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Will COVID-19 Be the End of the In-Person Tax Interview?

December 9, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates going into winter, many tax and accounting professionals are debating how they will adapt if they are no longer seeing clients in-person. 

The shift to mail-in activity started many years ago. The difference now is that many clients will not feel safe in a waiting room or enclosed office. Many CPAs, EAs and tax professionals have already adapted to using video chat technology. Using video allows the professional to keep a more personal relationship with their clients, with a true face-to-face interview experience. We see this as being crucial in your transition into a virtual workflow. 

Our TeleAccountant™ tool combines the best of all worlds: HD video streaming, website and calendar integration for scheduling, recorded sessions, ID check, integrated document sharing within the video interface, and much more. 

Transitioning to a virtual meeting room takes some preparation: you’ll need to consider your office background setting (what shows behind you on camera), security, and technical know-how. 

Some open questions:

  • How will you check your clients ID?
  • Will you have clients submit paperwork during the interview or before?
  • Do you have a “life events checklist” to ensure you know details of your clients lives that affect their tax outcomes?
  • Will you record and access the interview at a later time when you or staff prepare the return?

You may find that transitioning some, many, or all of your clients to virtual settings is better for all involved. You will save time and overhead by downsizing your office footprint. Clients will save travel time and wear and tear on their cars, plus you will be able to more closely involve other staff members by recording interviews and notes.

If you are in fact still running an office during this time, many of the considerations listed by the Mayo Clinic for safely visiting a doctor’s office are also applicable to visiting any professional services provider. Think these through as you set up your own office health and safety protocols, as you want to ensure peace of mind for your clients and staff.

To learn more about taking your practice virtual, check out our recent blog article: How Leading Tax and Accounting Professionals Are Transforming Their Practices With Virtual Services

Try out our TeleAccountant™ video tool for your tax and accounting appointments here.

If you have questions about virtual vs. in-person interviews or any other topic around practice operations and marketing, we’re here to help! Contact us today at 1-800-442-2477 x3 or set up some time to speak with one of our digital marketing experts.

Pro advice, ideas, and information to help your practice get going and grow.

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Lee Reams II

I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.

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