Over the past several years, our team has become good at one seemingly simple but all-important thing: the art of the pivot. We’re not only okay with being unsure and uncomfortable, but we actively put ourselves in situations that force us to push our own limits – and the limits of the tools at our disposal. It did not come easily by any means, and we attribute the success in our implementation of the cloud to that particular skillset.
We chose to migrate our practice into the cloud for flexibility, security, accessibility, convenience and adaptability. The rest of the world was moving into the cloud, so why shouldn’t our tax and accounting practice? We’d be able to access important data from anywhere an internet connection was available, and clients could communicate with us 24/7. Right now, our entire office could burn down, and our team could run the practice flawlessly from Starbucks or their living rooms dressed in pajamas. We’re pretty happy about that.
The two main tools we use in our cloud-based practice are Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Online and QuickBooks® Online Accountant. We used Quickbooks desktop for years and chose to stick with the company because we like their innovative mindset and reliability. It took a couple of years, but we were able to fully migrate all of our business clients into the cloud from Quickbooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, and shift our entire tax practice from ATX to ProConnect Tax Online. Because of the seamless integration between ProConnect Tax Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant, we’re able to complete corporate tax returns twice as fast, and our efficiency dramatically increased. In fact, we went from preparing 200+ tax returns each year to 400+ tax returns. We could definitely do more – around 600 – with the same sized team and plan for major growth in 2018.
The true benefit of accounting and tax prep in the cloud is the vast capability for collaboration. Our entire team can access QuickBooks Online Accountant, ProConnect Tax Online and Intuit Link to help each other by assisting clients in uploading tax documents, creating and preloading tax returns, and checking tax return completion status for clients as needed. With the myriad of integrations and ways to automate our process, we save hundreds of hours! Looking back, it’s hard to believe we made it through a tax season without our new tools and technologies.
Has the shift been easy? Nope. We jumped into ProConnect Tax Online in its infancy, which meant we had to deal with imperfections, hangups and flaws. Actually, I’d be surprised if our team hasn’t logged more support hours with Intuit’s various teams than anyone else. Ever. Yet, those hardships came with perks, too: we’ve had the opportunity to share with Intuit and provide actionable feedback that may well have helped shape the software that ProConnect Tax Online is now, and we will continue to do so. We intend to own the future of our profession – and the cloud is where it’s at!
Editor’s note: This article first appeared on the Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Pro Center.