Tax & Accounting Stress Relief with the SafeSend Suite™
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 by SafeSend
Stress increases when there are factors out of your control. While you can’t fix the IRS, you can experience tax and accounting stress relief when you automate manual tasks and elevate the client experience with the SafeSend Suite.
Three Big Issues
Looming deadlines naturally increase stress levels and tension. As long as there are taxes, there will be filing deadlines. In addition to deadlines, three big issues contribute to tax and accounting stress.
According to a survey in CPATrendlines, IRS operations topped the chart of big issues facing the tax and accounting profession. Over 80 percent of respondents agreed IRS operations was the biggest problem, nearly double the next biggest issue, which was staffing, coming in at 43.6 percent. A close third, weighing in at just over 40 percent, was late or unprepared clients.
Fixing the IRS isn’t something that can be done on the firm level, nor is it something that will likely be resolved quickly. The biggest problem facing the IRS is the backlog of millions of paper returns still waiting to be processed. Over 240 million federal tax returns were filed in 2021, and almost 24 million still await processing. Even though that is only 10 percent of all returns filed, it’s still an enormous number of returns.
One way your firm may already be contributing to the reduction of paper backlog is by submitting as many of your clients’ tax returns electronically as possible. However, there are a lot of client touchpoints throughout the tax engagement; and the processes around gathering e-signatures, and assembling & delivering can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Automating these touchpoints – which often become pain points – can bring relief from some of the tax and accounting stress associated with these procedures. The SafeSend Suite addresses all of these touchpoints, relieving stress and streamlining processes.
SafeSend Returns®, the core of the SafeSend Suite, uses automation to collate and assemble the digital tax return. Knowledge-based authentication (KBA) is used to grant clients access to their return, so there are no usernames or passwords to remember (or forget!). The simple, intuitive client interface guides clients step-by-step through the review and e-sign process.
The great resignation is still having an impact on the workforce, including tax and accounting firms. Reduced staffing puts added stress on everyone else. When there are fewer hands to do the work, expectations – and stress levels – rise. The SafeSend Suite is a workflow automation platform that addresses not only the assembly and delivery, but also tracking, which reduces the tax and accounting stress that comes from chasing down clients for signatures or unreturned documents.
The SafeSend Suite automates so many of the challenges that face firms year-round around manual tasks like mailing out engagement letters and client organizers, delivering tax returns, and filing extensions. These crucial functions, and many more, consume a lot of time but they don’t have to. At the core of SafeSend Suite, award-winning SafeSend Returns automates the assembly and delivery of prepared tax returns, reducing a tedious process to mere minutes.
There are three types of clients. The clients who return their organizers within days with all their documentation attached in order with color-coded paper clips, clients who get you what you need in a timely manner, and the others. You know who they are, the shoe-box people. Those clients create tax and accounting stress at the mere mention of their name.
Banish the nightmares of the unprepared clients and help them go from infamous to fabulous with SafeSend Organizers™. Part of the SafeSend Suite, this solution was created at the request of our customers and converts static PDF organizers from your tax compliance software to a fillable form that can be sent directly to clients with the option to include engagement letters. Clients sign the engagement letter, fill out the organizer electronically, upload source documents and return the completed organizer. Hours of printing, assembling and mailing organizers to clients is eliminated and there’s no need for clients to print hundreds of pages of a PDF out in order to complete the organizer and mail it back.
“We have used SafeSend Returns for about 3 years and SafeSend Organizers for 1 year. We love it.” – Susan Flynn, EA, Director of Operations, Gallagher, Flintoff & Klein CPA
Automate Touchpoints Throughout the Tax Engagement
When workflow is streamlined and client touchpoints are automated, stress levels decrease. Less stress means less burnout and a healthier lifestyle for firm staff. Retaining staff is important and creating a better work-life balance can be an important factor.
Address Staffing Burnout
Digital transformation provides tax and accounting stress relief. By addressing common pain points with the workflow automation platform in the SafeSend Suite, staff can reclaim time that would normally be spent on very manual, time-consuming processes. Grouped returns can be sent with SafeSend Returns and engagement letters can be included in client organizers with SafeSend Organizers or sent through SafeSend Signatures™. Imagine the time that could be spent on other professional projects when these processes are automated.
“Using SafeSend Signatures, half of our engagement letters were e-signed and returned within 24 hours.” – Spencer Powers-Ackley, Curtis L. Powers-Ackley, PC
Streamlined and Familiar Client Experience
Your firm isn’t the only one who benefits from the automation the SafeSend Suite provides. Clients experience a smooth, simple, guided experience across the tax engagement. Gone are the phone calls requesting password resets for their portal as clients are guided through KBA to gain access to their information whether it is an organizer or tax return.
The step-by-step straightforward process is branded with your firm’s information so it is familiar to clients. There aren’t multiple vendors for them to try and remember or call your firm when they don’t recognize who is sending a communication. The process is sophisticated but simple and elevates the client experience.
“Using SafeSend Returns was such a great experience. I was so happy with how it went that I wrote a letter to my accountant saying that I liked the new SafeSend package and hoped it’s a permanent thing.” – Jerry Archer, President of Archer Sign Corp, client of 415 Group
The tracking feature ensures that you know where all clients are in the review process. This can significantly cut down on chase time when everyone can see the status of a return. You’ll know whether the return was e-signed or, in the case of multiple signers, if one has signed and the other(s) haven’t.
Automated reminders within SafeSend Returns save admins from spending hours on the phone or manually sending email reminders. Reminder information is readily available so information showing scheduled and delivered voucher reminder emails is at your fingertips.
The reporting feature allows easy management of delivered and archived returns as well as the ability to check K-1 status. Reports can be tailored to your needs by applying filters reports can be exported as an Excel spreadsheet.
IRS operations are out of your control, but you can reduce tax and accounting stress using the automated tools in the SafeSend Suite. Enhance both the firm and client tax engagement experience with this powerful workflow automation platform which provides sweet solutions to common pain points.
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 elements many tax departments experience producing client-ready tax returns.