Sqrl Is a ‘Digital Hunter-Gatherer’ for Accounting Firms
How Sqrl Works
In accounting firms, influencing the flow of client information – how and when it comes in – is called managing “the front door,” said John Venturella, chairman of tax services at Ohio-based CPA firm Clark Schaefer Hackett, which is among the Sqrl pilot users.
“The front door is paramount to efficiency,” he added. “The traditional way for an accounting professional to respond to trickling-in information is by manually tracking each item’s arrival, then repeatedly following up with the client to gauge how and when the rest will arrive. Minding the front door is time-consuming and inefficient.”
Sqrl efficiently manages the front door by allowing users to create, track, auto-remind, and gather requests for information from clients and groups of people, Watson said.
“Think of it as an online, fully automated PBC (provided by client) or tax organizer,” he added. “A user would log in and create a request for information from their client. The request is sent to a client or clients, specifies a specific due date, and outlines a series of specific items needed, like rows in a web form.”
Once the request is sent, the client receives a “friendly, well-formatted e-mail,” according to Watson. In one click, the client can open a secure browser window with a punch list of questions from his or her accountant.
“In that window, the client can answer questions and drag and drop files for each item,” he said. “If the client only answers some of the questions or doesn’t open the request at all, the system will send a friendly reminder in a few days. And only when the client provides a response for every item in the request, the accountant gets a friendly notification that all of their items are complete.
“Sqrl replaces the ten-point-bulleted e-mail or the massive Excel PBC traded back and forth via e-mail and automates the tracking, collecting, and reminding,” Watson noted. “Real, valuable, otherwise billable hours by everyone – from staff to partner – are spent buried in e-mails to gather documents and information to perform work. We give accountants that time back.”
He added that other portal solutions also house data and files on the Cloud, but they don’t solve the problem of getting that information from the client into the portal.
“That’s where we see the true pain-point for accountants, and it’s that process that Sqrl specifically solves,” Watson said.
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