Maloney + Novotny LLC (M+N) is a large regional public accounting firm of certified public accountants and business advisors. For more than 80 years, M+N has helped clients achieve financial success by providing attest, tax and advisory services. The Ohio-based firm offers the resources of more than 100 professionals, with offices in Cleveland, Canton, and Elyria. They currently represent more than 2,200 clients in a variety of industries, and prepare more than 1,200 1040s annually.
Receiving late client source documents is a common pain point among tax practitioners. Busy season is notoriously short, leaving firms with approximately ten weeks to prepare all client 1040s that do not require extensions. At the same time, firms are at the mercy of their clients because they cannot begin preparing a tax return until they receive the client's source documents. Maloney + Novotny LLC is no different. The firm's biggest bottleneck in the tax preparation process is waiting for clients to deliver documents.
This bottleneck was a huge motivator for the firm to look at alternative solutions to improve efficiency in the tax preparation process. They were wrestling with a no-win situation. On one hand, using more experienced staff would get the tax returns done faster; but data entry is not the most efficient use of higher level employees' time. On the other hand, using interns and less experienced staff would be more cost effective; but it would take longer--and time was not something the firm had in excess. M+N needed to find an alternative to help them make efficient use of staff, while preparing a high volume of 1040s during an abbreviated time period.
Over time, M+N took small steps such as testing a move toward a "less paper" system and carrying out a small pilot program to evaluate technology options for tackling high volumes of 1040s. The firm eventually moved to the next level and implemented tax document automation to save 40% of tax preparation time. This also allowed M+N to reallocate staff to focus on higher value activities. To learn specific actions M+N took to achieve these results and hear recommendations from the firm's Partner in Charge of Tax for peer firms, download the entire white paper by entering your information on the right.