Clients are looking for a tech-savvy tax professional, especially when it comes to digital communications and cyber security.
That’s according to a survey of more than 3,000 American taxpayers by Intuit. When it comes to how they want to communicate with their tax professional, the survey found that more than half – 52% – prefer all their communication with their accountant to be digital. Perhaps, this means no more office visits or phone calls.
This is further confirmation of the preference for digital processes as 66 percent of taxpayers expect to come to the office to provide signatures and secure their signatures electronically. In fact, 72 percent of taxpayers said they would save time by doing so. However, not just any electronic signature can be: 57% said they would find out if their digital signature method was not IRS compliant.
It shows the increase in taxpayers’ preferences for digital options when it comes to documents. The survey found that 72% like to keep a list of documents they need to file and 74% want an automated message from their tax professional on next steps.
This emphasis on technology has also focused on cyber security. The survey found that 86 percent of taxpayers expect their tax professionals to store their documents and information with industry-standard security measures such as encrypted servers with enterprise firewalls. Meanwhile, 74% of them expect that when transferring information, it will be done securely. This hunger for security isn’t just for tax time – 73% said they need a secure place to upload documents year-round.
In addition to technology, the research shows that people generally want more strategic advice from their tax advisors and are willing to pay more if it yields positive results. Seven out of nine taxpayers strongly support audit protection, stating that they favor an organization that provides it versus one that does not.
“At Intuit, to better serve tax professionals, we believe it’s important to understand what matters most to them — and that’s their customers,” said Dustin Kroeger, ProTax Group vice president of marketing, in a statement. “This research provides valuable insights for clients not only about the services they receive from their proms, but also about how they work with their professionals. When we gain these insights, we can work together to deliver better financial outcomes for clients.”