"We use the SmartVault client portal to communicate with clients and deliver files. It’s so efficient, and it’s the level of digital service that the majority of our clients expect."Gary Kreitz
Living the digital dream
Firm owner takes pride in moving to the cloud and fulfilling his vision to work electronically
Gary Kreitz, CPA and owner of Gary A. Kreitz CPA & Associates, Inc. has long been a fan of the digital firm and has consistently worked to turn his practice into a streamlined digital machine. For the first few years of his tax and accounting career, Kreitz worked for a large firm where paper was a cherished element of the workflow.
“There were boxes and filing cabinets full of documents everywhere. It was horrendous…it took so long to find documents; you just had to dig and dig. It was an uncomfortable environment for me. It was this experience that set me on the path to work digitally.”
Kreitz eventually left to open his own practice, and from the start he set a goal to work with less paper—his digital vision.
Before entering the tax and accounting profession, Kreitz worked as an IT project manager for many of his early career years. As such, he is more than comfortable adopting and using advanced technologies and fully understands the value of today’s cloud applications.
In 2013, after receiving notice that Lacerte’s DMS would be discontinued, Kreitz immediately began researching SmartVault and other online document management vendors. He liked what he saw with SmartVault, and the rest is digital history.
Kreitz understands the intricacies of a larger technology infrastructure. His IT background has well prepared him for evaluating new applications and assessing their place within his firm. To date, he has built an integrated system to streamline operations and ensure the highest level of productivity.
“We use Lacerte Tax, QuickBooks®, and SmartVault primarily,” Kreitz explained. “We use the trial balance import from QuickBooks to flow data into Lacerte, so there’s no manual entry. And we keep all client source and tax documents digitally in SmartVault. We also use the SmartVault client portal to communicate with clients and deliver files. It’s so efficient, and it’s the level of digital service that the majority of our clients expect.”
He also has his staff scanning source docs upfront and “printing” client documents to SmartVault to further streamline workflow and move towards a paper-free workflow.
Kreitz admits that a few older clients still aren’t comfortable working in the cloud, but he’s educating them to help with the transition. “We have a few clients still hanging on to paper; these are the folks that just like to receive a printed tax return. We don’t have many, and I hope to move them past their fear of being online.”
With SmartVault’s advanced security features, Kreitz knows how much more secure files are in the cloud compared to sending documents through the mail. “It’s a matter of education. We’ll get these clients there and move from less-paper to paperless at some point.”
Beyond select SmartVault features that Kreitz loves, such as the easy drag-and-drop function for moving files and helpful search capabilities, he has nothing but praise for SmartVault’s support team.
"I’m grateful for their support people. The response time is so fast and they always go the extra mile to resolve my issues… even if they have to stay late. I remember once that I overwrote a file and needed to get it back, Ben [support rep] stayed after work hours to make sure I found the file I needed. I was so impressed."
Kreitz runs a streamlined practice. And with SmartVault as an integral component of his technology system, he and his team work at peak efficiency. So efficient, in fact, that he and his employees enjoy a steady work-life balance and take time to do the things they love.
“There’s a local winery where one of my staff members performs as a vocalist. My wife and I spend many Friday evenings listening to the music while enjoying a glass of wine,” Kreitz said. “I like to wear my wine bottle shirt to work on the Fridays when we have an evening out planned.”
Overall, Gary Kreitz is exceptionally happy with his move to SmartVault. He knows the value of working in the cloud—the value to both his clients and his firm. “Many clients expect to work online, so they realize all the benefits of our portals and being able to upload and access their documents on-demand. For my firm, we love the convenience and ease of working electronically and all the time savings that comes with it.”