BDO

By combining SurePrep's technology with our own standardized processes and best practices, we effectively addressed some of the most pressing demands on today's accounting and tax firms.

— Matt Becker, National Tax Managing Partner

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Overview

Goal

Enhance standardization, increase productivity, and improve the client experience.

Interviewed

Matt Becker, National Tax Managing Partner

Association Membership

BDO

Employees

80,000+

Technology of Choice

GoSystem Tax RS

1040 Trouble? Automation Can Help

Tax and accounting firms face a variety of challenges across all fronts. They need first and foremost to deliver high-quality service and provide an excellent client experience. But to do so effectively, they should start from the inside out—attracting and retaining the best talent and ensuring these professionals have the bandwidth to focus on value-add consulting rather than routine data entry and number crunching—without compromising the integrity of client results.

But how can firms meet all these demands simultaneously? The answer lies in automation—by standardizing processes and taking advantage of scalable software and services, firms can automate and streamline activities for both their professionals and their clients.

For BDO, the individual income tax return preparation process fit the bill.

Despite the IRS introducing a new “simplified” Form 1040 for the 2019 tax year, taxpayers who claim certain deductions or credits, or who owe additional taxes, will still need to file additional  forms, and of course, completing Form 1040 still requires careful information gathering, documentation, preparation and review from tax professionals. For a firm that handles more than 24,000 1040s annually, they represent a significant revenue stream.

To optimize the 1040 process, BDO assembled a cross-functional team to determine how best to address necessary service changes by leveraging new technology capabilities. The taskforce first mapped out the firm’s historical approach, and then sought to develop a new standard process manual for 1040 preparation to identify where and how automation could offer employees and clients the greatest benefit.


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That's where SurePrep came in.

With a 15-year-plus relationship working with BDO, SurePrep was a natural fit to help enhance the new firm-wide 1040 process. Several SurePrep products were woven into various stages of the firm’s approach:

  • Once clients provide the necessary documentation, all documents are processed with 1040SCANverify, which automates workpaper organization and eliminates manual data.
  • A BDO professional can then prepare the return in SPbinder, SurePrep’s award-winning workpaper system, which is specific to 1040s and produces a standardized set of workpapers that are easy to review.
  • TaxCaddy has recently been introduced to the suite of automated services BDO provides whereby clients can photograph, upload and share their documents, all from their laptop or TaxCaddy can also import tax documents the day they’re issued and allow clients to sign their e-file authorizations electronically.

By leveraging a mix of service options and technology solutions, BDO vastly improved their 1040 process across the board. Benefits include:

Increased productivity

  • BDO now processes thousands of 1040 returns annually leveraging the suite of SurePrep’s technology solutions.

Improved client experience

  • Document collection can be streamlined via TaxCaddy reducing redundant requests while simplifying the ability to share documents with tax professionals.

More efficient use of time and talent

  • With a large amount of the firm’s 1040 work automated via SurePrep, BDO freed up capacity in their local offices, allowing tax professionals to focus on more value-added aspects of client service.

"By combining SurePrep's technology with our own standardized processes and best practices, we effectively addressed some of the most pressing demands on today's accounting and tax firms.

Ultimately, this has been a successful example of tax transformation - we reduced the time spent on inefficient tasks and elevated the role of our tax professionals, all while delivering the highest level of service to our clients."

-Matt Becker, National Tax Managing Partner

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