Frontwave Credit Union

Streamlining Workflows and Enhancing Client Service: How SmartVault Helped O'Connor and Agar, CPA Thrive

Published: July 5, 2024
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For Kristie Agar of O’Connor and Agar CPA, opening her firm last year was an opportunity for a fresh start. After years of using clunky software like Onvio at her previous firm, she was determined to find solutions that could streamline operations and provide a better client experience. That’s when she discovered SmartVault.

We looked at SmartVault in the summer of 2022,” Kristie recalled. I need to see software in action to know if it will work for our workflows, and SmartVault immediately made sense.”

By November 2022, O’Connor and Agar had purchased SmartVault and began implementing it before the upcoming tax season. The results were immediate.

A Completely Paperless Firm

One of Kristie’s top priorities was running a paperless firm. With SmartVault, every client document, worksheet, and tax return live in a centralized, secure repository.

We use SmartVault for everything. We’re completely paperless, so whether a client uploads files or we scan them in, it all goes into SmartVault,” Kristie explained. “I can throw an Excel file right into a client’s folder and work on it there. The latest version is always available.

This comprehensiveness extends to integration with tax software like UltraTax. Using SmartVault’s SmartRouting, tax returns flow seamlessly from the preparation software into SmartVault for easy client sharing, eSignature, and long-term storage.

I used to have to print returns to a temporary folder, then upload and sort each one,” said Kristie. “With SmartRouting, I go straight from UltraTax into SmartVault with one click. It’s a huge time-saver.

Simplified Signature Processes

Whether it’s an engagement letter or a completed tax return, Kristie can quickly route documents for eSignature directly through the SmartVault interface.

Getting signatures through SmartVault is my favorite feature,” she raved. “The return comes over from UltraTax, I click ‘Get Signature,’ and it’s sent to the client. So simple and fast!

Kristie’s firm has the Accounting Unlimited Plan, ensuring they never run out of eSignature requests, envelopes, or knowledge-based authentications (KBAs). This perk proved pivotal during tax season.

Before SmartVault, it was annoying to constantly buy more envelopes when we hit our limits,” she said. “With Accounting Unlimited, we don’t have that headache anymore.

Keeping Clients Connected

With SmartVault’s integrated client portal, clients can securely access their files 24/7 from any device. They can easily upload documents, review records, sign forms electronically, and more on their schedule.

I tell clients, ‘If you ever need last year’s return, you can log into the portal and get it yourself instead of waiting for me to send it,’” she described. “Our clients appreciate how easy SmartVault is to use.

Overall Workflow Enhancements

Kristie has constructed a full accounting tech stack to support her firm’s needs. SmartVault operates as the central hub.

SmartVault has just made our work so much smoother,” she summarized. “From uploading documents to requesting signatures, SmartVault is simple and streamlined.

Increased efficiency paired with SmartVault’s intuitive user interface has been especially paramount during busy tax seasons when Kristie hires temporary staff.

SmartVault is so easy to use,” she said. “I did a quick screen share showing our seasonal hire the interface, and she was off and running without excessive training.

Centralized Document Storage

We don’t waste time hunting documents across different programs, as everything is organized right in SmartVault,” she said. The secure storage is one primary reason Kristie enthusiastically recommends SmartVault to others.

I went to Thomson Reuters’ Synergy conference and told people, ‘You have to check out SmartVault!’” she said. “It reduces headaches and works much smoother than other document management systems. SmartVault is just easy to use, and everything is right where I need it.