Friday, February 5, 2010

2009 Profesional Tax Software Choices Part 1




"'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." – quote by Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in 1789, (re-printed in The Works of Benjamin Franklin, 1817)



Here we are again with another tax season and asking ourselves the following questions about our tax software? Are we using the “right” package for our needs? Are we getting the most value from our investment in Tax Preparation Software? What would it take for me to consider changing from my current tax software? Would I recommend my tax software to other tax professionals? Do I know what are my alternatives? What do I like about my tax software? What do I dislike about my tax software?



Drake Software offers an all-inclusive package regularly, $1,395 (currently web-listed as $1,295) with early season discount prices as low as $995. The package includes all individual and business federal tax returns - 1040, 1040NR, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120H, 1120S, 706,709, 990, and 990PF - as well as all state returns. It also includes their tax planner, write-up, client status manager, document manager, bank software, electronic filing, technical support, network version, preparer Web site, and paperless office capabilities. They also offer a client write-up package that includes everything except their client write-up package. The pay-per-return option allows you to prepare up to 15 federal and state returns for $285, and additional returns cost $19 each.
The price is small, but the power of the package is impressive. Screens and helps are available in Spanish, for your Spanish speaking preparers or clients, but printed tax forms are all in English. Auto entry features include a Zip Code database that automatically fills in the city and state after you enter the zip code, and an EIN database that retains and fills in provider's information when the EIN is entered.


Drake Software's client base is an even mix between one to two man shops, to CPA firms, to large multi-sites. If the firm's hardware meets the Drake Software minimum requirements there is no limitation on the amount of users and returns it can support.



The Intuit ProLine Lacerte is for mid-sized and larger practices, as well as smaller firms with more complex client needs. The program offers preparation and electronic filing for all major tax entity types, along with all states and municipal entities. The system is offered modularly, with practices selecting the entity types and state support they require. Pricing for the Federal individual package is $2,699 and $429 per state, with add-on available for unlimited electronic filing ($995), networking ($570 for the first 4, $280 for each additional 4), tax analyzer ($465 of which 25% is the annual maintenance fee which is all you pay in future years), tax planner ($665 of which 25% is the annual maintenance fee which is all you pay in future years) and other productivity tools including applications for trial balance, document management, and tax research. The Intuit ProLine Lacerte system is also offered in a pay-per-use format, for lower-volume firms with a $395 license fee, $36 for federal and 1 state and a $4 electronic filing fee. Once the Pay-per-Return fee is paid separate business, trust, estate, and gift taxes may also be purchased.



Lacerte integrates with QuickBooks, Intuit's Document Management System, Tax Planner, EasyACCT, and BNA Tax Planner, Forms Library, Tax Research, Tax Analyzer, Trial Balance Utility, Lacerte e-Organizer.



The Intuit ProSeries is offered as a complete package or as a pay-per-return option, ProSeries Professional is easily adaptable to fit your office needs. Directed toward the small to medium sized accounting firm that might also provide other accounting services, Intuit allow you to buy as much (or as little) tax power as you need. One license of ProSeries tax software covers everyone in one company and location (multiple installations, networking is an add-on), via Webprice $1299, regularly $1399. This package includes unlimited individual returns for federal and state, and no license fee for Pay-Per-Return for business return. The PowerTax Library, priced at $4449, includes: the federal individual (100+ forms and schedules); state individual (45 States and Local forms); federal business forms 1120, 1120s, 1065, 1041, and 990; state business forms 1120, 1120s, 1065, 1041, and 990; Gift and Estate forms 709 and 706; and ProSeries add-on solutions Client Organizer and Fixed Asset Manager. Add-on packages include Network Solutions for $475, ProSeries DMS (Document Management System) for $450, Client Organizer for $229, Fixed Asset Manager for $229. The Pay-Per-Return option fee is $225, plus $20 for each federal and $15 for each state return processed




ATX Max is a highly inclusive program that sells for $1,110 and includes all the tax forms and specialty forms needed for a small to medium accounting practice. This package includes 1040 and related forms plus all state and local individual income tax forms, electronic filing where supported, 1041, 1120 1120S, 1065, 706, 709, 990, 5500, registrations and elections and more. Training and online CCH U.S. Master Tax Guide and CCH 1040 Express Answers are included with the ATX Max package.
One thing that really sets the ATX packages apart is their over 10,000 federal, state, and local forms, including the hard-to-find local tax forms. With ATX, tax practitioners no longer have to find and fill out by hand less common local tax forms, they are already included in the tax package. CCH Small Firm Services knows that not all small tax firms are looking for the same solution. They have packages that start as low at $410 that include all of the federal 1040 forms and supporting schedules, up to 3 states, $200 unlimited electronic filing, or individually priced e-filing for $3 federal and $2 per state state, and free training. They also offer a small firm turnkey solution of their Total Tax & Accounting Office package for $2295 which includes everything from the ATX Max package plus ATX Fixed Asset Manager, ATX Trial Balance, ATX Document Manager, ATX Client Write-Up with Payroll, and CCH Express Answers for all of the included tax returns.

TaxWise offers different groupings of their tax software so that they are price accessible to the various sized firms that are looking for the services their product offers. TaxWise is targeted for the accounting firm that is looking to grow and wants to position itself in an efficient manner with a complete business solution that is fully integrated and streamlined.
The ProFiling Package is $1084 for all federal individual and state and local forms, $1 Per federal and $.50 per state for electronic filing. The Power package at $2395 includes 1120, 1120s, 1065, 1041, 706, 709, 990 and 5500as well as unlimited e-filing, and free networking within the same office. They also offer an Executive package that includes all 1040 forms, 1120, 1120S, and 1065, 3 states each for individual and business returns, and $2 federal, $1 state electronic filing for $1335. The Complete Tax and Accounting package includes their complete line of individual, corporate, partnership, business, and specialty forms and schedules, all states and electronic filing, trial balance, fixed asset, document manager, and research software for $3265. TaxWise includes as much power as you could need, depending on the package you purchase. Free orientation sessions, customer support, and the online CCH U.S. Master Tax Guide (included in the Executive, Power, and Complete packages) make this a complete solution for a growing professional accounting firm.

2 comments:

ranjini said...

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Reynaldo Rivas said...

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