Effective tax work starts with onboarding

Effective tax work starts with onboarding

What is the core of an efficient tax service?

It’s a timeless question asked by accountants worldwide, and many proposed answers lie in tax expertise and adopting the latest submissions software or technique.

However, in our experience, the answer lies a few steps before this point – or rather, an efficient tax service can’t exist without optimising the steps that come at the very start of the client relationship.

Following the exciting news of being a finalist in the Tolley’s Taxation Awards, we’re going to show you our approach to making tax work a breeze.

We consider there to be four components to a truly excellent tax service that we support through onboarding and management tools:

  1. An airtight accountant-client relationship
  2. Prioritising compliance
  3. Data protection and security
  4. Ongoing communication

Together, these factors carry significant influence over the quality and capacity of a commercial tax advisory, arguably to an equal extent as software directly designed to support tax work.

Boosting client relationships

Tax can represent a substantial cost to a business with significant legal implications if tax is underreported or underpaid. This ties a lot of trust into the accountant-client relationship and, if this is to be relied upon throughout the filing process.

We understand this. We also know that working relationships are based on early impressions and a great experience.

A 2020 study by Zendesk found that 74 per cent of brand customers feel loyalty to a particular company and, from this, we infer that building strong professional relationships is vital from the outset.

For the tax advisory sector, the first step comes from client onboarding.

Our onboarding solution goes beyond the transactional and invites our clients’ clients to become active participants in their tax affairs from the start and setting up the relationship with a great user experience.

By adapting a template to the needs of each client, our solution allows our accounting firm clients to create a simple, efficient workflow for taking on new clients.

This provides an essential first interaction with the client, setting the tone for an efficient relationship that will prioritise compliance and accuracy.

Data protection and security

A 2024 report by SmartSearch found that AML compliance issues are a significant cause for concern in the UK, more so than other leading service-based economies such as the United States.

Almost 10 per cent of AML events worldwide came under the purview of ‘AML compliance failure’, but this rose to 23.9 per cent – the second-leading cause of AML events – in the UK market.

There is clearly a need for an innovative solution in the UK for tax professionals that goes beyond the actual submission of financial data – a need which we are addressing with built-in Creditsafe & SmartSearch capabilities or integrations.

By integrating this into the onboarding process, we provide an added layer of security for new clients, making it more straightforward to enter compliance information and run KYC / AML checks.

This helps to reduce the incidence of tax non-compliance and reduces the risk on our clients with regards to unintentionally facilitating financial misconduct.

Our solution supports comprehensive anti-money laundering (AML) software, allowing accountants to discreetly and quickly integrate their compliance checks with other onboarding processes.

In particular, our tools allow accountants to easily complete Know Your Customer (KYC) checks and credit references all in one place, tailored t a particular sector or risk profile – ensuring firms stay in line with regulations and stay consistently compliant.

Ongoing communication

We understand that tax can be a significant source of stress for businesses, and choosing the best fit tax advisor can also be a stressful process. This can be to some degree alleviated through consistent communication and a joined up end to end process that takes the client through every step of the onboarding process.

For tax professionals and their clients, our solution:

  • Assists clients with the initial steps of onboarding, including logging into Companies House & identifying directors and shareholders.
  • Can be tailored from the start to individual firms’ attitude to risk and client base, supporting with higher risk clients.
  • Does everything from initial contact to client code in the same web browser.
  • Creates and stores contacts and company information securely.
  • Enables sorting and labelling of clients to avoid miscommunication.

Data protection

Tax service providers take on a significant degree of risk when they accept new commercial clients, not only through AML checks but also through the processing of sensitive client data.

Summa Tech’s solution does everything in the same web browser and stores data accurately and securely to reduce data loss.

In short, our solution can, with the right expertise to support the next stages, form the basis of a next-level tax practice that puts the client first and avoids some of the most common initial pitfalls and inefficiencies facing tax advisors today.

Ready to get started and enhance your tax offering? Click here to book a demo.

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