Do you know what’s involved in processing, reviewing, and distributing ATO correspondence in your office?
If you don’t – go and chat to the person responsible for the task right now! Because it might shock you to discover what’s happening. It’s a clunky, cumbersome, and repetitive process. It’s prone to data entry errors, and in the event of a mistake, it can have damaging repercussions on your client relationships (think missing an instalment notice and not warning the client about the payment due). In fact, just recently, ATOmate picked up a discrepancy on a notice of assessment that differed from the information in the practice management system. A client was told they’d potentially be liable for a $2,000 tax bill and in fact, was entitled to the same amount but as a refund! While that pick-up made for a very happy phone call, it highlights the significance that even the smallest typo can have. The reality is, while it must be done, processing ATO documents distract your team from what’s most important for your practice – servicing your clients, growing your business, and engaging your team in meaningful work.
Here are three things you could and should be doing with your time instead of managing your ATO correspondence:
1. Marketing your practice
With much new business growth coming from referrals, marketing is not something accountants have traditionally been known for. But in a landscape with growing competition (from new advisers, and automated compliance services alike!) it’s an activity that needs to be bumped up the list. Rather than have your Client Service Administrator spend a day each week checking, drafting and distributing ATO notices, get them to help with marketing activities that contribute to growing your business. Those activities could include helping collate and prepare a monthly email newsletter or drafting social media posts to share throughout the month, highlighting your practice, services, and capabilities. Sharing stories of what you’re doing for your clients and how you can help them, will go a long way to positioning your practice for the future and helping you to grow – not to mention it’s much more interesting than data entry!
TIP: help set your marketing assistant up for success by creating a simple marketing plan and content calendar or engage an external adviser to help you do so.
2. Improving your business processes and procedures
In the event you lost a team member, would you be able to take over their responsibilities without batting an eyelid? The chances are there are more than a handful of processes, tasks, and procedures that have not been documented, or are in desperate need of an update. Regularly reviewing and maintaining your business processes and procedures is a must to ensure the sustainability and longevity of your business. It’s a great task you can get your Client Service team or junior advisers to assist with too (if they weren’t busy processing ATO documentation!).
TIP: start by mapping out your key business processes and ensuring each process has a corresponding document procedure and champion. Set a reminder to review annually.
3. Wowing clients
Of course, the most important thing you should be focused on is delivering moments of wow for your clients. While it might sound hard to do for tax services, a few small tweaks to your client service can go a long way to creating memorable experiences your clients will appreciate and will want to tell their friends about. Even a quick phone call to touch base can go a long way in creating moments of wow for clients. For example, why not pick up the phone to share the news of a refund, or if you have just emailed the client a payable Instalment Notice, give them a call to check they’ve received it and can meet the payment date. Other simple ideas could include, recording coffee and tea preferences in your CRM so your Client Service team are knowledgeable when clients come in for their next meeting, or experimenting with sending text reminders for upcoming due dates or meetings to help clients keep track of their commitments.
These are three key activities you and your team should be investing your time in, that provide more value to you, your business, and your clients. But just how do you find the time, and still stay up to date with getting those important ATO notifications to your clients?
Rather than spending time processing ATO documentation, utilise the power of automation to reduce the administrative burden of repetitive processes across your entire practice. ATO document processing is just one area that can be easily and successfully automated. ATOmate integrates directly with the ATO and automates the processing, checking and distribution of ATO documents. Not only does ATOmate reduce manual data entry and processing time, but it’s also designed to help you keep up with compliance requirements – automatically redacting TFNs to keep your client’s data safe and secure. With ATOmate, you can reclaim the valuable time you and your team are spending on repetitive administrative processes so you can reinvest that into building and maintaining meaningful client relationships and growing your business.