This segment traditionally is on a faster track than the national average. For the 2020 filing season, returns being completed is showing an 11.2% year-over-drop, which is a very sharp decline. This firm segment may be experiencing work from home challenges.
Firms in this segment may benefit from reviewing processes to identify where they can be streamlined and optimized to increase productivity on the employee or client service level. In conjunction with clear communication, streamlined processes could help regain some of the momentum lost.
Our remote team managers recently provided some of their communication tips for successfully managing a remote team to increase productivity and employee buy-in.
I said in the 04/01/2020 update that as firms continue to work remotely, we will gain additional insights into how the national leaders are optimizing business processes and harnessing the collective power of automation to serve their customers. It’s safe to say that we are seeing the impact in these most recent numbers.
Those firms who implemented workflow and automation technology tools prior to COVID-19 seem to have felt the impact of shelter in place and work from home orders the least. Similarly, firms that streamlined and modified processes early on have since begun to pick up speed. As more firms continue to optimize their work from home processes, I expect to see the filing pace continue to increase.
One question that remains is how firms under severe movement and business restrictions will obtain client documentation. Every firm has those clients who prefer to drop off stacks of paperwork, and under current restrictions, that may not be possible. The office isn’t open to accept documents via mail or in-person drop-off, and fax machines and flatbed scanners are no longer standard home office supplies. This inability to obtain the necessary documents may restrict firms’ ability to complete returns. I look forward to seeing how firms adapt and overcome this challenge.
Click through to read the 05/04 update, and stay safe, stay healthy, and stay productive.