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Increasing Efficiency in the Tax Preparation Process

Breakthrough technology yields time savings and improved organization for accounting professionals.

February 9, 2009
Sponsored by Intuit

Automation Yields Big Returns

Increasing efficiency is at the core of successful, profitable accounting firms. However, complete automation of the tax process doesn’t happen overnight. Industry-leading firms suggest taking an incremental approach to avoid sudden changes in workflow. Transitioning in smaller chunks enables firm staff to move through the learning curve at a manageable pace and minimizes potential interruptions of firm workflow. Over time, the industry leaders who have incrementally automated steps in the workflow will realize the goal of a completely automated tax preparation process.

Intuit’s New Document eSort provides an easy-to-implement, incremental step in the automation of tax preparation, leveraging cutting edge technology to arrange your tax workpapers into a consistent, standardized format, across all clients and all preparers. Document eSort recognizes scanned source documents, rotates them, orders them and bookmarks the source documents for faster tax preparation.

How Intuit Document eSort Works

  • Scan client documents into a file (PDF or Tiff). It doesn’t matter what order you scan in the documents or if pages are sequential. Any staff member can do it — so you can save on labor costs.
  • Launch Document eSort from your desktop or from within ProSeries or Lacerte software.
  • Choose the client along with the associated scanned documents for that client, then click “send documents” to Intuit for processing.
  • Receive a single, organized and indexed PDF file. Estimated time to process is around four hours. (Note: Turnaround may vary somewhat, due to demand at a given time.)

Document eSort delivers consistent, standardized workpapers and is organized to follow the natural flow of a tax return to speed tax preparation time.

Harness Technology to Boost Productivity While Cutting Costs

One of the primary benefits of eSort is transferring the organization step, which has traditionally been performed by preparers, to technology and administrative personnel, freeing anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes per return (Note: time savings will vary case to case.) Automating the organization process reduces personnel training time and delivers a consistent, standardized work-paper format that makes each subsequent step more efficient. The result is a smoother, more productive tax season.

Streamline Data Entry

The benefits don’t end with organization. Tax preparers are notified in the tax program when the workpapers are organized and ready for data entry. Using an organized PDF file, with each source document clearly bookmarked for fast reference, increases the speed at which preparers can enter source data. And utilizing document annotation tools, similar to how you historically check-marked paper documents, minimizing the changes to your workflow, while supporting a completely electronic process.

Review That Is Enjoyable

Just like Document eSort increases data entry efficiency, the review step also becomes faster using a standardized, indexed PDF file that is electronically accessible at the point of need. Combining the power of dual monitors, on-screen review tools and an eSort organized PDF file, can reduce review time by as much as 30 percent. (Note: time savings will vary case to case.) The electronic process also facilitates remote access review, allowing more flexibility in how and where you work.

Ensuring Your Client Data Is Protected

Security and protecting client data is extremely important for accounting professionals. Intuit understands this. The entire document sorting process is done electronically and returned to you using industry standard 128-bit data encryption.

Making the Most of the 2008 Tax Returns

With Document eSort, you can harness a new technology to save time, money and hassles this tax season. Discover how Document eSort can benefit your practice by viewing a short online demonstration. You can also learn more by taking Document eSort for a test drive for five clients with absolutely no obligation by visiting our home page, or sending request to eSort@intuit.com.

And easiest of all, Lacerte and ProSeries customers can access their free trial from within their tax program — it is available via the toolbar or desktop icon.

Why not check it out and see if your practice can benefit from this new innovation?