As busy season deadlines loom, rushed work can lead to errors or gaps in work that could result in disputes with your client over work product.
To ensure client expectations are met, CPA Deborah K. Rood, a risk control consulting director with CAN Insurance, has three ideas CPAs should consider to help reduce the chance of errors.
Use an engagement letter for every job: Outline what the responsibilities for the CPA will be and what the client is responsible for. Billing terms and information on extensions should be nailed down at the outset, and make sure to amend your engagement letter as new requests are added to your to-do list.
Document everything: Follow up phone conversations with an email outlining what was discussed. Documentation also includes updating clients on changes to tax law as new regulations take effect in 2018. Tax reform can be addressed in a newsletter to all your clients.
Check your work: Sole practitioners should wait a week after preparing a tax return to review it, so enough time has passed that they have forgotten the details and can review it with fresh eyes.
CPA review checklists are available to AICPA members with access to the Tax Section of the AICPA website.
This Journal of Accountancy page contains a video of Rood explaining why it’s crucial to define the scope of services.