I am sure you are going to get a lot of different scenarios on how people are doing things. We have been using scanning since 2010 and scanning/OCR since 2011 with a competing product, but have switched this year to TaxCycle/DoxCycle. The improvements in efficiency compared to before we used scanning/OCR are significant, and we expect that to improve this year with the added flexibility that TaxCycle/DoxCycle adds.
Our office has 6 professional staff that prepare tax returns and 2 support staff. We all do our own scanning and use pretty much the same checks and balance we did with paper. That is, we compare current year slips/schedules to the prior year and contact the client if things appear to be missing. We are using the pre-season letter this year and hope that will remind clients of things they sometimes forget.
After scanning the preparer validates the OCR info and posts into TaxCycle. Once the preparer has optimized the return, he/she runs control tapes from the DoxCycle file and matches the taxable income and the tax paid (deducted). At this point the file goes to review, where the tapes are confirmed and optimizations/planning is given a second look.
At this point the required items are printed and we meet with the client to for signatures, etc.
The system has been working quite well for us and we do not feel we have any less control than when we used paper and keyed manually. One of the differences in our office compared to James is that the preparer is involved in the file throughout the process, and generally have a continuity with the client so we each know what was dropped off and what we are expecting to see.
As James noted, at first blush, the perception might be that you won’t be more efficient, but our internal stats indicate we are. Further, there are additional savings after the return prep when CRA does a pre- or post-assessment review as our support staff can easily put together what CRA is asking for.
We watched Wednesday’s Webinar on DoxCycle as a group to make sure we were all up to speed. At the end Elizabeth suggested that if you have been using TaxCycle and not DoxCycle, you might want to give it a try. All of us watching agreed. Based on our experience, it’s a no-brainer for us. We can’t understand why someone wouldn’t use it.