Ignition partners with NAEA

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Ignition, a practice management software provider, recently signed a deal with the National Association of Enrolled Agents as the company marks its 10-year anniversary.

The Australian company, which has U.S. offices in Chicago and Seattle, said Wednesday it has helped professional services firms spark 1.1 million client relationships and transacted $2.7 billion in payments since it was founded in February 2013 in Sydney. CEO Guy Pearson and chief product officer Dane Thomas launched Ignition (then Practice Ignition) to help accounting and bookkeeping firms automate tedious manual processes such as proposal creation, invoicing and eventually payment collection.

The company has raised over $75 million from investors to date to accelerate its growth globally, with one of its main focuses on the U.S. market. Over the years, Ignition has formed strategic partnerships with companies like Stripe, Intuit, Gusto, Xero and Thomson Reuters, and last month, it signed a deal with the NAEA. 

Practice Ignition founders Dane Thomas and Guy Pearson
Ignition founders Guy Pearson (l) and Dane Thomas

Courtesy Practice Ignition

The NAEA partnership comes after Ignition reached a similar partnership last year with the National Association of Tax Professionals. "We partnered with NATP last year, around the same time this year with NAEA," said Matt Kanas, managing director at Ignition, Americas. "It's all about how we can deliver that knowhow in terms of client engagements, looking at how their membership can use our customized templates for enrolled agents so, if they were to join Ignition, get up and running very quickly. We have the work that they would typically do within that template, with pricing against it, so they can quickly get an engagement out the door, which is critical."

Under the partnership, Ignition is joining the NAEA's strategic partners program, which connects companies with influential tax professionals within the NAEA's 8,000 members. NAEA members will get access to Ignition's client engagement system, webinars and CPE-approved education on tax topics, a customized NAEA Letter of Engagement template and Ignition's certification program.

"We're going to be hosting a variety of education through webinars and content to help them as they think about not only tax prep, but perhaps moving beyond that into advisory," said Kanas. "Working with a lot of U.S. associations, whether they're state societies as we're starting to do or partners like Thomson Reuters — we work with them on their Practice Forward initiative, and with Intuit on the ProConnect Tax side — is there seems to be an unknown in the workflow for tax prep especially."

He believes tax pros need to have a better workflow set up with client engagements, proposals and automatic collection of fees after they complete a tax return. "We know that 94% of tax preparers are chasing their payments at the end of the tax year," said Kanas. 

Tax preparers are hoping this tax season will go more smoothly than last year now that the IRS has more funding to spend on taxpayer service and technology.

"It seems like this year is a turnaround," said Kanas. "The past couple of years have been the neverending tax seasons, the worst tax seasons in history. We're optimistic that all the proactiveness the IRS has put in is going to really help for a much smoother and more normal tax season and a return to what we saw pre-COVID. Our fingers are crossed where we're sitting."

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