Freelance accountants: make the most of tax season
Tax season is the busiest and most important time of year for freelance accountants looking to optimize income opportunities, esp. To succeed, you need to have a plan and system for managing all of the moving parts involved in attracting business and serving clients. Don’t forget to recognize the benefits of attracting repeat business as well.
Let’s look at the key strategies involved in making the most out of tax season as a freelance accountant.
Automate appointment bookings
As you ramp up productivity, you don’t have time to mess with manual appointment setting, and given the accessibility of high-quality booking software programs at this point, there is no need to do so.
Find a software-as-a-service solution designed for bookings use by accountants or general service providers. Top solutions allow for:
- Easy client booking of an appointment
- Automated delivery of booking details
- Automated follow-up confirmation before the appointment
- Client access for changes or cancellations
With these features, you eliminate much of the time a freelance accountant used to spend on the phone or sending e-mails.
Coordinate schedules with support people
If you rely on an assistant or other support people in your freelance accounting business, use Google calendar or another program to maintain a team schedule. This shared scheduling setup allows everyone to know when you are available to answer client questions or address problems.
Maintain organized records
Imagine huge piles of documents and receipts strewn about your office. It is difficult to project a professional image during appointments and to operate efficiently when surrounded by a cluttered mess.
The more you can accept and store records electronically, the less clutter you have to deal with. Ideally, your bookings software also allows you to accept electronic transmission of documents from clients. For physical documents, maintain a filing system that ensures you can easily match up electronic accounts with the right files. Doing so saves a lot of time in meetings preparation.
Build a customer relationship management system for the long-term
Think beyond the current tax season and build a plan for the future. If you have to start fresh every year promoting your business as a freelance account, you lose a lot of money and time spent working with clients.
Top freelancers realize the economic efficiency of delivering high-quality user experiences, capturing and retaining customer data, and then proactively communicating with previous clients ahead of tax season.
Turbo Tax, for instance, sends its previous users annual e-mail reminders that tax season is upon us, and encourages people to gather materials and organize for filing. To compete with other firms and self-service programs, you need to go after people that you already have a relationship with. Build a stable base of clients who trust you, maintain files from one year to the next, and achieve repeat business.
Organization and communication are key principles that connect all of these strategies for a freelance accountant. Keep organized records and communicate before, during and after tax season to satisfy clients and win back their business!