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engagement letter signed electronically

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#1
zl28  
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Any issues with receiving an engagement letter signed electronically?

Taxpayer signed and dated engagement letter thru Docusign.
 

#2
makbo  
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No, as long as you have some kind of audit log as to when and from what IP & email address the signature was made.
 

#3
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Hilton Head Island, SC
I'm not allowing it at all anymore. Some think they can just throw the document into Adobe Acrobat, type a signature, and it suffices, and frankly, I am tired of explaining what I need.
 

#4
JAD  
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Same. I tell them that there are a number of steps that I must take to prove that signature is authentic and that the process is not efficient for either of us. A pdf is fine, but the document has to be printed out, signed, then scanned.
 

#5
makbo  
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It's important to keep in mind, it is not an all-or-nothing feature. When I first converted, three tax seasons ago, from print-sign-scan PDFs to e-sign, about 85-90% of my existing clients had no problem with it. For the remainder of those I still serve, I do still send them PDFs that they can print, sign, and scan or photo back to me. It also reminds me that they will probably also need other extra-fee paper processing during the prep process. [say that five times, fast, starting with "paper" :P ]

I use UltraTax; the vendor has an easy to use e-sign for engagement letters that costs $1 per successful signature (including MFJ), and is integrated with the tax return software for printing and status tracking.
 

#6
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makbo wrote:I use UltraTax; the vendor has an easy to use e-sign for engagement letters that costs $1 per successful signature (including MFJ), and is integrated with the tax return software for printing and status tracking.


I am pondering trying this and just building it into fees. Some clients are weird; they do not hesitate providing a CPA everything they have that is personal, but do not want to do some things electronically. Some refuse to do an electronic payment, but will send an unprotected PDF containing all of their personal information over unencrypted e-mail.
 

#7
makbo  
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If you use UT in particular, the letter can be pre-populated with TP/SP name and address. I also include a check-off page to indicate what types of returns (fed, state, entity) and years I am engaging for. UT supports editing each client's letter in MS Word, so I just quickly bounce over to Word to include any customization (in my case, just some checkmarks).

There are other things that can be pre-populated, it supports a pretty complete field substitution feature (like mail merge), but I don't use them.

Also, I don't require both TP and SP if MFJ to sign the engagement, but they can if they wish, same cost.
 


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