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Best accounting practice management tips

You can impress clients and enhance the standing of your business with some of these accounting practice management tips shared by leading CPA Australia public practitioners.

September 2019 

1. Show your clients you’re actively looking out for their interests by keeping an eye on what is going into their myGov account
Have an administration staffer check clients’ accounts every week via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) agents’ portal.

This process will flag any potential issues early and enables your team to promptly follow up with clients.

2. Create “rolling workpapers” for each client for every year
Rolling them into the new year refreshes the workpapers and is a signal to review the information and think about issues such as depreciation, finance and interest calculations on asset purchases and leases, asset disposals, closing entries from the previous year, GST reconciliations, franking accounts, trust distributions, and the like.

3. Think about client structures
Outline your client structure in a diagram, template or another graphic that enables you to identify, for example, the trustee company and family trust, as well as beneficiaries and directors.

Such graphics will convey the shareholding, directors, classes of shares and other relevant information at a glance.

Having key information documented in this form is a useful prompt to review all that is current and relevant, and to start conversations with clients.

4. Be on the alert for scams
Scamming is particularly prevalent at tax time, when some clients may receive emails to the effect that they owe the ATO money and need to click on a link and pay immediately or risk arrest. Ensure clients are aware that they have full licence to give you a “peace of mind” call if they receive any communication regarding what could turn out to be an extremely contentious matter.

This ATO webpage lists various scams and, in particular, highlights the latest one doing the rounds; a tax refund notification where taxpayers are sent an SMS message asking them to click on a link and provide identifying information to receive a tax refund. In New Zealand, check out the IRD page on the latest scams to stay current.

If you are sending out communications to clients, these are good links to provide so they and their staff are alerted to fraudulent activities.

5. The busy season will eventually end
Start planning to complete lesser tasks as the end of the calendar year approaches and there is more time for lower priority work. Do you need to review your own practice documents, the effectiveness of your software, communications with clients, team capabilities and work arrangements in 2020? Ask staff for their contributions, as they will have ideas too.