Break Free of the Annual Workload After Tax Season
Picture it now: You’ve reached the last 2021 tax deadline, after sprinting to keep pace with the changing regulations. You’ve filed your millionth form. Right before you grab the champagne flutes, you realize – half of your biggest clients still haven’t paid you.
If you’re tired of the annual collections calls, it’s time to start re-thinking your payment process. In this age of digital transformation, there are more ways than ever to take control of your firm’s destiny and break free of the collections cycle.
Here’s how you can make it happen at your firm this year.
What Causes Collections After Tax Season?
Not all firms struggle with tax-related collections, but the vast majority still struggle with getting paid on time throughout the year. This fact just becomes more obvious during the busy season.
In a 2021 survey, we asked decision-makers at top firms what one thing they would improve about their collections process. Common answers included “eliminating our 60-day past-due list” and “more timely follow-up.” Respondents also reported that up to 20% of their firm’s annual revenue was still locked in accounts receivable, on average.
Sue Torgerson spent nearly 20 years at Wolters Kluwer leading customer-driven digital workflow initiatives – and helping accountants understand the intersection between people, process and technology. As Torgerson said in a recent interview: “While the market has been flooded with new accounting software programs and practice management tools in recent years, digital payments are still an afterthought at too many firms.”
“It can be uncomfortable to ask your best clients to change their processes. But that change is essential for long-term growth, on both sides.”Sue Torgerson
Getting Proactive About Payments
Last year, firms adopted many new tech processes to help their clients overcome challenges. But responding to 2020 isn’t enough by itself. Proactivity still matters most when it comes to payments. With so many rapid changes in digital payments, that means giving your clients a choice of more flexible options – and plenty of them.
Here are 3 ways that offering multiple payment options will get your firm out of the tax season rut.
1. It Leads to Better Client Relationships.
When you give clients more control over their payment process, you remove several frustrating challenges that help lead to client dissatisfaction and high A/R. More than that: You build a higher degree of trust, especially when clients are dealing with cash flow issues.
“Most firms value the client experience, but that can be difficult to translate into action,” said Sue Torgerson. “You have to reframe it, even when talking internally at your firm. You’re helping clients move forward in today’s competitive environment and, more importantly, rebuild their businesses stressed by the pandemic. A great client experience means that your clients walk away feeling supported and empowered at every stage.”
2. It Frees Your Firm from Busy Work.
With an unprecedented opportunity to shift your firm into highly valued advisory services today, there’s no time to waste on chasing payments. Offering a range of easy online payment methods will give you the precious gift of more time.
How much time? In the survey cited earlier, more than half of respondents indicated that their team was losing around 1-5 hours each week just on billing processes. One firm shared they had recorded almost 10,000 hours of valuable professional time in billing and collections. That’s almost the equivalent of five full-time professionals!
3. It Encourages Your Clients to Change, Too.
It’s common for firms to balk at investing in new technologies. However, the value of time has been amplified (and exponentially so!) in 2020. When you aren’t moving forward in the digital transformation journey, both the firm and its clients fall further behind.
Accountants are some of the most trusted professionals, and that means your clients will follow your example. When your firm invests in true digital transformation, it helps your clients understand the true value of your services. It also shows them the benefits of investing wisely.
A Year-Round Solution to Tax Season Collections
Tax season is the most stressful time of the year for most accountants. It’s difficult trying to meet the demands of clients with so much uncertainty around this year’s tax filing process.
QuickFee offers a unique online payments suite that will not only help you reduce collections stress this year, but keep your clients happy in the long run. After listening to many firms talk about their challenges with accounts receivable and traditional financing, we have also introduced a new installment plan option with no credit risk to the merchant. This solution solves a shared problem for firms and their clients: Balancing the need to address the urgent challenges of 2021, and the desire to avoid the risks of traditional financing.
Want to learn more? Contact us at today at 844 – 968 – 4387 or get in touch with our team online!