H&R Block Names Jason Houseworth its First-Ever Chief Innovation Officer
Every day throughout the year, there are H&R Block clients across the globe who depend on the company’s products and services to file their tax returns or address tax-related issues. Making that experience easier and more dynamic is the vision Jason Houseworth, recently named the first-ever Chief Innovation Officer at H&R Block, has for his newly minted Business Innovations team.
Houseworth is responsible for two businesses that serve taxpayers outside the traditional January-April 15 U.S. tax season and rely on a virtual model to assist clients. One business unit just kicked off its current tax season serving clients in India. A second business launched three years ago, Expat Tax Services, serves clients in more than 100 different countries all year long. The ability to serve clients who are thousands of miles away in a different city or country serves as a great starting place for just one of many innovations outside the traditional retail tax preparation experience.
“We have success stories that offer insights to how we can innovate the tax filing experience,” Houseworth said. “H&R Block India and Expat Tax Services are current businesses outside of the core that are creating new service models enabled by new technology. They each operate in the cloud, provide clients with the power of a human tax expert and leverage proprietary analytics built from over 60 years of global tax expertise. More importantly, they offer opportunities for growth.”
Houseworth joined H&R Block eight years ago and a year later founded the company’s Client Innovation Lab to drive brand consideration through technology capability advancement and digital B2B partnerships. He also led the company’s digital do-it-yourself filing solution, growing clients and revenues four consecutive years and taking market share from the digital category’s largest provider during this period. Under Houseworth, the product development team launched Tax Identity Shield®, a tax-related identity protection and restoration services product which more than doubled enrollments in its second year.
“Jason has been a leader in innovation at H&R Block for many years, setting the foundation for innovation within tax software and in development of new products. He is leading a new and separate organization – composed of these non-core off-platform businesses – that is dedicated to revolutionizing the client experience,” Bill Cobb, H&R Block president and CEO, said.
Given this direction, Houseworth’s teams are approaching known client needs in innovative ways.
“We will keep the client and client experience at the center of everything we do,” Houseworth said. “We intend to build products that demonstrate the expertise of H&R Block – through the power of analytics and people – in a way that creates real, material outcomes for our clients.”
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 700 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3.0 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at newsroom.hrblock.com/.
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