How do I use the Drake Portals Pane in Drake Documents to interact with my clients?
Drake Portals is integrated with Drake Documents via the Drake Portals (SecureFileProTM in Drake19 and prior) pane. From the Drake Portals pane of Drake Documents, you can do all of the following:
Choose from the links above to navigate directly to the indicated section or continue to follow the process below.
- Open Drake Documents. Note the Drake Portals pane at the bottom right of the Drake Documents window. If you do not see this, select to restore or maximize. Enter your Drake Portals Username and Password and click Login.
- Locate and select the taxpayer and folder that contains the file that you want to upload. The file will be displayed in the upper right window. In this example, a 2020 PDF is available for upload for taxpayer "Coffee Beans."
- On the Files tab in the Drake Portals pane, select which Folder into which you want to upload the file. For example, choose Documents from Preparer. The window changes to show this folder and its contents on Drake PortalsTM:
- In the upper right pane, left click to select the document that you want to upload and drag it down into the lower Drake Portals pane. The cursor will show a + sign indicating that the document(s) will be uploaded or added to this folder. When the cursor changes, release your mouse click to upload the file.*
Note the file details after upload:
- The taxpayer receives an email notification that new documents are available for review. Once they download the PDF, a Download Date will also display in this pane.
*Note: You can also copy the file from the documents pane and paste in the Drake Portals pane after selecting the destination folder.
- To download a file, open Drake Documents and locate the client in the left tree menu.
- In the Drake Portals pane, click on the Files tab and open the folder Documents to Preparer.
- Locate the file and either right click and copy the file or use the drag-and-drop function to move it to the client's Drake Documents folder.
Upload Client Information through Client Profile (1040)
- The Client Profile section allows you to upload profile data based on prior year information,
- Then the client can verify or alter the uploaded the profile data,
- You can then download the data and use it to auto-fill portions of the client’s return.
- Note: When you upload the Client Profile, a Checklist of forms that were completed in the prior year are shown on the Checklist tab in the client's account. This list is dynamic and based on the prior year data entry. No selections can be made to add or remove forms from this list-- it is completed automatically by the program.
To use Client Profile (1040):
- Click on the Connect tab.
- Click Upload.
- Enter the client’s SSN.
- Click OK.
- Review the taxpayer's information.
- If the information is correct, click Yes.
- Click Ok on the confirmation window.
Note: The status updates to “Sent” on the Connect tab in the Drake Portals pane.
- The client receives an email invitation to review their uploaded profile.
- The preparer is able to review the status of the uploaded profile on the Drake Portals pane:
- Not Sent – The profile has not yet been uploaded.
- Sent – The profile has been uploaded.
- Verified – The client has reviewed and verified their profile data and the data is ready to be reviewed, downloaded, and changes imported into Drake Tax.
- Once the status reads Verified, click the Download button:
- Enter the client’s SSN on the dialog.
- Click OK.
- Any changes made by the client may be reviewed on the Personal Data Update window.
- To accept the client’s changes, click Download.
- A message appears stating that the next time the return is opened it will be filled in with the downloaded profile data.
- Click OK to return to Drake Documents.
Note: Click on the black question mark beside Client Profile for more information.
Collect client information through Questionnaires - Fillable Web Forms (1040)
You can send a range of web forms to collect additional information from a client.
- Click on the Connect tab.
- Click Select to the right of Questionnaires (1040).
- Check the box beside each desired web form in the Send column.
- If you’d like to preview the form, click View under the Preview column.
- Click Send.
- The client will receive a notification email and find the web forms in the Questionnaires section. They can edit directly by clicking the pen icon or choose additional options in the blue option listing. The taxpayer must click submit for the changes to be uploaded.
- Once the taxpayer clicks Submit, the preparer receives a notification and the web form is returned as a .html file located under the Files tab > Documents to Preparer folder. Drag and drop to the upper window to save and review their web form submission.
In 2019 and prior, this information could only be reviewed, then manually input on the tax return. Beginning with Drake Tax 2020, the Questionnaire can now be imported directly into the tax return.
View the status of e-Sign Events through Signatures
The Signatures section of the Connect tab displays the status of the e-Signature documents that are uploaded to a client from Enhanced View/Print mode in Drake Tax.
Note: See Related Links below for more details on Signatures.
One of three statuses display:
- Not Sent - Signature forms have not been sent to the taxpayer for review/signatures.
- Sent - Signature forms have been sent to the taxpayer for review/signatures.
- Signed - Taxpayer has reviewed and completed the signature process.
Bill a Client through Payment
Note: Client payments may be submitted online through Drake Portals only if the preparer is partnered with e-Pay. The e-Pay service does require additional fees and pricing depends on which program you choose. See Related Links for details on signing up for e-Pay merchant card processing.
To bill a client for tax preparation directly from the Connect tab of the Drake Portals pane:
- On the Connect tab, enter the bill amount. Enter a memo note, if desired.
- Click the Bill button to send the bill amount to the taxpayer.
- The client will receive a notification email that a bill has been sent.
- When they log in to their Drake Portals Account, they click on Payment on the left.
- From this section, the taxpayer will click on Pay and then enter in their credit card information and submit the payment:
- Once completed, you can verify the payment and print documentation by clicking the Details button.
If your client does not have one or more of the tabs available in Drake Portals, check the Connect Features tab located in Drake Documents > Setup > SFP Settings to review what features have been enabled for your clients (global setting).
When a client uploads files, verifies their profile, sends messages, completes questionnaires, or submits payments, you will receive notification on the Drake Portals pane under the Notifications section and the corresponding tab will display a red flag indicating that you have a new item to review/download.
Note: You can expand the notification section by clicking on the down arrow. Clear notifications by checking the checkbox next to the notification(s). Then click the Clear button:
You can also review notifications on the Drake Portals website. See Related Links below for details.