#TechTips: Canopy’s Mobile App

By Jonathan Rivlin, CPA

One consequence of the nightmare that is COVID19 has been significant progress towards the dream of a paperless office. All things considered, I could do with more paper and less virus, but that’s not up to me.

Many pixels have been spilled about the need for firms to implement a secure portal. We covered one such portal, CanopyTax, about two years ago. Our firm has been using this app since 2018 and we love it. The company was founded by CPAs who handled a lot of controversy work. Their creation has many different features to it beyond just a basic document management system. This post will focus on a relatively new addition that is super relevant to what we’re all dealing with in this remote work environment.

The company publishes a mobile phone app for both practitioners and clients to download to their phone.

You’re probably thinking, Another app to clog up my phone. Really?

This app is actually useful. It has many features, but the most important one for now is that it can take pictures of documents and automatically upload them to your client’s specific profile on the portal.

But clients can take pics from the phone already — why is this different? Great question; I’m glad you asked.

Taking a pic with the phone’s camera app produces *.JPGs of dubious legibility. CanopyTax’s mobile app produces *.PDFs.

While working from home, and separated from our firm’s $10,000 all-in-one high capacity scanners/printer/copier, I’ve found myself using the mobile phone app to upload lots of documents such as bills, IRS notices, notes from meetings, etc.

It’s fast and easy to use — for us, and most importantly, for our clients.

Let’s face it, our clients are already using their phone to take pics of notices and other documents that they like to send via email (blank checks, W2s…sigh…), the notion of a ‘no click policy’ was never really workable, now in the age of COVID19, it’s impossible.

So, since we can’t eliminate a bad behavior of sending docs with PII through email or txt msg, we can at least redirect that same behavior to this app. Instead of taking a pic with the phone’s camera, they’re taking a pic with this phone app that posts the doc in *.PDF format to our secure portal.

It’s the little things.

If you’re interested in CanopyTax, drop us a line at the email below. Good luck and stay safe!

We’d like to hear from you! Please submit your own tech tips to us! We will award a free subscription to The Tax Book to the person who submits the best tip. Please submit your tips to this email address: techtips@msatp.org.

Thanks, and catch you next time!