20 Feb Taxscribe – A True Love Story
Sometimes, if you want to get something right, you have to tear it all down and start from scratch. When things weren’t going as well with Taxscribe as we would have liked we knew we had to pivot. Tearing it down, from the code to the concept, seemed like just the thing to do. We needed a fresh perspective, and starting with a few strategic hires and a redesign seemed like the perfect way to get it. It had to come off the market for a year, which we knew would hurt, but now the Taxscribe Suite is relaunched and yes, we are in love.
TaxScribe is completely redesigned and is now a suite of two applications: BizLink for the taxpayer and BizWorks for our government clients. BizLink is a listing portal, redesigned to be branded as a county resource, even though we still take care of all the hosting and software deployments. BizWorks is a full account management tool, giving clients the ability to review, request more information, and approve Business Personal Property (BPP) filings.
BizLink is a new user experience for the taxpayer. It features a simplified personal property listing form with support for extensions and attachments. There are tool tips and data validation to reduce errors. This is free for the taxpayers of participating counties. With reciprocal links and matching branding to the client, the user experience is seamless and integrated with other services. A taxpayer’s listing information (even across multiple filings) is saved in an account, giving them incentive for long term use.
If you were familiar with previous versions of Taxscribe, some of this is a substantive change. The Taxscribe Suite, for instance, is only available to contracted clients. We moved away from offering these online services to everyone in favor of tailoring them to clients as a specific local resource. Taxpayers can still manage multiple listings through a single user account, but they will have to interact with each county through the dedicated portal.
BizWorks lays the foundation for our workflow application. For BPP listings, it provides an easy review of extensions, filings, and supporting documents. Processing is efficient and, with fewer incoming errors, faster. Even better, BizWorks is a process management tool allowing users to filter filings by status or the person to whom the account is assigned. You can see all the accounts, or focus on only those that need to be completed shortly. Each account can be viewed in detail, along with any attachments submitted.
And then there is my favorite part: We built a dedicated communication channel for each submitted form. This allows taxpayer and tax office questions to function like a text message exchange. Both sides are notified of new communications, and these questions and answers are “sticky” to the associated account. No more digging through paper or emails or misremembered phone calls. A full history of the communication chain is kept and available as needed for support.
We have also made all of the data available to our analytics platform, KNIME. We have several standard reports that we make available, and these can be customized to how the client office sees fit to manage internal processes. However, if you can imagine other data you would like from the pool of online listing information we are happy to help you build those using the KNIME platform, or dive in and customize them yourself (If you haven’t seen KNIME, look out for some of our upcoming courses or find more information at www.tma1.com/KNIME).
Throughout this year, we will be providing updates with new feature announcements for additional form and processing support. We have an aggressive 2017 planned, including new features, form types, and other aspects we think will excite our client community. We are always open to hearing your ideas, and seeing if we can suit your needs. If you haven’t seen the Taxscribe Suite yet, please let us come by and show it off. We think you might fall in love. We certainly did.