In this article we will summarize a webinar hosted by Accounting Today and sponsored by Intuit Client Connection Suite. This webinar was presented by Steve Wheelis and Jackie Meyer, CPA, MSA. Wheelis is the Senior Product Manager and creator of Intuit Link. Meyer is the President and founder of the Meyer Tax Consulting, LLC, in Southlake, Texas. Her team works with a select number of executives, investors, entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the year on tax preparation, planning, and accounting services.
The objective of the webinar is to discover how to increase efficiency with the modern conveniences clients expect from today’s tax professional. The webinar also touches on how to learn to streamline company workflow by reducing the time required to collect, track, and authorize documents.
The presenters offer advice on how to use Intuit Link to:
- Easily send clients personalized digital checklist and questions based on prior year returns
- Organize, track, and automate client documents and data securely
- Effortlessly track clients’ document progress in real time so you know when to start a return
- Quickly request payments and eSignatures
As well shall soon discover, many of the features of Intuit Link are also present in eFileCabinet, resulting in a bit of an overlap of functionality.
Document Management and the Professional Accountant
On average, the typical certified public accountant (CPA) handles thousand to tens of thousands of documents every year. As a result, they usually require a significant amount of physical space to store client financial investment statements, payroll documents, working papers, applications, tax returns, billing documents, and correspondence. Utilizing document management software such as eFileCabinet, CPAs can streamline high-volume approval and other document processes and gain visibility into workflow and processing time.
As Wheelis mentioned in the webinar presentation, a tax professional spends on average 65% of his or her time on data collection and data entry. This is a staggering statistic that demonstrates an urgent need for better document management. Intuit Link is seeking to improve this by providing some key features:
- Quickly create and send personalized digital client checklists to clients based on the prior year’s tax return.
- Receive documents securely from a client’s computer or mobile device.
- Knowing when you have all of the client documents and data you need in order to start the return.
eFileCabinet also provides similar features that can improve the efficiency of the hard-working tax professional. Using eFileCabinet Online, information can be shared securely with clients with the click of a button. This means clients can access completed tax return forms almost instantaneously. This also works in the other direction— clients can send useful information using eFileCabinet Online’s cloud-based system to transfer files to a tax professional using a desktop, laptop, or even mobile device.
Another interesting statistic shared in this presentation is that it takes an average of 7 days for a client to sign and return the 8879 tax form, thereby causing delays in your ability to e-File.
In an effort to expedite this process, Intuit has implemented eSignatures. With eSignatures, tax professionals can:
- Request and receive signatures within the same day.
- Eliminate the time and cost associated with traditional print and mail processes.
- Provide your client with the modern conveniences they’re looking for.
Fortunately, eFileCabinet also provides eSignature capabilities via collaboration with RightSignature. This provides the fastest way to sign documents online. Additionally, files stored and shared on eFileCabinet are secured using a multitude of safety measures so that clients need not worry about their digital signatures being compromised.
Should I Use eFileCabinet or Intuit?
After reading the above summary, you may be asking yourself, which software system should be used by tax professionals for tax returns? Well, why not use both? eFileCabinet’s document management software can be easily integrated with Intuit’s Quickbooks to improve overall efficiency.
This integration allows users to link information for customers, vendors, invoices, bills, and more between eFileCabinet and Intuit QuickBooks. Data such as invoice numbers and check numbers are readily retrieved from QuickBooks and stored in eFileCabinet. With this information stored within the eFileCabinet system, users can take advantage of eFileCabinet’s powerful search functionality to locate files quickly and easily at the click of a button.
In addition to this capability, integration makes it easier to streamline the document storage process. After completing a transaction within Intuit’s QuickBooks, the user can be prompted to store any supporting documents such as emails, involves, printed bills and more into eFileCabinet’s document management software. Having these documents stored in eFileCabinet ensures that companies are meeting the standards of various regulatory bodies such as HIPAA and FINRA.
There are many other ways tax professionals can benefit from using eFileCabinet in their business. If you would like to know how eFileCabinet can increase your profitability and efficiency, please fill out the form provided for a free 15-minute demo.