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TaxAudit.com uses their intranet to take employee productivity to the next level

logo - taxaudit.com
  • Employees
    <250 Employees
  • Vertical
    Financial Services & Insurance
  • Locations
    North America

About

TaxAudit.com, part of TaxResources, Inc., offers tax audit defense and representation services for IRS and state audits, serving over 8 million members as the leading audit firm in the US. Serving individual taxpayers, tax professionals, accountants, associations and small businesses, TaxAudit operate from offices based in Folsom, CA, to provide services across North America. taxaudit.com

Challenges

In order to support customers and clients, TaxAudit.com representatives require in-depth knowledge of tax law and significant experience interpreting IRS and state agency requirements and requests. The organization historically relied heavily on email to distribute updates and information, with documents being saved across multiple drives, networks or desktops. The result was significant version control issues, alongside significant network, storage, and support costs. In addition, the dispersed nature of employees meant individuals had difficulty working effectively together.

Key Benefits

  • Centralized storage and access of critical documents
  • Improved version control
  • Faster searches and reliability
  • Fewer emails and reduced storage and management requirements
  • Improved teamwork and knowledge sharing across the business
  • Improved employee engagement and internal communications

Leading tax audit defense company TaxAudit.com has improved document management and searches with Interact, saving employees time and increasing productivity.

People can now get what they need quickly, rather than searching 18 different network drives and phoning around to see if the document is still current. We save so much time with Interact, and that translates directly into a more efficient, productive business, and a better experience for our clients.
Matthew Estes, Director of Strategy, Taxaudit.Com

Every year, millions of Americans get a letter from the IRS or their state tax agency. In most cases, they are asked to clarify some information on their tax return, explain an apparent anomaly, or provide paperwork such as receipts or other evidence to support expenses claimed. While there are a wide range of enquiries that the IRS can make, most people see any IRS letter as an ‘audit’, and the process can generate significant stress for the individuals and companies involved.

Supporting clients through a tax audit requires in-depth knowledge of tax law and significant experience of interpreting IRS and state agency requirements and requests. For nearly three decades, TaxAudit.com has been providing the highly specialized tax skills and experience clients need to navigate the audit process in the simplest, fastest way, and with the least possible stress.

Matthew Estes, Director of Strategy at TaxAudit.com, says, “Our clients can pre-pay for a membership that will protect them in the event of an audit, or they can engage us for full service support at a higher cost if they need to because they aren’t covered. As soon as they get a letter from a taxation agency, we kick into action to resolve the issue, which takes a huge amount of weight off their shoulders.”

To help clients through their audits, TaxAudit.com needs to keep up with frequent changes in tax law, and the latest interpretations of the federal and tax courts. “In the past, we sent out hundreds of emails updating teams and it was difficult to ensure everyone was reading them,” says Matthew. “Those who did read the mail downloaded attached files to their local or network drives, increasing our network and storage requirements and support costs by orders of magnitude.”

With critical client and tax information shared by email, version control was also an issue for the company’s critical tax and procedure documents. “Because people downloaded files to their local drives, it was difficult to keep everyone up to date with the most recent changes,” says Matthew. “Our success depends on staying current, so we needed a centralized way to store and update critical documents for our teams.”

As an additional challenge, TaxAudit.com is a distributed organization with nearly 200 employees and three locations. “We have groups spread over three offices and a number of home offices,” says Matthew. “We needed to get distributed teams working together in ways that add value for our Members.”

The latest information at employees’ fingertips

To overcome its internal communications and collaboration challenges, TaxAudit.com decided to implement Interact’s intranet technology. “We reviewed several intranet platforms, but Interact was the one that best suited our needs,” says Matthew. “It had all the features we needed as standard, making it fast and easy to deploy, and the search and version control features are excellent, and very easy to use.”

With a small team of dedicated content managers uploading and updating content on the intranet, distributed team members now have a single point of access to all the information they need. “People can now get what they need quickly, rather than searching all over the place,” says Matthew. “We save so much time with Interact, and that translates directly into a more efficient, productive business, and a better experience for our clients.”

The fact that all documents are stored centrally ensures that everyone in the business can keep up-to-date with the latest changes. “When you send out information by email, there are always some people who don’t get it – like new employees for example,” says Matthew. “Now, with Interact, everyone has the information they need to work effectively.”

We reviewed several intranet platforms, but Interact was the one that best suited our needs. It had all the features we needed as standard, making it fast and easy to deploy, and the search and version control features are excellent, and very easy to use. We now have more than 80% daily engagement on the intranet and counting.
Matthew Estes, Director of Strategy, Taxaudit.Com

Working together for clients

TaxAudit.com is also using its intranet to promote cohesion and teamwork across distributed teams. “We’ve built manager groups where team leaders can discuss their issues and break down traditional barriers between different parts of the company,” says Matthew. “We are also seeing more and more people, including the CEO, blogging regularly, and there’s been a push on using discussion forums to promote bottom-up communication and feedback.”

In addition to this major employee engagement program, the social features of Interact are being used by increasing numbers of employees to share ideas and best practices, and even to organize social events. “At the moment, we are promoting our Core Values, which is all about who we are as a company and what we stand for,” says Matthew. “Each month, we showcase a different value and there are all kinds of events and activities around it. The intranet is a great forum for getting people involved.”

Another feature of the intranet that is promoting teamwork and improving overall performance is the Rewards system. “We’ve found that the rewards tool is a hugely successful way to increase employee engagement,” says Matthew. “We’ve seen a ton of spontaneous altruism, with employees giving colleagues “WOW Points” for volunteering for projects or going beyond the call of duty,” he adds. “We also did our bit, investing around $40,000 dollars in prizes to make the initiative work. We now have more than 80% daily engagement on the intranet and counting.”

Increasing operational efficiency

The intranet is also helping TaxAudit.com to simplify its IT and reduce operating costs. “With everything stored in one place, we have fewer emails flying around, which reduces infrastructure, storage and support costs,” says Matthew. “We also use webpage formats rather than attaching documents to intranet pages, which means we get fewer downloads and fewer documents stored on local drives.”

Delivering continual improvements

The ability to analyze employee activity on the intranet is helping TaxAudit.com to continually improve its homepage and content.

“It’s great to be able to see who’s reading what, and who isn’t reading what they should be,” says Matthew. “If people aren’t looking at something important, like the CEO’s blog, we can make it more prominent on the homepage, tweak the content, or take other measures to ensure that the content gets the attention and coverage we need.”

Based on insight from the Analytics feature, TaxAudit.com is currently redesigning its homepage. “We want to take engagement from more than 80% to 100% in the shortest possible time,” says Matthew. “To do that, we need the right content in the right place at the right time, and the analytics from our intranet is helping us get there.”

We’ve built manager groups where team leaders can discuss their issues and break down traditional barriers between different parts of the company,” says Matthew. “We are also seeing more and more people, including the CEO, blogging regularly, and discussion forums will be the next big push for us.
Matthew Estes, Director of Strategy, Taxaudit.Com

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