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Maner Costerisan Competes for Top Talent with Cloud-Based CCH Axcess™


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Largest locally-owned firm in mid-Michigan is using
integrated cloud-based and mobile solutions from
Wolters Kluwer to create a better work-life balance
for its employees and compete for top talent.

Published in: Business
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Maner Costerisan Competes for Top Talent with Cloud-Based CCH Axcess™

  1. 1. Maner Costerisan Key Data: ll Founded in 1906 ll Headquartered in Lansing, MI ll More than 80 employees ll Affiliate of BDO Alliance USA ll Specializing in nonprofit and government accounting, individual tax and business services Maner Costerisan Competes for Top Talent with Cloud-Based CCH Axcess™ Largest locally-owned firm in mid-Michigan is using integrated cloud-based and mobile solutions from Wolters Kluwer to create a better work-life balance for its employees and compete for top talent. For more than 100 years, Maner Costerisan has provided accounting and tax services to individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government entities. Over that time, the firm has grown into the largest locally-owned firm in mid-Michigan, serving more than 4,000 clients. The firm has kept its competitive edge in part by improving processes and technology to adapt to a changing industry. We have the full tax research library from Wolters Kluwer and also use CCH® IntelliConnect® , CCH® ProSystem fx® Practice Management, CCH® ProSystem fx® Engagement for all of our audits, and CCH® ProSystem fx® Tax for our tax preparation and compliance needs. I would say we’re very much a Wolters Kluwer firm. James McNeeley Principal, Maner Costerisan Currently, the firm is migrating from the CCH® ProSystem fx® Suite to the CCH Axcess cloud-based solution, starting with CCH Axcess™ Document. According to McNeeley, the move to CCH Axcess Document was not difficult, and the solution was very easy to learn. The actual switchover was very quick. With the data analysis tool, they can tell when the data is ready to go. Once our data was ready, it was effortless. They just ran it through their system, and it was available to us right away. We did full training sessions for our staff, which had us running efficiently in no time. If you had to, though, you could get someone familiar with CCH Axcess Document with just a few minutes of explanation. Cloud-based solutions provide employees with better work-life balance Today’s professionals want to be able to achieve a lot in their careers, without neglecting family and home life. McNeeley explained how their move to CCH Axcess may help them compete for top employees in an ever tightening labor market for accounting professionals. The economy seems like it’s really opened up over the last year or so. When I talk to the staff, they tell me they’re contacted by three to four headhunters a week offering them new opportunities. So anything we can do to improve their lifestyles helps us compete. In addition, the firm decided to move to the cloud and help people have a better work-life balance. We decided to move to the cloud because we have more and more people in our firm that are looking for a better work-life balance. We have a number of nontraditional schedules for people that want to spend less time in the office yet still do the work and meet their responsibilities. With remote capabilities, cloud solutions like CCH Axcess are just a better fit. They’re not dependent on bandwidth or VPN connections.
  2. 2. All trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners. Join us on at © 2015 CCH Incorporated and its affiliates. All rights reserved. Common client database reduces manual data entry and saves time The firm also sees great value in the common core database within CCH Axcess. Right now, when the firm adds a new client, the information must be keyed into six or more software packages. With CCH Axcess, when client information changes, administrative staff will be able to simply update the information once and the change will show up consistently across the firm. Efficient workflows make work more productive and enjoyable Anytime Maner Costerisan can cut down on manual data entry and paper handling, productivity improves. Both the CCH ProSystem fx Suite and CCH Axcess are designed to integrate, creating more efficient workflows within the firm, saving time and contributing to higher workplace satisfaction and more time away from the office. Employees appreciate the ability to work more efficiently on tasks that matter most. Several years ago, I took on the task of converting our tax function to a fully paperless system. We implemented CCH® ProSystem fx® Document and CCH® ProSystem fx® Scan with AutoFlow Technology. That absolutely made us more efficient in preparing 1040 returns. Paper comes in and gets scanned by an admin staff person. Accountants and partners never handle paper. Everything is on screen now. Improved efficiency means more time for other firm priorities, whether that includes finishing more tax returns or focusing more energy on business development. By automating the tax workflow, McNeeley reduced the time interns spent helping on 1040s by 20%, enabling them to take on special projects. Mobile functionality puts information at accountants’ fingertips The functionality of the CCH Axcess app is also pretty cool. I’m impressed with how easy it is to access most everything. We host several client lunches and meetings, and we don’t really know what direction the client will take the conversation. Sometimes they just want to keep it light and other times they have real business questions or tax planning issues. It’s nice that I can pull up a tax return on my phone or tablet through the app and immediately answer their questions. Maner Costerisan is moving all of its Wolters Kluwer products to the cloud. “I am excited about getting CCH ProSystem fx Tax and CCH ProSystem fx Practice Management on CCH Axcess,” said McNeeley, noting that CCH Axcess Practice will get implemented next. I think it will be a big benefit to our staff to have mobile access to enter their time. We mandate that staff enter their time daily, and our audit staff can be out of the office for weeks at a time. Cloud-based CCH Axcess, with its mobile capability, will let them log in from the field, and that will be very handy. Integration between CCH Software and CCH® IntelliConnect Browser Search helps speed up the Tax Prep Process In preparing over 3,500 tax returns annually, questions will undoubtedly come up. The professional staff at Maner Costerisan rely on CCH IntelliConnect and the CCH IntelliConnect Browser Search feature to streamline the tax preparation and review process by finding the answers to those questions as quickly as possible before moving on in the return. There’s no doubt that questions arise all the time especially when our staff is preparing an extreme volume of tax returns. With the integration between CCH Axcess and CCH IntelliConnect Browser Search, the staff can immediately find an answer by clicking on CCH IntelliConnect Browser Search from the CCH Axcess Dashboard. Just like that, they instantly have the answer and can then continue completing the return. Additionally, the staff gains a level of confidence by doing the research themselves and coming up with an answer. It’s empowering to them and helpful to the firm if they can figure out what to do or how to treat a particular situation by using the tools that we’ve provided them with. CCH IntelliConnect helps us do that. 10/15 2014-0418-1 For More Information 800-739-9998