We’d like to be the first to wish accountants across the nation a happy International Accounting Day this Sunday (November 10). Let’s hope you enjoy being recognized for the hard work you do for clients and loved ones alike. In honor of your contribution to making all our lives a little easier, we’d like to offer some information on how your work and business can be less stressful.
IRS Fast Track Settlement and Liability Suits
For instance, have you heard about recent changes to the IRS Fast Track Settlement program for small businesses? This change can mean good things for both your practice and any of the small businesses or sole proprietors you serve. The FTS program will help small businesses under audit resolve the potential litigation and disputes within two months as opposed to the drawn-out processes of the past. It also allows small-business owners to work directly with the IRS to resolve financial disputes.
You’ll see a couple benefits of helping small businesses with the Fast Track Settlement system:
- Fewer opportunities for Errors and Omissions lawsuits. Because the FTS system makes dispute resolution quicker than it’s ever been (and because going through the FTS system doesn’t force businesses to give up their right to an appeal), accountants and tax preparers who take advantage of it will likely be able to help their clients resolve their financial matters sooner. This can lead to fewer unhappy clients, which in turn can translate to fewer Errors & Omissions lawsuits.
- Less paperwork – maybe. Sole proprietors and independent contractors are three times more likely to face an IRS audit than those who file taxes on traditional full-time income. If you count many freelancers among your clients, the FTS system could greatly reduce the amount of time and paperwork you have to spend on disputes and potentially audits.
The Cloud and Property Insurance
There’s also information coming out from technology expert David Cieslak at the Sleeter Group Accounting Solutions Conference about how the cloud will benefit accountants in years to come. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the cloud is made up of virtual servers that allow you and your accounting business to store what was once physical information electronically. According to Cieslak, this will allow accounting business to store email, files, processing, and spreadsheets in the cloud.
What does this mean? Less stress worrying about losing essential documents via theft, fire, or storm damage. In years past, you had to worry about the physical items being damaged or destroyed. Even spilling a cup of coffee on your desk could mean hours of work – sometimes days – to get caught up. With the cloud, those worries will be a thing of the past.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Cloud storage and computing programs may make your work easier in many ways, but they also introduce a number of new risks related to the security of your digital assets. Storing sensitive information online increases your practice’s susceptibility to data breaches, which can cost a lot of time and money. Luckily, with some basic risk management practices and Cyber Liability Insurance, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of experiencing a data breach.