No More 8 to 5.
Time is funny. We get 24 hours each day. We spend most of it working, a fair portion sleeping and the remaining minutes squeezing everything else in. That means you’re likely to miss something — your child’s ballgame or ballet class, dinner with family, an appointment with your aging parents — when you’re tied to your desk.
Wanda Dietrich, director of individual and estate taxes at Rotz & Stonesifer PC, a full–service accounting firm in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, didn’t want to see that happen. So she and her firm’s management team created a time machine of sorts. The solution wasn’t magical, but it did seem to create more hours in the day for their staff to do the things that are important to them.
That solution was UltraTax CS and NetClient CS from Thomson Reuters. The software has allowed the 30-year-old firm to improve service for clients, as well as worklife balance for employees.
Dietrich, who is responsible for implementing software to connect the firm’s three locations, made the switch to UltraTax CS in 2005. Rotz & Stonesifer also uses NetClient CS, Practice CS, FileCabinet CS, Fixed Assets CS and Workpapers CS.
The solutions are perfect for Rotz & Stonesifer’s auditors, who are constantly out in the field, and for its 50 employees, who are trying to balance long hours with responsibilities at home during the busy tax season.
“We stress to our staff that you don’t have to be at your desk from 8 to 5,” Dietrich says. “Sometimes, staying connected to the client is better late in the evening. If they’re running their own businesses, they’ll sit down and do paperwork at 10 at night.”
Dietrich’s favorite feature of UltraTax CS and NetClient CS is integration. “For NetClient CS specifically, when clients get used to the file exchange piece and they can communicate back and forth, I get the information right away — and I can get information to them immediately.”
And clients appreciate it, too. When Dietrich sees that a client has uploaded a document late at night and sends a quick response, they love that she’s staying connected to them in their time frame.
CONSISTENCY ACROSS OFFICES
With full integration of all of its Thomson Reuters products, Rotz & Stonesifer has full cohesion, too. “Having multiple offices, we’ve never had a completely consistent process from start to finish, especially on the tax side,” Dietrich says. Now, with Thomson Reuters, “using exactly the same process and saving documents the same way has really helped us bring everybody together all on the same page.”
Another benefit: growth potential. “I feel like it puts us in a position to acquire other smaller tax practices and bring them in with no problem,” she says, “because it’s all done the same way and it’s consistent.”
Power of the Portal
Instead of coordinating complicated mailings for year-end letters and announcements, Rotz & Stonesifer P.C. delivers messaging through its NetClient CS portal. What used to take days now takes seconds. And something interesting is happening.
“Every time we push something out, we get a flood of emails from clients because we’ve just triggered something in their minds,” says Wanda Dietrich, director of individual and estate taxes at Rotz & Stonesifer. She’s considering using the portal monthly to remind clients to make an appointment or reach out with a question.
Looking for other ways to tap the potential of the portal, Dietrich, who traveled solo to the last three Thomson Reuters Users’ Conferences, will be joined by five colleagues this year. “That’s the importance to us of the software and learning what’s out there that we’re not using,” she says.
On their list: starting to accept online payments and gleaning from others how to move exclusively to electronic communications.
“We haven’t convinced everybody to use the portals,” Dietrich says. “I would love to be completely paperless. That’s my long-range goal.”