The result? A streamlined, standardized, and simplified K-1 process.
As someone who’s spent much of her career in both producer and recipient roles, Geralyn Hurd, tax strategy and transformation leader at Crowe, understands the challenges each side faces. Early in her career as a partnership tax practitioner, she spent long hours organizing several stacks of sheets into K-1 packets. Later on, she helped large institutional investors decipher their piles of K-1 packets.
Geralyn saw the practices involved with K-1 production evolve over the past three decades – but not across the board, and not nearly enough. Over that time, processes remained slow, labor-intensive, and paper-based. Her experiences led her to a crucial insight: The process could work better for everyone if it were standardized and largely automated.
The quest for a better K-1 process motivated Geralyn and the Crowe tax team to develop digital solutions that were designed to optimize the experience for all parties involved – producers, recipients, and investors. A decade-long evolution in product development resulted in the Crowe K-1 Advantage suite, which facilitates fast and seamless production, transmission, and reading of K-1 packets.
Standardization and innovation aren’t terms that most people associate with each other. One is about instituting a uniform way of performing a task or process, and the other is about using intelligence, creativity, and problem-solving to bring something new into existence.
But standardization and innovation go hand-in-hand in many cases. Without the former, the latter frequently wouldn’t work. For instance, an innovative new computing device with unprecedented memory and processing power wouldn’t be that useful for most people if it didn’t have a QWERTY keyboard arrangement, which was established by early typewriters in the late 1800s.
Similarly, any advanced technology solution that attempts to improve the K-1 process will have to solve for the issue of standardization. The problem is that when it comes to K-1s, the standards aren’t always clear, particularly with 15 different legal entities receiving packets.
The Crowe K-1 Advantage suite solves two challenges in one stroke. First, it offers a standardized format for K-1 packets that everyone involved in the process will find intuitive. Second, it radically reduces the inherent complexity in compiling paper-based K-1 packets.
Developing the Crowe K-1 Advantage suite has been a team effort. One of the key members of that team is Neal Schneider, a senior software architect at Crowe and leader of tax technology development within our product engineering group.
The Crowe tax technology team has applied its understanding of the K-1 process – honed through years of experience – to develop the Crowe K-1 Advantage suite. This set of digital solutions is designed to leverage automation and standardization to quickly handle tasks throughout the K-1 life cycle, and to keep everything in a consistent, easy-to-understand format.
The Crowe team isn’t resting on its laurels, though. It’s already anticipating feedback driving further refinements in the Crowe K-1 Advantage suite. Neal said he’s excited about engaging with the K-1 community to make these innovative products even better for users.