Meet Randy Joseph and Deva Hetrick, co-founders of Joseph & Hetrick, LLC. In 1988 Randy opened her own tax firm and successfully ran it until 2011 when she decided to sell the practice. Initially intent on retiring and focusing on art, community activism, and spending time with her family, Randy’s plans were upended by a new plan: her daughter, Deva, decided she wanted to learn the family trade.
In 2013, the mother-daughter team joined forces and co-founded their new firm of which they are both partners. The duo has found that their unique blend of experience, entrepreneurship, and trust has allowed them to succeed. Currently, they are focusing on hiring and scaling their business — with TaxDome. In 2021, their goal is to grow revenues by 50%.
We asked Deva what led them to this lofty goal and how they plan on meeting it:
“This fall  we thought a lot about our growth goals, we decided to hire an admin and switch to TaxDome. We really wanted to up our game with all the remote technology. So we’re in the process of getting rid of a lot of old software that now everything can be done within TaxDome.”
Scaling a team
Hiring new staff may seem challenging. For years, you’ve had processes in place. But hiring a new person means reconsideration or even rebuilding workflows you already had.
Joseph & Hetrick was lucky to hire Linden who has turned into a true team member with their own ideas and responsibilities.
“When initially hired an admin to move files from Dropbox and ShareFile into TaxDome. But once they got into TaxDome they’ve helped us develop better processes, automations and messaging within TaxDome. We love that Linden is able to message our clients in TaxDome, so people are getting to know all three of us as a team.”
Involving Linden into developing processes around TaxDome was a real game changer. Watch Randy and Deva talking about them hiring and onboarding new staff:
Eliminating excessive apps & going fully digital
Randy admits that their growth has been successful because they are an intergenerational firm. She didn’t feel as comfortable with new technology, but Deva led the charge.
When firms start to embrace technology in their practice, they tend to sign up to a lot of different apps to accomplish their business needs. With TaxDome being an all-in-one solution, Joseph & Hetrick were able to reduce cost and app overload by eliminating many tools they no longer need.
“We got rid of ShareFile, Dropbox, Zoho, and Right Signature. Zoho was our old CRM, ShareFile was the client portal, and Dropbox for our internal business files. It was crazy. Now it’s much more simplified with TaxDome.”
TaxDome also allowed the team to finally convert to a 100% paperless firm. It took Joseph & Hetrick 7 years to finally get rid of papers. Randy explains:
“I converted to paperless 10 years ago. When you get started, it’s still a lot of paper around. So when we started this firm together, I was determined to not drag Deva back into the old ways, but pull us into the new ways with her help. We’ve become pretty paperless just by cobbling together different tools.”
Growing their client base
Utilizing modern technology has not only impacted the firm’s internal operations, but has garnered great feedback from their clients. Millennials want (expect) a great user experience.
“A huge part of our client base are software developers and people in the tech industry in Seattle. We work with a lot of employees of Amazon, Microsoft, as well as other tech startups. We wanted to make sure that we were at the level that our clients were at. And it’s a badge of honor or pride that we’re wearing now.”
Many new clients come to Joseph & Hetrick by referral, and their quick and streamlined onboarding process makes a huge impression on clients. Deva recalls:
“I recently onboarded a guy who lives in another state. He was trying to decide if he wanted to stick with his local person. When he decided to go with us, and we onboarded him an hour later, he said, ‘Wow, just using TaxDome alone makes me happy that I switched to your firm’. I think that way clients feel they are going to be taken care of.”
Automating client communication
We asked Randy and Deva about the worst thing about tax season. And their answer was — broken client communication.
“We were at a certain point when we had a lot of clients in the heart of tax season and didn’t have the time to inform them of what was going on behind the scenes. One of the worst emails or calls we would get was “What’s the status of my tax return?” Because you know that person is sitting there worrying about it.”
Deva was obsessed with keeping clients in the know of the status. As a result, the firm got stuck in their growth as they were giving too much personal attention to their clients.
“I hated the idea of clients not knowing. We have around 250 clients right now, and we love to give personal attention. With automated messages and emails in TaxDome, we feel really comfortable with it. It’s one of the first times that we’re onboarding a lot of new clients every week.”
Joseph & Hetrick automated their communication with a blend of automated emails, messages and organizers:
- For new clients they send an automated welcome email and message asking to upload their prior year tax return
- They send a welcome gift to clients after their onboarding (with an automated task created for Linden)
- They send organizers to collect date of birth and other data instead of calling them to ask about it
- They assign tasks to clients and have them check off the box, so the team knows when they’re done with their request
- When clients finish uploading, automove triggers automated emails inform them that the firm has received it and will start reviewing
- When the team e-files the return, an automated email is sent to the client letting them know
Watch more automation tricks from Joseph & Hetrick LLC:
With Inbox+ and Secure Messages, Joseph & Hetrick LLC keeps all client communication in TaxDome. Instead of constantly sifting through hundreds of email threads in Gmail or Outlook, the team now has quick access to communications for the whole project.
The co-founders are convinced that a modern practice needs streamlined technologies to make money, attract clients, and provide a really good experience for clients. You can’t run a business & make money the old way anymore.
Help your firm improve client experience and grow revenue with TaxDome.
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