Electronic Signatures

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By Mary Cooper

updated 12 days ago

Power the agreements and documents that drive your business with quick and easy e-signatures—just as legally binding as an old-fashioned signature. You can request signatures from one or more individuals on the same document

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E-signatures, Explained

Electronic signatures have been recognized by law in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia since the early 2000s. An e-signature is just as valid as a signature penned on paper. But your clients don’t have to take time from their busy schedules to drop by your office or go through the hassle of printing, signing, making copies, and then snail-mailing something back to you. Instead, they can stay at home or in their office and sign any document directly from their client account portal with TaxDome’s user-friendly e-signing feature.

TaxDome makes the e-signing process quick, simple, and straightforward. 

  • You upload the document to the client’s profile and make it visible to a client account.

  • Indicate where the client needs to add their signature. Add multiple signers if needed.

  • Send the document to them to sign.

  • Once the client has signed, you’ll see the completed document in their profile and will be able to download it.

Note: We do not currently support signatures for password-protected documents

Requesting an E-Signature

To obtain an e-signature, open the client account & navigate to the Docs/Public section of their profile and then find the uploaded document that needs signing.

Note: Once the client e-signs the document, the signed document will replace the original file.

To request a signature, follow these steps:
1. Go to Clients and select the Client Account. You can also find the account by typing their name into your sidebar’s search field.
2. Navigate to the Docs tab, open the Public subtab, click on the three dots icon to the far right of the document’s name, then click Request Signature in the pull-down menu.

3. Optional: turn on the Request KBA toggle to add KBA (see details on Adding Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) below - this is only relevant for USA firms)

4. Add as many fields as needed; these will be where the client inserts their e-signature and can be placed anywhere on a document. You can add Name, Date and Initials fields. 

When requesting a signature for the client's account that have two or more user profiles, select the email of the desired user for each field. Read more on Adding Multiple Signers below.

5. Once you have finished placing Name, Date, and Initials fields on the document, you have two options:

  • SAVE: This saves the changes without sending the document to the client. When you select SAVE, all added fields will be saved, and the document will be visible under the Signatures subtab of the Docs tab. You will be able to review the document and to add or delete any field. The document will not be visible to the client until you hit SEND.

  • SEND: This sends the document to the client. When you select SEND, all added fields are saved, and your document will be visible under the Signatures subtab of the Docs tab. The document will be visible to both you and the client.

Adding Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA)

Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) is used to verify the identity of the taxpayer to allow IRS-compliant electronic signatures. Clients are verified through a combination of the identity document verification and consumer data verification.

Here’s how it works:

  1. When requesting a signature for the client's account, toggle on Requires KBA
  2. Each signature attempt costs $1. If your Firm Balance is at 0, you will be prompted to add funds to your Firm Balance (Top Up).
  3. When signing, your client will be asked to verify their social security number and answer five randomly generated questions from public records. These are usually multiple choice questions such as the name of their mortgage lender, type of car financed, a former address or phone number. This is not a credit check. 
  4. The client has two attempts to pass the KBA process. They need to answer three out of five questions correctly.
  5. You will be notified when each of the users passes or fails KBA. 

Note that KBA is applicable to US recipients only. 

Topping Up Your Firm Balance

Each KBA attempt per signer costs $1. Depending on your needs, you have the option to top-up by $20, $50, or $100. Go to Settings, navigate to Firm Balance tab, select the replenishment amount, then click BUY. This can be done by the firm owner or by team members who have been granted the Charge firm balance permission.

You can always view your KBA usage statistics by clicking the Audit Trail link at the top right of this page. 

Adding KBA to Signature Request

To request a signature with KBA, toggle on Require KBA, then add signature fields. When requesting a signature with KBA for the client's account that has two or more user profiles, you need to indicate which user needs to sign the document by selecting their email. 

If you add fields for two or more users, each signer's verification attempt is $1, so two spouses will be charged a minimum of $2. If they fail to pass the verification, they will be able to attempt one more attempt, for a maximum charge of $4 (2 signers x 2 attempts x $1).

Adding Multiple Signers

As long as users have access to one client’s account on TaxDome, you can request signatures from as many individuals as necessary.

Here’s how it works:

  • When requesting a signature for the client's account that has two or more user profiles, you indicate which user needs to sign the document by selecting their email. Make sure to add fields for all signers before sending a document out for signing.
  • Each user will see only the fields that were added specifically for them.
  • You will be notified when each of the users signs a document. Notifications include information on how many signers still need to sign it.
  • When the first signer signed the document, you are not able to edit signing fields anymore.
  • A document will be marked as signed when all users signed it.

What Your Client Sees When You Request an E-Signature

Your client can view and e-sign a document you've sent either by going to Documents, then to Signatures section of their portal or by clicking the link in the email notification. 

You can access Read-Only View of Client Portal to experience TaxDome from the client’s side.

How Do I Know That a Client Has Signed a Document/ Declined to Sign?

Once your client signed a document, declined to do it or failed KBA, you'll receive a notification by email. You also will get a notification in your Inbox+. Click the document link or the Go to... link to review it.

If a signature was requested from multiple users, you will see which of the users signed the document and which one is not. 

Besides, you can always check the document status under the Public location of the Docs tab. Hover your mouse to the status icon to see the details and find out which signatures are not complete yet.

Also, the document's audit trail will reflect that the client: provided or did not provide an electronic signature, passed or failed KBA.

Managing Client's Account E-Signatures

To manage client e-signature, go to the Signatures subtab of the Docs tab. You’ll see all  saved and/or sent files to which you’ve added Name, Date, and/or Initials fields.

You’ll find the following information here:

  • NAME: The document’s name. Click on the document’s blue-highlighted name to view and download it.

  • SIGNED: If the document has been e-signed by all signers, you will see a green checkmarked circle in this column. If the document was sent to the client but not yet signed by all signers, the checkmarked circle will be gray. If the client declined to sign the document, you'll see the red cross con. If the document was saved but not sent, you'll see the pencil icon. You can click on it to change the signature markup.

  • DATE: The date the document was sent to the client to be e-signed.

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