the Sept. 2008 Feature on Scan/Fill/Populate
Since the acquisition of ATX and TaxWise by CCH a couple of years ago, the
two tax preparation systems, both geared toward small and mid-sized firms, have
seen increased development, thanks to the considerable resources that CCH has
to offer. One of the more notable developments over this time is the Scan&Fill
module, offered under each of the tax systems’ names. The module, which includes
a basic Document Manager system, provides direct scanning using most scanners
(sheet-fed is preferable), with optical character recognition (OCR) extracting
client data from W-2s and most versions of 1099.
Operating separately from the tax system (either ATX or TaxWise), Scan&Fill
automatically creates a temporary client folder that stores documents that have
been scanned, with items sorted by document type. Each of these documents is
saved as an individual image file (*.jpeg), while the system’s Review
function provides a panel that displays the data that has been extracted from
an individual form and allows editing as necessary.
Scan&Fill’s AutoFile feature automatically files recognized documents
in the client’s folder or the program will automatically create a new
client folder and file the document if the client is not yet in the system.
After the user has verified the accuracy of the data in the scanned form, the
next step is to move the temporary folder into the Active Client Directory,
which is part of the document management features of the program and provides
separate folders for source documents and the client tax return. Individual
folders for spouses filing jointly can be linked so that when the user chooses
to populate the return, data from both are included. After these review and
folder management tasks, the process of transferring client data is performed
by exporting the data into a file that is then imported by the ATX or TaxWise
While preparing a tax return, users can access scanned source documents and,
when the return is completed it can be stored as a PDF with the client’s
documents in the document management module. The Document Manager also enables
storing of other digital files and documents related to a client engagement,
such as signature pages, receipts and notes. It also provides basic search functionality.
Although its form recognition and workpaper management capabilities are less
comprehensive than many of the other auto-population systems designed for larger
practices, Scan&Fill’s feature set is well suited to smaller and mid-sized
practices using TaxWise and ATX and who are looking for a paperless solution
that also provides time savings by automating much of the data entry associated
with 1040 tax preparation services. The system costs $715 for a single-user
license, $1,035 for up to five users.
Forms Supported for Automatic Population of a Tax Return and AutoFile
to the Client Folder: W-2, 1099 (most versions)
Additional Forms Recognized for AutoFile to the Client Folder: