· Store .pdfs of returns online: The easiest way to stave off the dreaded phone call, “I need copies of the last two years for…” is to make those returns accessible online. Your bank places your statements online. Your broker / dealer places your quarterly reports and prospectus online. Why not make a tax return available online? Purchase a website that allows for unlimited storage (so you are not paying PER file) and begin to place copies of your clients’ current and prior year returns online. Once your client realizes that it is as easy as online banking, the phone calls will cease in favor of this method.
· Create maps with driving directions: This may seem like a no-brainer but there are a surprising number of accounting sites that just provide address and phone number. Why not include a map to proactively answer the question, “How do I get there?” MapQuest, Yahoo Maps, and Google Maps, among others, allow you to easily embed a map that indicates the location of your practice with turn-by-turn driving directions. While seemingly sophomoric, it is a feature commonly overlooked.
· Reference IRS forms: Are you getting called by clients requesting an SS-4, a W4, or any other IRS form? Instead of mailing, faxing, or even emailing them, why not already have them right there on your site for you clients to download? IRS.gov provides all forms in .pdf format and you can easily link them directly to your site.
If your site is just a business card that sits on the web with basic information, you are wasting an opportunity to make it a real benefit to your business even if you do not wish to advertise. These are three easy upgrades that can end up saving you some unnecessary phone calls, and in turn, free up your time for more important tasks.