is fast proving to be one of the key ways to manage business growth. According to Investor’s Business Daily, spending on cloud infrastructure and platforms is expected to grow up to $43 billion in the year 2018.
Automating the tax process
Automating tax processes can include tasks such as risk management, compliance, information sharing and collaboration. Automation can ensure better document management and sort data efficiently and with greater reliability. Other key processes within the firm that are streamlined by automation and hence lead to greater streamlining of the tax process, include functions like time entry, billing and due date management.
Automating the tax process leads to more organized operations, reduced costs in the long term, and most importantly, accurate tax figures and timely payments for your customers, thus improving their overall experience. This is a big plus for your business.
Implementing automation of your tax processes
Automation of your tax processes needs to be implemented without letting it negatively impact your business. Following are some of the ways in which it can be done:
Planning and Analysis
At this stage, careful analysis of your business is carried out, including assessing the requirements of your clients. It is best to build a business plan which also accounts for the scope of services and products that your firm offers to your clients. A business plan takes into account the precise requirements of your company, thus enabling customization. You can also add expected timelines to your plan to ensure accuracy.
These requirements can include the need for white labeling some solutions, a detailed cost-benefit analysis, and budget allocation. You may want to add risk analysis, as well as a detailed list of desired outcomes including the number of client cases you would ordinarily process on a daily basis. This can help allot the right number of resources to your assignment so the work is completed on time and as desired.
Once your business case is built, you need to consider a vendor who provides automation. Assess their processes and how critical tasks such as data extraction and validation are carried out. This can help prevent interruptions in the day-to-day work.
Your implementation plan will also include a timeline for completion, testing and release. However, the final release occurs after beta testing, during which any problems and challenges are identified and a plan to resolve them is crafted.
This is the last step. It occurs after the automated process is launched and entails optimizing the process to generate the results your business needs to catapult itself to the next growth phase.
As part of optimization, you will need to revisit the initial plan, check parameters and whether they have actually succeeded, and determine how well the process is meeting your business needs.
Benefits of automating your tax processes
As more and more businesses, including established companies and startups, adapt to the digital boom and apps, automation is a viable way to manage growth without impacting your bottom line. However, as with most critical business functions, you need to research vendor who will understand your requirements and provide a customized solution.
Automation can effectively reduce operational costs for a startup by eliminating needless processes and checks. Moreover, the returns in terms of reliable data and accuracy are reflected in clients’ satisfaction. In the case of tax processes, trust is extremely important. When you meet client expectations with high-quality work, delivered on time, you are investing in your business’ growth as well. Automation also frees up time from performing critical, time-consuming tasks to focus on what is more important: business development. If done correctly and in sync with your business’ unique needs, automating tax processes boosts your CPA firm’s productivity.
Analytix Solutions has a team of professionals experienced in automating tax processes. For more information on how we can help your company with tax automation process needs, please visit us at www.analytixaccounting.com or email us at [email protected].