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E-signature issues

Level 4

I have several issues with e-signatures. I did a search and find some other people had issues on leap-day, but this seems to be unrelated. I called customer support and they were the opposite of supportive.

This is the first time I've used e-signatures with Pro-Series. I have used e-signatures through other applications, and never had a problem. Here's what happened.

So it's an 1120. I saw some discussion that it requires a different process. Since I didn't know the other process, I figured this isn't an issue. I told it to send the file and set up where my customer was supposed to sign, and then clicked "send."

The customer called me back and told me he was unable to access the document, because he couldn't get past the authentication. It was asking for his address. I called Pro Series, and they said without looking at the exact screen of my customer (which is impossible, since my customer is not a Pro Series client), it would be impossible for them to know what was going on. They said I should try to get more information about what, exactly, was happening, whether he was getting an error message or what.

So I called the client back. Here's where it gets really weird.

First of all, he says he gets a screen that has just two fields on it. "Name," where it listed his ***first*** name only -- not his full name, and not the name of the company. The file is under the name of the company. So that was the first thing I suggested, but he said he could not change that first field. It was pre-filled with his first name only, and he could not change it. Then the second field it said "address." That's the problem. He has two addresses for his company, a street address and a PO box. He tried both. Now, of course, there's different ways to enter an address. Do you include the city state and zip or not? Do you include a comma or not? Do you abbreviate "Road" or put "Rd"? "Suite" or "Ste"? All caps? So many possible variations. He said he tried every possible variation of both addresses, and nothing worked. I tried ProSeries again, and they said they actually pull information from his ***credit record,*** so that it might be a ***past*** address. I told my client, and then he tried 2 or 3 past addresses, again with different variations. None of them worked.

So today, I got an email from Docusign that the package had expired, and I would need to resend it. Obviously, I need to know why it isn't working before I just send it again. I've tried to get help from Docusign, and they have no way to contact them. They have an online "chat assistant" but it's automated and doesn't really work well.

With this stupid COVID thing, I would like to tell my clients that they don't need to come in to sign, that we can do everything by mail and e-signing. But if DocuSign is not going to work, then I'm stuck.

So I called ProSeries again, but after being on hold for 90 minutes, the person who I talked to said she couldn't help me, that I would have to talk to "customer support." I said, "I thought I was talking to Customer Support." She informed me that she was tech support, not customer support, and that customer support was closed for the day. Of course, if they had answered my call within the first hour of my call, it would have gone through before they closed. Apparently it re-routes to tech support after 5:00 Eastern Time. So now I'm really pissed. 

First of all, whose brilliant idea was it to use something from the customer's personal credit report as a method of authentication?!?!? As a tax preparer, I may or may not even have that information!!! Why on earth wouldn't they use something that I, as the "sender," would ***KNOW*** for blankety-blank sake?!?!? If you don't want to let us pick the password (which would make more sense) at least let us know what the correct answer would be?

Secondly, why would they use something that has so many variations of ways it can be entered? What a blankety-blank stupid way of asking for an authentication. You need the authentication to be something that is clear how it should be entered. Like one single word, not something that might be multiple words, and may or may not be spelled several different ways, and may or may not refer to several different things. I mean, this is really basic Security 101 stuff here. Are they really that stupid not to know this, or do they just not care about customers, because they're the only game in town, and they don't have to care?

Third, why was there no notification, either to the customer or to me, the sender, that after 3 fails we would have to send it again?!?!? If you don't want to tell the person that they've failed, because it might be a hacker, and you don't want to let the hacker know we're onto him, I get that, but at the very least, let ***ME*** know that the authentication failed and I need to re-send it. But they didn't even do that. I didn't find out that it failed until today, and the reason they gave was that it had expired, not that the customer tried more than 3 times. Again, evidence that they're either really, really stupid, or they just don't give a blankety-blank about customers.

Fifth, why is ProSeries not supporting us, and not giving us anything to go on with this? It's bad enough that DocuSign is either incompetent or intentionally crooked. I expect better from Intuit. (Okay, maybe I shouldn't expect more from Intuit, but up until now, they've been so good. It's such a let-down that they have completely dropped the ball on this.)

Can you tell I'm really ticked off about this?

Next steps? 

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5 Comments 5
Level 4

Update: Intuit tech support sent me some stuff. Still not thrilled with DocuSign. Maybe I need to start a new business that competes with them....

Level 15

If it’s worth anything to you, I think you are currently in first place for the longest post of the season 😁

Slava Ukraini!
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Level 4

🤗I'm nothing if not verbose.

Level 4

Are you willing to share what they told you?  My understanding is that we can't use e-signature for business returns because the IRS hasn't authorized it - and because there would be authentication issues.  I haven't looked at this recently, so if you have some updated info - hook us up!


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Level 4

Here's what happened when I tried to use e-signatures for a business return.

I sent the DocuSign packet to the client, and that part was problem-free.

The client received it, and was unable to get past authentication. He said it gave his first name, "XXXX" (redacted), which he couldn't change, NOT the name of the business, and then asked for "address." It was NOT asking him to pick his address from a list of 3 or 4. He had to actually enter his address. Well, this is problematic for several reasons.

First of all, while his business is out of his home, he has both a PO Box and a Street address. So, which one was it asking for? He tried both, and it didn't work for either one.

Secondly, and more problematic, did they want the whole address including City, State, and Zip? Did it have to be correctly punctuated? For example, would it accept "123 North Main Street" as well as "123 N Main St" as well as "123 N. Main St." all as valid answers, as well as all 3 of those in all caps? 

So he tried every possible combination several times. He asked me, and of course I had no idea. I did not set the password. I asked ProSeries. They said they didn't set it, either. If you read the article on it, DocuSign sets it according to "Knowledge-Based Authentication," which means it's something that comes from his credit history. Well, in that case, it could be a PAST address, too. ALSO, they didn't tell me in that phone conversation that the authentication allows 3 tries and then locks up. So, it MIGHT have been one of the things he tried, but it was after the 3 strikes and he was out.

And I get not telling someone "You're locked out because you tried 3 times," because if it's a hacker, you don't necessarily want them to know you're onto them. But hello? Shouldn't I have been notified that he was locked out? Not impressed with DocuSign.

ProSeries said they had no control over it, it was controlled by DocuSign. Which makes me think maybe I should look into designing software that does remote signature documents and beat DocuSign at their game, since they kinda have a monopoly.

On the plus side, I was able to do my first 100% remote tax return yesterday. It was a client I knew personally, but hadn't seen personally this year. She downloaded her docs on Intuit Link, we did the interview over e-mail, she did Docu-Sign, I e-filed her return, and snail-mailed her final return. I would probably not do this with a client I had never met in person, but for PY clients, I don't see a problem with it. 

Wash your hands!

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