Well, we are almost four weeks into Tax Season and I decided to look at where we stood last year with filed tax returns and time invested. Some very interesting numbers showed quite a difference in two key areas; total time worked, and total returns filed.
Powerful Accounting Tax Season Changes (4 major changes):
- Michael LaMalfa has joined us as an intern from Eastern Connecticut State University. He is a senior studying accounting, has helped with the Women’s Basketball team and is an avid golfer. Mikey (that’s what we call him) has jumped in to handle data management, Gruntworx and Lacerte integration, and is working on his QuickBooks Online Certification. Our team is grateful to Mikey for his positive attitude and work ethic.
- Process adjustments have been tweaked a bit with the use of Karbon this year, as we have really figured out the best practices for implementing and managing the information to maximize our productivity.
- Tracey (Mama) has been available more during this tax season which has decreased my investment in administrative time significantly. Her skills and abilities have allowed me to decide about getting back into coaching. See below for more on that.
- I decided that I didn’t want to wait to retire in order to coach again. After eleven years at Parish Hill High School Coaching Varsity Basketball and then assistant coach at ECSU for Women’s Softball way back in the early nineties, I felt it was time. Well for many years my heart has been wanting to go back to coaching. So, I decided there was no better time than tax time! Say hello to the new Assistant Softball Coach at Eastern Connecticut State University. Yeah, it’s tax season, SO WHAT? Work/Life balance is a choice. And I choose to go for it and do a better job of managing my time so I can continue to grow my businesses and maintain a level of sanity that everyone around me can deal with! If you want to see live streaming of our games or keep up on our schedule, here is the link to the 2019 Eastern Connecticut Softball Schedule!
The Data Revealed
TIME COMPARISON TOTAL TEAM: Many say that time tracking is a waste of time. I 100% disagree. Tracking my time has allowed me to analyze information in a way that provides me with the good, the bad, and the ugly so that we can make changes so all team members are living their best life. I analyzed the entire teams 2018-time data and compared the period of January 1, 2018 to February 19, 2018 to January 1, 2019 to February 19, 2019.
TEAM WORK TIME RESULTS: We discovered that in the previous year, the total team (the current 2019 team) worked 1,344.35 hours in 2018, while in that same time frame in 2019, the team has worked 1,096.79 hours. A total reduction in working hours of 247.60. I myself have worked 123.80 hours less than last year so far.
What do those statistics say to me? Our team have improved our processes and are organized and productive enough to accomplish MORE than what we accomplished last year in less time. Now let’s look at the tax return preparation and 1099 processing productivity figures.
PRODUCTIVITY AND WORK RESULTS COMPARISON: Without an organized work flow, tax preparation can be a daunting and frustrating activity. We have once again, improved our productivity by implementing just a few new technologies and steps to ensure success. As we are going, we are also evaluating if a piece of workflow is just not working and shifting to make it better.
TEAM PRODUCTIVITY RESULTS: In the previous tax season, we were so excited and thought we could not possibly become more productive than 2018. In tax year 2018, we tripled our revenue and our productivity! I thought that was AMAZING! Now we have 2019, technically seven weeks in for the year, technically three and a half weeks of tax season. This year, we have less staff, a fantastic intern, better processes, and have blown away last year’s numbers already.
In 2018, we processed and filed 22 tax returns as February 19 last year. For 2019, wait for it… we have prepared and e-filed 50 returns, 5 extension requests, 15 clients waiting on documents and 11 appointments already scheduled. There are obviously more clients than that but going from 22 filed returns to 50 is measurable and reflects the success we are experiencing due to the improvements we made over the last year.
To wrap this up, our workflow that includes the following tech stack is working for us. We are NOT frustrated, though clients are seeing the effects of the tax reform on their refunds or amounts due. But we are just plugging along, explaining to them the changes and how they were affected. I am thankful that these technology solutions have changed the game for Powerful Accounting, check out our tech recommendations on the ICBUSA Master Bookkeeper site: MASTERBOOKKEEPER.COM!
Keep your eye out for the launch of the Fight Against Fraud internal control on-demand webinars where we will show you how we use these technologies not only to better our practice, but how we can minimize the risk of fraud in your practice! Sign up for a free membership to get the latest in the fight against fraud as well as be a part of our newsletter.
Author Bio: Dawn W. Brolin is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and CEO of Powerful Accounting, LLC, a nationally recognized accounting, tax, forensic and fraud, IRS Representation as well as a QuickBooks consulting firm. Dawn’s list of professional accomplishments is extensive and includes speaking and consulting for prestigious companies. Named “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting” 2012-2017 by CPA Practice Advisor, a “Top 10 Managing Partner Elite – Great Accounting Firm Leader” in 2017 by Accounting Today, and selected as a “Top 40 Under 40” by CPA Technology Magazine.