Cloud-based firm software: Your Lifeline When You Need It (And Even When You Think You Don’t)

How was your after-tax season party? Did you celebrate a successful tax season or did you drink to forget a crazy tax season? Or did you just add another notch to your desk as one more completed? It was one of the most unique seasons for my firm.

I travel frequently. Having anytime, anywhere technology access has been important to my firm’s growth, culture, and lifestyle. But it isn’t until you really need something that you realize how important it is to your business.

Now, I know many of you already have some sort of remote login or Citrix desktop. But for those of you who don’t or who have been thinking about switching to “the cloud” or CCH Axcess for easier remote access, I would challenge you to move faster in your decision making. For your business viability, for your business’ tangible value, and for your own peace of mind. And if you are already in the cloud but are not yet using CCH Axcess Workstream, I would say that should be on your “want” list.

A strange tax season

It was a strange tax season for me in that the last week of March, I had urgent unexpected surgery. The last week in March, traditionally one of the hardest weeks of the season, I went into work on Monday with a pain in my side. By the end of the day, the pain had worsened and I was in the emergency room. By Wednesday, I was scheduled for urgent abdominal surgery with a recovery time of four to six weeks. I will spare you the details (though I do now have photos), but I would be down and out for the end of tax season. Ouch.

This is an old school CPA’s worst nightmare. Managing partner has a medical emergency and the firm goes off the rails in frustration and despair! Good thing I’m not an old school CPA. And my firm is set up to be anytime and anywhere, with cloud-based firm software.

Ultimately, I ended up being out for 10 days and my team handled everything. But then I got antsy.

Cloud-based firm software is a lifeline

Because CCH Axcess is completely in the cloud and I had my firm’s information at my fingertips, I could feel safe with my business. Now, I will admit, this way of working isn’t new to me, as there are lots of days I work from home or from a hotel room. However, when your business and your livelihood is at stake, it’s a different matter altogether. It’s so easy to feel helpless and give into the fear and stress. But that didn’t happen to me.

Cloud-based firm software became my lifeline.

I knew that I could “see” my office from my bed. By checking out Workstream, I could see returns move through the office. My awesome team did a phenomenal job without me. I can’t give them enough credit. But I had a safety net: access to real-time data of how work was moving through our office. It gave me peace of mind.

CCH Axcess was never down, even though I was.

Workstream gave me the insight of knowing the location of every return during the height of tax season, when everything is piling up. I’m happy to say that I knew where everything was and could help my team identify priorities.

Peace of mind, that’s the intangible that makes Axcess priceless to my firm.

Looking ahead

How was the rest of tax season? Honestly, I’m still trying to regroup after being out.  We are having our after-tax season review soon to get the whole team’s feedback on what worked and what didn’t work this tax season. After all, there is always room for improvements to our firm’s process and technology. We will work through some of the changes before extensions are finished.

I hope you will do the same.

We are also working through our firm’s customer list, and kindly firing the customers who no longer fit our firm.  I always like to do this right after tax season as it is fresh on our minds as to the customers who no longer fit our firm or do not treat our team with the respect they deserve.

Firing bad customers does wonders for morale and reinforces that our team’s well-being is primary. It also allows us to get better customers. Nobody wants to work with bad customers so it’s best to review who you want to work with at least once a year.  Our team members have the right to suggest firing any customer, they just have to defend why they believe it is warranted.  My team respects their power. You would be surprised as to what they defend.

Hopefully, you are enjoying a well-deserved break or at least have your vacation planned. There is so much to improve upon this summer so you best be well rested!

Find out how New Vision CPA Group uses cloud-based firm software for remote access and ultra efficiency. Download the whitepaper “A Match Made in the Cloud” today!

AUTHOR

Jody Padar, CPA, MST

CEO & Principal, New Vision CPA Group

All stories by: Jody Padar, CPA, MST

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