The Review Tree tab can be found in the same workspace module as the Index Tree. While the Index Tree lists workpapers and proforma'd placeholders, the Review Tree lists all items that require reviewer attention, including workpapers, notes, form fields, and stamps. The layout resembles a traditional folder tree. Gathering all review items in one place greatly increases the speed and efficiency of the review process.
The Review Tree functions both as a review roadmap and a task checklist. Clicking on a Review Tree item will launch the item in the appropriate workspace module. Marking an item as reviewed will cause it to disappear from the Review Tree.
Items automatically populate the appropriate Review Tree categories. For example, if a preparer creates a Sticky Note, that Sticky Note will automatically appear in the "Sticky Notes" category of the Review Tree.
If there are no items in a particular Review Tree category, that category will not appear.
If a Form contains a blank field, it will populate this category. This category helps reviewers identify data on non-standard documents that a preparer may have accidentally failed to enter. Expand the affected workpaper(s) to see an itemized list of blank fields. Click on a field to launch the corresponding Form.
New Forms with No Fields
If a Form is newly created and does not have any pages associated with it—or has pages associated but no references—it will populate this category. This category helps reviewers identify forms that may not have been sent for referencing and/or data entry. Click the Form name in the Review Tree to launch it in the Forms tab.
Proforma data from your tax software can be used to create a Custom Document Request List for your clients. Your preparers can create a binder and begin preparing the return even if some items have not yet been provided by the taxpayer. These anticipated items populate the Index Tree as proforma'd placeholders, indicated by a blue outline icon.
If a binder enters the review phase and some of these proforma'd placeholders have not yet been filled, they will populate the Missing Documents category in the Review Tree. This category helps reviewers identify documents still needed from the taxpayer.
Unreviewed Fields Created by
All Form fields that require review populate this category. The category is called "Unreviewed Fields Created by" because fields populated by OCR or referenced by users are presented in separate sections. This category helps reviewers confirm information before final export to the tax software.
Expand the workpapers to see itemized lists of unreviewed fields. Click on a field in the Review Tree to launch both the corresponding Form and workpaper. The field under review will be automatically highlighted for easy navigation. To quickly mark the field reviewed, simply Ctrl-Click the field directly on the workpaper. You can also mark all fields in a workpaper reviewed at once. Reviewed fields will disappear from the Review Tree.
Fields Marked as Estimates
Fields marked by preparers as estimates will populate this category. Click the field name in the Review Tree to launch both the corresponding Form and workpaper. The field in question will be automatically highlighted for easy navigation.
Notes are the collaborative heart of SPbinder. Any Notes that have not been cleared (i.e. marked as resolved) will populate this category. The Notes are grouped by category. E.g., General, Missing Items, Review Notes, etc. Click on any Note to launch it in the Notes tab.
You may find yourself placing your own Notes during review. The Uncleared Notes tab is a great place to track responses as they flow in. Read more about Notes here→
Unreviewed TR Stamps
Depending on your firm's process, you may choose to export data to your tax software at various stages of the return. For example, your preparers may export data after completing OCR verification so that variances can be reviewed in SPbinder's digital leadsheets.
When OCR'ed amounts are exported to the tax software, SPbinder automatically places a T/R (Tax Return) stamp next to the exported amounts. A preparer may also manually place a T/R stamp next to any amounts that were manually entered into the tax software. These T/R stamps populate the Unreviewed TR Stamps category in the Review Tree.
Click a TR Stamp in the Review Tree to launch the corresponding workpaper. The stamp under review will be automatically highlighted for easy navigation. Simply Ctrl-Click on the stamp to mark it reviewed.
Unreviewed Sticky Notes
Sticky Notes are primarily used to add references for amounts proforma'd in the tax software but not provided on source documents, or to display calculations (i.e. Calculator Tape). All Sticky Notes automatically populate this Review Tree category. Click on the Sticky Note in the Review Tree to launch the corresponding workpaper. The Sticky Note under review will be automatically highlighted for easy navigation.
Workpapers Marked for Rollforward
Workpapers marked for rollforward by preparers populate this category. This category helps reviewers determine whether these workpapers really should be included in the subsequent year tax return. Click the workpaper name in the Review Tree to launch the workpaper in the Document Viewer.
SPbinder's sign-off levels allow your firm to pass workpapers through multiple levels of preparation and review. Each sign-off level enabled by your firm creates a separate section in the Unreviewed Workpapers category. If a workpaper has not yet been reviewed at a given sign-off level, it will populate that sign-off level section in the Unreviewed Workpapers category.
For example, your firm may choose to use these four custom sign-off levels:
Level 1: Preparer
Level 2: Reviewer
Level 3: Manager
Level 4: Partner
In this scenario, if a Manager reviews a binder, they would expect the Preparer and Reviewer sections to be empty. If there are still workpapers in those sections, it may indicate that an earlier team member failed to sign off on those workpapers. This category therefore helps reviewers identify items that require their sign-off level and workpapers that may have been "missed" earlier in the process.
This category also helps reviewers identify items that have changed since their last sign-off. If an item has changed since the reviewer's last sign-off, a change alert icon () will appear next to the affected item in the Review Tree. This creates a quick and easy way to launch and re-review only the targeted items that require a second pass.
In conjunction with SPbinder's Leadsheets and Multi-Level Sign-Offs, the Review Tree streamlines and shortens the review process. The reviewer never has to navigate away from the Review Tree to view corresponding workpapers, Forms, and Notes. Thorough and accurate documentation during the preparation phase creates a healthy Review Tree and a quick review phase. Firms that take full advantage of this functionality to implement a high-leverage staffing model can significantly increase their profit margins by saving on review time.