Assign clients/tax returns to preparers and reviewers based upon their experience and training. Consider having each preparer:
Review the prior year workpaper file and permanent file for each client.

Set up the current year file, update client profiles, and check data transferred from last year's data files.

Organize workpaper files with an index, checklists, and applicable notes from last year's files, including net operating loss information, credits, carryovers, and so forth.

Check tax form instructions for changes in tax laws or regulations, changes to tax forms, and additional forms to file.

Check descriptions, formats, and formulas in document templates created from support schedules for the prior year and update them for necessary changes. Notably, professional liability claims may arise from mathematical errors due to incorrectly updated spreadsheets.

Identify clients that have undergone significant change (e.g., client’s altering terms of debt may result in cancellation of debt income) or that will be significantly affected by tax law changes implemented or expiring in 2017. Schedule a meeting with the assigned partner/manager to discuss the impact of the change (e.g., changed filing status, preparation of returns declaring foreign or out-of-state income).

Review client data promptly when received, make inquiries if any information appears to be incorrect, incomplete, or inconsistent, and document discussions with clients. Awkward situations may arise when information that the CPA has had for months is not reviewed until close to the deadline, and either required information is missing or additional information is requested.

Use IRS e-services to verify estimated tax payments made by clients in past and current years by submitting transcript requests via the IRS Transcript Delivery System. Many states provide firms with a similar ability to verify state payments.
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