DoxCycle Best Practices

Dear Community:

I’m hoping you may be able to post some of your best practices when using DoxCycle. I have now tried it a couple of times and still find manual filing more efficient and less time consuming. I know a lot of you have embraced DoxCycle as part of your practice, so I’m asking the group, what am I missing?
What are scanning practices to minimize OCR Errors?
What are your practices when organizing client information, especially self employment receipts, invoices, etc?
How do you handle engagement documents, and annual questionnaires?
I’m hoping with a few words of wisdom from the group I can also leverage the power of DoxCycle.

Thank you for the feedback.


I do not use DoxCycle’s OCR to read slip data and transfer it to TaxCycle. With the ability to download slip data from CRA, why not use that? I scan slips and other data into DoxCycle and then compare the slips to what I’ve downloaded from CRA. I check off the slips in DoxCycle and TaxCycle as I match them up.

I scan donations and medical receipts into DoxCycle as well and find that it is a good way to keep all documents in one spot. I also check off the donation slips and med receipts in DoxCycle and TaxCycle screens for those items.

For self-employed or rental schedules, I scan in the client’s summaries or their trial balance. Some clients provide more info so I scan as much as they give me. I do not scan the clients receipts into DoxCycle since it would create a much too large file and I don’t see the benefit of me saving that information. I tell the client that they are responsible for keeping the data. I’m responsible for backing up the numbers I put on the tax return. I do scan in receipts for major items such as a new vehicle, agreements, or financing agreements.

I use the classification system in DoxCycle to arrange documents in the order in which I want them presented. This is a great asset of the program. Once you classify the document type, DoxCycle arranges it the way you have pre-specified. I don’t have the program with me right now so I am not sure if I’ve got the terminology right.

To use DoxCycle best, you also need to create print formats in TaxCycle that will print to DoxCycle. Some people use DoxCycle as a PDF copy to provide to the client. The TaxCycle print format would include the forms that you want the client to have. I use DoxCycle as my T1 working paper so I have TaxCycle print the forms that I might need to refer to in the future.

One of my wishes for DoxCycle is a more robust way of annotating the file but in a pinch, I can open the file in Adobe and do it there. I also wish there was a better way to present the document type short-cuts but I’ve mentioned this a couple times as suggestions and nothing has changed so I’ve pretty much given up on that hope.

All-in-all, a good, but not great program. It does allow you to consolidate T1 documents in one file.

Others use DoxCycle for T2’s but I use Caseware and find it easier to maintain the working papers in Caseware and export that to a PDF than to use DoxCycle.

I have used DoxCycle for T3’s in a similar way that I use it for T1’s.

1 Like

I tried DoxCyle in 2017 and found manual entry much faster and easier as well.
Since then I have learned that there are several ways to use DoxCycle. Each has it’s pros and cons.

Thank you for sharing your best practices usage. Can you elaborate further on how you use the classification system. I understand for tech support that many tax accountants add the preexisting document types. What have you added?

I’ve attached 3 PNG files that show the classification I have for my T1 DoxCycle format. For each of the income, deduction, tax credit, and other sections, I have defined source documents in DoxCycle and have then put them in the pre-defined order as shown in the PNG files. For medical expenses, for instance, I have a source document “medical expense” but I also have source documents for “Prescriptions”, “Long Term Care”, “Dental”, Massage Therapy", etc., if I want to have my medical expense receipts sorted by type. For the Ontario Trillium Benefit section, I have source documents for “Rent Receipts”, “Property Tax”, and just “ONBEN”. In a section such as Business Income, I have source documents for “Income”, “Expenses”, and “HST”.

Creating these source documents and setting up the various folders in the Options for DoxCycle makes sure that your scanned documents or the print format from TaxCycle goes to the correct area in the DoxCycle file.

To make scanning easier, you can setup shortcuts on the ribbon in DoxCycle that will make sure your scanned document is identified as one of your preset document types and goes in the correct order in your DoxCycle file. I wish the program would allow more shortcuts on the ribbon.
DoxCycle has a button you can click on in the sidebar that allows you to hide empty categories but when you click on that button, the unused categories are simply greyed-out. They’re not hidden. That would be a nice addition since this type of categorization can make for a long sidebar.

I refine my document types a bit each year as my workflow changes but this basic setup hasn’t changed in a few years and works well.



For T1 returns, this is my organization. T3 organized along the same lines:

  1. Signed documents - self explanatory
  2. Canadian return
    a) GST return, containing return (confirmation) and RC145
    b) Post filing actions, which includes separate folders for request for taxpayer relief, appeals, adjustment requests, post and pre-assessment reviews and VDP.
    c) Current year (T1) return
    d) T1136 OAS return
    e) T3 Estate tax return
    d) T1-OVP
    e) Marital status change
    f) TX21 Clearance
  3. US returns - all US tax forms, including State and FBAR, and post filing actions
  4. Working papers - any work prepared by us outside of the tax program, such as the various spreadsheets and downloads of data from bookkeeping software.
  5. Documentation provided by client - all the various slips and receipts from the client:
    a) Income- organized by employment income, RRSP and RRIF, investment income, income from property, capital gains and losses, other income, US income info slips, and self employment
    b) Deductions, organized by the various lines on the deductions
    c) Deductions from net income - such as Northern residents
    d) Non-refundable credits, organized by the various lines on the S1
    e) Tax calculation - info supporting the various lines such as political donations, T626, GST370, instalments, T5006
    f) Refundable credits - RC210
    g) Capital transactions - am working on setting up a separate ‘permanent file’ section, which can be copied/pasted from year to year.
    h) Other information - such as various returns prepared by others, T1135 info
    i) Info for US returns - that do not impact Canadian
  6. Planning and correspondence with client
    a) tax plans
    b) applications for probate, wills
    c) death certificate
    d) correspondence with client
    e) checklists
    f) enagement letter
    g) direct deposit info
    h) etc.

For T2 (year end engagements) have various templates for compilation, review and audit. As I no longer do assurance work, only the compilation is of consequence to me.
A) Tax returns

  1. Income tax, further organized by post assessment actions, assessments, signed forms, and tax returns
  2. GST returns, containing elections, post filing, and the various GST returns filed for the year
    B) Reports published
  3. Representation letter
  4. Letter to legal counsel
  5. Safe income calculation
  6. Shareholder and director resolutions
  7. Taxable capital employed in Canada
  8. Assets used in active business
  9. Capital dividend resolutions
  10. Budgets
  11. Financial statements
  12. Transmittal letter (produced by Taxcycle)
    C) Draft statements, trial balance and adjustments
  13. Draft financials
  14. Trial balance
  15. Adjusting entries
  16. Prelim financial statements
  17. Quickbooks change file to send to client
  18. Checklist

D) Balance sheet accounts - containing the various working papers to support balance sheet accounts
E) Income statement accounts - containing the various working papers to support income statement accounts
F) Procedures

  1. Queries and correspondence with client
  2. Specific procedures depending on engagement
  3. GST return preparation working papers for returns filed during the year
  4. Tax preparation supporting info
    a) GIFI import
    b) various tax slips
  5. Tax planning
  6. Related party information
  7. Analytical review
  8. Special procedures - such as lawyer trust fund reviews, etc.
    G) Acceptance and planning
  9. Financials prepared by client
  10. Understanding with client checklist
  11. Corporate summary from registered office, annual return, etc.
  12. Client profile
  13. Engagement letter
  14. Client prepared records
    H) Company books and records

For T4, T4A, T5018 preparation, use the T4 Doxcycle connection to also organize payroll files during the year, by payroll, whether monthly, semi-monthly or bi-weekly:

A) Permanent File - just started this, and some issues to be still resolved

  1. CPT30 election
  2. Employee information form, contract, TD1, direct deposit info
    B) CRA Followup
  3. PD4R procedures
  4. Pier reports
  5. PD1114 requests
  6. payroll audits
  7. Invalid sin report
    C) Annual reports
  8. T4 summary
  9. T4A summary
  10. T5 summary
  11. T5018 summary
  12. WCB summary
    D) Year end summaries preparation
  13. RAC downloads
  14. Return info - payroll info
  15. Engagement info
  16. WCB password
    E) Payroll reports, by payperiod:
  17. PD7A
  18. EFT detail
  19. Payroll reports
  20. Paystubs
  21. Input from client
    F) Records of employment issued
    G) Group insurance - reports from insurance company
1 Like

I wanted to send a quick thank you to everyone that replied. Lots of good suggestions and uses I had not thought of. Appreciate the detail everyone provided and I may have a couple of follow-up questions once all this data is absorbed.

Thanks, Greg.

…updated below

As an added comment…
In my client portal and practice document management system I now track my client documents in regions by client/engagement/ 4 sub-folders :- Client, WIP, Archived, Perm

1 - Client - Active - client uploads or scans
2 - WIP - Active - working and planning
3 - Archived - completed and archived returns and source docs by return type
4 - Perm - correspondence, invoice, engagements, signatures, summary client info

Thank you to all for investing the time to share your document organization structures, templates, and forms. This is so very helpful! :grinning:

Have set up various custom stamps (tickmarks):

  1. TR - used in tax return

  2. WTB - compared to wtb

  3. PBC - provided by client

  4. AFR entered

  5. Entered by Slipsync

  6. Draft

  7. i - immaterial

  8. +/- - approximate

  9. C7 - crossfooted

  10. gl - compared to GL

  11. N/A - not applicable

  12. UD - unreconciled diffrence

  13. RAC - obtained from RAC

  14. Proofread

  15. b – matches bank statement

  16. yes

  17. no

  18. Faxed

  19. Submitted

  20. E-couriered to client

  21. Entered 1040

  22. Emailed

  23. Mailed

  24. Last year

  25. Nex year

Many of these are only used in corporate files. Stamps can be repeated by holding down the ‘shift’ key.

Wish that we could also set up custom ‘tickmarks’, as it has some functionality different than stamps, and many of these are properly tickmarks - Colan?

1 Like

You can also set up Doxcycle to recognize the file names of the pages you import. For working paper preparation, I use AFP. Then from AFP, I print to PDF, and throw those into my document folder. From there I can drag and drop all the printouts into Doxcycle, which, because of the way I name the PDF’S, automatically recognizes the file names. This has taken some doing to develop, but have found that numeric files names work the best. Thus,
6.20.1 through 6.20.8 are published financials
6.25.1 through 6.25.8 are draft financials
6.40.1 and 6.40.2 are trial balance
6.50 adjusting entries
For leadsheet, use the ‘header’ gifi codes:
1000 is cash
1060 is Receivables
2620 is Payables


Your detailed examples are very helpful. Thank you. :grinning: