Last year, H&R Block announced it would aim to cut out paper across its 470 offices nationwide by tax time 2019.
With June marking the full completion of H&R Block’s transition to Sage HandiSoft, H&R Block director of operations Joe Abouzaid said the network has now reduced paper consumption and usage by 90 per cent.
“The main motivator was customer service,” Mr Abouzaid told Accountants Daily.
“Going paperless allows us, as a business, to better serve our clients in real time. The initiative allows our clients more flexibility, as they are able to provide their documents to us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are therefore not limited by office opening hours.
“The move means that our clients no longer have to physically walk into our office to provide paperwork, and they can safely upload it to us via our secure client portal. It also reduces the risk of emailing paperwork.”
Mr Abouzaid also said the paperless push would help provide flexibility for clients who move interstate or visit other offices by allowing their documents to be accessed readily.
The decision to go paperless ahead of tax time 2019 will see H&R save an estimated 28 million pieces of paper — or 140 tonnes — by December 2019.
The move will also see the network, which had previously been heavily reliant on paper, reduce its carbon footprint of an estimated 10,000 trees over a three-year period.
“Moving to ‘paper-light’ demonstrates, to our clients and employees, our commitment as a company to being sustainable, modern and efficient. It also enables us to unlock more of the opportunities for automation and AI into the future,” Mr Abouzaid said.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.