National tax and accounting network H&R Block is shaking up its internal processes to make way for a paperless environment and more automated services before tax time 2019.
H&R Block plans for automation, paperless rollout
H&R Block aims to cut paper usage by 97 per cent across its 470 offices, and expects to be three-quarters of the way there by July next year.
It’s also looking to further automate its bread and butter service offering, income tax preparation. H&R Block announced a partnership with Sage earlier this week to kick off that process.
H&R Block’s offices and client services are heavily reliant on paper at this stage. In face-to-face meetings related to income tax, clients are often handed paper log books, envelopes for receipt storage, and brochures for referral partners.
“We have had a lot of clients saying they wish they could send us documents,” director of operations for H&R Block, Joseph Abouzaid, told Accountants Daily.
Client communications and marketing have historically been heavily paper-based, including reminder letters to visit H&R Block at tax time. For about two years, the network has been reforming this strategy, manifesting in more text messages and emails to clients, alongside major television campaigns spearheaded by advertising heavyweights Saatchi & Saatchi.
H&R Block joins a long line of large networks looking to automate and digitise basic elements of their compliance-centric offerings. Mid-tier firm BDO announced a digital transformation project late last year for its audit services, and EY marked plans to up its use of robotics and automation in its tax business.