Digital Workflow is the New Norm

Practice Management, Workflow tools tax practice client review

While there are still legitimate concerns over data security across financial arenas, the days of digital doubt are long gone. Software security measures have advanced to such a degree that even simple transactions can be protected with bank-level security encoding. This rapidly evolving technology has led to increased consumer comfort with conducting financial transactions online.

In the increasingly complicated tax world, even simple returns require a large number of documents, forms and signatures. That’s why adopting a digital workflow has become the new norm among tax professionals: you want the efficiency, and your clients want the convenience.

The trend is clear. According to the Federal Reserve, the use of mobile banking has nearly doubled in the past four years, a clear indication of how consumers have grown increasingly more comfortable with viewing financial data and conducting financial transactions online.

The same study showed that:

  • 94 percent of those who use mobile banking reviewed financial data online.
  • 58 percent transferred money between accounts.
  • 47 percent made a bill payment online or using an app.

The data is clear – consumers have increasingly adopted a digital workflow in their financial transactions. 

The need is clear. Why does this paradigm shift in the consumer mindset matter to the tax professional? Whether you like it, the IRS has forced you to move in the digital direction.

While mandatory e-filing itself brings you into the digital workflow arena, it also requires that you get yet another form signed, Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization, in which the taxpayer authorizes you to e-file for them. Add this to the increasingly long list of forms and approvals and, suddenly, you have a multitude of documents to manage across a multitude of clients.

It can be a full-time job just to track all of this, but these bits and pieces aren’t optional and compliance is required. Still, there’s another influence pulling you into digital workflow: your clients. 

The demand is clear. Clients want the convenience of reviewing, signing and even paying for tax-related items online. The same research conducted by the Federal Reserve states, “Convenience continues to be the most common reason consumers give for adopting mobile banking.” Indeed, 39 percent of consumers indicated that the convenience was the main reason they started using mobile banking.

If convenience led them to shift to mobile banking, you can bet that it will be a factor into how they want to review their financial data with you. You have to get on board to keep up.

Intuit has you covered when it comes to digital workflow. We’re the original innovators in online tax preparation tools and solutions. From Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Online to Intuit Link and eSignature, we can help you every step of the way. We can help you efficiently track and gather data from your clients, accurately allocate digital data, perform automated calculations and diagnostics to save you time, and even request signatures with automated client reminders and online payment options for your invoices. With new features in eSignature Plus Payments, you can request client signature, payment and e-file with just three clicks. That means convenience for you and your clients.

The future is now, and there are no more excuses to hold you back from moving your practice into the future. Jump into a more modern digital workflow right now.

Comments (4) Leave your comment

  1. I also feel that eSignature should be included at no additional cost. We pay more for Lacerte every year; can’t this just be considered another annual improvement. Another reason it doesn’t appeal to me is that most of my clients still stop by and pick up a hard copy return and most still pay me with checks or cash. I like avoiding the 3% credit card charge when possible and eSignature forces clients into paying by credit card (to be effective and worthwhile anyway).

    I do like that Lacerte added in the Intuit Link for free, but I tried it last year and it was more trouble than it is worth at this point (cumbersome and lots of printing time of bad pdf’s – it is easier to have clients drop off or email source documents for me). I would like to try client portals, however, which I believe are offered by outside companies. I wish Intuit would pursue this instead of (or in addition to) Intuit Link.

  2. I believe e-filing is the new norm long before the IRS required in 2012 and digital signatures should not be an extra charge as it it part of the tax return process also.

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