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Physical File Location

Question, how do offices track where the physical tax file location is? We have used various non-TaxCycle methods over the years. We are considering using the new Custom Fields for this but it would mean opening the return to find its location. It would be nice to have something searchable from the Client Manager.

Anyone have a nifty method for keeping track of them that is easy for the front desk and others to find where they are?

Jim Burch

Last year I implemented a full CSM software package. In that, I could attach a photo of the client records so I had a visual of what the documents (and container) looks like. The advantage is that I can access the CSM through both my cell and my tablet, so it was a single step photo process.

Tax cycle also lets you attach a file to any field, so you could add a JPG to the info screen. But you can’t do that with the cell/tablet as they don’t open tax cycle files.

I keep my TaxCycle files in a TaxFiling folder. It has subfolders for 201?T1, T2, 201?Fx (which contains T4’s, T5’s, and forms), and T3.

I print final PDF copies to folders for each client’s folder (such as “P:\Personal\Smith, John and Mary\2017”). I also keep source documents for each year and the DoxCycle files in these folders. I use the variables in the print configuration screen to save the PDF copies to the correct client folders. The variables allow for great customization.

I have a separate folder for each client, where all his files are kept…

@TimParris
Which CSM software package do you use?

I use podio.com, integrated with Globimail and Smrtphone.

@TimParris
Thank you for your reply.

Do you use Citrix ShareFile with Podio to attach documents to your workflow?

How to link your files from ShareFile to Podio

Now you can search through or browse your ShareFile files and attach them to items, tasks, statuses and messages in Podio.

You can view and edit your ShareFile documents in your browser without downloading the file. Simply hover over the file name, then click “Edit” to open the file in your browser.

Please note : You will need an Office365 account in order to access this edit option. Your ShareFile account admin will also need to enable online editing in order for this to be possible. See this article from the ShareFile support site for help enabling this option.

Click to add files anywhere in Podio. This can be done via the paperclip icon next to the status bar, the “Add files” button in the bottom of the apps or the “Attach files” button on tasks.

Then you’ll get to the file dialogue.

@TimParris

What level of quality, capacity, time, and/or productivity per person gain have you noticed so far.

As with most technological improvements it usually takes a few years of defining, refining, and reworking to optimize the new processes.

I don’t use sharefile as I was already using a client portal beforehand. I had no reason to swap as mine is tied to an extensive document management system. But I understand that I could automate transactions received by sharefile so that they are automatically downloaded to my computer within minutes of them being uploaded.

I do use RightSignature and have automated certain documents for signature within Podio to RightSignature. I have asked TaxCycle if they could add RightSignature to the T1013 process. I gather that I was too late for this year. But it is fairly easy to set up - you need to add a underlaid white text marker to the PDF where you want the person to sign.

This is my second year of using Podio. Because I am a one man shop (with an assistant in tax season,) my comments should be tempered. But:

  • With this type of upgrade, the amount of time is increased. My assistant, who handles phoning, did not quite get the concept that you chose one primary tax return and you make your notes (and link the telephone calls/emails) within that primary tax return.
  • Quality of note taking is MUCH better. I am sub to a trustee in bankruptcy, so every one of those files is a legal case. Note taking is mandatory for these. Yesterday, I and the estate administrator had to pull one file. Within 20 second, I had notes on exactly when the return was filed (late,) why (taxpayer provided the document late,) what was the nature of the documentation provided (incomplete,) and was able to provide a definitive statement that the taxpayer was responsible for the error and therefore is responsible for paying for the correction. Then pulled off the reports and proof so that they could go to court.
  • My assistant, as previously noted, does not perform to the same speed as me. But, she was previously working from a list of people to call. Now, she must make the notes immediately after the call and she must link the call to the tax return. She does not like that, but does not realize that I was doing that for her before.
  • I am gathering information constantly using the CSM. After 1.25 years using it, I am at 20k records of information.

At the end of 2018, I was able to pull up a report as to the profitability as to each client. I only had a sense, but no way to really know. I was surprised to notice that some really large billing clients were stinkers for profit, while others were much better. (Bankruptcy returns are generally quick and, as I don’t deal with a person, can be handled during off hours.)

For this tax season, I am now implementing individual service packages. This means that clients pay for only those services that they want. Without the CSM, I could only offer the same package to everyone. Now, people can choose. (Yes, I am doing some of this anyway, but the CSM will stop me before the client is aware.)

  • Do they want me to respond to the CRA for them?
  • Do they want reminders for their instalments?
  • Do they want me to check their notice?
  • Do they want a bound copy of their tax return?
  • Do they want a planning session in the fall?

For this summer, I want to start implementing service metrics. I want to know:

  • How fast am I responding to emails and phone calls? Do the client’s notice delays?
  • What is the volume in progress each day?
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@TimParris

Thank you for your extensive reply. I found it to be very helpful. I am also a one person shop with plans to add an assistant.

One question and some comments re my progress towards productivity, effectiveness, and workflow automation.

Q - which client portal DMS are you using and how.

MS OneNote - I write extensive notes in OneNote. I have a separate OneNote NB for each and every taxpayer and bookkeeping client. For T1 clients I have a section for each tax year. For Corporate and Bookkeeping clients I have a section group for each fiscal year. Although I have been using OneNote extensively since 2003, I am exploring alternative note taking and workflow apps for increased productivity and scalability. I am exploring CanopyTax, Thomson Reuters’ Onvio, and Xero Practice Manager. So far I like bits and pieces of each, but not well enough to switch yet.

Half my practice consists of complex tax, tax resolution, and rescue bookkeeping clients. The ability to work on documents spanning multiple years and identifying important missing documents is required.

SmartVault - I tried SmartVault as a bookkeeping document portal and document manager and found it lacking many features with I would have preferred for a combined Tax and Bookkeeping practice. The issue has been the collaboration with clients re missing documents and the requirement for document clarification.

TaxDocs by LedgerDocs - I am using/testing TaxDocs by LedgerDocs for this tax season for the pricing and ease of communication. I will check out your tools this summer.

Hubdoc - I have standardized on Hubdoc as the fetch and initial client portal for bookkeeping clients for their extensive fetch and superior data scraping into Xero and QBO. Hubdoc has a synch to Citrix ShareFile for long term retention and each of archiving. I am adding the entry level of Citrix ShareFile to this apps stack.

ReceiptBank - Last year I tried ReceiptBank. Without the extensive fetch I prefer Hubdoc.

LedgerDocs - For annual compilation, low transaction volume bookkeeping clients, price sensitive, and QB Desktop clients I have switched to LedgerDocs for the extensive messaging and collaboration. I will archive to Citrix ShareFile.

Rubex by EFileCabinet - as a Document Management System I love the tags, searching, and reporting of this product. It has a great workflow tracking system. However it is missing both the fetch and email templates so I passed on this solution.

17Hats - For this year I have implemented email templates and workflow into 17Hats. I am comparing this to CanopyTax. I passed on Asana and Slack.

Basically I am “dating” most of the apps, married to TaxCycle, going steady with Citrix ShareFile and Hubdoc, and married but thinking of playing the field on OneNote. An odd but somewhat vivid portrayal of where I currently stand with apps.

I am also working on packages, pricing, profit by customer, profit by engagement type, a lifetime value.

One questi

1 Like

My DMS is EfileCabinet with its portal SecureDrawer.

@TimParris

I love EfileCabinet’s Rubex version with tags, reports, file structure, OCR, administrative feature, advanced document search, and document reporting. I found it to be the most robustly featured Document Management System of all that I have tested or viewed demonstrated.

I have been with EfileCabinet Online for several years, previously with DT Cabinet.

For use with DoxCycle, I just upload the DoxCycle PDF without modification, though I use EfileCabinet Online’s File Templates to rename the file to a standardized name (Copy the existing name, select the templated name, then paste the existing name into the templated name so that I can match the file notification against the client work.

I should mention that I have not upgraded to Rubex yet. The timing that they released it did not allow me to convert cleanly, so I decided to defer.

Comment - I looked at Sharefile today because I received the second client complaint that they can’t download the file from EfileCabinet’s SecureDrawer system using their iOS device. (Deficiency in how Apple handles secured PDF downloads. Works in Android and the majority of my clients are on Android.)

For me to add Sharefile, the basic system would be $120 USD per year, but the needed version would be about $1,000 USD per year. (Yikes!) That would settle the iOS people.

Right now, I have only two clients that I know of that use iOS. Wonder how they would feel about paying an additional $700 per household so that they can download on their phones?

@TimParris

You might ask for some promo pricing or consider using TaxDocs by LedgerDocs at the annual price of less than $100 for 25 tax clients as bridging system for your IOS clients.

http://www.ledgerdocs.com/tax-docs

Citrix ShareFile has an unlisted Small Business Plan which bundles the Premium offer at the advanced price for one user. You can buy a single user top-up (I think.)

Last year I had the single user Premium plan price for 1 user at a deep discount with Podio and Right Signature bundled at n/c for one quarter. I cancelled since I was not yet ready with to go fully cloud with workflows.

This year Winter/Spring I am using 17Hats for my workflows and email templates, and, Citrix ShareFile Standard at $120 USD /year for my client document archiving for both tax and bookkeeping clients.

I am using TaxDocs at $97/USD for tax client document collaboration for those messy and complex clients who need a lot of hand holding.

I am using Hubdocs for QBO and Xero fetch and data scraping. Hudocs has an auto synch to Citrix ShareFile.

I am using LedgerDocs for QB Desktop client uploading and AI with QB Connector.

In June and July I will test and compare these systems with eFileCabinet’s Rubex and Thomson Reuter’s Onvio Document for archiving and sharing. I will likely keep TaxDocs for the collaboration and LedgerDocs for QBDT.

Please let us know what you chose and how it worked it.

Thanks for sharing your experience and apps list. I have found it very helpful in my quest for ease of client communications and effective workflows.

How well does ShareFile Standard work for you and your clients?
I would be happy with that option, but I have seen the Sharefile File Drop option in action, which makes it easier for some clients.

At $120 USD for one year, I could go for the ShareFile Standard, but really want to see it in action beforehand so I understand what the client sees and know how I am notified when a file arrives.

We use Sharefile. You can test out our File Drop from our website (top right under client area):

www.duncanandco.ca

It works very well for the client portal and file drop, but the feature we use the most is the Outlook Addin that let’s us email attachment securely. It also allows to send the whole email encrypted. In my opinion, it works way smoother than e-courier for that aspect.