What Does the Tax Firm of the Future Look Like?

What does the tax firm of the future look like? Let me put it to you this way: I have some strong and extreme ideas. And I would even argue that it’s not the future. It’s now!

There are lots of firms that operate in non-traditional ways today.

What is non-traditional?

They are 100 percent cloud-driven firms, they are social business firms, they price on value and don’t keep time and process, and customer experience are important parts of every customer interaction. Take it a step further and they have built innovation into their DNA.

At the AICPA Engage event in June, the Let’s Get Radical team caught up with David Shalit, Vice President of Product Operations at Wolters Kluwer, and spoke with him about what he thinks the firm of the future looks like.

We know that it if we’re not efficient doing audits and doing tax work, partners cannot branch out because their people will constantly be coming back to finish up those returns that were not completed properly.  The traditional tax and audit firms can’t get there if they don’t have a good foundation to build upon.  It’s a great dream and it is possible. But many firms aren’t there.

Yet, everyone is talking about the next step.

For firms to get there they must consider a few things. First, that somebody has mastered the digital tax workflow, the processes and the steps they need to do to be as efficient as possible getting the compliance work done.  From their client’s perspective, compliance work is table stakes. It’s the stuff they don’t want to pay for but they know they must do. They want that stuff to be done as quickly as possible. Obviously, it must be correct and on time.

That needs to be out of the way so that they can have more interesting conversations.

How do I grow my business?

How do I do succession planning?

Those discussions are important and need to take place, but they can’t happen if the manager or the partner is still in the office reviewing a tax return.

I encourage you to listen to the interview with David.
If your basics are less than efficient you will never get to the get the next step.  It starts with the Axcess Suite in the cloud. Add some scan autoflow and watch tax returns move gracefully through your office with workstream.

Then and only then can you get to advisory and fixed or value pricing can become a reality. Automation, digitalization, paperless, cloud whatever you want to call it, is the stairway to the firm of the future.   And it begins with a single step.  So many firms have started down this automation path but If you still bill by time, what is your incentive to automate your process?

Do you see why there is a problem and how all of it must evolve together?

Have you taken that first step and decided to evolve?

To learn more about why your firm should consider moving to the cloud, download Jody’s latest whitepaper, “The New Firm Transformation: Technology, Growth and the Future.”

 

 

 

First off, everyone talks about “the future” at these events. There was also talk of alternative revenue streams that can spring from our audit and tax base. We know how important it is for firms to start activating new sources of income.

But there’s an underlying assumption.

Which is…that we’ve got this audit and tax thing down completely.

But do we?

We know that it if we’re not efficient doing audits and doing tax work, partners cannot branch out because their people will constantly be coming back to finish up those returns that were not completed properly.  The traditional tax and audit firms can’t get there if they don’t have a good foundation to build upon.  It’s a great dream and it is possible. But many firms aren’t there.

Yet, everyone is talking about the next step.

For firms to get there they must consider a few things. First, that somebody has mastered the digital tax workflow, the processes and the steps they need to do to be as efficient as possible getting the compliance work done.  From their client’s perspective, compliance work is table stakes. It’s the stuff they don’t want to pay for but they know they must do. They want that stuff to be done as quickly as possible. Obviously, it must be correct and on time.

That needs to be out of the way so that they can have more interesting conversations.

How do I grow my business?

How do I do succession planning?

Those discussions are important and need to take place, but they can’t happen if the manager or the partner is still in the office reviewing a tax return.

I encourage you to listen to the interview with David.

If your basics are less than efficient you will never get to the get the next step.  It starts with CCH Axcess in the cloud. Add some CCH ProSystem fx Scan with AutoFlow and watch tax returns move gracefully through your office with CCH Axcess Workstream.

Then and only then can you get to advisory and fixed or value pricing can become a reality. Automation, digitalization, paperless, cloud whatever you want to call it, is the stairway to the firm of the future.   And it begins with a single step.  So many firms have started down this automation path but If you still bill by time, what is your incentive to automate your process?

Do you see why there is a problem and how all of it must evolve together?

Have you taken that first step and decided to evolve?

To learn more about what the tax firm of the future looks like, download Jody’s latest whitepaper, “The New Firm Transformation: Technology, Growth and the Future.”

AUTHOR

Jody Padar, CPA, MST

CEO & Principal, New Vision CPA Group

All stories by: Jody Padar, CPA, MST