SurePrep — 1040SCAN PRO, 1040SCAN Organize

 

SurePrep - 1040Scan Pro, 1040Scan Organize
800-805-8582
www.sureprep.com

From the July 2011 Review of Tax Document Automation Systems

Best Fit:

  • Firms where more than one person is involved in the return preparation process.
  • Organizations willing to use SurePrep’s proprietary SPBinder documentation tool.
  • Practitioners who are comfortable using paraprofessionals to handle the majority of the data input associated with a client.

SurePrep was one of the earliest entrants into the tax document automation field, and has evolved and extended its offerings to meet the demands of practitioners. SurePrep’s 1040SCAN application is focused on reorganizing the workflow inside of tax and accounting firms. Although there are portions of the application that are installed on a user’s local computer, the actual source document recognition is handled at SurePrep’s secure onshore data center. The application provides its own input screens for supported applications, which include GoSystem Tax, Global fx, Lacerte, ProSystem fx Tax and UltraTax CS. This design simplifies the use of data-entry clerks to validate the data extracted by the application, and also eliminates the need for these personnel to work directly with the tax application.

Core Product Functions/Features:

There are three key packages in the SurePrep 1040SCAN product line:

Strengths

  • Guides and certification process designed to help users optimize the quality of scanned images are the best in the industry.
  • SurePrep’s outsourcing operations prepare tens of thousands of returns each year using these tools, and this experience gives them immediate, direct feedback on how screen changes impact the data-entry process.
  • There are a variety of product offerings (1040Scan Organize, 1040SCAN TRADES and 1040SCAN Pro) for the individual needs of each return.

Potential Limitations

  • Data-entry interface used to validate data extracted from scanned images is proprietary to 1040SCAN, and is different from the tax applications.
..
  • 1040SCAN Organize – Scans and organizes tax documents for a client.
  • 1040SCAN TRADES – Scans and organizes tax documents for a client; recognizes and extracts stock transaction detail from an unlimited number of pages to Excel for a fixed price.
  • 1040SCAN Pro – Scans, organizes, and extracts tax data for a client into a file that can be imported into supported tax applications.

All three of the packages assemble the documentation into the proprietary SurePrep SPBinder application, which replaces Adobe Acrobat and related add-on applications with a single application designed for creating and annotating workpapers.

The 1040SCAN Pro application determines where to record recognized forms by looking at where the documents were entered in the proforma information brought over from the previous year. This technique makes it easier for inexperienced users to record information in a manner consistent with the prior year.

The company does not have a product that facilitates download and import of information related to securities trades from financial institutions. Both 1040SCAN TRADES and 1040SCAN Pro have a scanning and data validation methodology that analyzes, extracts and verifies this information based on scanned documents. With 1040Scan Trades, the extracted 1099-B data is exported to Microsoft Excel and can be imported into most tax applications. With 1040SCAN Pro the extracted stock transaction detail is exported directly to the supported tax software and does not use Microsoft Excel.

Paperless Workflow:

SurePrep’s approach to tax document processing is different from some competitors, with the 1040SCAN application serving as a data-entry application into supported tax products. The replacement of the data-entry screens native to the application permits better integration with their SPBinder workpaper documentation tool and also simplifies the user interface so that less experienced personnel can validate the information recognized by 1040SCAN.

While it is beyond the scope of this review, SurePrep also offers a range of onshore and offshore options for preparation outsourcing.

Integration:

While SurePrep’s 1040SCAN is an independent application, it offers integration with SPBinder, a proprietary product similar to Adobe Acrobat that facilitates workpaper preparation and review by allowing users to insert tick marks, workpaper references, create bookmarks and repaginate documents. Users also have the option of creating files in PDF format and using Adobe Acrobat or other tools to annotate their organized documents.

SurePrep’s 1040SCAN is one of only two products in this review that will extract information for import into multiple tax products. SurePrep’s 1040SCAN currently supports data import into GoSystem Tax RS, Lacerte Tax, ProSystem fx Tax/Global fx Tax, and UltraTax CS.

The product does not offer any specific integration with either document management systems or portal products, although the files from the SPBinder product can be stored in most document management systems. The files created with SPBinder are in a proprietary format, and cannot be accessed or modified with any of the common PDF editing applications (e.g. Adobe Acrobat, Nitro PDF, etc.).

Help/Support/Training:

SurePrep offers training courses to assist customers with the transition to tax document automation, including courses on a wide range of topics such as soft skills like change management. The company has a new firm/new scanner certification process in place to verify the image quality of scanned documents prior to accepting documents from a new customer. The company has created detailed step-by-step documents that guide users through the process of configuring scanner hardware and related software (e.g. Kofax VRS Professional), as well as overview documents that present the optimal scanner settings for using their service. From within the application, users can chat with a SurePrep employee to solve issues associated with a return.

Executive Summary & Pricing

SurePrep was one of the earliest entrants into the tax document automation field, and has evolved and extended its offerings to meet the demands of practitioners. SurePrep’s 1040SCAN application is focused on reorganizing the workflow inside of tax and accounting firms. Although there are portions of the application that are installed on a user’s local computer, the actual source document recognition is handled at SurePrep’s secure onshore data center. The application provides its own input screens for supported applications, which include GoSystem Tax, Global fx, Lacerte, ProSystem fx Tax and UltraTax CS. This design simplifies the use of data-entry clerks to validate the data extracted by the application, and also eliminates the need for these personnel to work directly with the tax application.

Suggested retail pricing is as follows:

  • 1040SCAN Organize - $10/return
  • 1040SCAN TRADES - $20/return (regardless of the number of trades)
  • 1040SCAN Pro - S30/return

Significant discounts to these rates are available to users based on transaction volume and multi-year purchase commitments. A list of SurePrep’s 1040SCAN Supported Forms can be found at http://corp.sureprep.com/SUPPORT/FAQ.aspx.

2011 Overall Rating

 

 

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