From the January 2012 Review of Tax Document Automation Tools.
Best Firm Fit
Firms using TaxWise or ATX that are looking for both a document management and automated tax document tool. It’s a good fit for high-volume retail firms that need a solution housed entirely on premises, especially those that will use the integrated electronic signature pads.
- Clean and intuitive interface. New users should be able to learn how to use the program quickly.
- Document management portion of the program is easily searchable and integrates nicely with TaxWise and ATX for automatic filing of documents.
- Only product reviewed here that has built-in integration with the Topaz electronic signature pads.
- Only forms W-2, 1099-MISC, 1099-R, 1099-DIV and 1099-INT may be exported to the supported tax software. Although PaperlessPLUS supports fewer forms than some of its competitors, the list of forms it covers is the most common among simple tax returns.
- Does not have the capability to populate capital gain or loss activity to schedule D of tax software.
This product is available in two versions: PaperlessPLUS and PaperlessPLUS Premier. Since the basic version does not include the forms recognition technology, creation of a bookmarked PDF, OCR or data export to tax programs, this review focuses on the tools included in PaperlessPLUS Premier. (Unless otherwise noted, PaperlessPLUS refers to the Premier version throughout this review.)
PaperlessPLUS, formerly known as Scan&Fill, has a user interface and functionality similar to its predecessor, but its internal workings have been rewritten to make the program more efficient. In addition to its scan, organize and populate functions, PaperlessPLUS also includes digital document storage and integrated e-mail features. All parts of the program, including the OCR and organization of documents, run on a firm’s local computer or network.
Core Product Functions/Features - 3.25 Stars
PaperlessPLUS has a clean and intuitive interface that is easy to navigate. The system searches files by name, social security number and entity type, reducing the time it takes to find a client folder. The default settings organize and group together certain form types, showing the number of forms of each type in parenthesis. Unrecognized forms are grouped together under an “unidentified” folder for the user to rename and categorize.
Paperless Workflow - 4 Stars
Recognized scanned forms (W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, 8879s and Schedule K-1s) are compiled as a bookmarked PDF with a linkable table of contents. For these forms, PaperlessPLUS automatically creates and labels digital folders or properly files them in an existing client’s folder. Files of several different types, including Microsoft Word and Excel files, can be added to a client’s folder, as well.
Before importing data into tax software, PaperlessPLUS has an error and data verification screen where the user can edit the data, if needed. The program highlights questionable scanned characters in red to bring it to the user’s attention for further review.
Automatic recognition of brokerage statements is limited. However, users can scan any statement and manually identify the form, which the program adds to its database. PaperlessPLUS does not have the capability to populate capital gain or loss activity to schedule D of tax software, nor does it currently support data import from financial institutions.
Integration - 4 Stars
No matter what tax software a firm uses, the print driver included with PaperlessPLUS can be used to store tax returns in its document manager, and PaperlessPLUS will create organized source document files. The tax compliance software supported for the populate function are ATX and TaxWise. Only forms W-2, 1099-MISC, 1099-R, 1099-DIV and 1099-INT may be exported. Although PaperlessPLUS supports fewer forms than some of its competitors, the list of forms it covers is the most common among simple tax returns. Additionally, financial statements, fixed asset reports, and tax returns completed in the ATX and TaxWise software suites may be automatically filed and labeled in PaperlessPLUS.