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Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Fuel Productivity and Profitability in the Cloud with CCH Axcess™ Tax

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Sullivan and Gannon, LLC needed a way to access client data from anywhere, at any time, instead of being tied to the office. Solution: The firm migrated from CCH® ProSystem fx® Tax, the on-premise version of Wolters Kluwer’s tax preparation and compliance system, to CCH Axcess Tax, their cloud-based software solution. Visit CCHGroup.com/Axcess to learn more.

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Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Fuel Productivity and Profitability in the Cloud with CCH Axcess™ Tax

  1. 1. Tax & Accounting Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Fuel Productivity and Profitability in the Cloud with CCH Axcess™  Tax Case Study: Digital Tax Workflow When you have to be right
  2. 2. Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Fuel Productivity and Profitability in the Cloud with CCH Axcess™ Tax2 When Jonalyn Sullivan and co-founder Laura Gannon founded Sullivan and Gannon, LLC eight years ago, the firm went paperless from the start. “We gather all information and documents from clients upfront and enter the information into CCH®  ProSystem fx® Engagement to get it off of paper and into a digital system within 24 hours. Operating that way has provided us with huge time savings in our work.” — Jonalyn Sullivan, CPA, MST, Principal and Co-Founder, Sullivan and Gannon, LLC So when Wolters Kluwer’s cloud-based tax software became available, the tax, accounting and consulting firm in Chelmsford, Massachusetts made the switch as soon as possible. “We immediately adopted CCH Axcess Tax so that we could have the portability of being in the cloud. We don’t want to be tied to a brick- and-mortar building, and we want to use the software to become even more efficient and effective.” Challenge: Sullivan and Gannon, LLC needed a way to access client data from anywhere, at any time, instead of being tied to the office. Solution: The firm migrated from CCH® ProSystem fx® Tax, the on-premise version of Wolters Kluwer’s tax preparation and compliance system, to CCH Axcess Tax, their cloud-based software solution, to: • Save time on workflow tasks and IT duties • Reduce IT downtime • Eliminate weather-related productivity losses
  3. 3. Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Fuel Productivity and Profitability in the Cloud with CCH Axcess™ Tax 3 Major Benefits as a Result of CCH Axcess™ As the firm goes into its next busy season using CCH Axcess Tax, Sullivan points out why the move is paying off in both the short and long term. Utilizing CCH Axcess the firm is able to: 1. Work and access data from anywhere, at any time, for better client service and productivity. The six staff-member firm can more quickly answer clients’ questions and easily view data when visiting a client. “Having access to the most recent tax files on the fly — whether at home, visiting a client or traveling — is invaluable to us. We can respond to the client inquiries when out of the office, which improves customer service and makes it easier on us.” “When we have a snowstorm in New England, we don’t miss a beat in terms of connecting, and we’re still fully operational. We have much less downtime now that we’re in the cloud.” 2. Save on server costs. The firm still has a server for CCH ProSystem fx Engagement, but hasn’t had to add servers related to CCH Axcess Tax since it is in the cloud. 3. Reduce the number of IT-related tasks and issues. Before the firm moved to CCH Axcess Tax, Sullivan handled all software updates and any IT issues. That meant doing updates manually after hours. Additionally, if something did not work correctly, everyone had to log off, resulting in downtime for the entire firm. Now, with Wolters Kluwer doing the updates automatically overnight, Sullivan personally saves time and eliminates unwanted stress, in addition to eliminating firm downtime entirely. 4. Protect the firm’s reputation and high standard of work. Utilizing CCH Axcess Tax, the firm always uses the most recent software version that addresses current and changing regulations. “We never have to worry if we’re using the most up‑to‑date tax release in the heat of the busy season. We know that Wolters Kluwer automatically updates new releases with anything that has changed.” Jonalyn Sullivan, CPA, MST Principal and Co-Founder Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Chelmsford, Massachusetts
  4. 4. The Power in Peer Relationships The firm is a member of several organizations, including: • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants • Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants • New Hampshire Society of Certified Public Accountants • The National Society of Accountants Sullivan says that it’s very helpful to be active in professional organizations. The firm attends two national conferences a year to see what thought leaders are doing and to preview products. In addition, the firm’s local memberships result in business referrals both to and from the firm. “Another firm might not be a good match for a client and vice versa. In my opinion, networking with peers is necessary. I think you’re doing a disservice if you’re not active, at least locally.” Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Fuel Productivity and Profitability in the Cloud with CCH Axcess™ Tax4 5. Gain efficiencies. The firm uses CCH ProSystem fx Engagement to integrate the trial balance within Engagement with the tax return in CCH Axcess Tax. This allows the firm to gain efficiencies by having changes automatically update the workpapers in both solutions. Additionally, CCH Axcess Tax helps Sullivan and Gannon, LLC reduce time spent on tax returns by automatically calculating forms and schedules for federal, state, county and city entities; providing alerts and diagnostics, and allowing for easy electronic filing. “We’ve always tried to operate in the smartest way possible. Even with CCH Axcess Tax working somewhat differently than CCH ProSystem fx Tax, we continue to save time on each return, and additionally, we are able to eliminate downtime while traveling or during a storm.” 6. Backed up, safe files. Having Wolters Kluwer host the firm’s data helps protects the firm and their clients. The cloud software also provides a built-in risk mitigation plan if anything were to ever happen to the firm’s office. “We would be fully operational immediately, independent of our office location. It’s hard to measure the value of something like that.”
  5. 5. Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Fuel Productivity and Profitability in the Cloud with CCH Axcess™ Tax 5 Implementation Best Practices Sullivan and Gannon, LLC has learned a lot through the migration process and offers the following advice for other firms looking to implement new software. First, examine files to clean them up and see how many to pull into the new software. “It’s important to take the time to look at your files and define exactly how many years you want to bring forward. You don’t need to bring everything with you. We went through our archives so that we only brought along current clients and good, clean files.” Second, take advantage of Wolters Kluwer’s Professional and Client Services Team for training ahead of the software rollout. Third, after you’ve completed the migration, consider additional training. That’s what Sullivan and Gannon, LLC did to help address questions that arose after staff members began working with the new software. Fourth, discuss CCH Axcess Tax during regular meetings. The firm’s staff meets weekly to look at what’s new with each software release, as well as discuss tips and questions from staff members. “Mostly, getting proficient with the software comes from on-the-job training, but as a firm, we review the release notes and highlight components that are key to how we use the software so that everyone knows how to work efficiently.”
  6. 6. Carving Out a Niche Sullivan and Gannon, LLC work in several niche areas, including franchises, dental offices and oil distributors, plus a few more. Becoming an expert in a niche area requires more than having an interest, says Sullivan. “It’s not that easy to go out and get something just because you’re interested. That area might not be a viable market or it might be saturated. Learning about the client’s KPIs allows our firm to understand its local and national needs. We believe this is the only way you can help owners grow, manage and protect their business.” Sullivan and Gannon, LLC Fuel Productivity and Profitability in the Cloud with CCH Axcess™ Tax6 Big Payoffs with Wolters Kluwer Sullivan is absolutely thrilled with the firm’s move to the cloud and is looking forward to the upcoming cloud version of CCH ProSystem fx Engagement. She says that Wolters Kluwer’s software is the best on the market. “CCH Axcess is hands down the best product on the market from a technical perspective. It puts everything in the right place in regards to how you actually fill out a tax form. Because of its technical superiority, the software can handle harder tax returns. Other companies’ software doesn’t say, ‘hey that doesn’t smell right,’ where CCH Axcess does.” “You get what you pay for. People try to downsize on software costs and then end up coming back to Wolters Kluwer because they realize that the other software doesn’t do X, Y or Z that CCH Axcess Tax or CCH ProSystem fx Engagement does.”
  7. 7. When you have to be right © 2016 CCH Incorporated and its affiliates. All rights reserved. Contact information: Wolters Kluwer 2700 Lake Cook Road Riverwoods, IL 60015 United States 800-739-9998 Please visit CCHGroup.com/Axcess for more information. 5/16 2016-1064

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