Is Your CPA’s Head in the Clouds When it Comes to Tax Planning?

The iCloud that is! There are many innovative technologies available today to increase efficiency and accuracy across industries, and that includes tools for accounting and tax planning. The following technologies can greatly increase your organization of and real-time access to information, while streamlining the process of financial management. If you are looking at employing a CPA, ask them about the types of technologies they are utilizing to assist their clients with the best strategies for efficiency, sharing information, keeping things up-to-date, and providing secure and immediate access to information.

A few of the top cutting-edge technology areas being embraced by firms today include:

Cloud computing & Portals

An advanced web-based platform provides you with a personal, secure portal where you deliver documents electronically and share information in real-time. Regardless of the day, hour or location, you have convenient, confidential access to your financial data. A CPA can offer greater value to client interactions in many ways with portals. They also can enhance collaboration among individuals and work teams in-house who play various roles on managing your portfolio.

Mobile Apps

Using an App to track and manage your expenses throughout the year can save you a great deal of time and work during tax season, eliminating scrambling to locate receipts and organize your material. Your CPA can assist you with determining the most helpful app for your purposes, but a few good ones that include scanning ability and real-time mileage tracking, with slightly differing functionalities are:

  • Neat: With this app you can easily track expenses and create spending reports, expense reports and tax reports.
  • Expensify: This is a useful app for businesses that allows real-time reporting of expenses and reimbursements, as well as syncing with accounting systems. It also creates summarized expense reports with one tap, saving employees time to do other things!
  • Shoeboxed: This app will scan and categorize receipts by amount, vendor and payment method, then file them according to tax category. The app creates expense reports and tracks mileage, and it also has a handy business card function.
  • Tax document automation

This involves converting raw data to digital. Tax document automation systems actually perform several functions, starting with the initial scanning of a client’s tax documents into the firm’s computer or through a secure cloud portal. When this is done, the software uses optical character recognition to look at the digital version of the document and determines what it is, such as a W-2, 1098 or 1099, K-1s, brokerage statements and other documents. After identifying what the form is, the software then grabs information from each field and either automatically populates the information into a client’s tax return, or creates digital PDF workpapers. These digitized tax binders include bookmarks, contents pages and inter-related documents often linked for easy navigation when the professional goes through the documents.

Software to improve efficiency

To improve efficiency and reduce the risk of error, there are software programs that offer analytical tools to identify anomalies in data which require further investigation. Furthermore, data analytics tools are beneficial to identify and assess risk by analyzing data patterns, correlations, and fluctuations.

If you need assistance in filing your 2016 taxes, or strategizing your 2017 tax planning and financial goals, contact barton CPA for a complimentary consultation. Named as “One of the Top 20 Accounting Firms of the Future” by Intuit in 2015, barton CPA continues to provide guidance and technology leadership to clients designed to optimally and profitably serve clients.

 

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