5 secret tips to a smoother EOFY in your practice

28th April, 2016

As an accountant, you already know what’s going on at this time of year. Whether it’s finishing up last year’s compliance work (shudder), moving your clients (or your practice) to new accounting solutions, or finalising tax planning, I’m sure you and your team are ticking off the must-dos in the lead up to 1 July.

That’s why I thought it’s a good time to chat about those awkwardly niggly things that you might not have thought about. Those weirdo tech things that might not seem obvious but can cause headaches later on. So let’s look at five things you may have missed in the lead-up to EOFY (but can still squeeze in).

1. Think about your client communication strategy

Does your communication strategy start and end with sending a letter to remind clients to book in for their tax return? That’s better than nothing but is it the best option? Are there better ways to communicate with them?

For example, if your database captures email addresses, perhaps you could trial an email campaign to them instead (or, preferably, as well)? You could use a mail platform like MailChimp or SmartMail with automation smarts that trigger a follow-up email if no action is taken with the first communication.

And what of the old-fashioned phone call a week or so after the first communication? Your clients may not respond straight away to your letter/email/text/pigeon (well, some will but plenty will wait). How good would it be to have the majority of your client meetings locked away in July?

Speaking of your clients, what about…

2. Sending clients a checklist

However you plan on communicating, do make sure you remind your clients what to bring. While many of your long term clients will know the ropes, there will be those first and second year businesses that might need a wee reminder. The checklist will focus your clients and (hopefully) ensure their shoeboxes are filled with important stuff, not just filler.

3. Ensuring your technology is up-to-date

Every year MYOB gets calls from some businesses saying their new software isn’t working properly. And in most cases it’s because their operating system just isn’t up to it anymore. Even the revered Windows XP is over the hill for much modern software, including new versions of AccountRight.

It’s just a fact that technology improves quickly and constantly, and legacy operating systems are simply not good enough to keep up. Meanwhile, software vendors cannot build versions to suit every operating system in existence. The line must be drawn somewhere – otherwise their support would be diluted to the point of … well, something rather watery.

It’s really, crazily important to ensure you (and your clients) are using the right operating systems for today’s tools. Check the relevant release notes of software BEFORE you install.

Here’s the link to MYOB’s system requirements to get you started:

4. Get in training

Do you know how the new financial year will impact businesses? How is reporting changing? What is the ATO keeping an eye on? Make sure you’re booked into the relevant professional workshops and seminars such as the various ICA events, the CPA training and events or (shameless plug) MYOB Tax Seminars.

5. Get cracking with MYOB Portal

By now you’ve heard about MYOB Portal. We’ve been banging on about it at INCITE, in blog posts, online and in the press. What’s so dandy about it at tax time? Simple, secure document sharing and digital signing. These two features alone are going to save you loads of tax time – removing the toing and froing that impacts your day.

If that sounds like just the dandiest thing in your day, and you’re already using an MYOB practice solution, you can get cracking on MYOB Portal pretty much right now.

There you go – five things you might not have thought about to make end of financial year just that teeny bit easier. And if you’ve ticked off all five, I’m going to need to get even more secret squirrel next time.