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AUTOMATING YOUR TAX WORKFLOW CHRISTINA E. WISEMAN, MBS ACCT & AUDIT

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AUTOMATING YOUR TAX WORKFLOW Christina E. Wiseman, MBS Thomson Reuters CHRISTINA E. WISEMAN, MBS Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting

Product Manager – Web Services & Mobile 14 years experience in the industry

Serving the Tax & Accounting Profession

TAXATION  Compliance  Planning  Depreciation  Research

(Global & Domestic)  Learning/CPE  Practice mgmt  Workflow mgmt  Document mgmt  Hosting  Client portals  CPE mgmt ACCT & AUDIT

 Bookkeeping  Write-up  Payroll  Audit  Research  Learning/CPE FIRM MGMT

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4 Serving the Tax & Accounting Profession

Well-known brands:  UltraTax CS  Practice CS  Accounting CS  NetClient CS  GoFileRoom  GoSystem Tax RS  Checkpoint  Checkpoint Learning AGENDA

• Envision the whole workflow • Break it down – how would this work?

(Or – Could I really do this?)

HOW WAS YOUR TAX SEASON?

REFLECT

What went really well? What was better this year than last year?

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HOW WAS YOUR TAX SEASON?

7 REFLECT

What are your greatest inefficiencies working

with clients?

8

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10

Leverage technology to make better use of the tax professional’s time

• Allows you to focus on billable tax work and advice • Reduces the number of administrative tasks that

typically consume your days

ENVISIONING AUTOMATED WORKFLOW

11

Advantages of thinking WORKFLOW

• Appropriately distribute tax preparation duties to staff members based on level of experience • Standardize client communication processes for

consistency

• Review tax returns more efficiently, leaving time to offer sound tax advice to clients

• Scale your practice without having to add staff ENVISIONING AUTOMATED WORKFLOW

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SOUNDS LIKE WHAT WE’VE ALWAYS DONE?

PROVEN TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE TO STREAMLINE THE PROCESS!

Evolution of Core Technologies

Website

Available generally

since the mid-90s

Evolution of Core Technologies

Website

Document Management System

Accountant specific available since

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Evolution of Core Technologies

Website

Document Management System Multiple monitors

In wide use by the

early 2000s For accountants, driven

generally by document management system use

Evolution of Core Technologies

Website

Document Management System Multiple monitors

Web client organizers

Available since thelate 90’s

Evolution of Core Technologies

Website

Personal client portals

Document Management System Multiple monitors

Web client organizers

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Evolution of Core Technologies

Website

Personal client portals

Document Management System Multiple monitors

Web client organizers General paperless workflow

Results from a combination of use of the above technologies Could be accomplished by the early 2000s

Evolution of Core Technologies

Website

Online processing Personal client portals

Document Management System Multiple monitors

Web client organizers General paperless workflow

since 1998Available

Called ASP, Remote Server, Simply “online”, now the buzzwords are

“SaaS”, or “cloud computing”

Evolution of Core Technologies

Website

Online processing Personal client portals

Document Management System Multiple monitors

Web client organizers General paperless workflow

So we’ve “been there; done that”

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2012 PCPS/TSCPA NATIONAL MAP SURVEY • 71% of firms have actively maintained websites

– 45% of the smallest firms, up from 38% in 2010 – All firms with $5 million or more in revenue

• 65% deliver tax returns digitally – 42% offer client portals, up from 28% in 2010

• 61% are operating in a paperless work environment

• 59% offer remote access to the firm’s network

AUTOMATED WORKFLOW NOW

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27 Receive

HOW DO YOUR CLIENTS GET SOURCE INFORMATION TO YOU?

28 HOW DO YOU MANAGE THAT INFORMATION?

WHAT EFFICIENCIES CAN BE GAINED?

Reduce the amount of time spent collecting documents and

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WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

30 Clients have paper documents

Faxes can be saved as images, rather

than paper

You import into your document management system

Clients scan the documents on their

computer and upload to their private portal

Clients scan the documents with their mobile device and upload to their

private portal

WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

31 Clients receive their documents

electronically

You import into your document management system Clients upload to their

private portal

WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

Clients call with more information

You annotate notes on existing documents in your

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MY CLIENTS AREN’T THAT TECH-SAVVY!

33

SERVICING TODAYS CLIENTS

Today’s clients have different expectations and are not reliant on a desktop PC and paper. They've grown up using the web and mobile devices.

The firms they'll reward with their business will be the firms that fit into their life and business styles.

SERVICING TODAYS CLIENTS

Online, 24X7 all digital world

Need and expectation of

convenience

Used to working with service

providers over the web

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TRADITIONALISTS &

BABY BOOMERS

May expect technical Services and solutions

More than you think!

PREFERRED BANKING METHOD AGES 55+ Internet Banking 58% Branches 24% ATM 5% Mail 9% Telephone 4% 37

Source: American Bankers Association Consumer Survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs

MY CLIENTS AREN’T THAT TECH-SAVVY! OR MAYBE THEY ARE…

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AUTOMATED TAX WORKFLOW

39

40 Organize / Prepare / Review

HOW DO YOU ENTER THE INFORMATION INTO YOUR TAX PREP SOFTWARE?

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WHAT EFFICIENCIES CAN BE GAINED? 42 Maintain standardized tax files Easier to reference supporting details

Reduce the need to manually sort documents

and enter data

WHAT EFFICIENCIES CAN BE GAINED?

43 Assign administrative tax

prep tasks to non-tax professionals

Reduce costly data entry mistakes

Tax professionals can focus on advising clients and performing billable tax work

WHAT EFFICIENCIES CAN BE GAINED?

Improve accuracy and quality of tax return

Streamline review process

Array of online review tools:

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WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

45 Do you do other work for the client?

Software integration Software imports

WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

46 Do your clients give you spreadsheets?

Spreadsheet imports

WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

Do your clients give you spreadsheets?

Online collaboration – no more imports!

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WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

48 Do you have your document

management system in place?

Use OCR technology to SORT and LABEL

documents

Use OCR technology to EXTRACT relevant data into your tax prep

software

WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

49 What else should you consider?

Workflow Tracking

System Paperless Review

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51 Deliver / e-File

HANDLING THAT END RESULT • How do you deliver most of your completed

returns?

• How do you store your copies? • Any exceptions?

52

WHAT EFFICIENCIES CAN BE GAINED?

Reduce mailing costs by posting the completed return to a private, secure

online portal.

Timely, accurate e-filing of tax return improves accuracy and IRS acceptance

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WHAT COULD AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW LOOK LIKE?

54 Tax Prep Software

Posts return to client’s portal, notifying them that it’s

available

E-Files the government copy to Federal and State, with automatic acknowledgement

Posts your copy to your document management

system

HOW CAN THOMSON REUTERS HELP?

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58

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

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