[IMGCAP(1)]Well, it’s been almost a year since I first blogged about the e-filing mandate. With the 2010 tax season officially over, I’m curious how it went for you? Was it as bad as you thought? Maybe it inspired you to make other technology improvements to your practice? Good or bad, we all had to go through it together…so let’s share our stories and help each other out as we approach year end and another tax season.

I’ll start by sharing a story told to me by a CPA I recently met. In his first year of e-filing, he reported great success. In fact, he couldn't stop raving about how smoothly it went overall…despite a small handful of issues. Because he had such an easy time the first year out of the gate, I asked him why he hadn’t tried e-filing in the past. His response was not surprising: “My peers weren’t doing it, so I didn’t feel the need to either.” The old “if-it-ain’t-broke” explanation. I told him it may be time to look to some new peers.

The bottom line is that if something adds value to your firm—that is, if a certain technology or process improves efficiency—then something really was “broke” somewhere. Sticking to old ways of doing business because others are clinging to traditional methods is not a good excuse. Besides, now more than ever, there are so many resources to help firms move forward and into the highly efficient technology age.

I can’t remember a time when there have been so many CPAs (a true uprising) who openly express wanting to help other firms with technology and move them forward with paperless processes. Yet, many of the older professionals don’t ask for help or guidance. I’m not sure if it’s fear of the unknown or a set-in-my-ways mindset, but regardless of the reason, change will continue to come…and come fast. You don’t want to be left behind.

It’s no big mystery why some firms are losing clients and others are reporting significant growth. And you can bet that the firms growing are those that are changing with the times—adopting cloud-based technologies, using social media, brainstorming for innovative ways to serve clients, and overall keeping ahead of the change curve.

I can tell you that as one of those CPAs always looking for ways to improve, my firm has grown 400 percent in the past three years. If you’ve experienced little to no growth, something is broken and it may be time to reach out (way out of your comfort zone) and start asking questions. I assure you that there are plenty of professionals who want to help and can show you some pretty cool stuff that will put your firm on the path to growth. Let us help you.

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. She can be reached at www.newvisioncpagroup.com.