Case Study: India
Prashanth K L is a partner of CA firm: Guru and Jana, Bangalore. In July he conducted a very interesting webinar on this topic for the Chamber and experience and solutions given below are based on the webinar contents. Prashanth feels that there is no inspiration for clients to file the return on time, so the filing gets delayed till last moment. To drive home the point, they have done something unique. They prepare a return with complete details and visit the income tax office on April 1 at 10 AM and present it to the officer. One may ask when electronic filing is mandatory what purpose a paper return would serve? It is a demonstration of fact that return can be filed on April 1 and need not be delayed. They are proud of this fact and call it “First in a Billion”, i.e., the first to file the return in a country of over a billion people. Second most important point is communication with the client and setting expectations right. They educate client right in the beginning as to the scope of work, change in law needing additional information as compared to previous year, need for timely submission of complete data etc. Prashanth feels, several times, tax practitioners also keep asking data in bits and pieces, which may irritate the client. So they keep a comprehensive and complete checklist (customised for each customer’s requirement). They also educate clients to record and analyse their financial data in order to file the return on time.
Third most important point is using technology, standard practices and paperless office to achieve timely and error-free filing.
*Sharing checklist with clients via Google spreadsheet, so that everyone is aware of information received/pending
*Using a web-based application Papilio to organize teams, manage workflow and store documents
*Proper assignment of work to juniors and involving them with client interaction, so that client does not always expect a partner to respond.
About a paperless office, Prashanth says their firm has an interesting challenge for the staff, it is a One-Minute Challenge to retrieve any information/document. If an information cannot be retrieved in under one minute, then it is not properly stored.
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