Speed Up the Tax Return Process by Automating the 'Last Mile'
Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021 by SafeSend
The last mile of the tax return process can be a laborious procedure of assembly and delivery that may seem like an uphill battle. SafeSend Returns® automates that last mile of the tax engagement so you don’t feel like you are driving a horse and buggy in a sports-car world.
With the introduction of e-signatures and electronic filing, tax prep went from an entirely paper process to a more digital one. However, many firms today still rely heavily on a manual process for assembling and delivering the final printed tax return for the client to review and sign. It was a system that worked and worked well for many years. But when the world was forced into a remote working environment, that system became instantly obsolete. What was a time-consuming but viable way to navigate the last mile of tax engagement, became an impossible task.
Don’t Just Spin Your Wheels
Using electronic tools to deliver the tax return via PDFs and client portals is a fix, but the drawback is in the passwords. A majority of clients only access their portal annually and, for the most part, can’t recall their password year-to-year. This means your firm’s admins spend substantial time fielding client calls requesting password resets, and then additional time manually resetting them. A process they must repeat each year. Don’t settle for doing things the same as last year (SALY).
Kick SALY to the Curb and Rev Up Your Tax Return Process
Finding a solution that eliminates doing things SALY and automates procedures is a winning combination. SafeSend Returns redefines the assembly, delivery, and e-sign process. With SafeSend Returns, automation means when the preparation portion of the tax return process is complete, delivery of the final tax return PDF takes only minutes. Email addresses are saved in the system, so you won’t have to hunt them down every year. Reminder calls for un-returned documents and un-signed returns can be automated as well. And all those password resets are eliminated with a digital solution that utilizes knowledge-based authentication (KBA).
Wave the Green Flag for Clients!
When clients receive the email notifying them that their tax return is ready to view, they simply click the link to access their return. An intuitive, guided process within SafeSend Returns walks them through simple steps where they can view a summary, see any messages your firm has included, review their return, e-sign forms, and manage payments. An added benefit and time saver is the ability for the client to send the return directly to their spouse for signature. The 8879s can be included for e-signing and are automatically routed back to your firm!
In addition to automating the last mile of tax engagement, SafeSend Returns benefits your firm by providing comprehensive reporting and tracking so there’s never a question of where a tax return stands in the process. It’s easy to see at-a-glance which returns still need to be e-signed, which have been returned, and which invoices are outstanding.
K-1 Turbo Boost
Finally, SafeSend Returns has automated the K-1 distribution procedure for business returns, giving clients the ability to send K-1s to shareholders and shifting responsibility away from your firm. SafeSend Returns and the SafeSend Suite automates the manual, tedious tasks across the tax engagement and removes stress from your staff. A perfect way to create a work-life balance where time in their day is freed up, enabling them to work on high-level, billable projects.
Listen to the Crowd Roar
Firm staff love the streamlined processes SafeSend Returns provides. Clients love how easy SafeSend Returns is to use, the ability to view their return right on-screen and e-sign where needed, and never having to remember a password. When you add the benefits of quarterly reminders for payment vouchers and electronic K-1s sent to all partners and shareholders for business returns, your firm will make clients for life!
“I am a one-person operation and was spending way too much time assembling and mailing tax returns to clients. I got the hang of the SafeSend Returns system pretty quickly. I’m saving 15 minutes or more per return by not having to assemble and mail them. Of course, I also save around $3 per return on postage. Most clients have liked the transition. I’m so glad the accounting firm where I rent office space referred me to SafeSend. I would absolutely recommend your system to colleagues.”
– Bruce H., Bruce Hersh, CPA
SafeSend’s complimentary webinars, are a great way to learn all about implementing automation solutions into your tax engagement process and earn free CPE credit! Register to get an in-depth look at SafeSend Returns and the SafeSend Suite.
Coming Down the Homestretch
This time of year, there are budgets and hiring plans to finalize. It’s the perfect time to evaluate new technology for your firm. Extension season allows you to gain valuable experience with SafeSend Returns in order to be prepared for next busy season. Plus, you know doing things SALY doesn’t work efficiently anymore. Switch gears with SafeSend Returns. Automate assembly and delivery within the tax return process and the last mile can be like the Indy 500 instead of the Oregon Trail!
Schedule Your SafeSend Suite Demo Today
SafeSend Returns is the flagship solution in the SafeSend Suite and a multi-year winner of the CPA Practice Advisor Technology Innovation Award. SafeSend Returns eliminates the manual, labor-intensive tasks that many tax departments experience producing client-ready tax returns.