Our Ten Step Process

Gregory J. Cook, EA, CPA

STEP ONE
1

Schedule Appointment

Client receives an email invitation to schedule appointment with agent of choice online from their cell phone, tablet or desktop computer. The client receives an email confirmation of the appointment, then a reminder by text and email the day before.

schedule your next appointment online

STEP TWO
2

Preparation for Client Visit

pulling files for tomorrow's appointments

The night before client's scheduled appointment, front office staff pull the client's file and place it at the Receptionist desk.

front office personnel

STEP THREE
3

Check In

Client arrives in lobby, checks in with Receptionist, who verifies all contact information is current.

receptionist

STEP FOUR
4

Meet with Advisor

The agent/advisor comes to the lobby, greets the client, retrieves their file from the Receptionist and escorts the client to the Tax Department for the interview.

agent comes to lobby

STEP FIVE
5

Information Gathering through Interview

During the interview, the agent reviews all of the documentation brought in by the client and enters the data into our tax program.

Mary Penton, Enrolled Agent

Throughout this process the advisor compares all of the information to the previous year tax filing for changes.

Buddy Fricke, Enrolled Agent

STEP SIX
6

Document Management Specialist

While the advisor reviews the results and any changes with the client, our Document Management Specialist scans all of their documents and returns the originals to the client in a take-home pouch.

Document Management Specialist

STEP SEVEN
7

Sign eFile Forms or Hold for Additional Info

At this point, a mutual decision is reached as to whether we need any further information from the taxpayer. If complete, the client signs efile authorization forms. If incomplete, the file will go to our "Hold" drawer to await needed info.

Nash with clients

Either way, the client's next stop is our Cashier. If the client pays, the file goes to Review. If not, the file goes to Accounts Receivable for billing, then to Review.

cashier

STEP EIGHT
8

ERO Review and Transmission

In the review process, our Electronic Return Originator checks the returns for input accuracy, data integrity and correctness. The data keyed by the agent is compared to the digital copies of the source documents used in preparation. The ERO holds the client file for 24 hours to allow the client an oppotunity to call us up with any questions they may have forgot or overlooked during their visit.

Amanda B. Nichols, ERO

STEP NINE
9

Digital Copies Delivered to Client

secure client portal

The client receives a follow-up email the day after the appointment. Usually within 48 hours of the client visit, the returns have been electronically filed and acknowleged as "accepted" by the federal and state governments and file moves to our Processing Clerk ...

processing clerk

for either printing and assembling a paper copy of the returns for mailing to the client, or a pdf copy uploaded to the client's secure portal.

STEP TEN
10

Alternatively, We Mail Paper Copies

If the client requested paper copies, the file goes to the Mail Clerk before being returned to our filing cabinets. If the Secure Portal is used, the taxpayer receives an email notification to download the file.

mail clerk

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how we file 2,000 tax returns in ten weeks each filing season.

Greg Cook describes tax filing process at Cook & Co. Tax Advisors in Arab, Alabama