Reflections on My First Year at Paragon
Hello, all – Brian Hedges here! It’s hard to believe it has been over a year since I joined the Paragon team last September. Right away, I jumped into preparations for our busy season – a true “baptism by fire” as the saying goes. Now, with a full year under our belt and some many significant client wins, we are as well positioned to head into Q4 of 2022 to make it our best busy season in Paragon’s history. A few notable items over the last year:
Paragon’s Company Values roll-out Summer 2022
During April 2022, I asked everyone via a survey to play a word association game answering the following questions: (A) what words do you think that our customers would use to describe working with Paragon? and (B) what words would you use to describe working at Paragon.
Coming out of this simple word association survey, the Paragon Company Values were born. These Company Values are universally important things that guide us in our every day working life. The four values are: QUALITY, EXPERTISE, AGILITY, and RESPECT.
If you’ve received an email from one or more of our Paragon team members, it’s likely that you have seen these in our email signatures. The Company Values and associated actions have become a part of our everyday working lives at Paragon.
Successful Launch of Our IRS Audit Response Services
What better way to start out with a new prospective client than to help them through and IRS Affordable Care Act challenge than to demonstrate our expertise and responsiveness…and likely saving them tens or thousands of dollars in the process?! We have had much success growing our IRS Audit Response service by partnering with specialty lawyers with IRS tax controversy expertise and by providing an educational platform for accountants – who are often the “first line of defense” as it relates to fielding an IRS ACA notice.
Additionally, our online presence has yielded outreach from companies with previously no connection to Paragon. We developed the landing pages on our website to demonstrate our knowledge in these two niche areas of audit response: Audit Response Services. We have received ACA audit referrals from clients in three different time zones in the last month alone!
Improvement of Our Business Processes
During May, we held a 3-day Paragon Process Summit where we performed a full review of our business as it exists right now – plus a consideration of process improvements and new creative ways to interact with our clients and provide timely advice relating to the ACA. It was a collaborative process with all stakeholders in our company weighing in on their preferred changes and process improvements. We left the Process Summit with a lengthy to-do list that we prioritized, based upon the entire groups’ feedback.
Since the Process Summit, we have spent hundreds of hours improving our reporting, eliminating additional steps which create file duplication and increase costs, and allowing ourselves to continually improve upon the high-quality services we already provide to our clients.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my time has been the people – our fantastic employees at Paragon, our wonderful clients, and the talented brokers and other providers we have worked with during my short time here. All the best to you and your families during this fall season!