18th March, 2015
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 the 1 April.
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).
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 April?
Speaking of your clients, what about …
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.
Every year MYOB gets calls from 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 costs would be horrendous.
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.
Do you know how the new financial year will impact businesses? How is reporting changing? What is the IRD keeping an eye on? Make sure you’re booked into the relevant professional workshops and seminars such as the various NZICA events or (shameless plug) MYOB Tax + Compliance Seminars.
Using Accountants Enterprise or Accountants Office in your practice? You might have heard us talking about MYOB Logins lately. MYOB Logins is the name for our new unified sign-in that links your desktop software to our cloud-based products and services.
Why does this sneak into our list? You need to have this set-up prior to installing the March update of your practice software.
What will it do for you? In the short term, it offers added convenience. Once you’re logged into your practice software, you can switch seamlessly into Essentials, AccountRight and so on. More importantly, 2015 will see a dramatic boost in the rate at which we’re rolling out new online services, and we’re sure you’ll want to be first in line for each new time-saver!
Fortunately it only takes a few minutes per employee, and you’ll only have to do this once. If you leave it to the last minute, both you and our support teams will be a lot busier, and you may regret putting this off!
For a quick overview of what’s involved, have a look at this 90-second video – or, for a more thorough guide on how to proceed, consult this Knowledge Base article (which includes a more in-depth video).
There you go – five things you might not have thought about to make end of financial year just that teeny bit easier.