Have you reminded your clients not to spend all of their money this Christmas?
If you’re reading this article, you’re an accountant so you’re well aware of the tax due dates coming up this January. Those jingle bells are ringing, so before you know it, Christmas will be over and it’ll be time to start chasing up your clients to get their taxes in on time…
But while you may be aware of these dates coming up, your clients probably aren’t… They’re small business owners, so they’ve got a lot to think about this time of year. They’re probably planning staff Christmas parties, liaising with staff about Christmas leave, and like everyone else this time of year, rushing to get that never-ending to-do list done before December 25th.
You’re the tax professional – so it’s your responsibility to remind your clients about these important tax dates. And doing this ahead of time is so important because your small business clients might treat their business cash as their own and spend it on their personal Christmas shopping lists. So it’s about being proactive and reminding them that the money in the company bank account isn’t for personal use until tax obligations are paid!
Tip #3: Ensure your clients are aware of the consequences of not paying taxes on time
Before you reach out to your clients, the first thing you’re going to want to do is make use of the accounting software tools you have at your disposal, in order to triage which clients need your help the most.
Luckily, you’re a modern accountant, which means that you don’t have to manually analyse each and every one of your clients data, or sift through files of paper, or even spreadsheets. You can use state-of-the-art accounting software tools to do this for you – such as Xero and Aider.
With the use of Xero and Aider, you can effortlessly identify which clients need your assistance more urgently than others – i.e. those behind on reconciliations, or those who might get bill shock. You can also use this step to estimate how much your clients might owe so that you have this information ready to communicate with them.
Once you have triaged your clients with your accounting software tools, and have figured out which clients need your attention most, it’s time to start reaching out to them. And there is no time like the present!
Don’t wait until the New Year when it’s sunny and warm and the last thing you want to be doing is stressing because your clients have spent all of their money over Christmas and now you’ve got to come up with a last-minute solution to help them pay their tax bills.
Many of your clients might get bill shock if you tell them too late, so reach out as soon as possible. We also recommend regularly checking in with your clients over the course of the next 4-6 weeks to ensure they’re prepared for the upcoming GST due date – and to say happy holidays, of course!
The final thing you’ll need to do is communicate with your clients just how important setting aside sufficient funds for the upcoming tax due dates really is.
It’s about reminding your clients that it is a legal obligation to pay taxes. To reinforce this, ensure to alert them of the consequences that could occur should they fail to do so. As an accountant you are well aware of the consequences that failing to pay taxes can lead to, but your clients may not be. This is why it is so important to communicate this with them now, not later.
Running a business and paying taxes is stressful enough as it is, so failure to pay taxes on time will only add to this stress for your clients – it will result in cash flow problems which will affect your clients ability to run their business.
This is why it is vital to be proactive, instead of reactive. Doing so will help you be a more trusted accountant – one who goes the extra mile to help (and keep) their clients, rather than one who just completes the bare minimum and risks losing clients to churn. It will also help you build better relationships with your clients and prime them for more services if you want to upsell in the future. It is a win-win for both your clients and your practice.
In just a few clicks on Aider’s financial advisory platform, you can easily identify which of your clients need assistance this side of Christmas to ensure they’re prepared for the upcoming tax due dates.
By simply glancing at your Aider Dashboard, you can quickly triage which clients to reach out to first, estimate their tax costs and share multiple insights directly via the platform.
Don’t wait until the New Year to alert your clients – turn the usually negative and reactive tax payment conversation into proactive tax saving advice.