CPA Practice Advisor

AUG 2018

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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14 AUGUST 2018 ■ REVIEW: PROFESSIONAL TAX PREP SYSTEMS Bloomberg Tax 706 Preparer Bloomberg Tax offers a variety of tools and resources designed for tax professionals who need to process estate and gift tax returns for their high-net worth clients. Bloomberg Tax currently offers two applications; Estate and Gift Tax 706 Preparer and Estate and Gift Tax 709 Preparer. Both products are installed on a desktop or network computer and are designed to automate preparation of both IRS Form 706 and 709, using streamlined data entry capability while performing complex calculations automatically. The products also offer a variety of resources including data validation messages, automated application help options, and spell check capability. Accounting firms interested in Bloomberg Tax Estate and Gift Tax 706 Preparer can contact the vendor directly for current product pricing. Bloomberg Tax Estate & Gift Tax 709 Preparer Estate and Gift Tax 709 Preparer from Bloomberg Tax automates the preparation of IRS Form 709, supporting a number of additional forms as well, including Forms 56, 712, 2350, 4868, 8821, 8822, 8275, 8275-R, and 8892. The application handles a variety of gift tax calculations including automatic allocation of the annual exclusion to each gift, automatic calculation of both current and prior year gift taxes, and will automatically calculate split gifts with a spouse. The product can also import split gifts from a spouse’s 709 Preparer return into the current taxpayer return. The program uses Smart Data Entry, which guides users through IRS Form 709, so users only have to enter data once. Accounting firms interested in Bloomberg Tax Estate and Gift Tax 709 Preparer can contact them directly for current product pricing. Read the full review for this product online at: Canopy Tax Canopy offers a series of software products designed for the professional accounting office, including Practice Management, Document Management and a client portal. Canopy also offers Tax Resolution, a great solution for CPAs who wish to guide their clients through the complicated tax resolution process. To begin the tax resolution process, firms can send a survey to their clients who can be delivered using the client portal. The survey contains five sections that the client will need to answer, including a Personal Profile, Personal Assets, Income & Expenses, Miscellaneous Items, and Business. The information contained in the survey allows accountants to expedite the tax resolution process, using the information from the survey to answer questions about each client and their current tax situation. If IRS forms need to be prepared, they can be auto-populated in Canopy, with users able to make edits as needed. Canopy also includes a Collection Analytics feature that allows accountants to use the answers contained in the survey to find the best solution to the client’s particular tax situation with options such as Offer in Compromise, Payment Plan, or Currently not Collectible options available. All results of the collection analytics are based off the survey results and any source forms that have been prepared. Canopy also includes a Resolution Service Assistant that offers best outcome scenarios for Liens, Levies, Trust Fund Recovery, Innocent Spouse, and Penalty Abatement cases. Accountants simply answer a few questions about their client’s current situation to be provided with the best outcome options. Once the requisite forms are prepared, clients can access them through the client portal, sign, and return the forms promptly. Along with the tax resolution option, Canopy also offers complete document management capability, with an unlimited amount of storage available. Accountants can make documents visible to clients from their contact page, where they can safely access the document, with all client-related documents stored directly on their contact page. Also available is a Contact Management feature that allows firms to easily manage client data in one central location, grouping each contact as desired for easier accessibility. Canopy’s Tax Resolution software is currently $1,250.00 per user, per year, with a free trial available. The Practice Management module is $900.00 per user, per year, and the document management and contact management features are included in both the tax resolution and the practice management modules. Canopy offers flexible pricing plans that allow users to choose which products they want and exclude the ones they don’t. Currently Canopy offers Practice Management, Tax Resolution, Notices and Transcripts. The document management and contact management features are included in both the tax resolution and the practice management modules. TaxCaddy from SurePrep TaxCaddy from SurePrep is designed to simplify the collection of necessary tax documents. CPAs can simply invite their clients to set up a free account on TaxCaddy. The client account is not perpetually linked to the CPA firm, instead the client owns their account and can use it as they wish. TaxCaddy also includes an automated document request list that integrates with CCH Axcess, CCH ProSystem fx Tax, GoSystem Tax RS, and UltraTax. To get started, clients will simply need to enter some initial data about themselves and then connect with their accounting professional. Once the client’s account is connected with their CPA, the CPA firm logo will appear in the left-hand side of the main interface screen. When a request is sent to the client, it will be found under the Tax Pro Requests section. This is where clients will access the questionnaire that will be sent to them. CPAs don’t have to rely simply on clients; the product also links to over 300 banks, brokerages, and payroll service providers, so firms can begin to gather documents as soon as they become available. To eliminate the end of year paperwork rush, clients can also uploading documents by simply snapping a photo and upload it throughout the year using their Mac and Android smartphones and tablets. A PC can also be used to provide requested information if desired. TaxCaddy supports a variety of document formats, including PDFs and Microsoft Word and Excel documents. Once a document is uploaded, clients can select a category to place each document, along with the appropriate tax year, adding a subcategory if desired. If using a PC, clients can simply drag and drop the necessary documents into the TaxCaddy interface and upload them accordingly. Hard copies of documents can also be provided to the CPA firm, with the firm able to upload the documents directly to the client’s account, so all documents can be easily viewed in their account. Designed for efficiency, clients will receive a notification that their organizer is available in January. Clients will then answer the questions included in the questionnaire, and upload any of the requested documents directly into the Documents section of TaxCaddy. The Documents screen has two screens for complete document management, Requested Items and Uploaded Items, making it easy to fulfill document requests and always know exactly what documents have already been uploaded. TaxCaddy also offers e-signature capability, enabling CPAs to share engagement letters and authorizations using the product. The product also offers E-signature with verification that can be used for documents such as form 8879. TaxCaddy utilizes Amazon Web Services for storage, with all documents encrypted during transit and while stored. All data is hosted at data centers in Dallas, Seattle, and Washington D.C., and are monitored 24/7. TaxCaddy can also be used in conjunction with 1040SCAN PRO, which automatically bookmarks and organizes documents. For more information, visit TaxCaddy’s website at

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