Joe Bourque EA on TaxDome 'It’s All Automated—This Is What I Love'

Read how TaxDome has enabled an Enrolled Agent (and Fire Captain!) to grow his accounting practice over 30% this year while working two jobs. With TaxDome, Joe was able to save time and automate processes to focus on growing his firm.

Welcome to #TestimonialThursday! This week’s interview is with Joe Bourque, the founder of JB Taxes, who has been preparing taxes for over 6 years. As his client base grew, he was looking for a software solution that would save him time & provide an easy-to-use platform to communicate with his clients.

Joe Bourque

Why did you choose TaxDome?

TaxDome was a godsend for me this year. For the previous five years, I’d been using the document storage system that came with my tax preparation package, and the potential for what it offered was limited. I was looking for something more. I started shopping around, googling, and asking others in the industry. I came across OfficeTools, Canopy, and a small handful of other companies. TaxDome popped up, and I joined the live demo and did a trial; I did the same with Canopy. These were my two contenders. I felt TaxDome was more user-friendly: I was able to pick it up a lot faster than Canopy. And TaxDome had more of what I was looking for to offer.

My client base has grown quite a bit, and I knew it would grow even more this year (it did by 30 percent). I needed something to help manage my workflow and client communications, plus a powerful client portal. I wanted something my clients could use without any difficulty. When I was playing around, I saw how easy it would be for my clients to use (and this is a great feature—I could see what the client sees at any time) and that I’d be able to help them if any questions came up.

Aside from the major features, it’s also the little things. I could build a website (I didn’t have one), and I didn’t have to go buy one from a separate vendor: This was a selling point for me!

Joe Bourque

TaxDome has unlimited storage; document storage system I used before has a storage limitation. Especially when clients take pictures, this eats up storage immediately. I’m not one to clutter up cloud space with nonsense, but having the unlimited option and not having to worry about managing storage space is a great load off my shoulders.

TaxDome offered a lot more functionality—and for a reasonable price. My previous document storage system integrates very well with my tax preparation package, but to be honest, this matters a lot less than I thought it would. My clients didn’t know how to use it or had trouble. I have not had a single client ask a single question about how to use TaxDome—it just works. I send them to my website, they click on “Client Portal,” create their own account if I haven’t imported them already, then upload documents. I get email notifications that documents are in—and that’s it. Not having to deal with managing this for my clients is a huge time-saver, and hand over fist, I’ll be a client for many years!

Have you used other practice-management systems before?

I haven’t used a dedicated practice-management system before, only a document portal.

I use Drake to prepare tax returns, and for each client, you can manage their status. I customized this in my Drake software and used it for my workflow, but it’s fairly limited. I was making it work, but TaxDome has made it much easier.

What’s been the feedback from your clients?

“User-friendly” is the most common feedback I receive. They love it. My brother-in-law lives in Canada, and I was on the phone talking to him, and like all the other clients who have given me feedback, he said, “This is really great and easy to use.”

The handful of clients I did ask proactively all said it was easy to use, and the fact that there have been no complaints or questions is the most important thing. No news is good news. With prior solutions, 20 percent of my clients were calling and having difficulty—none of that now.

I have not had a single client ask a single question about how to use TaxDome—it just works. — Joe Bourque on using TaxDome.

Are you using pipelines or any of the task-management tools?

When you made the organizers customizable, this was a big feature for me. I made an organizer that has about 45 questions, which has helped me tremendously. I linked it to my pipeline, so when a client goes into the correct pipeline stage, the organizer is created automatically.

It’s all automated—this is what I love. All my virtual clients complete the organizers, and this has been a big time-saver for me.

I couldn’t use TaxDome to its fullest this year as I am still transitioning. Now that I see how powerful these tools are, I’m going to make more organizer templates for different client types and create new pipelines to continue to get more and more organized

With the pipelines, I really don’t have to worry. This frees up my time, so I can focus more on my clients and getting the work done, rather than babysitting a bunch of small tasks. I’m a sole proprietor, and I don’t have any employees, so the automations are the additional help I need. TaxDome is my office manager, my biller, my workflow, my email—it handles it all.

Has it been a big learning curve?

Not at all. I tinkered with Canopy. They gave me a 14-day trial, and I felt the learning curve was a lot higher.

If I didn’t know something in TaxDome, I used the help button in the upper-right corner, and I could type in my query right there. In addition, the help section and the step-by-step onboarding tools are very well laid out. The content reads well and is easy to follow. I had no issues to follow.

TaxDome is my office manager, my biller, my workflow, my email—it handles it all. — Joe Bourque on using our system.

Do you work remotely or in an office?

I’m half and half between brick-and-mortar and virtual. I’m a tax preparer as a second job; I’m a full-time fire captain (and also a paramedic) with my fire department, and I got into taxes about six years ago. I completed my enrolled agent certification last year. I started preparing my friends and family’s taxes, and my business has been growing. I have a home office for clients who come to me, I visit some clients in person if they are within a certain radius, and I have a lot of virtual clients (this part of my business has obviously grown with Covid).

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m really happy with making the decision to use TaxDome this year. The feedback from my clients has been very positive. I am a paperless office, and having an easy-to-use secure way to access client documents at any time has been a big selling point for me. I don’t have to be a personal assistant for my clients anymore. I’ll be sticking with TaxDome for a long time!