The evolving accountant: building efficiency and adding value

The role of the accountant is changing. It’s clear the firms that offer value-added advisory and financial management services are positioned for the fastest growth. In contrast, compliance-focused firms will struggle to stay relevant. Paul Russo is Director of Tax Services at 1911 Trust Company, which provides wealth management, trust and family office services. The firm uses CCH Axcess for its tax work, which has helped with building efficiency and saving time. In fact, in a recent video interview, Paul details exactly how integrated technology is helping the firm evolve to keep up with changing client expectations.

Automation increases value

Eliminating time-consuming manual steps is one of the most important benefits of adopting new technology, according to Russo. He cites importing and exporting K1s as one of the biggest time savers. He explains, “I would say there isn’t anything more important in the industry than being able to automate the compliance stuff… And any time we can save on the compliance side that frees up more hours of our day to be doing that strategic work and planning.”

Document management enhances collaboration

When it comes to working with clients, it’s important to put the firm’s best foot forward. That means collaboration should be digital. “The benefit of CCH Access Document and Portal together,” says Russo, “allows us to work one-on-one closer with the client. It allows them to see documents in real time that we’re working on. And it allows them to send us documents and to keep everything electronic rather than sending paper back and forth to the clients.”

Looking forward instead of backwards

Going forward, clients will increasingly expect their accountants to provide forward-looking financial strategies and insights. Historical, backwards- looking reporting can serve as a stepping off point, but it can’t be the primary goal. “AI and data analytics are going to play a huge role,” Russo explains. “We’re going to be using those new softwares and new technology to get out of being in a head-down position doing compliance work. We’ll be able to do a lot more face time with the client and help them plan for what the future holds rather than discuss and talk about what happened in previous time periods.”

Firms interested in building efficiency need to be able to separate technology hype from the realistic benefits that are possible. To learn more about the benefits of integrated solutions, download Technology Hype or Reality: What firms really need to know to thrive in a world of change. Request your copy today:


Aimee Hall

Product Marketing Manager at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting

All stories by: Aimee Hall