Accounting Delays – How to Deal with Last – Minute Clients

In any accounting firm, there’s always that one client who fails to submit their paperwork on time. They rarely return your phone calls and emails, as if they’re unwilling to cooperate with you. This can be incredibly frustrating when it’s tax season, and you need to input and process all paperwork through your professional tax preparation software as soon as possible. Here are some tips for dealing with last-minute clients.


Send Plenty of Reminders

Letting clients know ahead of time what deadlines are coming up and what documents they need to provide is important if you want to make them submit their documents on time. By sending your clients constant reminders, they’re less likely to drag their feet and delay their submissions. It’s best to write a list of all the needed documents and send them over to your client on a regular basis.


Use the Cloud

If you want to make things more streamlined and efficient, especially when submitting accounting documents, use cloud-based accounting services. This will allow you and your clients to interact online whenever and wherever they are. Using an online tax pro software or a cloud-based accounting service gives your clients the option to upload documents anytime. If you’re constantly reminding your clients about their upcoming deadlines, they won’t have a hard time submitting all the necessary documents since it can all be done through the cloud.


Acknowledge the Perpetually Late

As accounting professionals, part of your responsibilities is acknowledging that a certain percentage of clients will always rush in at the last minute, especially if tax deadlines are right around the corner. Having that attitude of acceptance towards these latecomers can help a lot to manage your stress levels and to avoid resenting your clients.


Remind Them of Fines and Penalties

If it’s down to the wire and you’re still not getting through to your client, then it’s maybe time to use the fines and penalties card. The IRS can be quite effective in enforcing penalties and interests to late filers. Delayed filing of taxes due makes them subject to a failure-to-file penalty, which is typically 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month that the tax returns are late, not to mention the interest that goes on top of the penalties. The longer your client delays the submissions of documents for your tax preparation, the larger the penalties can get in the long run.


Offer to File an Extension on Their Behalf

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want to encourage your client to file an extension. Depending on the situation, filing an extension may be the best option for you and your client. It’s important to still maintain a good working relationship with your client despite their shortcomings. Lead with empathy and give them the advice they need, so they can do what needs to be done. Your clients are less likely to disregard expectations when you approach them with authenticity and transparency.



People are creatures of habit, and sometimes habitual lateness can be inherited by businesses. It’s up to you as accounting professionals to stay proactive in helping your clients meet their deadlines. It may be difficult at times to do this, but it’s all part of the job. Make your accounting and tax preparation processes more streamlined and efficient with the help of Keystone Tax Solutions. Our company is the leader in the professional tax preparation software industry, offering 100% web-based software for tax preparers. When looking for the best professional tax software, turn to Keystone Tax Solutions. Contact us today to get a free demo!

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