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Making the business case for your firm’s investment in new tax research tools

Youve found the ideal tax and accounting research solution for your firm. With features like interactive workflow tools, relevant analysis, and up-to-date guidance, youre certain that this software will save you time while getting to trusted answers and have a positive impact on you, your team and your clients. 

4 tips to help prepare your business case 

The benefits are crystal clear to you, but the real question is how do you convince your boss that your firm needs this research tool? Preparation is critical, so weve outlined some helpful pointers to help you make your case. 

Tax research technology empowers staff

A good place to start is to gather all of the benefits the solution has to offer so you can effectively and clearly communicate them to your boss. This includes such benefits as how it can help empower staff, drive efficiencies, and improve accuracy. 

Having a trusted resource at your fingertips in todays ever-changing regulatory environment is essential. Turning to search engines is not the answer. Using search engines is a risky, time-consuming practice that can lead to unverified answers. It is risky because misinformation and wrong answers can hurt the firms reputation and can lead to tax penalties for the firm or the clients. 

Even if the staff turns to a trusted source like IRS.gov or a state website for information, it still presents inefficiencies because they must then apply that information to the specific situation their client is facing. Plus, guidance on these sites can sometimes be difficult to fully understand. 

Furthermore, with the proper research and guidance tools in place, junior staff can find their own answers answers that you know you can trust, because they come from a reputable, expert source. This empowers younger associates and frees up senior staff to spend more time on billable activities. Its a win-win for the firm. 

So, stress to your boss the importance of maximizing your firms research capabilities and outline the specific benefits the solution can provide.  For example: 

Fast and accurate search capabilities

It delivers cutting-edge technology and search functionality that helps you find your answer, fast.  Plus, you can easily switch between its content library and trusted public sources.   

Comprehensive insights and answers

It features expert authored content pieces with integrated primary source documents that are accurate, continuously updated, and offers comprehensive insights your firm can trust.  

AI-powered algorithm

With type-ahead, predictive search capabilities, staff will receive the most targeted search results based on full phrasal, natural language questions. In other words, it enables plain English queries just like the search engines you use in your everyday life. 

Better serve clients with better tax research software

Your clients want fast, accurate answers to their tax and accounting questions and they expect you to know the answers. However, keeping pace with tax law changes and the complexity can be incredibly difficult. This is where having the proper research tool can help you better serve clients and strengthen loyalty. 

With the right research tool in place, your firm can find trusted answers to client questions fast. Being able to bridge the gap between interpreting tax law and reporting real-life client transactions significantly enhances your staffs value as trusted advisors and the related revenue-generating opportunities for your firm. Plus, demonstrating to clients that you are an expert on every tax scenario (whether youre using the software to reinforce an answer you already know or researching new topics you havent encountered before) will make you a hero in the eyes of your clients. 

If your firm offers clients higher-value advisory services, for instance, having robust tools and resources at your fingertips is imperative for expanding your knowledge base to grow your practice to support your clients. 

So, when communicating the client benefits with your boss, consider highlighting the following functionalities: 

  • Time-saving tools like easy comparison of official documents, state charts for efficient state tax research, and a shared folder system for greater collaboration.  
  • Snapshots to provide you with quick answers and swiftly orient you to unfamiliar topics. 
  • Saves valuable time with the ability to easily browse and search content sets by practice area. 

Realize a return on your tax research technology investment

To further help your boss understand why the research tool is a must-have for your firm, think about how much money the firm could save if it implements the solution the tool could quickly pay for itself. 

Keep in mind that cost savings not only come in the form of improved research efficiencies and time savings, but also in greater staff and client retention.  

Consider this: It has been reported that the average cost of replacing just one employee ranges from one-third to two times their annual salary. On top of that, think of the negative impact it can have on company culture and employee morale. 

Your firm can better attract and retain staff by having the technology in place that empowers them, enhances their business acumen, and saves them time to focus on more rewarding, higher-margin work. 

Losing staff (or clients) to a competitor who does have robust tools and resources in place and is able to provide a higher level of service is also costly. Eroding loyalty not only impacts the bottom line, but also the firms brand and reputation. 

These are all factors to keep in mind when presenting your boss with a cost-benefit analysis. 

Utilize accounting and tax vendor resources to further support your case

Once youve outlined the benefits to be gained by investing in new tax research tools and the cost savings they can present, you can further support your case by leveraging resources provided by the solutions provider. 

This can be testimonials from other firms already using the product, or perhaps a free trial so you can show your boss a few specific use cases where you know theyll find value. 

The right tools and resources mean happier staff, clients 

In summary, preparation is key. Outline and present to your boss the benefits that will have the greatest impact on your firm and its clients. In the end, having the right tools and resources in place means happier staff, happier clients and, ultimately, greater profitability. 

Streamline your entire process and get trusted answers faster using the powerful, timesaving tools included with Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Edge. 

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