Tax & Accounting Blog

Driving Revenue with UltraTax CS Data Mining, Part 4: Identifying Retirement Planning Candidates

CS Tax & Asset Management Solutions July 8, 2014

Tax and accounting professionals are seeing more and more of their clients nearing Social Security eligibility. It’s a big life event, and it raises many important questions. When is the best time to begin drawing benefits? What’s the best way to project income from other sources and get an accurate picture of future income? 

These are big decisions. They’re also a big opportunity for your firm to provide advice and retirement planning services. But tracking down and contacting retirement planning candidates one by one is tedious, time-consuming work. 

UltraTax CS Data Mining provides a faster way to find and contact these clients. Pulling an automated report is much faster than tracking down clients one by one, and it reduces the chances of clients falling through the cracks. It also enables you to provide more consistent service in less time. 

I’ve put together a guide to walk you through the creation of a report that lists names, contact information, ages, and 2013 Social Security benefits received (if any). I’ve also included the search criteria necessary to limit the report to only those clients who are approaching benefit election age. 

How to create a report listing Social Security planning candidates 

Follow the steps below to create a report layout which will provide you with each candidate’s Client ID, name, the ages of both the taxpayer and spouse (if applicable), and any net Social Security benefits the taxpayer and/or spouse received in 2013. 

  1. Select Utilities > Data Mining from within UltraTax CS.
  2. Select the 1040 Individual database, and click Continue (Step 2)  at the bottom.
  3. Click the Design Custom Reports button at the top-right, and then click the Add button.
  4. Enter a report name in the Description field, leave the Template drop-down blank, and click Continue.
  5. Select the following values to the right pane:
    • Client ID
    • Client name
    • Taxpayer age – today
    • Spouse age – today
  6. Select Federal from the Product drop-down at the top-left, select the Input screen field option below, and click the Select field button.
  7. In the Input Screen Field Selection screen, navigate to the Retirement folder and select the SSA-1099 tab.
  8. Highlight the field for Box 5 Net Benefits for 2013 and click Select.
  9. Repeat steps 6 and 7, but this time select the “T,S” field at the top-right of the SSA-1099 screen. In the case of Married Filing Joint clients, this will indicate on the report whether it is the taxpayer and/or spouse receiving Social Security benefits.
  10. Select any sort options you wish from the bottom-left of the Custom Report Layout window, then click OK at the bottom.
  11. Click Done in the Custom Reports listing to return to Step 2 of Data Mining. 

Create a new search to identify all clients approaching Social Security benefit age 

You may want to limit your report to only those clients who are approaching Social Security benefit election age.  I’ve outlined a search criteria below that will identify all clients turning ages 60 through 67 during 2014. You can alter the birth year in Step 5 to adjust this range to your liking.

  1. From step 2 of Data Mining, click the Add/Modify Searches button at the right, and then click the Add button.
  2. Enter a search description, such as “Social Security planning candidates.”
  3. Select the option for Input screen field and click the Add/Modify button below the list of predefined criteria.
  4. Click the Add button, navigate to the General folder and 1040 tab, highlight the field for the taxpayer’s date of birth, and click Select at the bottom.
  5. Change the Operator drop-down to Between and enter 01/01/1947 in the Greater than or equal field, and enter 01/01/1954 in the Less than or equal field.
  6. Click the Enter button on the right.
  7. Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the spouse
  8. Click Done to exit the Add/Modify Search Criteria window.
  9. Upon returning to the Select Search Criteria window, the newly-created criterion of US: 1040, Sp date of birth between 1/01/47 and 1/01/54 will be highlighted. Click Select to move the criteria to the right. Then, scroll down to locate and select US: 1040, Tp date of birth between 1/01/47 and 1/01/54. Click Select to move the criteria to the right.
  10. Click Done to leave the search listing and return to step 2 of Data Mining.
  11. Click Continue (Step 3)…at the bottom to review all clients who met the criteria of the search and print the report. 

Creating a letter to send to retirement planning candidates 

You can also use UltraTax CS Data Mining to send a letter or email to the clients you’ve identified in your custom search. Here’s how to do this: 

  1. Return to the list of available searches, click the drop-down in the Recommended report column and select the Social Security planning candidates report we created in the prior section of this article. The report will be listed near the bottom of the list.
  2. Click Done to leave the search listing and return to step 2 of Data Mining.
  3. Click the Compose Client Letters button.
  4. Click New to create a new custom client letter and give it a name. Click OK. UltraTax CS will automatically insert header information and a closing.
  5. When you’ve finished writing the letter, select Document > Exit. Click Yes when prompted to save. This will return you to step 2.
  6. In step 2, select the custom search you created earlier from the Search name drop-down list.
  7. Click Continue (Step 3) to run your search and advance to step 3. This process may take a few minutes to complete.
  8. In the Print what dialog, select the Reports/Letters tab and select the letter you created earlier.
  9. In the Print where  dialog, choose how you’d like to distribute the letter. You can:
    • Print paper copies
    • Have UltraTax CS automatically email PDFs to clients with an email on file
    • Have UltraTax CS automatically email PDFs to clients with an email on file and print paper copies for clients who do not
  10. Click Print.
  11. UltraTax CS will use your MAPI-compliant default email client to email PDF copies of the notification, and/or print paper copies. 

I’ve also put together a video that shows the process of using UltraTax CS Data Mining to generate client letters. You’ll find it here

Additional Social Security benefit planning resources