Expat Express is the leading provider in expat tax consulting and strategy, based in Israel and serving clients all over the world, with most of their clients based in Australia or Austria, The Ukraine or The UK, Canada or Costa Rica etc

Primary Services Offered:
Web Maintenance
Custom Software Development

Web maintenance
Expat Express a web maintenance subscription. We offer security monitoring and clean ups, monthly health checks, speed optimization, managed WordPress updates and custom edits and updates on content as and when needed.

Custom Software Development
The goal was to automate most of the ‘mechanical’ tasks so its employees will perform as little as possible manual work and will attend mostly to tasks that require thinking and evaluation since these tasks have higher value added to customers.
The company needed custom softwares built to facilitate their work. Below are a few of some code work done for the Company.

 

CLIENT LOG IN
Definition: Client Login was a new, client facing product was built into the existing wordpress website, in essence, comprehensive forms that clients can use to easily provide tax information.

 

Goal: Clients to be able to sign into an online portal where they can submit their tax information, upload relevant documents, and check the status of their returns. By allowing clients to input their information directly into the system, to reduce the overhead as well as provide an easier client experience and higher level of security.

 

The process:The portal contains a set of forms through which the user can input their personal and tax information.
All client information is transmitted and stored securely using SSL and AES encryption where relevant.
Due to the considerable number of fields there are, a special focus was given to designing a UI that will allow a client to easily locate the area relevant to them without getting overwhelmed.
a. Certain fields were conditionally shown or hidden based on the value of previous fields.

b. The information is periodically saved automatically as the client fills out the forms.

c. The user is unable to submit the form until all required fields are filled out.

The system should allows the user to provide tax information for multiple years.
a. Static information that is unlikely to change from year to year, such as personal information, bank addresses, or policy information, is pre-populated with the information provided from previous years.

Admins are able to view and edit a client’s information.

User interface (UI) is friendly with the goal of minimizing the support required for each customer – new or existing.

Mobile friendly.
Technology
Backend and Database
MySQL for the backend database for storing user’s data.
Laravel Framework
Laravel web application framework.
Frontend (Bootstrap 5)

CCH INTEGRATION
Definition: CCH is a cloud- based desktop application that users can use to generate and file tax returns. It allows accounting firms to import tax information from their system via XML.
How they were doing things: For each tax return they calculate all the income information on an excel spreadsheet template called the ‘Calc’. it comprises of about 10 different tabs, one for each type of income. For each country the calc differs slightly to account for the slight differences in the way the tax information is recorded in each country. They were manually inputting the amounts from the final column on each tab from the excel spreadsheet into CCH.


Goal: They needed to pull all of a client’s tax information for a given year, generate the appropriate XML, and import it into CCH.

Process:
• We will want to add a tab that is identical for all countries which includes all the information from the rest of the spreadsheet exactly as it will be needed it for the XML file. we will create the additional tab.
• We will create a tax return in CCH including everything to be converted into XML, but it could be in the future there may be additions or changes to the tax forms.

Approach to meet requirements
the app we will have the following components:
Desktop Application
Firebase Cloud Hosting


Technologies proposed for the development
The application was developed as a Desktop Progressive Web Application, making it possible for it to be installed on all major operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOS) as a desktop application.

It was developed using the node runtime environment and vuejs framework.

Final product was cloud hosted on firebase and an access link provided as the installation source of the desktop application.

Tools used
Git
Emails and Google drive for file sharing
Vue Testing Library
Vuex
Vue-router
Vuetify
Vue-cli
Axios
Babel
Webpack

XCM/Zoho Integration
Definitions:
1. XCM – Specialized web-based accounting software that organizes clients and the work being done for them. Work is grouped into high level Tasks which are broken down into individual Deliverables.

2. Zoho – A suite of applications that help run various aspects of the business. The products described here use the CRM, Books, Creator and Analytics.
a. Books is the invoicing and payment processing system they use for billing
b. Creator is an application where you can create custom applications. They used Creator to create the time tracking app (where each employee uses to track their time working per task and per client and the workload assignment.)
c. Analytics is a self-service business intelligence and analytics software which helps you create dashboards and analyze data.


XCM and Zoho provide comprehensive REST APIs. CCH has an API as well but requires integration with various desktop applications.

How it worked before:
1. Client Creation:
In Zoho, a lead is created in the CRM, they then input the specific task they are servicing him for after speaking to him, and convert him into a contact once he has confirmed engagement. Zoho CRM Workflow then creates an XCM Client when a Zoho Contact is created. In addition to the XCM Client being created, any Tasks that were listed on a Lead get created in XCM when the lead converts to a Contact. The task then begins the journey in XCM of moving through the different work statuses as it gets assigned to the different staff members working on his file.


Once task has been completed- Billing
They have already created an XCM invoice app which is a standalone app already built with Zoho Creator that enables the PW workers (users) to view the completed Tasks and Deliverables for a given client along with the price for each deliverable. The user needs to manually input the client’s ID number and then press a button that pulls the client and the deliverables he needs to be billed for onto an invoice that is created in Zoho Books based on the information displayed.
There are several ways an invoice can be modified.
a) Flat Fee – The app allows for clients to be flagged with a yearly billing amount that indicates they are to be billed with a specified flat fee instead of the regular itemized prices.
b) Discount Deliverable – A special Discount Deliverable can be specified for a client as either a set amount or a percentage which is deducted from the total accordingly. These discounts are included as line items in the invoice.
c) Quantity Deliverable – A special Quantity Deliverable can be specified that indicates the deliverable should be included according to the specified quantity. This deliverable appears as a single line item with the quantity field set accordingly.

Workload Assignment
They have created the workload assignment app in Zoho Creator pulling in data from XCM using APIs. It is an admin tool that lists all employees and how many tasks they have assigned to them. The list is grouped by the task type. A second list shows how many tasks there are in each status.

Net Profit Report
Report showing net profit per client considering the time spent working on each task, the amount paid to the employees involved, and the amount we billed the client. We did create this report in Zoho Analytics (integrating Zoho Time Tracking and Zoho Books). This report in Analytics worked for the first year but once clients came back to us a second year it is not able to analyze the information properly, rending it unusable.


Goals:
1. Once the client’s tax ID is input into XCM, it is also added automatically to Zoho


Have the XCM status field in Zoho mapped to XCM’s work statuses so it does not need to be done manually (to trigger reminders in Zoho)

Net Profit Report: Either using Zoho Analytics or creating it from the beginning we need this report to display the net profit for each task a client is billed for.

Productivity Report: Report showing how many tasks were completed in any time period, and the time it took to complete them.

Approach to meet requirements
The project had the following components:
A server-side application to process apis and other requests (Backend)
A front-end may be developed for reports in case Zoho does not provide the needed flexibility to develop the needed reports.

Technologies for the development
The application was developed using the node runtime environment,express framework.Final product was deployed to the client’s server for live access.

Tools used
Git
Emails and Google drive for file sharing
Vue Testing Library
Vuex
Vue-router
Vuetify
Vue-cli
Axios
Babel
Webpack
Nodejs