Approaching the end of the calendar year has two predictable effects from an accounting and tax perspective: taking stock of the year that’s about to end, and thinking about ways to do better in the year ahead.
Likewise, the IRS seems to have its eye on making some improvements in areas that are typically out of public view, but which very much affect the level and consistency of service the public receives from the agency’s far flung workforce.
Back in early November, just a day or two after the election, the IRS announced that its “Applications Development group” had achieved “Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 3.” The announcement noted that the IRS “is the only large civilian U.S. government agency to have achieved this level of process maturity.”
It was the sort of news release that would likely lull most people to sleep within nanoseconds, except maybe those whose work focuses on federal IT issues. But it caught our eye here at Roberts Tax Advisory because we — and our clients — know all too well how frustrating the IRS’s bureaucracy can be at times. Any hint that the agency might actually be serious about addressing some of the internal root causes of those aggravations and inefficiencies is reason enough for us to pay closer attention.
Pursuing CMMI was a big step for IRS Chief Technology Officer Terry Milholland, who had to buck skeptical employees and a host of other headwinds to motivate the giant agency to take the process seriously and really stick with it. There’s an interesting article on FCW.com (an online news source for chief technology officers) that peeks behind the scenes at what it took.
If you’re unfamiliar with CMMI and how it is used to help organizations of various types improve their performance, you can find out more from the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University, which developed and oversees the certification process.
The agency’s announcement has us wondering what kinds of improvements, if any, we’ll see in the IRS customer experience for 2013.
As you think about your year-end business and tax issues, feel free to contact us for suggestions on how to sharpen your own internal accounting and related processes for 2013.