Tax season puts an enormous amount of pressure on accounting firms. Teams are expected to be more productive with the same number of resources, while maintaining high levels of accuracy.
While challenging, this isn’t an impossible task. Firms can approach tax season strategically by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data to drive important decisions. Allocating the most efficient resources, scheduling, managing budgets and workloads — all of these critical decisions can be driven by data.
The result? A more successful tax season overall, with positive client outcomes and an engaged staff.
1. How can firms use AI and data to drive decisions
Every time a tax form is filed, a meeting takes place, or a project gets billed, more and more data is created that paints a clear picture of your firm’s operation. The data from past actions can help drive future decisions, when applied the right way. Here are some examples:
2. Match the right resources to the right task
Making decisions during tax season is all about strategically planning for the influx of work that will come your firm’s way. You’ll want to make sure your accountants are taking on tasks that make the most sense for their skillset and workload.
Having an AI-powered tool on your side can help with this. It can provide statistics on how many similar tasks an employee has performed, and what the outcome was, so you can compare which employees are best suited for specific tasks. You can set specific parameters for comparison such as form type, client industry, seniority level, and more.
3. Run employee efficiency reports to assign tasks and manage workloads
You can dig even deeper by running employee efficiency reports. These include details such as time per task, workload data, labor productivity equations, relative efficiency, and more. Not only does that help drive decisions about which tasks should be assigned to which employee, it helps better manage workload. Data that specifically gives you a handle on how much time someone would need to complete a given client’s request, piecing together a schedule that does not overwhelm your staff during this busy time.
4. Forecast estimated costs and projected revenue to determine budgets
Budget is a major factor when it comes to making major decisions, and that’s nothing new to an accounting firm. AI powered software can instantly project how many hours certain clients or tasks will take up, allowing you to set budgets for both hours and dollars. This will make staffing and other budget-related decisions more justifiable and make client billing practices more accurate.
These are just a few broad examples — there are bound to be more specific opportunities for your firm to use AI and data to drive decisions.
The right platform makes a difference
Collecting and analyzing data to drive decisions in accounting firms doesn’t need to be time consuming or difficult. In fact, with the right platform, it can be integrated directly with your firm’s everyday tasks with the help of the right software program.
Platforms that are user-friendly, cost-effective, and intuitively built will make a big difference in tax season, and all year round. Schedule a demo with one of our experts to make this tax season the most productive one yet and learn how you can carry those benefits over throughout the rest of the year.