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12496: Practice Management Tools


Tools Generally

What tools does Drake Software offer for practice management purposes?


Drake Software offers various tools to assist preparers. Some tools are inside the software itself, while others are available from the Support website.

Security and Control Options

Setup Options

Setup options allow you to decide which forms are generated with a tax return, the letters and cover sheets you need, whether or not to print filing instructions for federal and state returns, and other functions such as those associated with the electronic filing process. Many global options may be overridden on a per-return basis.

Preparer Security

Under the setup for preparers you may assign security settings to single preparers or as a group. There are pre-defined security settings or you may customize the level of access allowed.

Flagged Fields

Flagged fields are used to assist you in verifying important data-entry fields before the return is finalized. You may flag fields as you work a return or set flags globally for all new returns.

Return Tracking

Drake Software automatically records the date and time data is first entered, the last time the return was altered, the last time the return was calculated, and the return’s e-file status. You may also enter details such as interview time, client contact information, and return pickup time.

Status of Returns and Appointments

Client Status Manager (CSM)

This tool gives you the ability to search, view, and organize client files, plus follow workflow and manage productivity with on-screen tracking and reporting. Some of the tracking details are the status of the return, the preparer involved, refund or balance due, total bill, client payments, etc.

Home Window

The Home screen contains a condensed version of the Client Status Manager known as the Personal Client Manager (PCM). It displays returns for the logged-in preparer for help in organizing and prioritizing tasks. The Preparer Notes portion of the Home screen (bottom right) acts as your electronic notepad. Under the Appointments portion your daily schedule will display. The Notifications section informs you of emails to download or available updates. For privacy, you can hide all client data with the click of a button.

Appointment Scheduler

The Scheduler provides the opportunity to create and manage preparer schedules and appointments. It may be launched in either Preparer Mode or Front Office Mode (designed for office personnel who create and manage appointments but don’t need access to the full program).

Letters, Invoicing, Organizers and Proformas

Letters

About 40 pre-written letters are available, including a return result letter, pre-season letters, an engagement letter, and post-season letters. Letters may be edited and customized. You may also add your firm information and a logo.

7216 Sample Letters

Drake also provides sample letters to help you comply with IRS Regulation 7216, regarding the use and disclosure of taxpayer information.

Invoices

Billing options include charging by form, item or return, with customization for all options. You can also specify what charges appear on the invoice. Override billing as needed, apply discounts, carry forward a prior year balance, record payments, and more.

Proformas and Organizers

These pre-season tools help you save time during tax season. Organizers, which can be emailed securely as PDF files, help your clients collect their records and prepare for their appointments. Use proformas to guide you through client interviews and speed up data entry.

Office Information and Management

Drake Software Support website

This is your one-stop online resource for managing your Drake account. It includes the bank application, fees setup, direct deposit information, and more. The Support website also provides management for the sub-offices of a multi-site account.

Reports

Use the Report Manager to create a custom report, or use one of the built-in reports.  The Fixed Asset Manager feature allows you to create reports of depreciable assets. Reports of return results are also available online from the online EF database.

Client, EF, and Scheduler Reports allow you to print reports based on data entry statistics, return statuses, e-filing information, preparer appointments, etc.

Real-Time Web Reports using your online EF database allow you to track e-filed returns quickly and easily from anywhere with an Internet connection. See which returns have been accepted or rejected by the IRS and state, and monitor the status of bank products. You can even check the status of your preparer fees online. These reports may be converted to Microsoft Access® or Excel® files.

Multi-Office Manager (MOM)

MOM combines information on paper or e-filed returns from multiple offices into one database, allowing you to track all of your offices from one simple-to-use interface. This Internet-based tool automatically combines Client Status Manager’s electronic transmissions to Drake into one database.

Tax Planner

Within each return you may create a planner for future events occurring in the taxpayer’s life that will affect the outcome of his/her income tax return, such as adopting a child or income changes. You may compare the scenarios completed to the taxpayer’s original return.

Supplies

Order guaranteed compatible forms and supplies from our partner, Nelco Solutions, at the Authorized Site For Drake Software Compatible Products.

Paperless Office

Drake Documents (formerly Drake Document Manager) gives you the ability to store program PDFs and other scanned documents in the taxpayer’s file.

You may choose to use the Working Cabinet, which stores data from the current-year program, or the Archive Cabinet, which stores all prior-year data as well as current-year data if selected. If you choose to use the Working Cabinet, the Archive feature allows you to move data to the Archive Cabinet.

Drake Portals (SecureFilePro)

Drake Portals (SFP) provides a secure client file exchange portal, allowing you to exchange tax documents between you and your client over your own secure site. Your site may be accessed anywhere the Internet is available. More information is available on the Drake Portals page.

GruntWorx

GruntWorx is a secure web-based application that allows you to organize and populate data entry such as W-2s, 1099s, and trades from broker statements. More information is available on the Drake GruntWorx page.

e-Signatures

E-signatures provide the ability to include digital signatures on tax returns, bank applications, and consent forms. More information is available on the Drake Electronic Signatures page. 


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