BKPS Ltd. is a chartered management accountancy firm owned by Mel Storer, F.C.M.A., F.M.A.A.T., M.A.T.T., in Derbyshire, England. Mel and his team serve over 250 clients across the country, providing tax, accounting, and advisory services.
In preparation for the 2020 tax season, Mel had identified three key problem areas that he and his team wanted to solve:
Mel decided that his firm’s tax season would be different this year — more secure and more streamlined. He began researching different solutions for document management.
“We are TaxCalc users and it was through them that we were introduced to SmartVault as a seamless solution for our clients to securely upload their tax records into a private portal,” Mel explained. “SmartVault integrates securely with TaxCalc which means we could streamline our tax workflow easily by retrieving documents straight from SmartVault into TaxCalc.”
Another benefit of the integration between TaxCalc and SmartVault for Mel’s firm are e-signature capabilities for remote client documents. “It enables our remote clients to sign online,” said Mel. “Once the documents are signed, we can use the document manager to seamlessly transfer them into SmartVault.”
It’s not just the firm that finds these benefits useful, “Our clients do, too, because they can now destroy original paper records once they are uploaded in SmartVault,” Mel explained.
“This feature saves BKPS a lot of time not having to handle documents. If clients don’t want to use this feature, they have to mail their returns (documents) to us and we scan and upload them which is a chargeable service.”
Another timesaver for the firm are the secure client portals that SmartVault offers. “Clients ask us for copies of their accounts and tax returns, tax year overviews, P60s, etc. We now save these to the portal, so each client has direct access, significantly reducing the number of requests for documents we have to handle,” Mel said.
To date, approximately half of BKPS’s clients are using SmartVault. Mel agreed that his decision to implement SmartVault helped the firm accomplish their goals of greater efficiency and time savings, enhanced security, and expanded client services. They expect that next tax season even more clients will transition to working in the cloud using a SmartVault portal.
Mel and his team are also very happy with the migration process from Microsoft to SmartVault. “We had a lot of client data which SmartVault’s migration team took care of for us. They are brilliant.”
“SmartVault was definitely the right move for us,” said Mel. “Now as part of the onboarding process of new clients it is required that they use SmartVault. I can see that next tax season will be even more streamlined than ever before which helps the profitability and productivity of our firm.”
Mel is also pleased that the stress of keeping clients’ sensitive personal and financial information is eased with the data encryption and bank-level security of SmartVault. “I certainly feel more at ease about the level of security our firm offers our clients,” said Mel. “It makes our clients feel that we are offering them the most secure services for them, too.”
Mel is confident that he’ll be ready for next tax season coming in just a few short months. “Now that we have SmartVault in place, I know that our tax workflow will be smoother and it will take less time. Plus, our clients will appreciate the convenience of working completely remotely with us, too,” Mel said.
“I would definitely recommend other firms look at how they are handling client documents and think about it in terms of streamlining workflow, security and service level, especially when during tax season which can be stressful enough as it is!”
Chartered Management Accountants