What else should you consider?
Now you know the rough steps you should take to be well prepared for working together with the tax advisor. As you have seen, preparatory accounting can be executed relatively easy on your own, especially if you use financial software. After all, according to a study by PCW, financial technology helps significantly with process improvement. This can also explain why the use of AI, for example, in the automatic reading of documents for further processing in accounting, was already at 67% in 2020. We hope that you belong to this majority.
For the cooperation to run smoothly, we would like to conclude by giving you some more valuable tips.
Consult with your tax advisor
Before the preparatory work even begins, you should at best have already contacted your tax advisor. We recommend that you discuss your wishes and requirements in detail, as this will allow you and your tax advisor to find a way to cover them. The first step is to specify your individual tax requirements to initiate the following steps, such as providing the necessary documents. In addition, you should disclose your internal financial processes comprehensively and thoroughly (keyword: procedural documentation). Your tax advisor should be able to easily understand, for example, how you write your outgoing invoices, send them or in what quantity you store incoming invoices and where. In addition, you should describe which banks and software solutions you use. Only if the tax advisor knows your exact processes, he or she can give you personal tips on avoiding mistakes and organising the preparatory work optimally and efficiently. So if things change in your finance department, for example, through the introduction of invoice processing software, inform your tax advisors immediately.
Start early enough
When was the deadline to hand in your income tax return again? On the tenth day after the end of an income tax filing period. And when is the advance sales tax return due? That depends on the amount of sales tax from the second year after starting the business. Did you know these deadlines? We hope you did because this is the only way to avoid missing deadlines. Do not wait for your tax advisors to remind you of these deadlines. And instead, start too early rather than too late. Unexpected issues can always arise, such as false invoices or untraceable payment transactions. And don’t forget that employees sometimes forget to submit their receipts. Allow enough time for this so that you don’t end up having to work under pressure.
Check all receipts
Before sorting the receipts, make sure that they are free of errors and comply with legal requirements. For example, are the date, address, quantity and price of the listed services or the calculated VAT correct on the invoices? Enclosed you will find a small checklist of what should be included in an invoice.
- Date and place of invoicing
- Sender address
- Recipient address
- Quantity & price of the service provided
- VAT identification number of the invoicing party
- Invoice number
- Net amount
- Payment term
- Notes on possible tax exemption
- Bank details
At best, check the necessary information immediately upon receipt or issue of the invoice. This way, there is no risk that you will initiate the further steps of the preparatory accounting with erroneous documents and that, afterwards, documents will have to be corrected, and the entire work will start all over again.
Find the right tax consultant
Imagine you are working with intelligent financial software that facilitates your preparatory accounting. The software provides you with all your records for export to DATEV Unternehmen Online. Now, unlike you, your tax advisor is less advanced in digitization. He neither works with DATEV Unternehmen Online nor can he do anything with your digitally prepared data. As a result, it takes him a while to understand the data you have carefully prepared, and he often gets back to you with queries. What does this mean for you? Increased costs and additional work, although you wanted to prevent this through digital processes.
Such a situation will not arise if you have found the right tax advisor for you. Barriers, for example, due to differing digital skills, the use of different software or a lack of specialized knowledge, should be avoided in any case. In addition, a healthy basis of trust should be strived for because this way, problems can be tackled better and with more ease, and joint solutions can be created.
How to find the right tax consultant? First, of course, recommendations from acquaintances can be helpful. Otherwise, DATEV offers a tax advisor search service, where you can filter, for example, by areas of work, industry knowledge or even foreign languages.
We hope that these tips will help you to optimize your cooperation with your tax consultant.