Digitization Creates Efficiency

Karsten Schmidt and Klaus Schäfer (photo)

The digital transformation of the business world is in full swing. This is also changing the way tax consultants and their clients work together. This means saying goodbye to paper documents in our day-to-day work. The future belongs to digital formats. This speeds up processes, increases efficiency, and creates greater transparency – a win-win across the board, as our report shows.

Karsten Schmidt and Klaus Schäfer on the couch (photo)
Klaus Schäfer, CEO of gekartel AG (right, with Karsten Schmidt left)

gekartel AG is a specialist for POS and retail advertising and marketing and offers a wide range of digital products for various applications. In addition to tablets for industrial and medium-sized companies, gekartel also offers digital bulletin boards for the real estate industry. Around 30 employees work for the company at its headquarters in Dresden and its offices in Düsseldorf and Munich.

When others refer to digitization as “uncharted territory,” Klaus Schäfer can’t help but grin. For him and his more than 30 employees, digitization has been a core area of expertise for years. The innovative company from Dresden offers its customers bespoke solutions for various advertising, marketing, and employee information requirements. Solutions from the company from Saxony are used by retail giants such as REWE, Nivea, and Henkel, as well as by the home improvement retailer Hagebau.

gekartel develops interactive and digital system solutions for its clients in the fields of point of sales, retail via various channels, and process optimization. The solution packages include the necessary software applications, but also robust hardware components developed in-house.

Handling a tablet (photo)

Digital Bulletin Board Replaces Paper Version

The creative company from Dresden also has a successful business in the real estate sector. Large real estate companies and property management firms use its state-of-the-art “Digital Bulletin Board” system solution. “The days of the paper bulletin board in the apartment building hallway will be over in just a few short years,” says Mr. Schäfer with conviction. The digital bulletin board can be used to inform building residents of important news, cleaning information, or scheduled repairs and maintenance. As a special service, the board also provides weather updates, information about public transportation schedules, or important news from around the neighborhood.

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Paper Disappearing from Everyday Working Life

It makes sense that a company that offers its customers sophisticated digital solutions also systematically digitizes its own internal processes. As such, gekartel has fully relied on electronic archiving instead of paper documents since 2010. As a result, the Dresden-based company has already implemented the paperless office for the majority of its internal processes. There are only a few exceptions where external interfaces currently still prevent this.

Due to these positive experiences, Klaus Schäfer also wanted to completely eliminate paper documents from the company’s accounting activities. That is why the businessman decided to engage Karsten Schmidt’s tax consulting firm.

The experienced auditor is also an enthusiastic supporter of digitization. In 2018, he founded his own firm in order to promote the increased use of digital processes in everyday office operations. “Today’s clients expect greater efficiency and transparency in their business and financial processes as well as in all tax-related issues,” says the Dresden native, speaking from his many years of experience. “This is why we not only use DATEV’s traditional applications, but also solutions such as DATEV Unternehmen online, the Digital Personnel File, DATEV Arbeitnehmer online, and other digital applications that clients need today.” He and his team are proficient in working with all of DATEV’s applications and can also provide assistance if a client needs support.

“Digitization will make every business process faster, easier, and more efficient. Digital documents make it possible to evaluate business performance and prepare annual financial statements more quickly.”

Karsten Schmidt,Auditor
Klaus Schäfer showing around his company (photo)
Klaus Schäfer (left) shows Mr. Schmidt (right) around his company.

Transparency with One Click

The gekartel CEO expressed a strong interest in the combination of DATEV’s product range and the digital expertise of Karsten Schmidt’s tax consulting firm. He was looking for an efficient accounting system with digitized documents. In addition, he wanted to be able to access up-to-the-minute information about his company’s business situation at any time with the click of a mouse. This data is important because it forms the basis for numerous business decisions. “Taking the time to search through various paper folders is simply no longer an option for us,” says Mr. Schäfer.

Karsten Schmidt, Tax Consultant (portrait)
Karsten Schmidt, Tax Consultant

Karsten Schmidt has been an auditor for nearly 30 years, and also works as a tax consultant. In 2018, he founded his own consulting firm and was a clear proponent of digitization right from the start. He advises and assists clients from various industries and professions. In addition to the traditional responsibilities of a tax consultant, he also accompanies his clients on their journey into the digital future.

Today his employee from the finance department, in close cooperation with Mr. Schmidt’s consulting firm, has the bookkeeping well under control. She scans incoming and outgoing invoices on a daily basis and also digitizes cash receipts, like restaurant and gas station receipts. All of the documents are then uploaded to DATEV Unternehmen online. This gives Mr. Schmidt and his client digital access to this information at any time. Digitization has clear benefits for gekartel. When scanning invoices, for example, the software automatically recognizes all of the payment information, such as the payment due date and the bank details. When the due date arrives, the payment can be sent with a few mouse clicks.

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The Courage to Go Digital

Karsten Schmidt simply can’t understand why so many clients are still so reluctant to begin the process of digitization. “Digitization just has so many benefits for businesses and tax consultants.” During consultations about digitization, he often uses examples based on his clients’ actual processes. “The promise of optimized processes, increased transparency, and greater efficiency usually wins them over,” he says. “And at the end of the day, the client saves a great deal of money through digitization, because analog processes will have their price in the future.”

gekartel CEO Mr. Schäfer did not have to be convinced, but instead approached his tax consultant himself with his desire to go digital. “Digitized processes are simply the future of business,” he says with conviction. He encourages other medium-sized companies to use DATEV solutions as quickly as possible to digitize their processes. “DATEV Unternehmen online is comparatively inexpensive. It can be introduced gradually in several different stages and integrated into day-to-day business without interrupting workflows,” he says, speaking from experience. “And with a good tax consultant behind you, the digital transformation of business processes is as easy as child’s play.”

Working on a tablet-PC (photo)
DATEV Unternehmen online connects the company’s business processes with Karsten Schmidt’s consulting firm.