On the Market

Developer:
SurePrep
Compatible Tax Software:
CCH Axcess Tax, CCH ProSystem fx Tax, GoSystem Tax RS, Lacerte, UltraTax CS
Scan-and-Populate Solution:
Client solution:

Note: SPbinder is included at no additional cost with all purchases of 1040SCAN. During the scan-and-populate step of the tax automation workflow, 1040SCAN automatically bookmarks and organizes workpapers into a digital, cloud-based binder. Users can launch this binder in SPbinder, where the workpapers appear in an Index Tree that resembles a traditional folder structure. SPbinder provides a full range of preparation tools, including annotations, notes, cross-references, calculator tape, multi-level sign-offs with change tracking, and K-1 reclassification, as well as powerful review tools like the review tree and digital leadsheets. Cumulatively, these features are designed to reduce review time. SPbinder imports and exports data directly to and from your tax software with a single click.

CCH Engagement is part of Wolter Kluwer's integrated audit approach. This software is designed specifically for trial balance engagements. It is not designed to organize tax workpapers nor to facilitate 1040 tax preparation and review. We have included a mention of the software because we occasionally hear from firms that try to stretch the trial-based engagement functionalities to cover tax preparation and review. SurePrep recommends that firms use software designed for tax preparation to manage their 1040/1041 tax engagements.

Developer:
Wolters Kluwer
Compatible Tax Software:
Does not integrate with any tax software.
Scan-and-Populate Solution:
Does not integrate with any scan-and-populate solution. However, it can be used on any PDF exported by a scan-and-populate solution.
Client solution:
CCH Axcess Client Collaboration is available from the same vendor, but is not integrated.
Cloud storage:
No

Note: PDFlyer is not standalone software. It is an Adobe plug-in that adds some additional functionality, like tick marks, calculator tape, and manual bookmarking. End users pay twice—once for the Adobe license and once for the PDFlyer license. PDFlyer is not strictly speaking a Workpaper Management System, because it does not organize workpapers into a digital binder. Though it does enable users to create bookmarked PDFs, it does not provide a way to manage the resulting PDFs. PDFlyer is included on this list because it is a popular way to gain a few more annotation features in Adobe.

Developer:
SafeSend
Compatible Tax Software:
Does not integrate with any tax software.
Scan-and-Populate Solution:
Does not integrate with any scan-and-populate solution. However, it can be used on any PDF exported by a scan-and-populate solution.
Client solution:
None
Cloud storage:
No

Note: TicTie Calculate, like PDFlyer, is not standalone software, but an Adobe plug-in. It adds preparation tools to the Adobe interface, including tick marks, calculator tape, cross-references, page sign-offs, and a digital ruler. It also allows users to manually bookmark documents and includes a 1040 tax bookmarking template for reference. Because TicTie Calculate does not organize documents into a digital binder nor provide management options for the bookmarked PDFs, it is not strictly speaking a Workpaper Management System, but does provide some preparation tools. TicTie costs range from $110–$184 per workstation, depending on purchase volume, with custom quotes available for high-volume users.

Working Papers by CaseWare, like CCH Engagement, is designed for trial balance engagements. It provides cloud-based collaboration and reporting tools for audit and assurance work, but is not specifically designed to manage tax workpapers nor to provide tax preparation and review tools. We've included a mention because we sometimes receive questions about this software from firms during their preliminary comparative research. SurePrep recommends that firms use software designed for tax preparation to manage their 1040/1041 tax engagements.

Developer:
Thomson Reuters
Compatible Tax Software:
UltraTax CS
Scan-and-Populate Solution:
Source Document Processing, which is built into the Workpapers CS interface.
Client solution:
None
Cloud storage:
Available as part of CS Professional Suite (SaaS) for a monthly lease payment.

Note: Workpapers CS is primarily designed for trial balance engagements and supports a complex audit and assurance workflow with features like custom trial balance grids, Excel integration for real-time trial balance updates, and integration with PPC's SMART Practice Aids® to easily create new trial balance or audit engagements from editable templates. Unlike many other solutions on this page, Workpapers CS does provide an infrastructure to sort and organize digital documents. Although Workpapers CS has added some features to accommodate tax workpapers—such as annotations and calculator tape—users who plan to process 1040s/1041s may find themselves paying for a long list of unneeded trial balance features.

Developer:
Doc.It®
Compatible Tax Software:
None.
Scan-and-Populate Solution:
Included in software, but only organizes documents. Does not OCR data for export to tax software.
Client solution:
A web portal.
Cloud storage:
"Cloud deployable."

Note: Doc.It is a proper Workpaper Management System that provides preparation tools and digital document management. Doc.It preparation tools include annotations, calculator tape, and collaborative notes on the client, binder, and document levels. A basic version of multi-level sign-offs can be achieved with sign-off stamps. An archiving system preserves finished PDFs according to your firm's retention rules. Doc.It's integrated scan-and-sort solution organizes standard documents into an index, but does not OCR data for export to tax software. Doc.It does not include a Review Tree nor Leadsheets. The only client solution available is a rudimentary web portal for document upload/download; there is no full-feature Client Collaboration Platform. Because Doc.It does not integrate with any tax software, users must perform manual data entry and consolidate the binder data with the tax software. Doc.It prices range from $26–$36 per license per month, plus a one-time implementation fee.

Developer:
Intuit
Compatible Tax Software:
Intuit ProSeries Tax and Lacerte
Scan-and-Populate Solution:
No OCR and no automatic sorting, but there is third party integration available for scanning only with ScanSnap Scanners by Fujitsu or imageFORMULA by Canon.
Client solution:
A web portal.
Cloud storage:
Available with SmartVault for $360 per staff member per year.

Note: Intuit's Document Management System (less features) and Smart Vault (more features) are purely document management systems. They do not provide any preparation or review tools. Users can import clients from Lacerte or ProSeries and see all engagements with the client organized into a folder structure. A web portal is available for client document upload/download.

Based on information from the Intuit ProSeries Document Management website, accessed 03.16.2021.

Only SurePrep's Document Management System, SPbinder, provides the full trifecta:

  • Preparation and review tools
  • Digital workpaper management
  • Full integration with your tax software, a scan-and-populate solution, and a Client Collaboration Platform

Most other solutions on the market provide either preparation tools or document management, but not both. Many are designed for trial balance engagements, not 1040/1041 tax preparation. Some WMS solutions on this list are only ancillary programs designed to support a flagship product, and it shows in the outdated user interfaces. Tax automation solutions like SPbinder are SurePrep's only focus, and a dedicated team of UX designers and product developers regularly refine and improve the SPbinder experience.

In order to support a fully digital workflow, firms should use a scan-and-populate solution that integrates with their WMS. We encourage firms to review compatible scan-and-populate solutions while evaluating a WMS.

 

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