Tax & Accounting Blog

Behind the Scenes: Aligning Every Perspective

CS Professional Suite, Onvio, Our People May 19, 2016

Meet Andy Smith, product manager of document management and workflow at Thomson Reuters. Andy, a CPA with two master’s degrees, joined the company in 2014 after working in public and corporate accounting at large firms and running his own small firm. Andy is based in our Dexter office.

Solutions: As product manager of document management and workflow, what is the focus of your work?

Andy Smith: The primary responsibility is to ensure that our products and services meet the needs of the markets we serve. It’s our job to know both our customers and our capabilities so our products align with our customers’ needs—today and in the future.

Solutions: Do you think your background was part of the reason you were hired to do this job?

Smith: Yes. I’m able to bring a personal understanding of what our customers are going through to my work. It’s one thing to have empathy for customers, but it’s another to have actually done their job. Sometimes, they come to us looking for a solution they’ve already built in their own mind. As a product manager, it’s very helpful to understand the underlying problem they’re trying to solve.

Solutions: Can you provide an example?

Smith: For tax and accounting firms, having to follow up on missing client information is a real pain point. So in Thomson Reuters Onvio Documents, we released a document request workflow that lets users track requests in the dashboard and gives clients a specific channel to send the missing information to.

Solutions: What do you find most satisfying about your work?

Smith: Improving the effectiveness of the profession. Accountants work a lot of long hours, so if we’re able to trim a few of those hours and make their lives a little easier, it’s worthwhile.

Personal Priorities

Homework. Andy is heavily involved in the internal innovation program for Thomson Reuters. “I work with folks in our tax and accounting business on driving our internal innovation efforts forward,” he says.

Family time. Andy and his wife, Cathie, were married in 2012 and are parents to a growing family, with a two-year-old daughter and a second child due in May.

Best friends. Andy’s family includes two French Bulldogs. “It’s like living with a couple of cartoon characters,” he says. “They do a good job keeping us busy.”