TaxProTalk: A firm transitions tax software to grow, move to the cloud

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In this episode of TaxProTalk, Tony Hunt talks to Marc Berger, CPA, of McGinnis & Berger, LLP, in Wimberly, Texas. Marc’s firm has two locations, 20 staff members and prepares about 2,000 returns annually. In this video, he discusses his firm’s journey with Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax OnlineProSeries® and Lacerte®.

Marc’s firm has been on a journey to embrace cloud technologies and deliver more advisory services. “We started as a traditional tax and business consulting firm,” he says. “The more we leaned on Intuit, QuickBooks® Online and all the technology that is flipping the accounting industry on its head, we leaned into reinventing ourselves to help our help our clients move into the future. It is an exciting time.”

Marc began his tax career using ProSeries. “When I started the firm 15 years ago with my partner, Terry, he was using ProSeries, and it was a good product for us for a long time. However, we got to a point where we felt we needed a little more; we stuck with Intuit, and since they had Lacerte, we moved up the ladder.”

As the firm grew, they needed to network multiple locations and found Lacerte was a more robust tax solution. When it came to transitioning, Marc says, “It was easy. Support walked us through the migration and transferred all our client files. We hit the ground running, and it has been really good.”

“Intuit has produced a great product in Lacerte for us,” he continues. “It’s awesome tax software and has made us better tax professionals, but now, as we continually move more and more to the cloud, we feel like we’ve got to start setting our sites on ProConnect Tax Online. We feel like we’ve got to take it to the next level, again, and into the cloud.”

Marc’s firm leads with planning and advisory services to be more engaged with business clients and help them prosper. He leans heavily on QuickBooks Online and cloud applications to automate most of the accounting and transactional work. Having access to the clients’ books in the cloud allows his team to streamline the tax preparation workflow and eliminate most of the data and document requests from clients.

“I just want to be sure that we are being forward-thinking as a firm,” he says. “It looks like everything is going to the cloud. Apps are how everybody is operating, so we see that as a natural transition. We are going to get away from installed software on a server that we have to maintain and spend thousands of dollars for upkeep every year. We want to push that burden to Intuit and ProConnect Tax Online.”

Leading firms are embracing cloud technologies to automate data entry, outsource IT maintenance and collaborate with clients. Marc echoes the sentiments of other cloud firms when he says, “You guys can do it better, bigger and faster, and have the systems to do it. We need to focus on serving our clients and learning complex tax code so we can help our clients grow their businesses.”

He also looks forward to the day when his accounting platform is completely integrated with his tax platform, saving even more time. “With full integration, if I can work with a client in QuickBooks Online, push the work into ProConnect Tax Online and build some efficiencies, that allows me to spend more time on my client. That’s a win-win for everybody.”

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