As creatures of habit, it’s sometimes hard to re-evaluate and change our workflow, but as technology evolves and new ways of connecting through a digital world are discovered, it’s important to consider changes that reflect the times. For example, mailing client organizers was, for many years, a common practice, but we’ve learned that organizers no longer produce the same results. Many clients simply ignore them.
We’ve discovered a better way, but first, consider four reasons to rethink mailing paper organizers:
#1: Ineffective Client Data Collection
How often do you receive a client organizer that’s completed to your satisfaction? The response from your peers is generally somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of the time. Regardless of your firm’s size, getting the information you need from just a few clients translates to a lot of time-consuming client follow-ups.
#2: Clients are Confused
The average taxpayer spends up to six hours gathering his or her tax documents for the accountant. In an organizer, clients are confused about how to answer the questions or don’t have all their documents. As a result, they put the organizer aside and forget about it until you remind them about it. This generally leads to you following up multiple times, ultimately leaving you scrambling to gather the information you need to get their taxes filed before the deadline.
#3: Organizers are Time Consuming
How much time do you estimate it takes you or your assistant to create the client organizer and personalize engagement letters, then print, collate, label and mail them? Many of you tell us you spend weeks preparing to send client organizers.
#4: Organizers are Expensive to Prepare and Mail
Even if you can justify the time spent, the cost savings, alone, may be enough to rethink your efforts. Considering your staff time, and paper, printing and shipping cost, the average expense to send a paper organizer is $22 per client. Eliminating paper organizers could save your firm hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.
There’s a Better Way!
Introducing, Intuit® Link, a supercharged portal created with your clients in mind. Intuit Link simplifies client data collection and delivers a client preferred experience so you get the information you need to finish faster.
Unlike many portals that are only good for exchanging documents, Link allows you to create a digital checklist based on the prior year tax return, coupled with a customizable questionnaire. Your clients can answer questions and ask you questions, upload documents or snap a photo with their phone, or simply import their financial documents directly.
You are notified of new client activity and can monitor client progress at a glance in the Link dashboard. All your client data and documents are all in one place, not spread out in multiple folders, emails or on sticky notes. Most importantly, all of the information is secure using bank-level security and 256-bit encryption.
Just last year, tax professionals who used Link, instead of a paper organizer, completed returns 16 days faster on average. Many even saved up to 30 percent more time per client.1
Invite your clients to connect with you on Link from Lacerte®, ProSeries® Professional or Intuit Tax Online … and discover a better way.
1Based on standard tax season and cumulative time savings achievable with Intuit Link’s electronic data and document collection versus manual tax checklist; Intuit Tax Online 2014 data.