The volume of paperwork that goes with tax resolution can put a strain on client relationships—especially when they’re already being bombarded and overwhelmed by the IRS. But Hurwitz Tax Solutions is using Canopy to put clients at ease and make the whole process less stressful.
We chatted with Lewis Hurwitz, owner of Hurwitz Tax Solutions, about why he decided to do tax resolution differently and how it’s affected his practice.
You mentioned that paperwork used to be one of the most stressful parts of tax resolution for your clients. How were you doing collections before?
It used to be that we would send clients this big stack of forms. It was overwhelming for them—and they were already overwhelmed by all the letters and demands for documents from the IRS.
If you want to fix anyone’s tax problem, the paperwork has to be done. But I was sending people a lot of the same forms and requests for documents that the IRS had been sending them. It didn’t feel to them like I was solving any problems, and that was frustrating for both the clients and for me.
How has Canopy changed that process?
It totally changes the way clients interact with the paperwork. It’s a lot more comfortable for them. Instead of making them deal with that big stack of paperwork, I use Canopy’s online client survey to gather the information I need.
Everyone is so computer savvy these days. When my clients sit down to fill out the survey on Canopy, it feels easier. They’re providing the same information—they just don’t have to do it over and over for a dozen different forms. It eliminates a great deal of stress for my clients.
What are some of your favorite things about Collections Workflow?
I love being able to send the survey to the client and letting them prepare it. Collecting client information that way is a huge time saver.
I used to have to explain everything—“don’t bother filling this piece in,” and “this is how you figure national standards.” Inevitably, even after the explanation, I was on the phone constantly answering questions about how much clients could claim for food or what qualifies as sundries. But Canopy takes care of all of that now. A lot of the information is filled in automatically, and the answers to all the standard questions are right there in the software.
What’s your workflow like after the client has filled out the survey?
The software is extremely flexible. All the data from the client survey is already loaded into all the right forms, and the transition from survey to forms is seamless. The software takes care of all the calculations and does the analysis for me. Canopy’s whole collections workflow saves me a tremendous amount of time—easily a third of the total time I was spending on each case.
What kind of large-scale impacts has Canopy had on your practice?
With our recent expansion into the new office, we want to become the go-to tax resolution solution in the Petaluma area, and Canopy gives us a real advantage. Because the client portal makes the whole resolution process much more comfortable for clients, and we can sell that. When you’re competing for market share in a new area, the ability to provide that level of service can make all the difference.
More About Lewis
Lewis Hurwitz has been an Enrolled Agent since 1993. Before becoming a public accountant, Lewis worked as a general program revenue agent for the IRS where he picked up much of his tax resolution expertise.
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