Dec 8 2023 /

Webinar and Q&A: Proposals and Engagement Letters

Webinar and Q&A: Proposals and Engagement Letters

We recently hosted a live webinar covering a major new TaxDome product release — Proposals and ELs (engagement letters). The event was a huge success, with more than 1,700 people joining our co-founder and chief product officer Ilya Radzinsky, chief revenue officer Petar Iliev, and special guest Ricardo Andres Ardiles, co-founder and partner at Pharma & Dental Tax, for a deep dive into Proposals and ELs. 

If you weren’t able to attend the live event, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find a full recording of the webinar below, as well as a transcript of the Q&A session. We will add it to this blog post soon.

Here’s a brief overview of what we discussed: 

  • What Proposals and ELs are
  • How they benefit your firm
  • How to create and customize a proposal
  • What this process looks like for your clients
  • Future plans for Proposals and ELs

Want to learn more about Proposals and ELs? Schedule a demo with our implementation team:

Q&A transcript

Will CPA charge be able to auto-charge in the future? Does TaxDome store payment info?

Recurring invoices with payment authorization are only available through Stripe at this time. That said, our team continues to improve features for the future, and as soon as we have plans to enable this through other platforms, we’ll post an update through our social media pages.

All payment information is stored in Stripe.

Will you be providing a template for proposals?

Yes! In the next few weeks, we will release TaxDome Marketplace, which is like the App Store but for TaxDome templates. There, you will be able to find proposal templates provided by TaxDome, our partners and creators.

The beauty of our proposals is that they are fully customizable. And thanks to shortcodes, you can automatically fill in information for each client to add personalization to an automated and repeatable process.

Is there an option to have checkboxes in an engagement letter for business clients to pick optional services, like form 1099, etc.?

This release enables you to have one package. In 2024, however, we plan to add the ability to include multiple packages from which your client can choose. 

Can I include the logo of my firm in TaxDome to show on my ELs?

Yes, you can add an image of your logo to the EL. We strongly recommend using multimedia such as logos and videos to promote your firm’s brand.

Can we upload our own engagement letter?

Yes, you can.

Will TaxDome add the ability to pass the CC charge to the client?

Yes, this is in our plans. 

I was in an IRS webinar on security risks last week and was told that we must use ELs or we are not in compliance with the IRS Regulations.

That’s right! We strongly recommend using engagement letters, which are included in TaxDome.

I wish there was a preview of ELs and what it would look like before you send it to the client.

There will be in the future. Stay tuned for updates!

Is there a way to create a payment link to add to emails for the client to make payments if they want to request a one-off service?

Certainly — you can send one-off invoices to clients, and they don’t need to log in to make payment. 

Can I combine a proposal and an engagement letter?

Correct!

Will clients be able to sign proposals and pay without signing in?

Yes, this is in our plans for the future.

Is there a fee for using TaxDome proposals?

No — proposals and engagement letters are included in all TaxDome subscriptions at no extra cost. 

Will there eventually be an option to expire proposals?

That’s a great suggestion! Make sure to provide your feedback to our team through our feature request board, so your ideas can be considered and discussed.

Can introductions be defaulted to all proposals?

That’s the beauty of all this — you can customize everything to your specific needs. We recommend utilizing introductions and adding multimedia. You can also create a proposal template. This way, you don’t have to fill in the introduction every time, and you can also have proposals/ELs created automatically through workflow automation.

Can we have the option to create a proposal but not send an automated notification to the client?

If you turn off the NOTIFY option on their profiles, they won’t receive an email notification when you create one. Is your use case because you want to have a staff member review it before sending it? Reach out to our team and let us know!

Can we have a “deposit” or first payment for one amount and then monthly payments at different amounts?

Yes, you will be able to do that with recurring invoices. You can edit the first payment amount and other payments on the schedule.

Can I make clients pay a certain amount now upon signing, then a certain ongoing monthly fee?

Yes, you can set up your exact use case. You can collect a deposit upon signing and the balance can be split into monthly invoices — all of this can happen automatically with payment authorization. Your client agrees and provides their credit card or bank information once, and the rest is auto-drafted as per the agreed schedule.

We run on a subscription-based contract. Is it possible to have the proposal run until we cancel it?

There is no current option to indicate “forever,” but you have the option to add a very large number of recurrences.

How are people making sure that the client knows this is a deposit? Some of my clients require more time and then argue that they have paid. I’m curious what people are charging as a deposit and how they are making sure the client knows it is a deposit

You can call a line item DEPOSIT — it should be very clear to the client — but that’s a great question. I suggest making a post on our social media pages where other owners can chime in and let you know their opinions. Can you post this in our Facebook Community Group?

How can I create dynamic engagement letters? Specifically, if I need to include a retainer payment in the engagement letter, which is 50% of the total services on the invoice. How can I automate the addition of this amount without manually editing each engagement letter?

You can’t do that automatically with the current version of Proposals and ELs. Make sure to provide your feedback to our team through our feature request board, so your ideas can be considered and discussed by our team.

I don’t require upfront payment/deposit for all clients, but I would like to use TaxDome to facilitate getting deposits now.

You can choose who has to pay upfront and who doesn’t.

Do proposals automatically set up ACH payments? Is there an additional agreement that the client signs in case the client tries to cancel ACH?

Payment authorization, including ACH, is included, and there are no additional requirements from you. The client interface will collect their bank information, and it will be stored in Stripe automatically. You don’t have to send fillable authorization PDFs or anything of the sort — everything is now digital and automatic. 

How do you choose which of your contacts should sign the proposal? Can you do this without removing signatory authority?

Each contact account has a signatory authority setting. You can specify which contact will be asked to sign the proposal/EL. Read more in this article.

Note — the article link and terms contain “contract,” but this now refers to proposals and engagement letters with the new release. 

What is the fee for the ACH option and who is it through?

Please see this article.

Can we do ACH through Stripe now?

Yes, you can get paid via ACH or card with Stripe.

Are a proposal and an EL all one doc for the client to sign?

Yes — the client interface is all digital and intuitive, it will walk them through both parts. Try it yourself to see how easy it is to use!

Is there currently a way to trigger a 50% deposit when the engagement letter is signed?

No, not at this time, but it’s a good idea — we will expand the deposit function to be a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the services in the engagement letter. At this time, you can add a line item for your desired deposit amount. 

Would the email have the proposal or EL in the body or attached? Or will the EL be a separate email?

The proposal itself will be an online document, not attached as a PDF to the email. The email is only a notification for the client, but they’ll only see the proposal online (web or mobile browser). They can download the PDF from the web interface when reviewing it — the experience is similar to signing a document in DocuSign. 

Will shortcodes be available to be used in proposals?

Yes, they are. See this article.

Can that “name” that’s displayed be a shortcode?

The title can’t include shortcodes, but the body can. We will add the option to add shortcodes in the title as well. 

How do you do this in a pipeline when the fees vary?

You can set up automations using different templates — simple, standard, complex (for example) — and conditional automations trigger the respective templates. 

Plus, we plan to introduce packages where clients can choose between services and then pay a custom amount based on the services selected.

Tax prep specific do you suggest we send an invoice along with the proposal and engagement letter, or rather when clients send in initial documents? What is the industry trending towards?

The industry is trending toward a payment-first approach. You’d collect your fees upfront or before providing the client with deliverables.

If your fees vary based on client documents provided and not standard services, we recommend collecting a deposit upfront and then billing the remainder at the end. In all scenarios, we recommend collecting some money upfront.

Do you have some effective examples of video intros on proposals?

Our education team is working hard to add best practices, but we recommend creating videos that convey your firm’s experience, the type of customers you deal with, customer reviews and more.

How many pages should an EL be for tax preparation?

There isn’t a standard for this. Templates vary between 1-10 pages up to 20 pages. You’re free to make it as detailed as you want.

Can we set recurring invoices at this step?

Yes, you can. You can choose what type of invoice you want on the proposal. You can choose the recurring option or a one-time invoice.

Are the proposal and EL printable for paper clients and/or auditors?

Yes, they are.

Our firm probably won’t use the proposals, but we will use engagement letters. Is it possible to change the tab name to just “Engagement Letters”?

Yes — you can name the tabs in whatever way you want. 

Can you save bank info for future use?

Yes — with payment authorization the bank account information will be saved in your Stripe account.

For accounts with several “signature” contacts, will it be possible to choose who must sign the contract/EL? Let’s say C-corp has two contacts who can sign — they must both sign a tax return, but only one has to sign the EL.

This is an interesting scenario. On the one hand, I see how it could be useful. But on the other hand, if both people receive the email to sign, the person who opens the email notification second will be confused that they received an email to sign a document that no longer needs signing, possibly prompting questions.

Let us know in the feature request board how it’s going for you. We’re always looking for improvements and ideas.

Would an invoice still be created “after” said date if you select a “specific date” for when the invoice will be sent out? For example, today is 12/7/23, and I set up the template of the engagement letter to send the invoice on 12/10/23. Let’s say the engagement letter itself was created for the account on 12/15/23. Would the invoice still be sent out or not?

If I understand your question correctly, yes — after a proposal is signed, all “overdue” invoices will be sent out automatically and the money will be automatically debited for them (if the proposal was set up with payment authorization). 

If the proposal feature wants me to add an invoice option, and I do not use Stripe for recurring invoices, then I can’t use this for our clients yet, correct?

You can still use it, but you won’t be able to use automatic payments (request payment authorisation). The client would just have to agree to the proposal and sign it. We recommend using automatic payments to save you and your clients time and for a better user experience.

Will this process be listed in TaxDome Academy?

It will be! Stay tuned for updates.

When are the packages going to be available to create?

Packages will be added during the first half of 2024.

Where can we see an ACH-only payment option?

You can choose the payment methods you want to accept — bank debits, credit card, or both.

Are the components of a proposal like an introduction included in the template?

Yes — templates will have these, but you’d want to update them to include your own branding, logos, images, etc.

For recurring payments, will you be making any updates to allow recurring payments to be set up without an end date? We have ongoing service engagements that continue until canceled, so we would like to not have to put an end date in the authorized recurring payments.

You can set a high number of recurring payments — we are looking at adding an “ongoing until canceled” option.

Will there be a way to put in our own invoice number for the invoices created in the proposals?

Not at the moment. The invoice number will be generated automatically based on your settings — either the next invoice number (sequential) or pulled in from your QuickBooks account. That said, we will be adding more functionality in the future

What is the best way to use engagement letters in a pipeline if they have different prices per client?

If there is a different price for each client, sometimes it’s just easier to make the engagement letter customized manually based on a template. Book a meeting and we can have a look at this together.

Is it possible to add PDFs directly to the proposal? For example, we tried to add a QBO estimate but had to add it as a picture. Is there a more efficient way of going about this?

Not at this moment, but I’m sure our product team would love to know about your use case — please let us know in the feature request board.

Love that you give us a transcript of the Q&A — these are EXTREMELY helpful!

You’re welcome!

Nicholas Edwards

As a content writer for TaxDome, Nicholas helps communicate how technology can transform and enhance everyday accounting processes. He enjoys simplifying complex ideas and writing content that’s accessible and useful.

Ebook CTA

Thank you! The eBook has been sent to your email. Enjoy your copy.

There was an error processing your request. Please try again later.

Looking to boost your firm's profitability and efficiency?

Download our eBook to get the answers

Please enter a valid email address.

Choose your country and language