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How Stockholm Syndrome is killing your personal tax processes

on 13 December 2023

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Posted by Wayne Pope

Let’s face it, the January personal tax return season is upon us, which means it is time for accountants to experience their yearly Stockholm Syndrome.

Stockholm Syndrome – where the hostage feels sympathy and connection with their captor – is a condition with which many accountants suffer, but few realise it.

And their captor in question? Emails.

We have all become accustomed to emails and the quirks and challenges they present, but did you realise there were alternatives?

You don’t need to be at the behest of email for your data/information-gathering processes anymore; you don’t need to suffer from email Stockholm Syndrome this tax season.

Are you a hostage to your emails?

For whatever reason, it’s a challenge that many professionals, (not just accountants), overlook time and time again.

They have become used to using email despite it killing their productivity, so they simply fail to recognise that there is a problem or that there’s an alternative.

Many have developed ways to get around the problem – usually, a solution that takes a lot of time and effort from their team or risks mistakes every time it is used.

There are three questions to ask yourself when reconsidering your email usage:

Are you sending multiple emails to transfer documents because the file size restrictions prevent one smooth transaction?

Do you ever find yourself misplacing or straight-up losing emails in your inbox?

Are you frantically trying to organise your emails into folders to stay on top of client information?

If the answer to those questions is “yes,” you could be a hostage to your emails.

Why is this a problem?  

Email is a slow process that has embedded into the procedures of accountancy firms like a weed.

It creates a slow personal tax process due to the nature of the information-gathering method being used in which numerous emails need to be used just to transfer a minor document.

By communicating with clients and receiving their data over email you are slowing your team down, reducing their overall efficiency and putting their information at risk of security breaches.

Alternative technologies to email for your personal tax processes

There are solutions to the problems that you face but the fundamental message is that information-gathering tools that reduce your reliance on email are the key route to streamlining your personal tax processes.

Embracing technology, rather than maintaining traditional systems, could improve your overall error rate, your client satisfaction, and the efficiency of your processes.

In fact, 54 per cent of accountants say technology helps provide faster service to their clients, which is a major advantage against your competition.

Fundamentally, the creation of a high-quality personal tax process is your key to making the January tax season much easier on your team.

For more information on Glasscubes and how we can help you personal tax process please click here.



About this author: Wayne Pope

Technical Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience in the online software industry, Wayne brings an in depth technical expertise in collaborative tools, technology, and best practices.