Sure, your firm’s tax compliance software does its job, but you know that there’s room for significant improvement. Tax season can obviously be a hectic and stressful time, but eliminating time-consuming tasks, and streamlining and automating the tax workflow would be transformative for you and your staff. What’s more, you’ve found the new software solution that you believe can deliver all of the powerful, time-saving tools your firm needs to work better and faster.
Then comes a pause: any up-front expense and onboarding require careful decision-making in the proverbial boardroom. Implementing a new software solution is no exception. So, how do you get your boss on board? To help you make your case, we’ve outlined some actionable steps you can set in motion today.
1. Outline efficiencies and growth opportunities
At the end of the day, all tax preparation software will give you the same result: a completed client tax return on an IRS-approved form. The game-changer is in the journey — how you get to that final output and what are the efficiencies gained along the way.
One of the first steps you can take is to keep a log and document all of the struggles you and your staff, are experiencing during tax season. Why? Once tax season is over, there’s a good chance you won’t remember all of the workflow bottlenecks and inefficiencies you encountered. Keeping a log as you go through the tax season can be a quick and easy way to ensure nothing is overlooked.
Documenting the struggles can also help you outline the most impactful benefits a new tax compliance solution has to offer your firm and further illustrates to your boss the need for change. For instance, the benefits could include how the new software will save staff time and eliminate manual, redundant work; will improve collaboration among both staff and clients; and will help unlock higher-margin growth opportunities for the firm. Let’s take a closer look.
Robust integration capabilities are key for unprecedented time savings and accuracy and can move your firm to one-time data entry or even to zero-time data entry. Implementing a tax compliance solution that has direct integration with a cloud-native accounting firm management platform, for instance, significantly increases firm workflow efficiencies and enables staff to easily update information directly from within the tax application. Furthermore, with features like multi-monitor flexibility, comprehensive data sharing capabilities, and a vast breadth of return and form support, you and your staff can save countless hours during the busiest tax season.
Today’s tax professionals are facing not only a rise in client demands and expectations but also an increase in remote capabilities. Therefore, having the latest in virtual client and staff collaboration is critical. This includes providing clients with access to a secure, convenient, and private portal; e-signatures; a mobile app that offers clients on-the-go access to the services and content your firm has made available, and a client web organizer that can import data directly into your tax software.
In addition, leveraging products that share the same database eliminates the need for manual syncing and helps ensure everyone within the firm is on the same page. Consider this: Whether you’re importing client documents, recording employee time, or updating a project status, you never have to worry about updating information in multiple places.
It is also important to consider a tax compliance solution that has strategic partnerships with third-party providers to further streamline and automate your firm’s workflows.
Unlock growth opportunities
It is no secret that today’s firms are facing increased commoditization of compliance-based services. In order to remain competitive, firms must find ways to unlock higher-margin growth opportunities. Your firm can achieve this with the right tools and resources in place. For example, built-in data mining capabilities can help you identify those clients in need of value-added advisory services, and integrated tax planning tools can help you analyze multiple tax strategies for multiple years.
2. Provide a cost-benefit analysis
To further help your boss understand why the tax compliance software is a must-have for your firm, think about how much money the firm could save if it implements the solution.
For starters, keep in mind that time is money. Automating what would otherwise be time-consuming, manual processes, like the re-keying of data, is an important cost saver. Furthermore, robust data sharing capabilities and integration with third-party providers can help streamline processes, drive efficiencies and improve accuracy. All of this equates to more free time staff can dedicate to higher-value, revenue-generating opportunities.
It is also important to mention that implementing powerful tax tools and resources can help your firm better attract and retain talent. Losing staff is not only costly, it can also dampen employee morale. Staffing has long been a concern for many firms and continues to be so in light of the “Great Resignation.”
3. Develop an implementation plan for the new technology
Change can be scary. Help ease your boss’s concerns by providing some suggestions on when and how to implement the software with the least amount of disruption.
For starters, suggest pulling together a team of key stakeholders who can be involved in the decision-making and collectively examine the issues and bottlenecks that need to be addressed, and evaluate how the new tax compliance solution can help.
If the stakeholders agree to move forward with the new solution, it is advisable to begin the process as soon as possible after-tax season so that the implementation can happen gradually during the summer.
Then begin using and become more familiar with the new solution by processing some extension tax returns. This can be a great way to ramp up over the course of the summer and hit the ground running come tax season.
4. Further support your tech adoption business case
Once you’ve outlined the benefits to be gained and the cost savings a new tax compliance software can present, you can further support your case by leveraging resources provided by the solutions provider.
For instance, get testimonials and speak with other firms that have implemented the solution and learn from them. Where were they successful? Where did they struggle? How did they implement the solution?
It is also important to remember that every firm is a bit different. Therefore, it is important to work with a solutions provider that is flexible and can tailor an implementation package that best meets your firm’s needs.
Interested in starting the journey to better tax software? Automate your entire business or professional tax preparation using the powerful, timesaving tools included with Thomson Reuters UltraTax CS professional tax software.