Managing your firm's tax-preparation work

Alerts and notices

There are setup tasks that must be completed before your firm can process returns; these steps differ depending on whether this is the first year your firm is using UltraTax CS or if your firm used UltraTax CS last year. What follows is information about how you can utilize UltraTax CS to help you manage your firm's tax-preparation work.

UltraTax CS provides partners with various methods to monitor and manage firms, making it easy to:

  • monitor preparer and staff activity in UltraTax CS.
  • grant or prohibit access to certain UltraTax CS functions.
  • set office-wide defaults.
  • determine how preparers will track their work.
  • identify client trends and send clients targeted communications.
  • streamline how your office enters client data and delivers tax returns.

Managing access to UltraTax CS

UltraTax CS enables you to limit your employee's ability to complete certain functions, such as modifying office-wide settings and user settings, and deleting and renaming clients. UltraTax CS provides the following security options.

  • Standard security enables you to create two levels of access. One level is for those who know the master password, and one level is for those who do not.
  • Advanced security enables you to create many levels of access. You can limit access to specific UltraTax CS features by setting privileges for pre-defined or created groups and then assigning users to one or more groups.

For more information, see Setting security options.

Managing preparers, reviewers, and staff members

  • View activity in UltraTax CS and stay informed of your employee's workload

    The Office Information section of the Home Page enables you to view who is currently using UltraTax CS and which client's returns your employees are accessing. In addition, you can see a breakdown by year and entity of how many clients your firm serves, how many clients are assigned to each preparer, reviewer, or staff member, and view computer hardware information for network users.

    For more information, see Reviewing your firm's workload in UltraTax CS.

  • Synchronize UltraTax CS settings across your office

    To streamline the UltraTax CS setup process and ensure that application configuration is consistent across the office, you can create a template of default user preference settings that you can set for either particular employees or all employees.

    For more information, see Creating and assigning default user preferences.

  • Define how your employees will track progress

    Ensuring that everyone in your office tracks their tax preparation work the same way enables you to manage your office's tax-return workflow more effectively. You can view the progress of all returns at a glance, create comprehensive reports listing detailed return status information, and identify and avoid delays in return processing.

    For more information, see Client status system overview.

  • Assess how long it should take to prepare a specific return

    The client complexity factor is a numeric value that represents the approximate time and effort involved in preparing a client's tax return. This information may be useful as you assign work to employees, create schedules, or determine return preparation fees.

    UltraTax CS automatically calculates a value for each client based on the complexity of the federal forms and schedules required for that return. However, you can assign your own values in place of the defaults.

    For more information, see Assessing the complexity of a client's return.

Improving customer service

  • Promote relevant services to your clients

    Data Mining enables you to query your firm's UltraTax CS databases for specific data and client characteristics. With Data Mining, you can identify your client's tax accounting needs, pinpoint tax savings opportunities, target your client communications, and promote relevant services to your clients.

    For more information, see Data Mining overview.

  • Streamline the process of entering client information and delivering tax returns

    NetClient CS portals are extensions of your own website that enable you to provide your clients with secure access to their tax information at any time. Web client organizers are a convenient way to collect client tax information and import that information directly into a client's tax return in UltraTax CS, eliminating the need for your staff to enter it. You can also provide copies of completed tax returns to your clients via NetClient CS portals.

    For more information, view the Why NetClient CS? video available on our website.