You’ve probably heard of the new Client Connection Suite, but you might be asking yourself, “What do you mean by connection?” Well, there are two correct answers, and understanding both can help you determine if your firm could benefit from using the Client Connection Suite.
First, the connection is between you and your clients. You’re already “connected” to your clients, of course. They engage you to prepare and file their taxes, and you work with them to gather the information required to complete their returns. Some of the key steps you take to complete a client’s return happen before or after you actually prepare the tax return. These steps involve asking your client for information or to review their return and sign a form. And, for your practice, there’s also the important final step of collecting your fee. These steps before and after tax preparation are where the Client Connection Suite can help.
Sure, you’re connected to clients today, but what if you could save time doing those administrative steps that are not part of the brainwork of actually figuring out a return? And, what if the new way of doing these steps was actually easier for clients too?
The Client Connection Suite includes two services that help you connect with clients in a way that’s faster and easier for you and your clients. And, it also connects those steps to your professional tax software, so that you don’t spend time scanning, printing, making PDFs or worrying about how to share information securely with clients. This is the second connection: between the true tax work and what comes before and after.
Before you can start preparing a return, you need information from your client. Intuit® Link is a portal that works with your Intuit professional tax software to gather all of the documents and information you need from clients before you start to prepare their returns. Link enables your clients to send documents safely and notifies you when you have all the client documents and data you need to start the return.
Think of the time your practice spends on paper organizers – printing, compiling, personalizing and mailing. And, consider how your clients feel about facing that thick envelope from you every year. How many of your clients actually complete the organizer? How many arrive at their appointment with their organizer still unopened in the envelope? It’s this up-front work that Link helps you with, connecting you to the “real” work – preparing a client’s tax return.
Then, after you complete a client’s tax return, more administrative tasks await. You need to send the return to the client for review, get a client signature on Form 8879, e-file the return and collect your fee. It’s these tasks that Intuit eSignature and eSignature Plus Payments streamline for you.
If you use ProSeries® or Intuit Tax Online, Intuit eSignature can help you send a return for review and get a signature on Form 8879. As you may have guessed from the name, eSignature collects signatures electronically. More and more clients are becoming familiar with electronic signatures because of their use by mortgage lenders, insurance companies and others. And, eSignature uses the technology from industry-leader DocuSign, so it’s easy to use, secure and even provides an audit trail.
If you use Lacerte®, Intuit eSignature Plus Payments can help you send a return for review and get a signature on Form 8879. And, as of tax year 2015, you can also collect your fee from the client and e-file the return in one click after the client has signed. In other words, eSignature Plus Payments helps you finish all of the final steps and get paid faster.
Bottom line: the connection in Client Connection Suite means two things: connect your “real” work with an easier way to handle your administrative work, and connect with your clients in a way that’s easier and faster for both of you.
Click here to learn more about Client Connection Suite.