New product lead plans 'compelling future' for tax and accounting practice software
Rakesh Naidu, the new Head of Product for cloud tax and accounting software Asia Pacific for Wolters Kluwer in Asia-Pacific, explains why he’s passionate about helping tax and accounting professionals drive productivity and deliver more value for clients.
If the development of tax, accounting and practice software is organised around themes, then “deep integration” is high on the list in 2021 for Rakesh Naidu.
As the new Head of Product for cloud tax and accounting software at Wolters Kluwer Asia-Pacific, Rakesh says he’s focused on “richer experiences across tax compliance all in the cloud by streamlining the tax workflow with easier navigation, improved data integration, smart document management and leveraging our deep domain knowledge in tax to enhance customer experience and productivity.” It’s a “compelling combination,” he adds.
Rakesh joins Wolters Kluwer after a career spanning more than two decades in digital innovation. He’s worked for three of Australia’s big four banks in product innovation and business improvement, focusing on data technology and cash management systems.
He’s spent his first few weeks talking to customers of Wolters Kluwer in tax, accounting, and audit. “I’m really passionate about problem-solving — understanding in detail the progress customers are trying to make in a given circumstance and what they hope to accomplish in the moments that matter most to them,” he says. “How do we help our customers do what I refer to as ‘jobs to be done’ better now and into the future.”
While CCH iFirm was founded more than two decades ago, it’s continuing success rests on the deep knowledge Wolters Kluwer brings to the tax and accounting domain, with a continued key focus on strong customers experiences, quality and relationships, says Rakesh.
Quality and trust
That’s why he’s so pleased to report CCH iFirm is ISO 27001 certified, delivering customers a high degree of assurance around data and information security and associated risks.
“The starting position for me is this: customers rely on our product and our technology to give them confidence. Those are fundamental things that give people a level of trust. We need to meet those expectations without question,” Rakesh says.
Wolters Kluwer develops its tax products based on changes initiated by tax authorities such as the Australian Taxation Office, Inland Revenue in New Zealand and other regulatory agencies, as well as feedback from the market. The resulting updates ensure that the software is in sync with regulators’ requirements, and contains improved workflows, customer experience and automation.
“When it comes to tax tech, it’s about how we build the right toolkit for accounting professionals to deliver value to their clients and help them exceed their expectations,” says Rakesh.
Every time there are changes to the tax laws and regulations, tax agents and their clients face a new learning curve. They need to gather the data and understand complex legislation, says Rakesh. “That’s where we add value, and why it’s essential for firms to always be running the latest version.”
Each year, Wolters Kluwer invests 8-10% of its revenue globally in driving innovative product development. The company is constantly looking for ways to improve the technology ecosystem to create more intuitive platforms.
In the Asia-Pacific, Wolters Kluwer has invested in expanding its product and technology teams. “The challenge I’m setting for myself and my team,” says Rakesh, “is to start to think differently about our customer problems and solutions so that we bring to life the value of our content and our software.”