Onboarding For Individuals
At Freyman CPA, we have streamlined our intake process for individual tax preparation
Most individuals will seek out our services for various reasons, such as assistance with:
- filing prior year returns
- filing current year returns
- tax planning and estimated tax payments
- tax research
This post will focus on our uniform intake process for filing current year tax returns for individuals as that is the most common service we provide for people in our community.
Our process is laid out as follows:
1) We have an initial 15-minute discovery call on the phone or via video conference to go over our pricing for individuals and determine if we are a good fit
- we can give a very rough estimate during the meeting – so be prepared for the discovery call by completing the individual client questionnaire and submitting it before our meeting
- for a more exact estimate, we would require a time charge for a closer review of your specific situation; such detailed review would constitute a tax engagement and hence the time charge. This may not be a good option for your specific tax situation, please see the pricing page for more information
- the discovery call is NOT meant for tax questions as that would be against our insurance policy. We must be formally engaged to render tax advice, and we need to see a full and clear picture of the tax situation to provide accurate tax guidance
2) Once you are ready to proceed to the onboarding stage and are okay with our price structure and estimate, we will furnish you with the onboarding documentation and access points. These will include the following list of items (this list is not all-inclusive as cases may vary):
Documents to electronically sign and complete
- engagement agreement
- payment authorization and request for deposit
- tax organizer
Access points granted for you
- our cloud file share solution on Box.com
Communication sent to you
Our team will communicate with you on what documents are required to commence work, and you will securely upload those documents to our portal; these items will typically include:
- basic information documents such as copies of identification for all members of the household and a voided check
- completed client tax questionnaire and general information section
- prior three years of tax filings
- any current tax documents you already have received from third-parties, such as your W-2, 1099-Misc or 1099-B forms, and K-1 forms
- completed tax organizer
3) Once steps 1 and 2 above have been completed, we will simultaneously feed your profile into our database and tax software systems. These are behind the scenes steps we take for each new client, and these steps will include:
- setting up your profile into the tax software, which will consist of basic data entry for all your general information
- entering your tax history into the tax software for the prior year, which will include any carryover amounts that will play out on the current year taxes
- an in-depth review of your previous tax filings
- entering all the data you have already furnished to us for the current year and seeing what is missing
- reviewing your completed tax organizer and client questionnaire and discussing with you what other details may be required for the finalization of the return
4) At points 1 through 3, most of the groundwork has been accomplished. And now we wait for any missing items or loose ends to be fully resolved. The resolution may be a quick process, or for some, it may end up being months worth of time; the amount of time delay will depend on your tax situation. Some examples of factors that may delay your return would be as follows:
- foreign investments and tax obligations
- investments in businesses
- reconstruction of business records
- retaining our services too close to the tax deadline
Once we have completed all the work, communicated with you the results, and finalized the filing, we will send you the return via our electronic signature software along with our final invoice for services rendered.
Note: We request the bill to be paid in full before we transmit the return.
Once all parties E-sign the return, you (and your spouse if married), and us as the return originators and tax professionals, we are clear to transmit the return to the tax authorities and E-file (where applicable).
Once the tax authorities accept the return, you (and your spouse if married) will receive a confirmation email directly to your inbox(es) from our tax software with a unique confirmation number. That confirmation number is proof that the tax authority has accepted your return.
We store your final electronically signed tax return in our cloud files. You should download the signed return for your safekeeping on a local machine or drive.
If you have any questions about our process, please do not hesitate to ask. Our doors are always open.
We thank you for your business and welcome you to our practice.