PDF document handling in 2018

The Internal Revenue Service, state revenue departments and many other branches of government and industry rely heavily on the Portable Document File (PDF) format handling electronic documents. It follows then, that a tax professional needs to be up-to-date in handling PDFs with maximum security and efficiency.

According to Wikipedia, the Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed by Adobe in the 1990s to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. We need to be able to offer PDF documents to a wide range of users with differently levels of technical skills, collect electronic signatures and transfer and store them securely. Many companies now offer PDF document handling. An informal online poll of my tax peers indicated that at least nine different PDF product platforms are recommended yet it does not appear that there is any strong concentration of market share in any of these products. There seems to be some reason to suspect that older PDF technologies might not include to most advanced security measures. The Adobe company recently announced that it is no longer publishing security patches for some of its older desktop PDF software.

I recently surveyed a number of these choices and conclude that Adobe’s current product – called Adobe Acrobat DC – still offers the highest level of security and utility for handling PDF documents. Adobe’s Document Cloud online security effectively becomes my firm’s level of security with regard to PDF documents and so my security policy is updated accordingly.

In short, I feel confident that Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud offers the highest level of security and convenience to my tax clients that is available in electronic PDF documents today.


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