AICPA Unveils Interactive Checklists to Ease Tax Preparation

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
December 30, 2011 /

Tax professionals have always looked to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Tax Practice Guides and Checklists as an essential tool for ensuring high quality standards in the preparation of clients’ returns. This season, however, the package has become even more valuable with the introduction of Interactive Tax Checklists that save time and boost efficiency.

The new checklists allow a firm’s staff to work online collaboratively within the same document, eliminating the hassle of tracking multiple e-mailed versions among team members. The checklists themselves can be accessed through a secure login anytime and anywhere, provided there is a working Internet connection.

For the 2011 tax year, interactive checklists are available for Forms 1040 (individual income tax returns) and 1120 (C-corporation tax returns). More forms will be added in the next release. Although the interactive checklists are available for sale through, they are free to AICPA Tax Section members, who can purchase additional access for others in their firm.

“This represents a substantial benefit to our members and our customers” said Linda Cohen, AICPA’s vice president of publishing. “We constantly seek feedback from members on what would benefit their practices most, in terms of new tools and products. The features in these new checklists stood high on the list for tax season.”

Key features of the new checklists include questionnaires built around the AICPA’s Tax Practice Guides and Checklists, the gold standard for trusted content for more than 30 years; CPAs always have access to the most updated version of a checklist because firm members work together on the same virtual document. Staffers can collaboratively track reviews, comments, and signoffs.

Dashboards readily show which checklist items are still open and what steps remain to close out a client’s return.

Data is kept secure through enterprise-level encryption.

PDF versions of documents are available for offline use and archiving.

AICPA members who are not members of the Tax Section pay a reduced fee of $160 for the interactive checklists. The rate for nonmembers is $200.


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