Establishing a 1040 workflow that enabled staff to work from home was not on anyone’s mind at the beginning of this tax season. Now, it’s essential. As lockdown orders continue to roll out, tax firms are scrambling to establish remote work infrastructures that will allow them to maintain normal operations. We feel a strong sense of responsibility to the 1040 tax preparation industry during this difficult time, and we want to emphasize: SurePrep’s 1040 tax automation solutions have a built-in remote infrastructure that allows firms to process tax returns from beginning to end without ever stepping foot in the office.

This has always been a pillar of our software and services.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how your entire staff—including administrators—can leverage SurePrep’s solutions to work remotely and adhere to social distancing recommendations.

  • Remotely manage 1040 client documents and communication (TaxCaddy)
  • Prepare and review tax returns from anywhere (1040SCAN/SPbinder) 
  • Security 

Remotely manage 1040 client documents and communication (TaxCaddy)

The biggest challenge tax firms face is requesting and receiving signatures and documents from clients. On March 13th, the Massachusetts State CPA Society conducted a survey of CPA firms, wherein 77% of respondents indicated they were allowing their staff to work remotely. However, when asked specifically about administrative staff, only 6% indicated their administrative staff was working from home. The dilemma is understandable: someone must be in the office to receive mail, scan documents, and mail completed returns. Without an admin staff to complete these essential tasks, the entire 1040 tax return process grinds to a halt.

A solution to this problem already exists and is ready for immediate implementation—TaxCaddy.

TaxCaddy is a completely digital client collaboration platform that allows firms to request and receive documents and signatures, process documents through the leading scan and populate software, communicate with clients, and deliver completed returns—all 100% remotely. This allows administrative staff to continue their essential duties from the safety of their homes and preserves the firm’s 1040 tax return workflow.

TaxCaddy is available on any device: PC, Mac, tablet, and on the TaxCaddy apps for iPhone and Android.

Electronic document submission is easy for clients. TaxCaddy generates a Document Request List based on proforma data from your tax software. Clients can deliver the requested documents by uploading files, photo-scanning documents with the TaxCaddy mobile app, manually entering amounts, or establishing Smart Links with their financial institutions for automatic document retrieval. Nothing is ever mailed.

The lines of communication stay open. TaxCaddy is equipped with a secure messaging center that enables direct communication between your staff and clients. The TaxCaddy mobile app for iPhone and Android sends optional push notifications for new messages, which decreases response times. This unique mobile messaging feature is a highlight for clients who may feel disconnected during office closures.

Transferring TaxCaddy data to a scan and populate solution is quick. SurePrep’s scan and populate solution, 1040SCAN, is fully integrated with TaxCaddy. Sending documents from TaxCaddy to 1040SCAN only takes a few clicks.

Delivering returns and invoicing clients completes the process. Your admins don’t have to mail a thing. They can simply upload the completed tax return, 8879, and invoice to TaxCaddy. From there, taxpayers can review the return, sign the e-file authorization, and pay their invoice—all from within TaxCaddy.

TaxCaddy’s features give your admins the flexibility to work from home or other remote location without any interruption in service for your clients. Learn more about TaxCaddy →

If you are a current SurePrep customer and would like to adopt TaxCaddy, please reach out to your Client Success Manager. If you are not a current SurePrep customer, please fill out this form to speak to a representative. SurePrep is ready to help you ensure a swift TaxCaddy rollout with a full onboarding kit, including client communication templates and training materials.

Prepare and review tax returns from anywhere (1040SCAN/SPbinder)

SurePrep securely stores tax workpapers and binders in the cloud so preparers and reviewers can easily perform their job functions from anywhere they have an internet connection.

1040SCAN is our next gen scan and populate solution. To extract data and export it to your tax software, simply import tax documents directly from TaxCaddy. If you’re not a TaxCaddy user, any paper documents that were scanned can be easily imported. Learn more about 1040SCAN →

SPbinder is our feature-rich tax workpaper system. Once processed through 1040SCAN, workpapers are automatically indexed and bookmarked in an order that follows the flow of the tax return. Preparers and reviewers can place tick marks, notes, and calculator tape directly on the workpapers; all changes are tracked and logged; and firms can enable up to four levels of sign-off. Because all binders live in the cloud, changes are seen by everyone, which means preparers and reviewers can collaborate on returns even when they’re in different physical locations. Learn more about SPbinder →


Our web-based applications follow ironclad security protocols and have been independently verified by third parties.

Our servers and firewalls are monitored 24/7. All data is encrypted with an industry-standard 4096-bit Secure Socket Layer—the same encryption technology used for banking transactions. SurePrep has undergone an independent third-party audit from Symosis LLC. In August of 2019 SurePrep received a SOC 2 Type 1, an independent service auditor’s report on controls relevant to security, availability, confidentiality, and processing integrity. In addition, two of the Big 4 CPA firms each conducted their own audit of our systems. They now use SurePrep’s solutions.

SurePrep has taxpayer communication templates available that you can use to explain SurePrep’s extensive security measures to bolster trust and facilitate a smooth transition.

Learn more about our strict security standards →

Final Words 

This is a trying time for everyone. While social distancing complicates the flow of 1040 tax return preparation, it is the best precaution we can take to protect ourselves and those we care about. There is enough to worry about without wondering whether your firm can continue normal operations. We hope that by providing remote solutions for 1040 tax return preparation, we can take this worry off your plate. With a SurePrep partnership, your entire staff—admins included—can remain productive and efficient without sacrificing safety.

SurePrep is here for you during this unexpected transition. Current customers are encouraged to visit the Help Center and to reach out to Support with any questions or concerns.

If you are not a SurePrep customer but would like to know whether the solutions we talked about in this post might work for your firm, please fill out this form to talk to a representative.

We are all in in this together.

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