Bruce Phillips, CPA and Partner at Harshman Phillips, began his journey to the Cloud at the end of 2010. Over the past several months, he has done his research, tested solutions, and implemented sound processes to support his firm’s advanced web-based system. Phillips’ main focus was testing SmartVault to ensure the application could handle a high volume of documents.
“We put the system to the big test during the 2011 tax season,” Phillips explained. “We delivered hundreds of tax documents [between 300-400]…using the SmartVault portal with great success.”
According to Phillips, his staff loved SmartVault—indicating little to no operational issues. Phillips even reported that some of his more resistant and “technically challenged” employees were able to use the system with ease.
“We were up and running in no time. My staff loves the application, and that made the implementation exceptionally smooth.”
Overall, the majority of the firm’s clients transitioned to portals and enjoyed a paperless process this past tax season.
“I think we had less than 10 clients that chose to receive paper,” Phillips recalled. “That is an impressive statistic for the first year of moving to a Cloud-based solution.”
Success Also Reported with the Online Document Storage Solution
“We implemented SmartVault as our central, firm-wide document management system. My staff could not be happier. They love that the filing structure mimics Windows® …providing a familiar look and feel that was easy to learn. I’ve heard nothing but praise from my staff.”
In fact, SmartVault is so intuitive that Phillips estimated that it took individual staff members ten minutes or less to get up and operational on the solution.
“SmartVault is very easy to use, but another big factor in the success of our implementation was the superior support we received. Support staff helped us identify a file structure and helped us set up a process for sharing files with clients. And we deal with multi-entity clients, so that was no small undertaking,” Phillips said.
More Than Meets the Eye
SmartVault has not only helped the firm of Harshman Phillips operate more efficiently, it has also aided in improving relationships with bank personnel.
“We’ve received great feedback from our bank contacts. We help some of our clients with financing, so we work with banks to deliver needed financial documents. We provide banks with secure access to docs via SmartVault, and they love it. They get fast and easy access, and it also eliminates the need for emailing, which is less secure,” stated Phillips.
Phillips explained that all bank-requested documents are delivered using SmartVault. This includes financial statements, loan forms, tax returns, and anything else required by bank officers.
“The fact that we are eliminating paper altogether is a big hit factor. Bank personnel can quickly review documents on screen. It’s time and cost efficient.”
SmartVault has been so popular that Phillips is now using it as an incentive to create relationships with banks and prospects.
“We offer SmartVault free to bank officers, controllers, bookkeepers… anyone who would benefit from the solution. Once they start using it, they see the value and are hooked. This helps us turn prospects into clients and enhance relationships with banks for powerful referral sources.”
More than nine months into his Cloud transition, Phillips reports great success. His move to the Cloud started back in fall of 2010, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
“Implementation could not have been easier. SmartVault’s support team could not have been more helpful. And I could not be more pleased with the outcome,” exclaimed a very satisfied Phillips.
Boutique professional services tax and accounting firm
9 full-time, 4 part-time
Technology of Choice
SmartVault, Xero, QuickBooks