Mr. Spock Still Hates Your Audit and Tax Workflow!

spock-logic

As I was researching my blog for this week, I can across one that I wrote two years ago that feels even more important now than it was back then. Regardless if you saw the post back then, I firmly believe it is once again worth a read…

Mr. Spock is one of the most beloved characters in science fiction. Over the past 50 years generations of people worldwide have been introduced, and become huge fans of the half human – half Vulcan.

Spock is famous for questioning the dating habits of Captain James Kirk and his ability to irritate Dr. Bones McCoy. He is also known for his love of logic. “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end” according to Spock.

It is for this reason that Spock hates your tax and audit workflow. He would take one look at it and conclude: “It is not logical.” Here’s why:

Most workflow tools for CPAs are very good at defining and documenting activities. You can identify the tasks that need to occur in a process in the order you want them to happen. The problem is the work process that you set up doesn’t “flow”. There is no business logic to govern and truly automate the process. The users must make decisions and take actions that should occur automatically.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say your tax process consists of 25 steps. Let’s also stipulate that five of those steps are relevant only if you are e-filing. A good workflow should recognize which “route” the specific situation requires, and then automatically apply the logic to present only the pertinent steps.

Business logic is the most important, and most overlooked, component of workflow. It is the key to improving the productivity of your team and reducing compliance risk.

This is the logical place to start.