3 tips for communicating with clients before the 2022 tax season

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For many tax and accounting firms, it can feel like each year’s tax season is never ending. With all of the tax law changes, government stimulus programs, and the changing needs of your clients, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. 

However, you can take control now and plan ahead to ensure the next tax season is different. Here are three things you can do to start off tax season right.

#1: Communicate prior to engagement

Taking a proactive approach to communicating with your clients prior to tax season can be the difference between a proactive tax season and one that feels as if it’s constantly reacting. This communication can take a number of forms, but the most important thing to remember is that your clients want to hear from you. One way to successfully communicate with your clients is to have a consistent email drip campaign to let them know how this next tax season will look, and help prepare them to do what is expected of them.

This drip campaign can be a four-email sequence with the first email welcoming them to the next tax season:

  • The first one should cover two main items: thanking them for their business from last year and letting them know what to expect as we get into the next tax season. 
  • The second email should go over any new technology you are using for tax season and provide updates on any new tax guidance that may be applicable to them.
  • The third email should cover your tax process from end to end. Using an embedded video in that email can be helpful to paint the picture of how your tax process works.
  • The last email should prep them on what to expect next, including signing an engagement letter to kick start the tax process. Communicating with your clients provides you the opportunity to get ahead of tax season and prepare for what to expect going forward.

#2: Get your clients engaged early on

Early client engagement is key to your success. Don’t wait for them to email you stating they are ready to start their return; instead, send out your proposal and engagement letter for the tax services you are going to perform. This not only shows that you are proactive with your clients, but helps you manage your tax season and workload much more effectively. You will also be able to manage your capacity better if you know who you are working with during tax season, which can allow you to either take on new tax clients or know when to not let any more clients in the door. It also helps get your clients going, so they are not waiting until the last minute to start the process with your firm.

Getting your clients engaged early on this year is even easier with Practice Ignition’s latest release that allows you to get multiple signatures on your engagement letter. When you want both spouses to sign the engagement letter for their 1040 or need multiple partners to sign the 1065 tax return engagement letter, you now have the ability to streamline this process. 

#3: Use automation to provide a good customer experience

Automation is a great way to make your tax season more streamlined. For example, once the engagement letter is signed, automate sending your client request list for tax documents, and have your internal workflow process set up automatically. Getting that client request list out to your clients shows your clients that you are ready to work with them right away. Having a workflow item set up in your workflow software ensures that nothing falls through the cracks and puts your team on the same page when it’s time to start work on that tax return. These simple automation steps that you can set up through Practice Ignition will help you provide a better customer experience.

Having a good tax season for your firm will only happen if you do the right things prior to tax season to set your firm up for success. Having a proactive communication process, engaging with your clients early on through Practice Ignition, and putting automation in place can be the difference between suffering through tax season and thriving through tax season. These steps will also go a long way in delighting your clients, so they come back year after year.

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