Read the full review of Thomson Reuters UltraTax CS at www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/12192190.
When Peter Gurian thinks there’s got to be a better way to do things, he’s usually right. After spending several years with a Big Four firm and with a private company, the CPA decided he’d had enough of the bureaucratic headaches and started his own firm, Gurian PLLC, in the Dallas suburb of Addison, Texas.
Prior to receiving his accounting degrees from Florida State and St. Leo University, he served in the Air Force as an emergency communications and command & control specialist. The experience would greatly impact his outlook when it comes to managing not only business communications, but keeping on top of all of the data that can affect his firm and his clients’ businesses. In fact, his career focus was initially on implementing business technologies.
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Before UltraTax CS
Over the next decade, Peter built a strong practice specializing in helping small businesses and Americans living overseas with taxes, audit services, bookkeeping and payroll services. These client services soon turned into specialties that attracted military service members and contractors around the world, as well as restaurants and high net worth individuals.
The firm was growing, but he wasn’t satisfied with the mashup of software that served as its foundation, especially when it came to tax workflow, one of the pillars of his firm. Over the years, they had implemented off-the-shelf systems for bookkeeping, and programs from different vendors for tax compliance, payroll and practice management. He knew there had to be a better way.
Choosing a Tax System
“We were drowning. We needed systems that truly worked together, not just through import and export functions,” Gurian said. “When I looked at UltraTax CS, it had exceptional compliance and calculation capabilities, but most importantly for our workflow, it offered seamless integration with the other programs for our other client services and firm management.” UltraTax CS is part of Thomson Reuters’ CS Suite of professional accounting, tax and practice management systems.
“UltraTax has so many features in it that save us a lot of time throughout the work day,” he added. “UltraTax is fast to work across multiple clients, without having to stop working. With the other programs, so many processes would waste a few minutes every time we had to do it, such as simply moving from one client file to another, multiplied by 10 or 20 times a day. That really adds up.”
A Major Productivity Boost
In the three years the firm has been using UltraTax and other programs in the CS Suite, Gurian says that his firm’s productivity has increased dramatically. With a total staff of 9 full-time and two interns, the firm prepares nearly 500 returns per year, mostly corporations and partnerships.
“For our business returns, UltraTax makes the process very streamlined and easy, since we also do the accounting for most of them. At the end of the year, after reviewing a client’s financials, it just takes the push of one button and the system populates their return with the data. The system has allowed us to create detailed workflows and checklists that optimize tax preparation and other projects.”
He says the result has been a noticeable boost in profitability, since they charge the same for the returns as before, since it is still worth the same to the client, but now it only takes a matter of minutes to prepare them.
“When I was in the Air Force, our focus was on command and control, and everything was checklist driven. That structure and the efficiencies it builds into a system are built into my DNA now, and UltraTax and the CS Suite give me that same level of control over my practice.”
See inside April 2016
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