Make SmartVault Your MVP This Tax Season
Chances are, if your firm has a significant portfolio of tax clients, document management is of significant concern to you. I know from my own experience in my firm that unless you have document management truly dialed in before tax season, you are going to strike out during the heat of it. You may actually stroke out, too, unless you can tame the stress of the tens of thousands of documents that make up the typical tax season workflow.
Clearly, having the right document management system (DMS) is no joke, especially when you take these considerations into account as we head into the pre-season for end-of-year tax planning and tax preparation:
- You simply cannot have the most efficient and profitable tax workflow in place without a DMS. I want to clarify here that I mean a DMS that is actually built for accountants and tax professionals. This is a key point, not all DMS options are equal. In fact, most of what’s out there is not made to withstand or support all that the typical tax preparation process requires, such as customizable tax-specific workflows, bank-level security, e-signature capabilities, and integration with other practice management and tax solutions. This is why the selection of a DMS that is built for your firm is critically important.
- Building on that last point, here is another absolutely critical fact: if you handle documents of any type, tax-related or not, you need a truly secure system in place, from both a user access point of view and the protection of your clients’ data from cybercriminals. Not to mention, all of your data needs to be backed up in the cloud. Your DMS must also allow you to fetch your incoming client documents easily and efficiently because as we all know, during tax season time is money. There are many different ways to handle data and documents, but in the eyes of cybersecurity experts and the IRS, there are only a few DMS platforms that measure up in this regard (Spoiler alert! This is a key reason I use SmartVault!).
- From what I have been hearing and seeing with my peer practitioners, COVID has brought the need for an all-star DMS to the forefront of many practitioners’ minds. If your firm has a team of employees and you use third-party contractors, you may have had to scramble to put in place the tech infrastructure necessary to support them for working remotely during the pandemic. Or at least you did if you weren’t already working with all of your documents in the cloud, with control over user access rights. This is a key reason why I was able to not only survive but thrive in the pandemic period. I already had a seamless, cloud-based system in place that was completely IRS compliant and secure. I built it with SmartVault and the time I spent implementing it has paid off in dividends with new clients and a profit-rich workflow to support my growth during tax season. If your current DMS (or non-DMS-based workflow) doesn’t allow you the flexibility and security to tackle these issues, it’s time to upgrade before you get hit with another tax season that is more stressful and less profitable than it should be.
- Another key consideration, and perhaps one of the most important ones, is the awesome client experience (CX) you can offer with the right DMS, which should allow you to have secure client portals and provide your clients with the most convenient, intuitive, and secure platform for them to interact with your firm. Bonus points, of course, if your DMS also integrates with the other core solutions you use to run your tax practice, we’ll get to that gem in the next article in this series, because SmartVault hits it out of the park in that regard!
- Rounding out this list (Of course, you should make your own list, too!). Business continuity is another key factor that comes into play with a DIS. After all, we’ve all seen how the pandemic forced major shifts in the way that we have had to work outside of our regular work environments (if your practice involves a physical building), not to mention the risks associated with potential storms, fires, and other natural or accidental business disruptions that are part of life. Without a strong backbone for organizing, storing, and securing your firm’s documents, there’s no way you can keep operating “no matter what!”
Why SmartVault is a heavy-hitter in my firm’s Starting Lineup
If you’re not familiar with my philosophy about choosing the right technology for your firm, here’s the quick rundown: I believe that every firm has at least 10, and usually more, key positions that it needs to fill with A-players in order to truly maximize its productivity and profitability. I call this core tech stack (the solutions that allow you to do the work you need to do with the highest level of productivity and profitability) the Team Brolin Starting Lineup.
In my Starting Lineup, SmartVault is my go-to solution for managing document access and organization with my clients and third parties who need access to files. All of my client files are securely hosted via SmartVault in the cloud and I can print directly to SmartVault as well as send documents to be e-signed through DocuSign from the platform. Clients can securely upload and transmit files using SmartVault, too. But that’s just the beginning of what SmartVault has to offer us as accounting professionals! One of the most powerful points about SmartVault is its ability to play so nicely and so powerfully with the rest of the key players in my Starting Lineup, during tax season and beyond.
The integrations that SmartVault has with so many of the other A-players in my Starting Lineup including Karbon, Lacerte, and Liscio are truly awesome and set it apart from other potential DMS options. There really is not a comparison in my experience!
Before the webinar, I want you to take action (That’s me, your Designated Motivator for Tax Season talking!). Now that I have shared my Starting Lineup philosophy with you, it’s your turn to create your own…starting with SmartVault as your second base solution in the #4 position!
If you truly want to get ahead of the game before the webinar and tax season, schedule a demo to see the difference that SmartVault, a DMS specifically made for accountants and tax professionals, can make on your productivity and profitability during tax season and all year long!