How 7 Tax Leaders Harnessed Technology to Boost Team Efficiency

Aug 17, 2022

Successful and long-lasting innovations begin with understanding how they make everyone’s job easier and more productive. Accounting professionals and other tax practitioners are increasingly leveraging future-ready solutions to ensure their workforce is productive and engaged.

According to Sage, the top reasons why accountants adopt new technology includes increasing efficiency (64%), improving the quality of service (44%), and attracting new clients (42%). As for lawyers, Clio’s Legal Trends Report reveals those using multiple technologies see revenue increases of up to 40% per lawyer. 

For today’s tax practitioners, these are trends not to be ignored – and why more and more accountants, tax attorneys and other tax practitioners turn to solutions like Blue J.

What are the benefits of adopting Blue J’s suite of diagramming and tax research tools? Here are 7 tax leaders explaining the impact Blue J has had for their practice.

 

Peter Stratos Kaufman Rossin Tax Leaders Blog Post

‘This is really created for what we do’

When Peter Stratos, Principal, Tax Services, for Kaufman Rossin added Blue J tools to the firm’s suite of digital solutions, he saw the benefits almost immediately. “Blue J helped us alleviate some of the staffing compression in the tax research area. It allows me to spread that work around,” he says.

Using Blue J Predictions for client work, Stratos says the tool provided certainty while also delivering value with tax planning. “You can tweak the scenario, develop new fact patterns and see what the outcomes are. You get immediate feedback. Basically, how can we change the fact pattern to get a more favorable scenario for the client? That’s what Blue J helps us do. This is really created for what we do.”

 

Raymond Adlington Miller Thomson Tax Leaders Blog Post

‘I’ve been using it exclusively ever since’

Accounting professionals, no matter where they began their digital journey, consistently seek ways to make their work more efficient. For Raymond Adlington, partner at Miller Thomson, it began with Corel Draw initially as law firms in the 1990s clamored for Word Perfect. 

Then he and his team moved into the Microsoft Office suite of products, but they soon realized there was a more robust option available. “I began using PowerPoint 97 in the early 2000s, and largely stuck with the iterations of PowerPoint for the last 15 years for diagramming, until I used Blue J products,” he says. “About a year ago, I began using Blue J Diagramming and I’ve been using it exclusively ever since.”

 

Sarah Russel Clayton & McKervey Tax Leaders Blog Post

‘From 40 hours to 10 minutes’

Sarah Russell knows all too well the challenge of making the most of her billable hours. The tax service leader at Clayton & McKervey used to spend close to 40 hours to uncover, for example, three relevant court cases for a client on a research tax credit issue. 

But when she used Blue J tools, and plugged details into Blue J, a slew of cases came up within 10 minutes. She made a bee-line to the office of her Managing Partner and declared, “I want an Enterprise license for this.” 

It’s become a no-brainer to adopt useful solutions so her entire team can focus on critical tasks, instead of spending hours on research. Russell says, “When I look back at my career and think about how long it took me to learn how to approach research, it’s such an asset to have a tool like this to guide them. If I would have had a tool like this, that learning timeframe would have been a lot shorter.”

 

Travis Thompson Sideman & Bancroft Tax Leaders Blog Post

‘Mitigating risk and improving work-life balance’

Did you know that employee surveys found that a work-life balance outranks commute times and paths for promotion as top career values? That’s why accountancy firms turn to solutions such as Blue J tools to lower the amount of time employees spend on endless research. 

Travis Thompson, Tax and Criminal law associate at Sideman & Bancroft, says, “Blue J gives younger attorneys and associates the chance to spend more time on analysis, more time creating better work product. It’s going to improve your employees’ work-life balance because they’re not spending hours upon hours on tax research.”

That’s where mitigating risk comes in. He adds, “[This technology allows] younger attorneys and associates to get to the right answers faster, rather than spending hours upon hours of research to possibly get the wrong answer, providing bad advice.”

 

Zoran Vranjkovic Welch LLP Tax Leaders Blog Post

‘It’s a win-win for us and the client’

Zoran Vranjkovic, Tax Director for Welch LLP, knows a winner when he sees one. 

“Our compliance team is coming across issues on a daily basis,” he says. “Because it’s more of a commoditized service, and it’s difficult to bill more than you have in past years, we saw Blue J as being able to help get that research into those issues done much more efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Investing in a best-in-breed technology rippled towards other members of his team, while also having a downstream effect on client satisfaction. Vranjkovic says, “If we can do the same work in less time, with better recoveries, everyone is happy. It’s a competitive market, and we want to be able to deliver great service and the right answer in a timely fashion. If we can do that with fewer resources, it’s a win-win for us and the client.”

 

Brandon Siegal Siegal Tax Law Tax Leaders Blog Post

‘Providing consistency and demonstrating the rigor of the firm’s elevated due diligence procedures’

When Siegal Tax Law sought to expedite its intake process and its ability to quickly and accurately assess the strength of a client’s case, they turned to Blue J. When a potential client asks for help, Blue J Tax’s straightforward questionnaires helped the firm efficiently organize the facts of a new case and consider the most likely outcome for the file.

The firm recognized how folding Blue J Tax into the file intake process offered consistency and demonstrated the rigor of their elevated due diligence procedures.

“It’s important to make sure you’re operating in the most professional way that you can by using the best resources available,” says Brandon Siegal, founder of Siegal Tax Law. “You still have to do the real work—read the cases and analyze the facts—but as someone without a large team, this is a great resource to start your files.”

 

Jenna Schwartz Richter Tax Leaders Blog Post

‘Fulfilling our promise of providing the best service we can’

Realizing the potential of AI technology has been a core focus for many savvy tax specialists. A report from McKinsey noted that financial services is among the three business niches in the “high AI adoption” region of their analysis, along with high-tech/telecom and automotive.

Jenna Schwartz, VP at business advisory firm Richter, prides her team on unlocking the value of efficient innovation. Taking advantage of the AI tech baked with Blue J Tax, Schwartz says the tool allows them to do more of the critical thinking and analysis rather than spending time simply searching. “The beauty of Blue J Tax is if you have a particular situation, the system can find cases that most closely match it,” she says.

She adds, “Using tools like Blue J Tax allows us to fulfill our promise of providing the best service we can.”

To hear from more Blue J clients visit the customer stories page today. Read complete case studies and view on-demand webinars on the intersection of tax and technology.