The end of a year brings with it housekeeping both real and metaphorical. In the accounting profession, perhaps no housekeeping task is viewed with as much disdain as EOY client write-ups. Since time immemorial, accountants have spent the close of the year waiting as patiently as possible for clients to deliver reams of unorganized receipts, carefully entering and reconciling twelve month’s worth of transactions, and then producing an unofficial report that the client may or may not have read. Making matters worse, this entire process happened right before the start of the busy season. It was nobody’s idea of the most wonderful time of the year.
But as with so much of the tedious work that we used to regard as a necessary evil, technology is transforming how accountants create and execute EOY write-ups. They no longer need to be the bane of your existence. When done right, EOY write-ups can be insightful for the client and helpful for the accountant, a true win-win. To make that the case, follow these dos and don’ts for EOY client write-up process.
Don’t: Leave the ball in the client’s court.
Any accountant will tell you that the worst part of planning for any workflow process is waiting for the client to deliver information. Whether we’re talking tax returns of EOY write-ups, there are always going to be folks who are slow to return documents or provide essential data. The waiting game creates a harried sense of urgency to deliver a quick turnaround once the information does arrive. Thankfully, in today’s business environment, the gathering of data needn’t be such a hassle.
Do: Share data instantly over the cloud.
One of the great advantages of cloud-based systems is the ability to share data freely and quickly no matter where clients are located. With a modern accounting software platform, you can be gathering all of the data you need to create a powerful EOY write-up throughout the year, rather than waiting for a packet of information to inaugurate the process. With current tech, nobody should be waiting for a manilla envelope of receipts to arrive.
Don’t: Waste time with data entry.
So let’s say all of your clients delivered you receipts on time, but you don’t have a system to migrate that data effectively. In this case, you’ll still spend an unreasonable amount of time performing simple data entry, the height of accountancy drudgery. Heaven forbid you make a mistake and then have to comb through all the numbers again searching for an error like a needle in a haystack.
Do: Migrate and reconcile records with ease.
Full-featured accounting software will allow you to migrate datasets seamlessly across different systems. This ease of transfer makes things so much easier on your clients, who will likely only need to perform a few keystrokes to get you the data you need. Even better, with the right integrations, you can collate that data in real time, essentially leaving the client out of the write-up assembly process altogether.
Don’t: Return a messy write-up.
Presenting an EOY client write-up can feel like a case where more is better, but that’s rarely the case. Returning a heap of data back to the client barely provides more clarity than they started with. Your goal should be to systematize the data and present it in a readable fashion, not simply to regurgitate it.
Do: Create reports that deliver value.
Delivering a revealing, actionable EOY client write-up is a great way to show clients that you both understand and care about their business. Software with robust reporting features allows you to cut to the quick with digestible figures about everything from dead stock to eCommerce. The better you can present the data in an EOY client write-up, the more relevant it is.
Head here to learn more about how AccountingSuite makes lives easier for accountants and small business owners all year round.