Professional tax preparation and remote work can blend quite well when you have the right digital tools. Whether you’re just starting your tax business, own a brick-and-mortar tax office, or multi-location tax office, here’s what you should consider when transitioning to a virtual office:
Benefits to Offering Virtual Tax Prep
A virtual tax office can drastically reduce your business costs. You’ll save on rent, utilities, office supplies, and transportation costs, and you don’t have to compromise your income.
Reach more clients
Working virtually allows you to extend beyond your local market and work with clients across the country. This opportunity is especially beneficial if you prefer to work in a specific tax niche that doesn’t have a wide market in your area.
Are you planning to hire employees? Since you won’t be limited to local candidates, you’ll have more hiring options, and the option to work from home can help attract top talent.
Simplified filing and document organization
Virtual offices and paperless workflows go hand in hand. Cloud-based tax software like TaxSlayer Pro Web automates your document storage and organization. When clients send you their files digitally via the Taxes To Go® app, their information will automatically be integrated into your TaxSlayer Pro software, reducing your workload in tax season.
How to run a virtual tax office:
1. Choose a cloud-based software
Cloud-based tax software is the best choice for any virtual tax office. Real-time updates make it easy to collaborate with your employees, no matter where they are located. Even if you work alone, cloud-based software gives you the ability to work from anywhere with an internet connection and can help you simplify your home office.
2. Meet with clients remotely
You have several options for meeting with your clients remotely. The first and most efficient is to forgo traditional meetings altogether and collaborate virtually through your tax software and the Taxes to Go® mobile app. The app prompts clients to take pictures of their documents and verify their identity. Then, it sends automatic notifications to you that their documents have been successfully uploaded and keeps your clients updated on your progress preparing and filing their return. They can even sign important documents from within the app.
When you do need to meet with clients “face-to-face,” video calls offer the next best thing to in-person meetings. Over the last year, video meetings platforms like Zoom have been increasingly normalized, and more clients than ever are comfortable with this option.
3. Build your digital team (for preparers with employees)
Your cloud-based tax software will be an invaluable asset when it comes to building and managing your team remotely. You’ll find it far easier to collaborate and stay organized when everyone’s work is automatically updated in the cloud.
Digital collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams are also helpful. You can set hours, see who is online, send instant messages, and quickly start video chats when needed. With the right digital tools and clear expectations and communications from you, managing a digital team can be just as easy, if not easier, than managing a physical office.Thinking about taking your tax office virtual? Get a demo of TaxSlayer Pro Web to see just how easy running a virtual tax office can be.
This article was last edited on July 22, 2021.