At a glance
According to Wolters Kluwer’s 2022–23 report, The Accounting Evolution, the top three pressure points for accounting professionals this year all relate to time – work-life balance, finding time to identify opportunities to add value to clients, and obtaining correct data and information from clients on a timely basis.
For Viraj Joshi, product manager, compliance solutions, at Wolters Kluwer, technological transformation is key to addressing all three challenges.
“Automating routine tasks, such as manual data entry and report generation, can free up time for more value-adding services, such as tax planning and advisory services for the end client,” he says.
Having easy access to the latest tax information, not to mention a streamlined system for communicating with clients, he adds, can likewise be a game changer for accountants at tax time.
Automating the tax process
A leader in digital transformation, Wolters Kluwer has created a range of software solutions, including CCH iFirm: a cloud-based platform that provides an integrated software suite to help accounting firms run their practice and manage compliance work efficiently.
CCH iFirm includes practice management, document management, client portal and digital signatures modules, as well as tax, ledgers and CGT reporting modules.
CCH iFirm Tax automates and streamlines workflows for the creation, lodgement and tracking of individual, company, partnership and trust returns, Instalment Activity Statement, Business Activity Statement (BAS) and Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).
The software has been designed to save accountants precious hours by minimising clicks and automating workflows. Users can easily input data, importing information from the Australian Taxation Office using prefill and automatic rollover functions.
It also enables them to communicate with – and send documents securely to – clients.
Reducing research time
Directly accessible within the CCH iFirm tax software is CCH iKnow – an online research platform that presents comprehensive, up-to-date and in-depth content, sourced from Wolters Kluwer experts, who deliver the trusted Australian Master Tax Guide.
It comprises tax research, relevant legislation, cases, rulings, commentary and practical tools.
When completing a tax return through CCH iFirm, accountants can access information on an item number by clicking a link, which takes them through to the relevant section on the CCH iKnow platform.
“At tax time, accountants relying on the commentary and tools from CCH iKnow can be confident that they’re providing accurate and timely advice,” says Megan Blyth, senior commercial manager at Wolters Kluwer.
“Through our CCH iKnow Practical Tools module, for example, we offer a suite of tax year-end checklists, procedures, calculators and tasks that save them time and ensure that all their staff have access to the same information.”
Though Wolters Kluwer services customers in more than 180 countries, Blyth points out that CCH iKnow content is written by locally based in-house tax specialists with many years of experience and qualifications in their field.
“In 2022, we updated almost 30,000 pieces of content,” she adds. “It’s just not possible for an accountant to stay across this kind of volume of information without assistance.”
“The unique combination of our tax return software and tax research software is what makes our solution particularly valuable to accountants at tax time,” adds Joshi.
“Our expertise in accounting knowledge and deep understanding of how accountants work helps us to create solutions that are reducing friction and creating efficiencies at every step of an accountant’s workflow.”