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Client Workflow Tracker

Key tips and advice the working tax pro can use.
#1
Gr8ful  
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162
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North Carolina
So after 20 years you would think I would have a better way to track client flow. I am asking how you track the tax returns to be done, in process and completed (but waiting client review before filing).

Right now I use a simple word document ( :roll: I know!!) on my desktop where I have a date and client name. Each day I add the current date & below that the client name coming in to drop off work. Then I work from top to bottom preparing the returns.

2/2/21
Smith -Drobox
Jones- Paper files

I was thinking a google doc template may be better. I use Proseries by the way and my goal here is make the tracking of all client work at tax time a lot easier to see in one simple glance. If it helps, I have 300 clients but my maximum waiting is usually 50 clients.

Thanks in advance!
 

#2
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North by Northeast, USA
Similar, but use excel - much easier to analyze data / inputs
 

#3
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The Office
Also currently use excel to track workflows.

At a prior firm we use CS GoFileRoom/FirmFlow. I really liked the reports and data segmentation possible with that platform.
 

#4
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Thanks....Yep Excel was going tp be my go to this year if I didn't like what I found on google docs. It's something that does NOT need to be over-engineered. I was going to look at some apps for the Mac desktop but again I think it is more than needed.
 

#5
cp_acwt  
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MichigaN
You can use "Client Status" within ProSeries to track your client workflow. Here is a youtube video that explains it.

https://youtu.be/VHk2VpqU0Ts
 

#6
Andrew  
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CA
Excel. One sheet for all tax work in progress. Make columns for when data received and data requested and type of return. I colorcode green for data received (and also have a column for date received) and orange for data requested and the date requested ... but those are just details. No need for an expensive work flow tracking systems unless you run a firm with 20 employees.
 

#7
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I have just started using File In Time from Time Value Software. It looks and feels ancient but it works for me as a sole practitioner with no admin. Sales and after sales support has, so far, been very good. The clincher for me is that you can set different views for a more focused overview. At the moment, I have a Basic View and a Payroll View. I am sure i will develop more as time moves on.
 

#8
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DC Metro Area
I started using TaxDome this year for that reason. It’s been a great help for me thus far. I am still learning the platform. Check it out when time permits

https://taxdome.com/
 

#9
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74
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22-Oct-2014 7:13am
Location:
NC
cp_acwt wrote:You can use "Client Status" within ProSeries to track your client workflow. Here is a youtube video that explains it.

https://youtu.be/VHk2VpqU0Ts



I have been using this method for years and it works like a champ. You can set the program to update the client status when you close and use that as a reminder

I use data received, data entered, data reviewed, and final return printed. Pro serieswill auto update when efiled and accepted by IRS.
 

#10
CinSee  
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7
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5-May-2014 9:06am
Location:
Columbia, SC
Several years ago I worked at an office that used Excel to track the client status. We had columns for the client name, client number, date in, status, description of info waiting on, who the return was assigned to and efile status, The final column was for the delivery of the return to the client. We used D-Delivered, M-Mailed or P-Picked up followed by the date. Someone who knows Excel way more than I do wrote macros so that when the cell in the delivery column had an entry beginning with D, M or P the whole roll became highlighted. That was great as the completed returns stood out.
 

#11
WillG  
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16
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1-Jan-2022 10:01pm
Location:
Houston
This is good stuff. I was about to say, I thought most major tax software solutions included a workflow management process. I have not used one specifically myself as I only have a few clients. But I did work with a firm in the past that used ATOM.
 

#12
Andrew  
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806
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21-Nov-2018 5:00pm
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CA
I use excel. It's easy and it always works. I have columns for type of return: 1120-S, 1040, 990, client or company name, date info received and date client contacted. And a status column: data entry, waiting for info, review, done. I also like it because it's easy for me to see how many returns I'm currently working on.

In the tax program, I also use client status which gets entered when closing out of a client. I use similar categories asBushmaster. I also have "organizer sent" which gets automatically entered when the organizer gets mailed or emailed.
 

#13
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13
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15-Mar-2022 6:10am
Location:
Maine
I have always used Excel and my own version of a Kanban board.

Every year in January I say "This is the year I'm going to switch to an official database like Access".

I play around with it until the first returns show up, and then realize it's a waste of time. Spreadsheet have become much more versatile, and can be used as a database to find, sort and filter.

The Excel spreadsheet is my permanent record, and it lists not only the date of each processing step, but the prep fees, tel number, email, address etc. and any client notes that carry over year to year. When a client calls I quickly review their notes so I can ask not only tax questions but friendly icebreaker questions like how their new puppy is doing, if their mother is still in chemo, or if they got to use their boat at all last year.

They are always amazed that I remember stuff like that, and I just tell them it is because they are my favorite client.

When I finish a client I hide their row, so I only see the open returns. I print off a copy every morning, but things get overlooked on an eight page spreadsheet.

The white board is much easier to visualize, but of course it is temporary.

I put each clients name on a magnetic colored label; 2x4 for small returns or 4x4 for business and large personal returns, add the date received, and put it on the "received" column of my white board, and move it along as the return is processed.

The goal in my office is to "Get them off the board", meaning they are completely done, filed and accepted. We do a quick cheer every time I take one off.

I have a curtain that I use to cover it up when clients drop by.
 

#14
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77
Joined:
26-Apr-2022 10:00pm
Location:
Los Angeles
We use the client status in Lacerte to track the returns progress, and then an actual physical folder that goes around the office.

But, we are looking to use Taxdome. The youtube training video made it look pretty good at tracking progress. However, I don't want to be doing things twice, e.g. changing the status in Taxdome and in Lacerte.

Does anyone know how this works? Do those two programs integrate nicely?

Thanks for any comments!
 


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