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Kero Byington and Associates Seeds the Cloud to Make Rain with CCH Axcess™ Tax

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Based on more than ten years of prior experience with Wolters Kluwer tax solutions, Kero turned to the company for advice about software while setting up the firm. The consultation led him to select CCH Axcess™, the profession’s only single-access, modular cloud solution to support every area of firm operations.

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Kero Byington and Associates Seeds the Cloud to Make Rain with CCH Axcess™ Tax

  1. 1. Kero Byington and Associates Seeds the Cloud to Make Rain with CCH Axcess™ Tax CPA firm efficiently prepares taxes in the office, from home and on the road, while preserving working capital Going to the cloud eliminated technology hassles Based on more than ten years of prior experience with Wolters Kluwer tax solutions, Kero turned to the company for advice about software while setting up the firm. The consultation led him to select CCH Axcess™ , the profession’s only single-access, modular cloud solution to support every area of firm operations. To Kero, the solution offered flexibility, easy access from remote computers and subscription pricing that helped him preserve capital. “I started a new firm and I could not afford a fleet of geeks,” Kero recalled. “When you’re a startup, you don’t have a lot of capital. CCH Axcess was the perfect solution for me.” Kero appreciated that Wolters Kluwer would be responsible for software upgrades. “I didn’t want to have to load software all the time because I knew what was involved. At my prior firm, I was the Tax Director for about ten years, so I was intimately involved with that kind of stuff.” Information security was addressed “Our clients expect us to keep their information secure and be prepared for the unexpected. The term ‘cloud’ scares a lot of people — especially CPA types because we say ‘wait a minute! I’m sending client information into la-la land?’ But the reality is we’re just using the Internet to access Wolters Kluwer servers. I feel very confident about the security of that process,” said Kero, comparing it to the accuracy and security of e-filing taxes. In fact, having firm files on servers saved the day when the wrong file was accidentally deleted. “Deborah and I probably spent about 30 hours manually keying in about 700 fixed assets on the deleted file. I called Support, and they started hunting after the file. Lo and behold, they were able to recreate it, so we didn’t have to rekey all of those assets back in. They saved the day!” Tax workflow reflects the way real accountants work The workflow in CCH Axcess was designed by accountants, and both Linthicum and Kero appreciate that it mimics the way an accountant would approach a manual tax return. “There is a really consistent workflow that makes it more efficient. You work through Schedule A, then B and so forth,” explained Linthicum. “It’s the right flow. It was like a breath of fresh air.” Kero agreed, “It matches how you would prepare a return manually. That tells me the programmers for the solution were led by real tax preparers and not by computer people. It makes a huge difference.” When Walt Kero left his previous, large firm in 2013 to strike out on his own, he “felt like a CPA refugee.” In practice since 1973, Kero was starting over with his own new accounting firm and all the challenges that accompany startups. Fast forward one year — Kero, along with partners, Mark Byington and Deborah Linthicum, have already guided their new firm through its first successful tax preparation season. They credit part of that accomplishment to choosing the right technology for tax preparation. Kero Byington and Associates Key Data: ll Founded in 2013 ll Headquartered in Missoula, MT ll 4 employees (FT & PT) ll Specializing in individual and corporate tax preparation, payroll and forensic accounting
  2. 2. All trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners. Join us on at CCHGroup.com/Social © 2015 CCH Incorporated and its affiliates. All rights reserved.11/15 2014-0418-3 For More Information CCHGroup.com/Axcess 800-739-9998 Intuitive design shortened the learning curve and created efficiencies The intuitive design also creates efficiency by shortening the learning curve. Both Linthicum and Byington learned the solution on the job after being shown just a few features. “The other cool thing about CCH Axcess is its intuitiveness,” said Kero. “The efficiencies come with a shorter learning curve. If it’s easy to use and easy to learn, that’s a huge thing for firms of any size, and especially for small firms.” Linthicum added, “CCH Axcess definitely saves time on learning software for new people. It cuts down on the frustration and keeps the morale up during tax season.” Anywhere access to returns created highly responsive client service Because it is a cloud-based solution, Kero and his colleagues can log in to CCH Axcess securely, from any configured computer with an Internet connection. All of the accountants work at the office and from home. “The coolest thing about it is being able to access returns from anywhere and respond so quickly to clients. You couldn’t have done that in a traditional software environment,” Kero said. “Quite often I’m on the road after tax season teaching CPE classes. Invariably, I get calls from clients and it’s very nice to be able to access their returns on the road. I use a tablet or my Netbook, and I can take care of the client at the moment without calling back to the office.” “Last year, my wife had a sabbatical at the University of Maine, and we drove there from Montana. Somewhere between Rochester, Minnesota and Illinois, Chicago, a client called and said ‘we really need to get this corporate return done.’ I pulled over and called Support. In South Bend, Indiana, I was able to download what I needed to my Netbook and completed the remainder of the return by the time we got to Pittsburgh. Being able to do stuff on the fly from anywhere in the world is fabulous.” Linthicum sees another benefit of CCH Axcess: it will help the firm compete for new talent. “The younger generation of CPAs is looking for more flexibility and mobility,” she observed. “I think software in the cloud is going to make a big difference in the future for these professionals.” When you’re a startup, you don’t have a lot of capital. CCH Axcess was the perfect solution for me. Walt Kero Partner, Kero Byington and Associates

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