As we prepare for another tax season during a global pandemic, it’s time to think critically about serving clients safely and conveniently. Last tax season dragged out due to COVID-19 causing a delayed filing deadline and extensions. This year, we face a full tax season with COVID-19. Are you fully equipped and ready for what that means? Here are four things you need to support your clients virtually.
A Strong Website
Establishing your presence online often begins and ends with your website. Setting up a website is one thing; making sure your website is user friendly and easy to navigate is another thing. Can potential clients find the information they need upon visiting? Do you state clearly the services you offer and how you offer them? If you haven’t evaluated your website in a while, now is the time. Here’s a checklist to review.
This year more than ever, tax business owners learned how valuable it was to have a virtual tax service option. Without it, you risked losing business and putting clients and employees at risk. Client portals are valuable, long past a pandemic. It’s a safe and secure way to share digital documents and allow clients to make appointments and payments. Partnering with a company who can implement these services on your website is a great option for expanding virtual services to clients. You’ll want to be sure to test everything before making it available to your clients. This will allow you to catch any holes or inconsistencies before your clients do!
While there are some businesses doing in-person meetings, having a virtual option is definitely a plus. Not everyone feels comfortable indoors for long periods of time. This also saves your clients travel time from coming to the office. This season, you’ll definitely want to have a good video conferencing platform for virtual meetings. You should also be sure to include that option on your website, so clients know they can still have face-to-face time with you, without being in person. Plus, you can easily share your screen to ensure you are looking at the same documents at the same time. ZOOM, Go to Meeting and Skype are all options to consider.
Excellent communication is now more important than ever. Clients don’t want to drop off files online and then never hear from you. You can set up automated responses or you can respond personally to let clients know what step of the process they are in. Don’t let clients go more than a few days without keeping them informed. And if you have to file an extension for them – let them know right away, so they don’t worry if the deadline is approaching. Try to keep things as simple as possible.
This tax season will be challenging for sure but with these four tools, you’ll get through it and your clients will thank you for your flexibility and tech savviness.