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I have a client – I’ll call her “Amber”. In fact, I think we all have “Amber” as a client.

Amber calls on April 13th and innocently asks “Hey Kevin… tell me, what do I still need to send you again?”

Que eye-roll. And maybe even some under-the-breath inappropriate language.

I now have to find her file, compile all documents she sent both physically and digitally and compare to the prior year. I make a list of all open items and get back to her. 30 minutes – Gone.

I needed an Amber-Antidote. That’s when The Checklist was born.

The Checklist feature is just what it sounds like. A checklist, specific to each client, where you enter in all pieces of tax information you expect to receive from each client and simply check the box when it arrives to show it is now in your possession. This is infinitely better than an Organizer, and serves as a constant, up to the minute, real time guide as to what is still outstanding vs. what you received. Both you and your clients are always aligned with all open items. It’s the single biggest time saving feature of CPApp and incredibly easy to set up and use going forward. We create a Reminder email that says “Hey Amber, remember, we’re still awaiting the following information to complete your tax return” every 7-10 days or so and Amber has her orders!

Head to E-Mails > Checklist > Select Client> Checkmark (to edit).

Click “Add new” to enter each individual item you want to track.

For example:

            W-2 from Prestige Worldwide

            1099 from Catalina Wine Mixer

            Closing statement from D-Man Realty

            Confirm bank account ends in XX2311

All you (or your staff) do from then on is click the “received” box when each item arrives or when you prepare the return.

When reminder emails are sent to your clients, whether individually, or en-masse, all unchecked items are at the top, and checked items are below so there is never the dreaded “are you sure, I thought I sent you that” comment ever again.

Items can be added and deleted each year and there is even a function to “uncheck” all check marks across your entire practice to get ready for the next year. Let’s be honest. This can potentially take some time to set up and I had an intern do it in the Spring. However, there is not one thing I can point to in my entire practice that has saved me so much time and grief as the Checklist. Maybe start with a few of your more complicated clients to test it and populate on the fly from there.

I send a mass “Hey, it’s January” email to all clients and we include the Checklist with it. I then periodically send Reminder emails individually with the Checklist to stay top-of-mind. Spoiler alert – Email Reminders are the topic of my next Pro Tip.

Have an antidote for another client? I’d love to hear about it.

Send me an email to kevin@CPApp.io and let’s make it happen. We’re all about keeping Amber et. al. under control.