In a captivating contemporary record, “The Observe of Now,” accounting and trade instrument supplier Sage summarized the result of a world survey of accountants on apply control problems (). Whilst 35% spoke back that hands-on duties akin to knowledge access, control reporting, and tax go back preparation had been probably the most stress-free portions in their task, in addition they indicated that the time spent quantity crunching was once their 2nd largest frustration, after hounding shoppers to put up their information. Extra (39%) had been the use of desktop instrument for consumer recordkeeping compared to cloud choices (28%), however Excel spreadsheets had been nonetheless well liked by 25% of survey members.

Respondents to The CPA Magazine’s annual survey of New York practitioners have most often been robust customers of era—the place it has made sense to them. Within the 2017 survey (“Overcoming Stumbling blocks with the Proper Tax Device,” November 2017, ), 40% of members reported the usage of portals for shoppers to add tax paperwork, an build up from prior years. Survey respondents had been indirectly requested in the event that they used work-flow control instrument, however not up to 20% reported doing so in reference to tax preparation instrument. In’s “2d Annual Accounting Company Operations and Generation Survey” (see Sidebar), greater than part of mid-sized and big accounting corporations followed workflow answers in 2014/2015, whilst fewer than 20% of small corporations and sole practitioners did.

Workflow control issues acquiring knowledge (consumer knowledge, worker timesheets), processing the guidelines (spreadsheets or instrument packages), and offering the results of the guidelines process (studies, tax returns, invoices, paychecks). It additionally comes to useful resource control (workforce task, era utilization), report control and garage (onsite, offsite, or cloud), communique insurance policies (e mail), and dating control (shoppers, staff). To the level pc instrument and packages are used for those actions, they are able to be bought from one seller or a couple of distributors and feature turn out to be extra customizable in recent times. The tax instrument distributors rated in The CPA Magazine‘s annual survey most often be offering comparable workflow control gear, and there are lots of unbiased distributors whose merchandise can interface with tax instrument.

Workflow control is helping corporations stay observe of sources and tasks in addition to meet time limits and consumer expectancies, and will make any CPA’s task extra stress-free. Workflow instrument too can provide help to decide how some distance alongside tasks are, to find and get right of entry to knowledge and paperwork, and observe efficiency. Readers needing to simplify their era can glean helpful knowledge from the tips mentioned in sources reviewed on this month’s column. is widely known to AICPA contributors because the successor group of CPA2Biz, a industrial supplier of era services and products to CPA corporations; it provides useful loose fabrics on workplace gear. The infographic “A Roadmap to Getting Began with Workflow Automation” illustrates the overlap between report control, workflow control, and apply control actions (). As an example, workflow control includes an outline of duties, sources, and tasks; coordinating, scheduling, and allocating sources; and due date control. Workflow overlaps with report control in sharing knowledge and paperwork and intersects with apply control in regulate of time and billing in addition to high quality and compliance control. All 3 spaces attach for reporting.

A number of loose white papers are to be had on workflow automation. “Purchaser’s Tick list of Workflow Automation: Does Your Company Want Workflow Automation?” is a downloadable nine-page booklet that discusses key causes to imagine automation and analysis of sources already in position (). A ten-step tick list comprises procedure automation, duty, compliance and high quality regulate, price, and different vital components. Different loose whitepapers are highlighted within the Sidebar.

Jetpack Workflow

Jetpack Workflow is meant to assist accounting corporations to trace ordinary consumer paintings thru steady process cycles extra successfully than a paper tick list gadget. Its web site ( has two very good options for busy CPAs. The primary is a chain of “Rising Your Company” podcasts that may be accessed from Jetpack Workflow’s web-site () or the iTunes podcast library ( The podcasts most often run 20 to 40 mins, and the person information superhighway pages for each and every presentation come with an in depth abstract of the content material and hyperlinks to the speaker and comparable sources. “Methods to Upload 35% Extra Income with Tax Making plans” is especially well timed, as no longer best does any tax season supply alternatives to study shoppers’ monetary eventualities, however the present chance of tax adjustments doubles the inducement for shoppers to be in contact with their CPAs. “One Fast Trick May just Prevent Accounting Company Hackers for Excellent” states that the commonest method that fraudsters penetrate a company’s safety is thru e mail phishing assaults. This podcast addresses a number of different subjects, together with the foremost demanding situations and alternatives that accompany including a brand new software.

The jewel of Jetpack Workflow’s web site is “A Curated Listing of 100+ Accounting Sources & Gear” (). The indexed sources are grouped underneath 12 subjects, together with accounting instrument, workflow and productiveness apps, crew/consumer dynamics and communique, and report control techniques. There’s a temporary description of each and every merchandise and direct hyperlinks to the supplier’s web site. The listing is just too lengthy to copy right here, however as pattern, the accounting instrument entries lined are Intuit’s Quickbooks, Xero, and Sage, in conjunction with specialised packages akin to SAP, Sage’s Intacct, Freshbooks, and Kashoo. Two loose choices for small companies, Wave and ZipBooks, also are mentioned.


TaxWorkFlow (, based through New York–primarily based CPA Jonathan Medows, is a set of computerized apply control gear designed to supply potency within the tax preparation procedure. Its web site incorporates a just right evaluation of apply control packages, which is beneficial for readers who’re taking into account first-time or expanded workplace automation (). The TaxWorkFlow Weblog ( provides sensible how-to articles that come with intensive screenshots and step by step procedures. Workflow White Papers

“OCR: Make Your Paperwork Textual content-Searchable” (Would possibly 2017) discusses the usage of optical scanner popularity (OCR) to transform scanned onerous copies to textual content information (). When paperwork are text-searchable, it’s now not important to appear thru a whole document to find explicit knowledge. A comparable article, “Mastering OCR for PDF Paperwork,” (Would possibly 2017) explains extra technical sides of PDF introduction, such because the duration of pc processing time to create a report, in conjunction with an offer to disable report viewing till the document is finalized ().

“Emails: Environment Up Your Non-public Outgoing E-mail Account” (June 2017) incorporates an invaluable desk of settings for widespread e mail suppliers, akin to AOL, Gmail, Administrative center 365, and Yahoo ( “Emails: Environment Up Your International Outgoing E-mail Accounts” (June 2017) discusses some great benefits of company e mail accounts, akin to keeping up consistency for consumer communications, in addition to offering a substitute for the use of a non-public e mail account for workflow duties (). The item additionally supplies some other desk of settings for AOL, Gmail, Administrative center 365, and Yahoo.

Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA/CGMA is the Louis J. and Ramona Rodriguez Prominent Professor of Accounting at Midwestern State College, Wichita Falls, Tex. She is a member of The CPA Magazine Editorial Advisory Board.

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