January 29th 2015 by Kevin D. Simpson, CPA
Posted on the Intuit Accountants Blog:
To all the Accountants out there (and my curious clients),
New things are here, and we better get used to it! The leap from our desktop to the cloud is complete, so change has become second nature, right? Our tax software is no longer trapped in the office, thus freeing us up to move about the world, right? You might object and say, “I still need a printer, scanner, adding machine and a secretary, so how can I really get work done outside of the office?
Well, we must not forget that Intuit® Tax Online (ITO) is more than just a professional tax package. It’s a floating platform that goes where we go, designed for those who get things done. The move to the cloud is now accompanied with new speed and efficiencies. So let’s, press on and see what’s new this year. Let’s keep trying new things, and don’t wait to do so. Increase your speed and generational relevance. The time is now!
Intuit has launched 3 applications that are part of the ITO platform, ready for us to use this tax season. Let’s consider how to get things done fast, even while outside the office. Here are those 3 apps.
Tax Online Mobile (TOM): This app works on an iPhone or Droid platform, and brings an incredible amount of actionable tax return information to your fingertips. The more I use this app, the more I like it. TOM is like a CRM app with a file cabinet and automated assistant. I can browse my client list, find phone numbers, addresses and email addresses. I can quickly see refunds and taxes due from current and prior years, along with e-file status. If that’s not enough, I can pull up the actual tax return and email a copy to the client. This means I don’t have to call the office and pay somebody to do this for me. And, it also means my client doesn’t wait for me to put this task on my to-do list for tomorrow. I do it now, and my clients love it.
Intuit Link: This app integrates with ITO and provides a secure data link, a bridge to my clients. It’s simple to use and starts inside ITO. From the client list, I click the “send request to client” link, and automatically create a pending list based on last year’s tax return. I then tweak the list, adding a few things and deleting out a few others. This list includes document requests and tax questions.
Inside of 5 minutes, I’ve prepped and sent a customized actionable pending list to my client via email. My client clicks the email link, logs into Intuit Link on his smartphone, tablet or desktop, answers my questions, and takes pictures of, or uploads, the requested documents. Link automatically sends the docs and information to me, matching to the pending list. I see everything and can tell at a glance if items are still missing. How great is that? If I later determine another document is needed, I add it to the pending list and my client is automatically prompted to send me the doc, all via Inuit Link.
eSignature: This app also starts in ITO, and speed is what eSignature is all about. This major time saver is designed to get us a SIGNED form 8879 in minutes. Need I say more? I see this app reducing a big hassle to just a few clicks. And, it’s not just accountants who will be happy to digitize this process; clients will love it too. They may have to fight a little with the Knowledge Base Authentication system that the IRS requires, but it’s better than having to print, sign and mail forms. They want tax returns filed as badly as we do, and eSignature makes the final step fast!
I see these 3 apps speeding up my practice THIS tax season. These new efficiencies are aimed directly at the areas of tax prep that slow us down the most: data collection and signatures. Let’s keep our practices on the cutting edge of this technology, so that we can reap the rewards, be competitive and stay relevant in this generation of taxpayers.