We get it. We were founded by financial advisors, so we know the need to protect client confidentiality.
Note that it would be unwise for us to describe online all of the steps taken to protect data, so what follows is a subset of our precautions.
The tax return PDF file is encrypted and stored on servers maintained by a well-known professional hosting company. Our software reads in data from that PDF and in turn stores that data in an encrypted database. Social security numbers are NOT stored in this database. Those remain on the PDF document alone.
You are able to remove PDFs and the associated data from our system, so if you have extreme reservations about data security, you could upload the return, view the system-generated reports, then permanently delete the file and all information from the system.
We commit to completing third party penetration tests and code reviews at regular intervals throughout the year. We have already completed multiple such audits.
We don't save social security numbers in our database, no. But social security numbers do live on the PDF files uploaded and stored in our system. Those files are encrypted and live behind our firewall. See the answer above for more details.
PDF files only.
For best results, try to get the digital copy straight out of Turbo Tax or the CPA's tax software. Those have the data embedded right in the document.
For ok results but it might take longer, go ahead and upload a PDF that you've scanned from the paper original. Our software does a decent job reading these, but to ensure accuracy, we do a manual check of all scanned returns before making them available to you. We commit to completing that check within 4 East Coast business hours.
For pretty bad results upload a scanned-in return where the scanner runs its own optical character recognition (OCR) routine on the document. These are particularly bad because to our software they look like pristine returns straight out of the CPA's software, but the data quality is generally atrocious. We have some software routines built to identify and handle these documents, but if you can at all help it, please turn off OCR on your scanner.
All of it! The easiest approach for you is to just upload the file you received from the tax accountant or client. Our OCR technology finds the data it needs whether it’s 10 pages or 100 pages. At a minimum, you should upload the 1040, Schedules 1-5, Schedule SE, and Schedules A-E to produce the best report results. And since every month we're adding support for other forms within the tax return, you can future-proof your data by uploading the whole thing.
We know it's important to you, particularly if your client niche or geography makes those particular forms an integral part of your planning process. We're hoping to pilot a few key documents in 2020, likely S Corp returns and some high population states like California and New York.
The file size might be too big. We limit file sizes to protect against bad actors trying to overload our servers. We won't state what that size limit is publicly, but we can recommend trying to re-scan the return on a slightly lower resolution or in black/white as opposed to color or grayscale.
Yes. There is a text box at the top of the page when you log in. Type 'UPGRADE' into that box and a button will magically appear. That button will immediately switch you from trialing to an active, paid plan.
We're working on it.
We're trying to get something in place with most of the trade associations or membership groups that serve financial planners. That said, if you've got a contact or a representative at one of those organizations, maybe give them a little nudge about getting something put in place.
We do have a discount for advisors who custody with Shareholder Service Group, so please reach out to them for details if you are on their platform.