Tax & AccountingJanuary 10, 2022

Mengel Metzger Barr Improves Workflow, Research, and Quality with an Integrated Audit Approach

A 130-employee firm based in upstate New York, Mengel Metzger Barr & Co. LLP (“Mengel Metzger Barr”) has taken a forward-thinking, client-centered approach to its tax and audit business since 1975. This full-service firm is a member of BDO Alliance USA and handles tax, audit, consulting, dispute resolution, business valuation, and forensic and investigative accounting. As the firm grew over the years, its leaders sought to employ software solutions to improve workflow on both the tax and compliance side of the business and the audit side. 

Tax Partner James P. Schnell, CPA/ABV, CVA said that the firm first needed to streamline its overall tax preparation and compliance processes. As the firm looked at the main software used across the firm, “what kept coming back were Wolters Kluwer’s software products.” Mengel Metzger Barr decided to move to CCH Axcess, Wolters Kluwer’s award-winning cloud-based tax preparation, workflow and practice management solution since it’s easy to use and the solutions are designed to work together.

In addition to CCH Axcess solutions, the firm uses Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach—including CCH® ProSystem fx® Engagement, CCH® ProSystem fx® Knowledge Coach, and CCH® ProSystem fx® Accounting Research Manager®.

Mengel Metzger Barr chose Wolters Kluwer solutions to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Increase productivity on the tax preparation and compliance side of the business 
  2. Support faster, more accurate research
  3. Improve audit quality

Here's how Wolters Kluwer CCH Axcess and the Integrated Audit Approach helped them succeed. 

Change 1: Save Time and Increase Productivity on Tax Preparation and Compliance 

As the firm grew, one of the major challenges it encountered was the number of disparate software applications and processes. The firm’s leaders recognized that redundant data entry was dragging down productivity and looked for solutions that offered stronger integration.

Schnell notes that the CCH Axcess™ solutions immediately increased efficiency by getting data from clients electronically, digitally organizing information, and including a bookmarked PDF file with client source documents with each tax return. Additionally, CCH Axcess™ Document simplifies document management by digitally managing the full range of documents found in a firm—from tax returns to client correspondence, employee records and e-mail, within both workpapers and a centralized, searchable database. The results are significant time savings, improved accuracy and better documentation, which has especially impressed Schnell.

Read the case study to learn about all of Mengel Metzger's results.

Change 2: Support Faster, More Accurate Research

Part of the time savings the firm has achieved is a result of CCH IntelliConnect® and the staff’s ability to access research data from within CCH Axcess™ Tax, CCH Axcess Document, and CCH ProSystem fx Engagement. CCH IntelliConnect provides quick answers to more than 2,000 common questions and organizes content so users can easily pull up other relevant content. Using CCH Mobile, staff can also access research through a smartphone or tablet. Because the integrated research solution is so easy to use, training staff to conduct and properly document research is easier than ever.

It’s a huge benefit in terms of the amount of time and energy and resources required to do research. How could you do it more efficiently or effectively or accurately than being able to extract that information from CCH IntelliConnect and document it within, say, your CCH ProSystem fx Engagement tax workpapers and harness it in those workpapers?
James Schnell, CPA/ABV, CVA, Tax Partner, Mengel Metzger Barr

Change 3: Improve Audit Quality

Old audit practices utilized a checklist mentality and were often saddled with lots of paper and unnecessary steps. To revolutionize their audit process, Mengel Metzger chose Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach which includes CCH ProSystem fx Engagement for all of its financial statement production, CCH ProSystem fx Knowledge Coach for its audit software, and CCH Accounting Research Manager as its audit research software. The Integrated Audit Approach is built on the Knowledge-Based Audit (KBA) Methodology which relies on auditor judgment to drive the audit process, improving audit quality and minimizing over-auditing. 

Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach provides a really nice workflow. It helps to keep the staff heavily involved and participating in all levels of the engagement [as opposed to following a checklist].
James Schnell, CPA/ABV, CVA
”The firm is extremely pleased with the move to Wolters Kluwer and can’t imagine not having the Integrated Audit Approach and cloud-based tax preparation and compliance process of CCH Axcess." Schnell concludes. “That’s really the proof in the pudding. You don’t hear about people wanting to go back or unwind the changes of the evolution. That should mean a lot to anybody getting ready for a change.”
Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and expertise that helps tax, accounting and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed and accuracy. 
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