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Best processes for eSignatures

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#1
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550
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30-May-2014 7:38am
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NC
My firm has 4 partners, 6 staff accountants and 2 administrators. We are just starting to use e-signature in Lacerte for the very first time and I'm trying to figure out how the process will work. I appreciate any recommendations you can provide and any answers to the questions below. Thanks!


In your firm:
- do admin staff or tax preparers / partners trigger the client signature request?
- do you require 1040 client to pay over phone before you e-file them the return?
- do you require 1040 client pay before you send signature request / digital copy of tax return?

Obviously collecting payment is a concern. How do others address this issue?
 

#2
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Near the Kwanzan cherry tree
Tax Me Up wrote:- do admin staff or tax preparers / partners trigger the client signature request?


If we're talking about e-file authorizations, there's no reason that staff accountants or admin can't handle this process. Especially if you can trust them to not send an 8879 to the wrong client or the technology removes that risk with safe guards.

I tend to think that engagement letters should be sent by a partner or, bare minimum, a manager.

Tax Me Up wrote:- do you require 1040 client to pay over phone before you e-file them the return?
- do you require 1040 client pay before you send signature request / digital copy of tax return?


I think these concerns will vary based on one's client demographic. i.e. There isn't a universal "best practice" here.

I don't worry about collecting payment. Somewhere between 90-95% of my clients pay on time without a reminder from me. Those that don't, and especially those that I have to chase for payment, quickly find their way out.

Therefore, I don't collect payment before I send across e-file authorizations and issue the as-filed returns.

If collection was an issue, I might send across the efile authorizations along with invoice and make it clear that I'm not filing or issuing as-filed returns until the invoice is paid.

You may also want to investigate online payment. It's an opportunity to increase efficiency and reduces the amount of sensitive information that your admin is exposed to and trusted with.
 

#3
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550
Joined:
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Location:
NC
Thanks MvsT. That is very helpful.

ManVsTax wrote:If collection was an issue, I might send across the efile authorizations along with invoice and make it clear that I'm not filing or issuing as-filed returns until the invoice is paid.


Others in my firm believe you have to file the return within 72 of hours of receiving the signed 8879. I don't see that on the 8879 instructions. Is anyone aware of such time limits?
 

#4
sjrcpa  
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Location:
Maryland
Yes - there is a no stockpiling rule. Receive signed efile authorization-efile within 3 days.
 

#5
Posts:
550
Joined:
30-May-2014 7:38am
Location:
NC
Is there any way to have DocuSign automatically include the payment vouchers / tax estimates as separate documents in addition to the 8879 and client copy? I know I can add them to the DocuSign envelope as pdf files but that's a lot of extra work. The other alternative is to tell client to dig them out of the client copy.

Thanks!
 


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