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Tax & AccountingOctober 23, 2023

Improve client satisfaction with the right technology

Keeping up with client expectations can be a challenge. Professional accountants want to be advisors for their clients, and many clients want that advisory help, but the client/firm relationship often gets stuck in the annual tax preparation cycle.  When tax preparation takes up too much time and resources, a disconnect develops between what firms can offer and what clients want to pay for. 

Fortunately, firms can implement technology solutions that can help them minimize lower-value work so they can focus on what matters.  

How does your firm's software improve the client experience?
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Responsive service

Focusing on client satisfaction is important to Randall Sansom. His firm uses CCH Axcess to streamline the tax workflow and provide more responsive client service. The platform’s centralized data enables convenient access to details about the work going on in the firm.

According to Sansom, “Clients expect immediate answers and results. And that's just the reality of the world that we live in right now. And so in order to do that, I think you've got to have the technology around you to be able to answer those questions and do those things so your clients can get the answers that they want.”

I don't know of any other tax software that has that type of capability and ease to be able to use and answer [client] questions. 
Randall Sansom, CPA

With the right tools, accountants can keep clients happy without sacrificing a lot of time and effort. Sansom recounts a situation where a valued client needed help at an inopportune time. 

“I was out on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean diving, and we were in between going to dives,” explains Sansom. “I looked on my phone, and this client that I knew was trying to sell their business… was frantic about getting something answered. I was able to pull up Document, go to the document that he was concerned about, and actually answer him and send him a document that his attorney needed in closing, in between dives. I mean, I don't know of any other tax software that has that type of capability and ease to be able to use and answer their questions.”

Make time to be an advisor

Although working with clients can be time-consuming, it is often more personally rewarding for staff than some of the repetitive work that junior staff traditionally completes. At The Bonadio Group, Debra Zarzycki says the firm’s technology has empowered less experienced staff to take on more advisory roles.

She says, “I think technology is helping a lot with the staffing. The more we can automate, and do things to take off of some of our lower-level staff, or even our reviewers… [We] give them a better experience to be able to interact more with our clients, and to do things that humans can do that automation can't. So I think it's giving us more time to do that…” she continues, “by automating some of the tasks that we can, that are just repetitive data entry and don't really need a whole lot of thought process. [Technology] gives us a better experience to be advisors for our clients and have time to do that.”

Strengthen client relationships

Creating strong client relationships is how successful firms grow and thrive. While not all firms will follow an advisory path, making time to add value for clients can make the work more fulfilling. Robert Goldstein of Goldstein Enright Accountancy explains his firm’s approach to client service. 

“Our relationship with our clients is different than a typical CPA firm,” says Goldstein. “We tend to get a little more involved with our clients than the typical CPA firm. We don't base our role as being strictly compliance, preparing tax returns, preparing financial statements. We want to help the client succeed. So we get more involved in their management decisions, interpreting a financial statement, tax planning, relationships with banks, helping a client sell their business, helping them buy a business. We get involved in more meaty consulting. And it's how it gets more fulfilling to tell you the truth.”

CCH Axcess Tax customers leverage anytime, anywhere access to enhance their client experience. With efficient tax workflows, firms can free up time to provide more responsive, value-added service.

Product Marketing Manager, Tax

Aimee Hall is a product marketing manager for Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting US, focusing on the professional market. In this role, she is responsible for leading the marketing strategy for tax software products including CCH Axcess Tax, CCH ProSystem fx Tax and ATX Tax. She joined Wolters Kluwer in 2006 and lives in the Chicago suburbs.

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