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Returning clients documents- Canada Post no longer requiring signatures

Hi everyone,

What are you doing with client documents when returning tax returns by email?

Canada Post is no longer requiring signatures, so I wonder about the security of mailing them back with all we’ve heard about ‘porch pirates’ etc.

I have clients pick them up, they let me know they are on the way and I put them in my mailbox for them.

From personal experience, the mail carrier will not leave parcel/letter requiring signature in mailbox but will leave a card for you/client to go pick up at local Post Office where they will require identification.

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I also have clients pick up their returns from my mailbox at a designated time. They place the signed T183’s back in the mailbox and take the envelope. To better monitor the mailbox, I’ve installed the “DroidCam” app on an old, unused cell phone and mounted it to the front street window to monitor my mailbox. This app works as a webcam to send a live feed video &/or audio via wifi or usb to your computer via the “DroidCam Client”, which I’ve installed on my office computer. For this purpose, I’ve disabled the audio feed. I can now monitor the front street and my mailbox from the comfort of my office (in the next room) while doing my tax work. If I need to be away from the office for a few minutes, I can load the image in a web browser and monitor it from another device on the same network, like my main cell phone. It works great. I initially set this up as a USB client (with wifi turned off) to act as a webcam to do Zoom sessions. When I discovered how well it works with Zoom, I thought of this application. There is no record video option in DroidCam, however, you can create .JPG photos. You could also create a Zoom meeting and use Zoom’s record features if you want to record traffic to your mailbox. DroidCam’s free version supports 240p and 480p, while the paid version supports 720p & 1080p. The 480p works great with a nice clear image. Hope this idea is helpful to someone.

For seniors still living in their home I pickup and drop off from the porch at a predesignated time. I call when I have parked on the street.

For seniors living in seniors buildings I pickup and drop off outside their main door at a predesignated time. I call when I have parked in front of their building.

For those who have computers and scanners I do everything virtually.

For those who are paper based I use my mailbox for drop off and pick. We text to communicate times - in the mailbox and ready for pickup.

I live on a secluded cul de sac in a suburban area of Calgary. There are only a few houses on my street and I am near the end of our little circle. We have been here for decades and everyone knows everyone else’s schedule and activities. It is extremely self evident whenever a car or truck drives into out teeny short street deadend street. I can hear it clearly whenever anyone on the street turns on their car or drives into the street. The only risk would be from lurkers who walk in (which is extremely rare and unusual) or from very early or very late drop-offs or pick-ups when it is dark outside.

Whenever possible I process a credit card through manual entry on my Chase Payment Tech POS or accept Interac E-transfer via email.

Otherwise I accept check which a deposit at my bank branch’s ATM.

I am moving to accept online payments in the very near future.

I use email, online collaboration tools with my clients, and/or phone to communicate as often and as conveniently for my clients as needed.

For large document bundles I use Canada Post Venture One envelopes or mailed boxes requiring signatures.

For extremely important communications I use Canada Post Registered Mail.

My local postal outlet is located in a nearby Pharmacy and has the plexiglass shields. I drop my stuff on the counter with a list of instructions and back up. When the transaction is ready for payment the postal clerk backs up. It is a bit weird but relatively safe.

All of this takes a bit longer but is worth the little inconvenience for the greater good of all concerned.

@kozakworld

DroidCam Wireless Webcam is an interesting option.

Great idea about monitoring the front door mailbox. I have been thinking about outlining my options for monitoring.

What kind of camera do you have? Where can I purchase it? I like this idea and would like to purchase a camera for this purpose.

@cliffgblank … I’ve recommissioned an old Samsung A5 cellphone that was just sitting in my desk unused after being replaced at Christmas by a Samsung S10e cellphone. I have it mounted to the window with a cell phone car windshield mount - with the current distracted driving laws in place, I no longer use it while driving, so recommissioning it for this use. If you have an old android smartphone kicking around, give it a try. And as I said in my previous post, I’m really impressed with how well it works with Zoom as a webcam for those that don’t have a webcam.

Thank you, Kozakworld

@cliffgblank … I should add that I use two large 24" monitors on my office desk connected to my computer, so it’s easy to allocate a 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" area on one of my screens for the DroidCam Client to sit while I do my work. It might be more challenging for those who only use one computer monitor.