Completing and Distributing Financial Forms Digitally

Financial forms

Who?

Since 2009, HSI Trust, LTD. has been helping clients take back control of their finances, working “primarily in situations where [clients] are having difficulty with their mortgage, but also student loans, credit cards, anything on the financial side,” said Bruce Boguslav, Executive Director of the organization.

Because HSI Trust works in the field of non-profit consumer advocacy to assist individuals across the country, “We don’t sell product, we just work with [clients] to either negotiate with their lender or various things like that,” Boguslav said.

Featured on ABC’s World News Tonight and Nightline as well as in the Huffington Post, HSI Trust are experts in their field and serve customers across the country. With such wide outreach, massive demand for their services, and the need to process and distribute huge numbers of financial documents, HSI Trust needed an effective digital document management solution to streamline their workflow.

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The Problem

Working in the financial space, Boguslav and his team at HSI Trust needed an efficient digital document management solution that was simple, quick, and cost-effective.

Because they are helping to solve a range of financial issues for clients across the country, HSI Trust works with hundreds of different forms. “We’re dealing with various types of forms for submission,” said Boguslav. “There’s a gazillion, depending on what the issue is… We’ve got our own that we use to gather information with our clients, some basic financial [forms], then there’s some additional paperwork that goes with very specific [financial situations]… Some come in fax; some come in all different formats.”

Before PDFfiller, forms came in various formats and were difficult to distribute, manage, complete, store and return. Boguslav knew that he needed a digital solution, but couldn’t find an adequate tool for the job.

“We were using different PDF [tools] – we have an older version of Acrobat we’re using occasionally. We’ve also tried something called CutePDF. We’ve been through a couple different tools. Yeah, in some cases- we’ve been doing this since 2006- earlier, we were literally doing cut and paste. Or you’d [have to] scan it four times,” Boguslav said.

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Before switching to PDFfiller, HSI Trust struggled with the complex feature set of Adobe Acrobat. Expensive and clumsy, Acrobat was a less than perfect solution. So too were other online PDF tools which did not provide the same ease-of-use features and functionality as PDFfiller. An analog, paper-based solution was inadequate – being too slow, time-consuming, and personnel dependent.

But then HSI Trust found PDFfiller. “After struggling with some of the other tools and then looking at Acrobat and the cost of upgrading, we just decided to try [PDFfiller]. It works!” said Boguslav.

The Solution

PDFfiller makes it easy to collate, complete, distribute, and return forms. With its intuitive user interface, PDFfiller makes document management simple.

Now, instead of completing forms by hand or using a complex, clumsy digital solution, Boguslav, HSI Trust, and clients can complete forms digitally; creating a faster, more legible and organized workflow.

“Mostly what we’re doing is setting it up here, in-house, and then either emailing to the client, or else we’re just using it ourselves,” said Boguslav. “In some cases, we’re emailing it to the client, and then we have a copy, they have a copy, and we can walk [them through] the form – it’s a lot simpler. And sometimes we’ll have them fill in parts of it; sometimes we’ll just take the information over the phone and fill it in. Occasionally, they’ll email us other documents,” which can then be consolidated with other digital forms to create a comprehensive folder of client information. “So either for us internally, or in some cases, with clients, being able to email and let them fill in [forms] – it makes life a lot simpler.”

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With all the documents distributed and collected by HSI Trust, finding an efficient means of storage was critical. Going digital means that those thousands of documents can be stored remotely in the cloud or on secure hard drive-based digital storage. Documents kept on PDFfiller’s cloud-based system are always accessible, meaning you can edit, send, and sign from anywhere you have an internet connection.

PDFfiller relies on Amazon’s S3 servers and adds two-factor authentication and PIN-protected folders to ensure sensitive documents are always kept secure.

With PDFfiller, “either clients or our staff fill in [forms and] instead of trying to deal with all these different forms in different formats, we’re able to put them in one place – [PDFfiller] makes life a lot simpler,” said Boguslav. “This lets us put a package together.

Moreover, when dealing with financial forms, being able to add signatures is crucial. PDFfiller allows users to add a signature by drawing on their touch-sensitive device, scanning it in, or simply holding a copy up to their computer’s camera. Once saved in PDFfiller’s system, a digital signature is available to use on any of your digital documents in just a click – “[adding digital signatures] is coming in handy,” said Boguslav. And with PDFfiller’s advanced SendToSign feature, you can send digital documents to clients or colleagues for signature and have them returned automatically.

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More advanced features available through PDFfiller’s intuitive online graphical interface include the ability to highlight important information, redact sensitive text, add sticky notes to direct clients’ attention to specific issues, and even API connectivity, which allows users to post documents directly to their website and have them completed by others without ever leaving the page.

This combination of powerful and easy-to-use features make “[PDFfiller] a nice fit for us,” Boguslav said. “[PDFfiller is] faster and more focused – Acrobat and the features there are overkill for us. So to spend money on that, even for their online version, when we’re using a small portion of it [doesn’t make sense]; we just need something that meets our needs, that’s not overkill. And [PDFfiller] does it.

Conclusion

PDFfiller is faster than analog and digital counterparts and features everything you need at hand and nothing you don’t. It is an always-on digital document solution available anywhere, any time, and on any internet-connected device.

PDFfiller’s comprehensive digital solution is so fast, efficient and easy to use, that Boguslav has recommended it to many of his clients – “We’ve got professionals, we’ve got dentists, some lawyers, we’ve got folks that have small businesses [as clients and] we’ve recommended it to them.”

PDFfiller “works much better” than paper-based documents or competing digital services said Boguslav. With so many forms, “it is much easier for us to use [PDFfiller].

Not only is PDFfiller an ideal solution for in-house work, but so too does it serve customers and clients. “[Clients] are happy, they’re very happy. [PDFfiller] makes life easier for them: it makes it easier for us,” Boguslav said.

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For the complete paper, click on the link below:

A Helping Hand For a Disabled Student: Completing Homework Digitally

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The Problem

Until last year, Benjamin Landry’s 13-year old son was having difficulty with homework and his disability. Faced with a sizeable workload and struggling to reconcile his handwriting disability with the demands of school, he had to turn to his parents for help. At 13, Landry’s son still wasn’t completing his work independently, instead relying on his parents’ help.

“I was looking for something to help my son with schoolwork. He has a handwriting disability and typing answers are easier than writing,” said Landry.

As a Certified Professional Accountant and business owner, Landry’s time was valuable and he was spending much of his evenings helping his son complete his homework. After searching online, he found a simple, easy to use electronic solution that could help his son improve his ability to do his homework.

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Before starting to use PDFfiller, “my son was dependent on others in order to get his thoughts onto paper in a legible way,” said Landry.

The problem imposed on the lives of Landry and his wife. “Before PDFfiller, my wife and I were having to transcribe his answers for him and his teachers would have to review what he wrote with him in order to understand what was written,” Landry said. His son’s handwriting issue demanded the time and attention of Landry and his wife, while compromising their son’s independence.

After struggling for years with his son, Landry found PDFfiller.

The Solution

Now, Landry’s son has been using PDFfiller “for over a year” on a daily basis. “Once we showed him how it worked, it was easy [for him to use],” Landry said.

Rather than relying on others to transcribe his work for him, now Landry’s son can complete his homework independently. The process is easy:

“We scan and upload his worksheets,” said Landry. “He completes them and then he either emails them directly to his teachers or we print them to be turned in.”

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With its intuitive user interface, using PDFfiller is simple for both Landry and his son. Once homework or a test has been digitized, specific fields can be made fillable using PDFfiller’s drag-and-drop wizard. Landry’s son can type directly onto the document and PDFfiller even allows him to change the font style, size, and color, as well as highlight passages or add sticky notes. Once completed, documents can be sent to any number of recipients, including already saved contacts, in a click of the mouse and without ever leaving PDFfiller.

“We liked that we could upload his school papers [and] his teachers can send him his tests and he can fill them out with his computer,” said Landry.

While PDFfiller makes it easier for students to complete documents by allowing them to do so digitally, schools and teachers can also benefit. In fact, PDFfiller can be as beneficial for teachers as it is for students. PDFfiller allows teachers to distribute documents to all of their students in just a click and then collect them once completed automatically. Having students type their submitted work makes it easier for teachers to read, store, and process it than with a paper-based solution.

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Making homework easy means that documents need to be simple to upload, edit, and send — PDFfiller does all the hard work, allowing Landy’s son to complete and turn in neatly printed assignments on time.

Conclusion

Because PDFfiller allows Landy’s son to type directly onto any document, the homework process is easier for student, parent, and teacher. Circumventing his handwriting disability, Landy’s son has found independence through a digital solution, creating neat, legible documents himself that his teachers no longer have any problem reading. Landy, meanwhile, has freed up time for personal and professional pursuits. Completing and turning in homework has never been easier than it is with PDFfiller.

conclusion

For the complete paper, click on the link below:

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Form 1023-EZ: Streamline your Non-Profit Workflow

If you are the owner of a non-profit organization you still have to prepare the required tax forms. Some of these forms are aimed to verify the tax-exempt status of the organization. The IRS wants to be sure that the business meets all the requirements for exemption from federal income tax.

What is the Purpose of Form 1023-EZ?

Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is issued by the IRS to help small organizations apply for tax-exempt status. To verify the eligibility for completing the form, the representative of a certain organization should look through the Eligibility Worksheet connected to 1023-EZ.
Keep in mind that applying for the tax-exempt status doesn’t guarantee that you will get it. Besides this, the IRS can ask for additional documents once they’ve accepted the application. For example, you may have to present bills of sale and checks received during a designated period of time.

When is Form 1023-EZ Due?

The streamlined application must be filed within twenty-seven months from the date of organization’s formation. If the IRS approves it, the registration date is considered to be the day of exemption.

What Information do I Need to Provide in Form 1023-EZ?

IRS Form 1023-EZ has six parts which need to be completed:

  • The first part of the form requires the applicant’s identification details. The preparer has to add their name, address, EIN, the month when a tax year ends and the contacts of the organization.
  • The second part of the form contains details of the organization’s structure.
  • The third part provides information about the applicant’s specific activities.
  • The fourth part has information about the foundation’s classification.
  • The fifth part is called the Reinstatement After Automatic Revocation.
  • Finally, the sixth part requires the signature of the authorized person.

What do I Do with the Form after its Completion?

Form 1023-EZ is filed with the IRS electronically.

An Integration to Streamline Internal Document Management Workflows

Cover-Blog-Crisis
THE ISSUE
Automating Production
of Certificates of Excellence
With a fast-growing network of over 1500 volunteers, Crisis Text Line wanted to recognize their volunteer’s outstanding crisis response efforts. As part of expanding the volunteer onboarding process, Crisis Text Line wanted to speed up the creation of two kinds of certificates; one for graduation from a 34-hour crisis response training program, and another for the completion of a year’s worth of service. To do this, the nonprofit needed a way to automatically generate certificates that was simple, flexible, and easy to integrate with their volunteer database and computer network.

Crisis Text Line is the first national 24/7 crisis support line that does crisis intervention all through text message. With 20 million text messages in 3 years and 8 active rescues a day, Crisis Text Line needed a system with the capacity to keep up with the speed, growth, and the critical nature of their operations. Crisis Text Line had used open-source PDF libraries in the past, but now they wanted to find a way to automatically generate a certificate that was simple, flexible, and easy to integrate with their volunteer database and computer.

THE SOLUTION
PDFfiller’s API for
Filling PDFs
After identifying PDFfiller’s API as a tool with the ideal feature set, Crisis Text Line created a new integration with the capacity to streamline all kinds of internal document management workflows, including tools to automate document filling, signature collection, and custom branding.

To start the process of automatically filling certificates, Crisis Text Line uses PDFfiller to create a base template embedded with the signature of the granting organization and with fillable fields for volunteer data. Then, using a pre-determined trigger, the volunteer names and the date of course completion are sent in a data call for automatic filling via the API. For the recipients of one-year certificates, Crisis Text Line also sends the number of conversations the volunteers have taken, as well as the number of hours they’ve spent in those conversations.

Once the certificate is automatically filled with data by PDFfiller’s API, Crisis Text Line gets a link to the hosted version of the PDF and sends it to the volunteers in a congratulations email they receive when they’ve completed the program. It’s that simple! Now that this initial part of the process is complete, Crisis Text Line can take the next step of using PDFfiller’s API to automatically send out their certificates.

THE BENEFITS OF
USING PDFfiller
A Flexible Tool and a
Developer Focus
Saving Time & Money

Using PDFfiller’s API for automated certificate filling has picked up the pace of production, enabling Crisis Text Line to generate around 300-500 certificates a month. The process for the creation of both types of certificates is completely automated, and essentially runs itself. With the API integration in place, Crisis Text Line can easily meet their future goal of accommodating triple the current number of volunteers.

We knew that this was a tool that would do something quickly for us, we were able to build on top of PDFfiller very quickly and so it worked. We operate very much like a Startup in that when we need a problem solved right now, we pick the very best thing.

— Chris Johnson, CTO, Crisis Text Line
Easy Customization

As an organization with in-house technical capacity and a creative, do-it-yourself mindset, It was important to Crisis Text Line to identify a technology that was easy to work with. They were particularly drawn to PDFfiller for its flexibility and the minimal time and effort investment required to get a system ready to go into production.

PDFfiller Support has been extremely responsive to each of my requests, usually responding back within an hour or two of me reaching out, each time with responses that have succinctly answered my quandaries.

— Toshiro Kida, engineer, Crisis Text Line

 

Responsive Technical Support

PDFfiller’s technical support team is committed to working with Crisis Text Line to come up with solutions that meet their needs, in particular a secure and simple authentication mechanism. In providing assistance with this feature, and during the overall onboarding process, PDFfiller was able to respond to the needs of Crisis Text Line quickly and efficiently.

PDFfiller for
Crisis Text Line:
Building a Better Solution

As Crisis Text Line’s team of volunteers grows, PDFfiller can help them respond to new automation challenges. While their current application is fairly simple – filling and retrieval of PDF certificates – the feature set of PDFfiller’s API will allow for the automation of other document management workflows as the need arises.

More importantly, PDFfiller is already positioned to meet the needs of organizations that work with other kinds of online business management tools. Crisis Text Line currently plans to use Salesforce as a customer relationship management tool. CTO Chris Johnson was excited to learn that a PDFfiller Salesforce app already exists that allows Salesforce users to easily edit, redact and sign PDF documents without ever leaving the Salesforce platform.

According to Crisis Text Line, the graduation and recognition certificates play an important role in recruiting, as well as creating a unified and proud volunteer network. The application of PDFfiller’s API for certificate creation is a reflection of Crisis Text Line’s belief in using data science and technology to make crisis intervention faster and more accurate. Working with PDFfiller is making it easier for Crisis Text Line to recognize volunteer excellence, which in turn is helping Crisis Text Line build better solutions to support those in crisis.

For the complete paper, click on the link below:

pdf  PDFfiller & Crisis Text Line Whitepaper

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Form 8868: When Your Non-Profit Has Its Hands Full

IRS Form 8868 – Application for an Extension to File An Exempt Organization Return

Coming last in PDFfiller’s review of extension forms, this post focuses on form 8868, used by tax-exempt organizations.

Who needs the Form 8868?

An exempt organization that wants to request an automatic 3-month extension of time to file its return needs Form 8868. This form is also used to request any additional extensions.

Is the Form 8868 accompanied by any other forms?

No, the 8868 Form is not accompanied by any other forms.

When is the Form 8868 due?

Form 8868 is due by the due date of the return for which you are requesting an extension. In the case that an additional extension has been requested, the form has to be filed by the extended due date of the return. It is wise to file the Form 8868 early so that you will have time to file the return on time if the extension is denied.

How is the Form 8868 completed?

The Form 8868 is a 2-page form. The form has two parts, Part I (Automatic 3-Month Extension of time) and Part II (Additional (Not-Automatic) 3-Month Extension of Time).

Part I

Only complete this section if the organization is applying for an automatic 3-month extension of time (6 months for a corporation required to file Form 990-T) to file the return. Complete the identifying information on the filer including name, address, E.I.N., or social security number. Enter the code for the form for which you are requesting an extension. Fill in the name, telephone, and fax number of the individual who takes care of the books for the organization. Check the applicable boxes.

Line 1: The date entered on this line cannot be later than 3-months (6 months for a corporation required to file Form 990-T), from the original due date of the return.

Line 2: If you checked the box for change in accounting period, you must have applied for approval to change the organization’s tax year unless certain conditions have been met.

All filers must complete lines 3a, b, and c, even if the organization is exempt from tax or do not expect have any tax liability.

Line 3a: Refer to the organization’s return and its instructions to estimate the amount of tentative tax reduced by any non-refundable credits.

Line 3c: Balance Due. If there is a balance due, to avoid interest and penalties, pay the full balance due with the form.

Part II

This section is completed if the organization requesting an additional 3-month extension.

Line 4: The date entered here cannot be later than 6 months from original due date of the return.

Line 6: Refer to Part I, Line 2.

Line 7: For the IRS to grant the organization an additional extension for filing a return, the organization must file an application on time and include an adequate explanation regarding why the return cannot be filed by the already extended due date.

All filers must complete lines 8a, b, and c, even if the organization is exempt from tax or do not expect to have any tax liability.

Line 8a: See the specific form and form instructions to estimate the amount of tentative tax reduced by any non-refundable credits.

Line 8c: Balance Due.

Sign and date the form. Fill in your title as well.

What is the mailing address for the Form 8868?

Send the 8868 to the following address:

Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0045

A separate Form 8868 must be filed for each form for which you are requesting an extension. No blanket request for the form is allowed. Refer to the IRS written instructions for more detailed information regarding the form.