Signatures (Basic): Request E-Signatures from Clients

E-signing documents is just as legally binding as signing them by hand. Once a document has been signed, it is considered final and cannot be altered. With TaxDome, you can indicate where you want e-signatures, insert fields for the taxpayer and their spouse, add knowledge-based authentication (KBA) or QES/AdES, turn on reminders—and more!

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Before you start

To proceed with the signature request:

  • Make sure your document is a PDF file.
  • Make sure the doc is saved in a folder with Client can view access . If it is in a folder with different access rights, move it to one with Client can view access. 
  • A client cannot e-sign if they don't have portal access, so make sure Login is toggled on for their email address.

Requesting e-signatures from your clients

To request an e-signature from a client, follow these steps:

1. Go to the  Documents subtab of a client account, click the three dots to the far right of the PDF, then select Request Signature.

2. Choose the signer in the Choose signer drop-down menu or apply a signature template.

3. Drag and drop the e-signature field.

4. Сlick Send. For details on the signature request menu, go to the subsection below.

Signature request menu

You have various options when requesting an e-signature, which we'll describe in more detail below:

1.  Require KBA /QES/AdES: add the KBA authentication method (for your US clients only) or QES/AdES signature (for your EU clients only). If QES/AdES is selected, the following flow differs as described in the detailed article

2. Template: if you’ve created signature templates to save time with frequently used forms, here is where you can select one.

3. Choose signer: select a signer for whom you want to add signature fields.

  • Click on the account user’s contact name, then drag and drop the signature fields below.
  • Click X to the right to delete a signer.
  • To add a field for a firm rep, select the Me option (details below).
  • Change the default signing order.

4. Add signer: select additional account's contacts to sign the document, such as a spouse (find more in the article on e-signing joint returns).

5. Signature fields:

  • Signature: use this for an e-signature by a client or firm representative. Each signature field contains the signature, date and time of signing.
  • Initials: use this whenever you need the client or firm representative to add their initials.
  • Date signed: this field is populated when the client signs the document. In the firm representative fields, dates appear when documents are sent to clients. Dates cannot be edited.
  • Text: request or add extra information:
    • To request additional data, place the field where you want it to be, then click on it to edit.
    • To add info, place the prefilled field where you want it to be, then click on it to edit.

6.  Date format: select the date format for e-signatures. If not set manually, the default date format is used.

7. Reminders: toggle this on if you want an email notification to be automatically sent to the client if they don’t sign on time (details below). Reminders will include text from the next field — Message for client

8. Message for client: This message will replace the default text in the email system notification sent along with the signature request. This email won't be accessible to you after you send the request. To reuse it, consider adding it to the signature template.

9. Add shortcode: these are codes that are automatically replaced with key information in the Message for client field, such as the recipient’s name, address, account name or date (read more about shortcodes).

10. Send: click here when the document is ready to be signed.

11. Save: save your changes without sending the document: all added fields are saved, and the document is visible under the Docs tab in the Signatures section. You’ll still be able to review the document and add or delete fields. The document isn’t visible to the client until you hit Send.

Adding a firm representative’s e-signature

Most documents need to be signed by one or more tax preparers. If you need several company reps to sign, add fields for them and edit them indicating each team member’s name.

When requesting an e-signature from a team member, select the Me option from the Choose signer drop-down. The available fields are:

  • Signature: by default, your name appears, but you can change it. If you need more signature fields for firm reps, add more, then edit the names.
  • Initials: by default, the selected initials appear, but you can edit the field as needed.
  • Date: this field is automatically populated when the document is sent to the client.
  • Text: add your firm’s name, address or any other necessary details.

Tips:

  • If you need to change your name or initials, click and edit the field.
  • If a signature field is added for a firm rep, and the document hasn’t been sent to the client, the field can be edited or deleted by any team member. with access to the client's account documents
  • Once you send the document to the client, the document is considered signed by your firm, and the client can see this (excluding QES/AdES signatures).
  • If signature fields for firm reps are added, and the document hasn’t been signed by the client yet, you still have time to cancel the e-signature request if needed.
  • The document’s audit trail shows who created each firm rep’s signature field in the document.

Reminding clients to e-sign documents

Whenever you send a document for e-signing, a notification goes out. Users who are linked to the account and have Notify toggled on receive the notification. You can check which users have Notify toggled on by going to an account’s Info tab and viewing the Contacts section.

If recipients take too long to respond, or if they forget to do so, you can:

Manual reminders (resending)

To resend a notification requesting an e-signature, click the three dots to the document’s right in the Signatures list, then select Resend.

What happens:

  • An additional email message is sent to the client
  • A notification about the document pending e-signature is moved to the top of the client’s Waiting for action list

Automatic reminders

Clients receive an email notification when you send them a document to e-sign.

If you toggle on Reminders while requesting an e-signature, additional emails are sent to the client if they don’t e-sign the document within a specified time frame. The Reminders option can be toggled on and off at any time by opening the document pending signature (even if it has been e-signed by one of the signers). Don’t forget to click Save when you make changes to the Reminders settings.

Once you toggle on Reminders, make your selections:

  • Days until next reminder: set the reminder to go out after a specified number of days if the document has not been e-signed by all signers. By default, a reminder is sent three days after the e-signature has been requested
  • Number of reminders: set the number of reminders that go out to the client. By default, the client receives only one reminder email

Reminders stop when:

  • The set number of reminders have been sent
  • The document has been signed by all signers

What your client sees when you request an e-signature

Your client can view and e-sign a document by clicking on it in the Documents category of the Waiting for action section in the Home or Documents pages of their client portal, or by clicking the link in their email notification.

When you request an e-signature from more than one user for an account (e.g., spouses), the user who is signing sees their own e-signature field only. The document remains Pending E-Signature in the Signatures subtab until both parties have e-signed it.

When the client receives the signature request for the first time, they will be prompted to read the Electronic Signatures Disclosure and agree to use e-signatures:

If you’d like to see TaxDome from the client side, access a read-only view.

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