At first glance, innovating through standardization can seem like a contradiction in terms. Innovation calls to mind words like newness and cutting edge, while standardization evokes monotony or the mundane. In reality, standardization can play a critical role in developing and implementing innovative new practices.
Schedule K‑1, the tax form used to report individual partners’ share of a partnership’s earnings, losses, deductions, and credits, has been in use for decades. While technology has advanced dramatically since the introduction of K‑1s, the process remains anchored to the constraints of paper-based distribution.
The K‑1 industry is ripe for a paradigm shift – using technology to facilitate a smoother exchange of information between parties. This kind of shift will take collective action and a willingness to reimagine a decades-old process. Standardization will make it possible for constituents on both sides of the K‑1 process to embrace an innovative, new approach.