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2020 year end letter

To our clients and friends:

As we move into a new year and reflect on 2020 my preference is to focus on the positives. My two words of focus lately, GRATITUDE and OPPORTUNITY.

While 2020 has been a difficult year for most, I am so grateful for the people around me – family, friends, co-workers, clients and many others.  We all “do life” together, support each other, and encourage each other and that is what fills my heart with GRATITUDE.

Amidst the events of 2020, we have all learned to face challenges and adapt to new circumstances.  For some it has meant a change in jobs, working from home, or possibly a change in address.  For most of us it has presented the necessity to learn new skills, like online video meetings.

Change presents us with OPPORTUNITY.  Much talk has been generated about “getting back to normal” in 2021.  But getting back to normal doesn’t need to include going back to things that weren’t so great to begin with.  This is an opportunity to take the things we have experienced in 2020, find the gold nuggets, and keep those as part of 2021 and beyond.  I hope there are several of those for all of you.

As we move into the new year, I want to communicate how operations at The Hagen Firm have been impacted and how we will continue to operate in the coming year.  With concerns over COVID continuing, we want to encourage fewer in-person visits to our office in Edmonds.  But we also want to make sure that communicating with us is easy and effective.  So we’ve invested some considerable effort in preparing ourselves to provide an outstanding client experience for you. 

Getting ready for you has included the following:

New phone system

Installing a new phone system with direct dial phone numbers and extensions for our staff. If you have the direct dial phone number of the staff person you need to contact, you can bypass our switchboard to reach that person quicker now. We continue to have voice mail for each person and, of course, you can continue to use the main number to chat with Lisa or to enter the extension of the staff person you want to reach.

New online calendar

Instituting a new online calendar system. Each person in our office can send you a web link where you can schedule a phone or Zoom video call. It will be much easier to find a time that works for yourself and schedule accordingly.

Zoom accounts

Each person in our office has a Zoom video account. Meeting face-to-face can now be done without requiring you to jump in your car and drive into Edmonds. We can send you links to join a private Zoom meeting. You can also use the “Client Center” link on our website, www.hagenfirm.com, to join a Zoom meeting with instructions from one of us.

Liscio updates

Many enhancements have been made to our client communication center, Liscio (pronounced: liss-cee-oh). Liscio is an Italian word that translates to “simple or easy” in English. That is our goal with this communication system and many enhancements have been made to the program this year. You can now invite third-parties to share documents with you in Liscio without having to contact us to set them up as contacts. You can use the “scan” feature in the Liscio mobile app to create high quality pictures for documents you may need to submit.

These are very short videos that provide simple-to-follow instructions for many of the questions you might have on how to use the system.  Of course, you can always reach out to us with questions too.  If you don’t yet have a Liscio portal, please contact us. For information on these and other features in Liscio you can check out the playlist of You Tube videos here:

Liscio videos

Coming in 2021

Regarding our physical office space, we are also making concerted efforts to protect our clients and our staff here at The Hagen Firm.
Here is what you can expect from us operationally in 2021.

Working from home

The majority of our staff have transitioned to a “work from home” model. For some this will be a permanent change while it may be temporary or occasional for others.  But we expect this will be a change that impacts the entire 2021 tax preparation season.  Because this transition happened in March of 2020, we are already very adept at this work arrangement in communicating both internally and with our clients.

Edmonds office open

The Edmonds office is “open”.  But it will look different.  We encourage the use of Zoom and phone for most communication with staff members, but some staff are available for on-site meetings when necessary.  Monday through Friday the reception area will be open from approximately 8am to 5pm and you are welcome to drop off or pick up documents.  A phone call to our main phone number is appreciated to alert us of your visit and so we can be prepared.  Face coverings are currently still mandated when you visit the office.  Remember that Liscio is the safest, most efficient and effective way to deliver documents to us.  And it will save you the trip drive time!

Communciations

We will continue to communicate with you. Our phone lines remain open and will be answered.  There is the chance that your call will be answered by an auto attendant.  Please listen for the options and you should easily be able to connect with the person you are trying to reach.  Work-from-home staff members are equipped with an office phone at their homes and can receive transferred calls.  All staff continue to have access to communication tools including their email, Liscio and Zoom.  We will also continue to process USPS mail Monday through Friday.  Also, our website, www.hagenfirm.com,  now includes a “Pay Bill” link to make that process more convenient for you.

Tax Questionnaire

You can expect to receive your tax questionnaire from us in early January.  Please take the time to complete the questions.

Updated information will be important as legislation or circumstances evolve. Please check our website at www.hagenfirm.com frequently for updated information on new developments impacting tax filings, loan programs, employment matters and other tax law changes. Our main page has a link at the top for COVID-19 updates and our Resource pages are packed with articles ranging from tax tips, to marketing ideas, to recipes!

Gratitude and Opportunity. These will be my two focus words for 2021.  I am grateful for each of you and hope that we all find opportunities to live life the way it is intended in the days ahead!  I hope these words resonate for you as well.

You can expect to receive your tax questionnaire from us in early January.  Please take the time to complete the questions.Updated information will be important as legislation or circumstances evolve. Please check our website at www.hagenfirm.com frequently for updated information on new developments impacting tax filings, loan programs, employment matters and other tax law changes. Our main page has a link at the top for COVID-19 updates and our Resource pages are packed with articles ranging from tax tips, to marketing ideas, to recipes! Gratitude and Opportunity. These will be my two focus words for 2021.  I am grateful for each of you and hope that we all find opportunities to live life the way it is intended in the days ahead!  I hope these words resonate for you as well.

With much gratitude,

Brent W. Hagen