To join in on this discussion, you must first log in.

Discussion:ProSeries versus Lacerte

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

Jump to: navigation, search

Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> ProSeries versus Lacerte


Jarcpa (talk|edits) said:

3 January 2006
Any thoughts would be appreciated on comparing ProSeries versus Lacerte. I am thinking of changing for reasons none other than the web organizer feature and it looks like the input process in Lacerte is easier than the ProSeries'.

I also use the QuickBooks tax line groupings for the business returns utilizing proseries but I believe Lacerte has the same feature. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Kelleycook (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2006
Hi Jarcpa. I used Pro Series for nine years before switching to Lacerte in 1998. I didn't know how many errors I had been making in Pro Series until I went to Lacerte. Lacerte is more expensive, but well worth every penny. I wouldn't consider any other software because it is so consistent every year. I subscribe to unlimited for 1040, but use the REP (pay per return) for businesses. I pass the cost of the software to my clients in a $50.00 tax return and supplies add-on to my bill. No one has ever complained to this extra fee.

Gregg Gillaspy, CPA, CFP (talk|edits) said:

January 15, 2006
Our firm switched from ProSeries to Lacerte for the 1997 tax year and have been very satisfied. What I noticed at that time was Lacerte was a much more sophisticated program, the handling of multi-state returns were a night and day difference, ProSeries seemed to print half a ream of paper for every return, and in general, we were able to "manufacture" and produce returns so much faster and better with Lacerte. There were only two things I thought ProSeries did better. One, I really liked when you put a number in as an "estimate" that you would see affected numbers throughout the return as italicized. Two, it was so much easier to do a "projection" for the next tax year after finishing a client's tax return.

Any more questions?

Rje57 (talk|edits) said:

21 January 2006
We have used both for over five years now. Lacerte for business and especially trust returns. Could not believe what ProSeries left out until we switched. Surprising more of Lacerte items i.e. Tax Analyzer) is not included in ProSeries. Lacerte has the power - ProSeries helps our intern preps understand how to prep tax returns. ProSeries is very similar to Turbo Tax for ease of entry level use.

If you have a steady staff - Lacerte is the best way to go. But if you have high turnover (we have an intern program through two local universities) - Lacerte has a high learning curve. Tax professionals should really enjoy its capabilities. We handle a number of NIMCRUTS and having Form 5227 available (instead of filling out the IRS PDF form) is a huge time saver.

Try both if you can - conversion does not fully work and we ended up re-entering the data - was less time than trying to find the conversion errors after we started finding discrepancies.

TGilliam (talk|edits) said:

21 January 2006
Will lacerte convert Pro Series files? If so what is the procedure, send to Lacerte?

TGilliam (talk|edits) said:

21 January 2006
Will lacerte convert Pro Series files? If so what is the procedure, send to Lacerte?

Takes12no1 (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2006
They will convert back and forth

Dataconversions Web Info

Diana Fields (talk|edits) said:

11 February 2006
Hands down, I have used Fast Tax in D&T which is very user unfriendly and have used ProSeries and Lacerte. I work just for myself and would not even consider using anything but Lacerte. It is such a pleasure, powerful and makes your tax work more efficent and it gets done quicker. You can easily flip from your input screens via the tabs on top to your tax return to see the results in a second.

MENNONTAX (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
i HAVE USED LACERTE FOR 10 YEARS, BECAUSE THEY HAD A PER RETURN PROGRAM, THAT ALTHOUGH VERY EXPENSIVE, HELPED ME GET STARTET. ALSO THE FARM BANK WHERE I USED TO WORK USED LACERTE, SO I WAS A LITTLE USED TO IT. I DO LOTS OF SOCIAL SECURITY EXEMPT MENNONITE RETURNS, AND I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT OTHER PROGRAMS ABILITY IN THAT AREA, EXCEPT THAT PRO SERIES IS NOT AS GOOD. THE LACERTE PROGRAM HANDLES THIS VERY VERY WELL, MUCH BETTER THAN THE IRS COMPUTERS, I AM NEVER IN DOUBT THAT I AM RIGHT WHENEVER IRS TELLS US THAT WE DID IT WRONG.

tHIS OF COURSE IS OF LITTLE INTERREST FOR MOST PEOPLE, BUT JUST SHOWS ONE AREA, WHERE LACERTE IS MORE SOFISTICATED. AND I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO PAY THE VERY HIGH LACERTE PRICE. I DO NOT USE MANY LACERTE ADD ONS, SINCE NONE OF MY CLIENTS ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE COMPUTERS.

Martineo (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
A NEW BUSINESS- SMALL NUMBER OF RETURNS - NO BUSINESS.

BUT THINKING IN THE LONG RUN WHICH ONE IS THE BEST OPTION?

MsTwizz (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
I'm in the same boat, new business, small number of returns--just starting out. I bought ProSeries and have been satified with it. I do pay per return. The customer service has been very good.

I have not worked in Lacerte. Now I am eager to try it, but that will have to wait until I start making some $ !

Patc (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
I used Lacerte for about 18 years. Loved the program. Now that I am retired from my old business and just starting out on my own, I would love to have Lacerte back. But can't justify the expense for the number of clients I have right now. Hopefully I can use it next year. You use a lot less paper. And many pages are combined (such as letter to client having both fed and state on one page). Also you seem to be able to get individual forms printed without a lot of other pages printing along with it.

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
Patc:

You mention that you can't justify the expense for Lacerte due to the number of clients that you currently have. Were you aware that Lacerte is available on a pay-per-return basis? Also, the $400 deposit that was required in past years has been eliminated. You might want to look at Lacerte Pricing Options or contact Lacerte at 1-800-765-7777 for more information.

In any case - have a great tax season!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator 10:51, 3 March 2006 (CST)

Dusty (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
Tim:

I went to the Lacert Pricing Options you linked to and could not find anything about pricing. What is the pricing?

Rach (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
If you go to Lacertesftoware.com there is a caption that says "Use Lacerte for only $25 per return". Click on that link, and it should give you the information you need. I don't use the pay by return, but scanning through it, it looks like it's $25/return plus a ~$90 set up fee. I'm not sure if that included Federal/State or just fed.

For those with small businesses starting out, this is a great way to go. Lacerte is a great program!

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
Let me first state that I can't make a quote for you - you should really call the 800 number I listed, but I believe the following to be true:
There is a $95 service and delivery fee, plus local tax, if any. That allows you access to the full Lacerte program - 1040, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 1041, 706, 709, 990, 5500, and state modules. Individual returns are $25 for federal and one state (per return). If you have a multi-state return, the additional states have an additional fee. Business returns are $40 for federal and one state, with multi-states extra.

Again, I am not in sales and may be misinformed about the costs. This is my personal understanding of the costs, and I strongly suggest you contact Lacerte Sales to get accurate information if you are interested.

Thanks!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator 11:18, 3 March 2006 (CST)

Lalva (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2006
This is my first year and I am using Pro Series Basic. I bought the unlimited 1040 with 2 states and 200 e-filing. Now I am pulling my hair because I have had 6 clients so far and since I paid $530 for the program that makes the cost per return over $80! and I don't have many forms. I had a client that needed 1040NR and of course I didn't had that form. Then I clicked in one of the sch. E worksheets for form 6198 and it wasn't there either.

Something possitive about the Proseries is that guides you more than Lacerte I think. So for new preparers maybe that's a good thing. I think that you have to really know what forms to use in Lacerte. But again, I encounter a situation in which my client invested in some oil drilling partnership and Proseries didn't allow me to imput the info as a non passive activity. I had to over-write the amounts. Do you guys think that Lacerte is good for new preparers? I will swich new year if so.

Taxref (talk|edits) said:

4 March 2006
The disadvantage to Lacerte is that there is a learning curve on how to use the program. Most tax programs work the same basic way, not so with Lacerte. To the new user the Lacerte screen appears very cluttered and confusing, and you cannot enter data directly into a GUI representation of a tax form. Once you get over that, though, the program is far superior to anything else. I can recall several incidents in which all the accountants in my office were frustrated with the program, only to discover we were trying to do something incorrect and Lacerte wouldn't let us. It will also handle any bizarre situation that will come up. We also had to make corrections to state corporation returns when using other software, but Lacerte always did them correctly. The time Lacerte saved us on that situation more than justified the cost of the program for us.

Shenier (talk|edits) said:

4 March 2006
I tried Lacerte last year and was VERY frustrated. It has at least 40+ input screens which makes sense to the programmers ... but not to me. I found that I would have to go to the actual tax form and the line that I was trying to impact, then double click to locate which of the numerous input screens was the source for the data. Great... IF the link was there.... not so great when it was not. There is an extreme learning curve to Lacerte and is not user friendly. Proseries is MUCH easier to use, easy to understand.

ICTina (talk|edits) said:

4 March 2006
I have been very happy with Lacerte. I switched from ATX about 4 years ago. I have a small practice so I use the pay per return. It's a little difficult to learn the input, but I like the output. The electronic filing has also worked wonderfully. I like that I can do any type of return on a pay-per-return basis.

NorthernEA (talk|edits) said:

4 March 2006
I have used Lacert for over ten years and am very happy with it (except the cost, of course). I felt it was easy to learn. My first year, before the rush of "tax season", I created a sample return (no cost), and went through every input screen just to see what was there. I do this every year, now, to see anything new. Also, Lacerte has many tutorials built in and on the web, has classes each year, now including webinars to give info. In addition, because there are so many Lacerte users, I have many other tax professionals I can call upon to ask - "how do I input this one?" and if all else fails, the folks at Lacerte are pretty good about guiding me through input of difficult or rare type of returns. For instance, I might know how it is supposed to be on the return, but can't figure out how to get it there sometimes. Lacerte has helped me find the answer!

Cpa21 (talk|edits) said:

4 March 2006
I am a small practice and still would not use anything other than Lacerte. So much more powerful and the customer service is outstanding.

Lalva (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2006
ICTina, How much do you pay per return?

Skhyatt (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2006
If you like TurboTax, you'll probably like proseries. I tried the demo of both proseries and lacerte. lacerte is certainly different than proseries. I can see where it might take some getting used to for some. After trying the two, I felt lacerte was definitely a cleaner, more powerful program. I use the lacerte rep method. I pay $25 per return, plus tax. That price includes one state. e-filing is $4 per return. I think the rep fee for proseries is about the same. I would highly recommend lacerte. Wondering from the lacerte users. Does anyone use the tax planner program and if so, what do you think of it?

Bean (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2006
I'm not sure, but I think the fees are the same for ProSeries on per return basis?

Biasinik (talk|edits) said:

13 March 2006
I started using Lacerte this year. Tim Doyle is correct, $95 to start, the $40 per business return, $25 per individual, and I think $15 per state. Just a couple of bucks to add electronic filing to a return, which I also started doing this this year. I have called Lacerte twice about data entry issues and they have been very pleasant and helpful.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

13 March 2006
I've tried both, and by far and away prefer La Certe. I also worked in a CPA office one tax season where they used Pro Systems, I still like La Certe better. The documentation is so much cleaner and easier to follow. Tech support is always very helpful and they stay there later, which is important when you live in Hawaii, I'm still working when most people east of me have long since gone home. Besides, I do like the Taxalmanac which I wouldn't know about otherwise.

JAPM (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
Does the Lacerte Software have the 2555, TDF 90-22.1 and 5471 forms in it?. This is because the major of our clients are living abroad and we need it.

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

January 12, 2007
I just checked the Lacerte Website and it appears as though it has all three of these forms.


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 15:32, 12 January 2007 (CST)

JAPM (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
Ok I´ll check it.

Thanks Td

Blrgcpa (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
When I started on my own I purchased Lacerte. It looked great on the screen, but printed goobled-gook. When I called tech support, I was told that the program was not compatible with my printer and I could get a refund.

I have been using Pro Series ever since and am happy with it. I use the pay per return program.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
I've been using ProSeries for 10 years and really like it. It's easy to use and I love the quick entry sheets. When Intuit bought Lacerte several years ago, they sent trial versions out. I tried it and found it very cumbersome to use. Everything had to be entered directly on the tax form and I couldn't figure out how to get it to calculate depreciation. This was combined with a price that was much more than ProSeries. Lacerte seemed to be designed for high-end users. The returns I do are very basic. Of course this was several years ago but I'll stick with ProSeries. I have unlimited 1040 and 1120S. Do pay-per-return for 1120, 1065, and states. (Florida - no state income tax!!)

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

January 12, 2007
I started work with Lacerte 18 years ago as a programmer working on the partnership & corporate state modules, and was around when Lacerte was acquired by Intuit back in 1998. I'm not sure what you mean about having to enter everything on the tax form in Lacerte though - Lacerte input is topical based, not form based. Lacerte Tax and ProSeries Professional (and now ProSeries Basic and ProSeries Express) each have their differences, and each tax preparer will, for various reasons, find one that better suits their needs.


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 16:23, 12 January 2007 (CST)

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
The title of this discussion makes it sound like a football game.

Taxguy1024 (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
..any betting line on the game, D&T..?

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

12 January 2007
Agreed. I think it's more a matter of personal preference and what your client base is. Lacerte does seem to be tailored more toward "high end" users while ProSeries seems to be more basic. But - I haven't looked at Lacerte in many years - I've been happy with ProSeries.

Skasselea (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
We have used Lacerte for years, however, our practice is geared almost toward delinquent clients. Thus, we are far more likely to prepare seven years of returns from 1999 through 2005 rather than a 2006 return. Right now, I believe Lacerte charges us for ALL Federal and state returns we prepare for 1999 forward. It has become prohibitively expensive. We may prepare just 50 current year returns but 400 (or more) past due returns).

Our returns are not terribly complex. Most are for self-employed individuals. From a total cash outlay standpoint, would is make more sense for us to switch to ProSeries as I believe we would not have to spend money for each prior year return?

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 16, 2007
Steve - If I were you, I would switch to ProSeries Pro, and then you can use the prior years' software at no extra charge. At $999 per year plus shipping and tax (and about $100 extra if you buy the Practice Manager for labels, reports, etc), you would have unlimited 1040s and pay per return for the corps and ptrs. ProSeries Pro works fine for me for all situations that I have, but I don't do a lot of 1120-S, 1120, or 1065s (less than a dozen, I think).

John of PA (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
SKASSELETA, I'am puzzled by your post. I use Lacerte and I can prepare any return, going back to 1994 (1040 and 2 states) for free, as long as it was not from a REP licenese. I also prepare back returns and actualy list in my yellow page ad "late and prior year returns:.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 16, 2007
I wondered about that, too, John. Could Steve be on a pay-per-return basis with Lacerte?

Lizzit (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
Out of curiousity, isn't there some sort of trademark/brand/copyright issue with "ProSeries" and CCH's "ProSeriesFX"?

I use ProSeriesFX - Lacert is much, much easier to use, but not as robust for what I do.

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

January 16, 2007
Lizzit:

Are you referring to ProSystem FX by CCH? That's not the same as ProSeries by Intuit.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 04:57, 16 January 2007 (CST)

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
If Steve is only preparing 50 current returns a year, he probably is using pay-per-return.

Skasselea (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
I have switched back and forth from pay per return to the full program and it seems I get slammed either way. I may want to speak with Deback and John of PA outside of Tax Almanac to get some advice.

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
Anyone use Creative Solutions? I used it in a couple large firms I worked for in Orlando, but I think it probably is still too pricy to be competitive. I loved the write up solution, UltraTax, Depreciation Solution and other packages that allowed my clients to work with their own version and send me data that we produced financials with....anyone use any of them?

Z32 Twin Turbo (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
ProSeries Pro definately. Anyone remember CPAID software? Old DOS stuff. Thats where I started. Back when laser printers were $3k and pc's were 5k (for a 286 with 128k memory) :) Those were the days. Then Best software bought out CPAID and I used Best1040. Then Intuit bought them out. I have tried others in the off season for the hell of it and bang for the buck goes to Proseries Pro. Anything easier and I wouldnt use my brain. People talk about saving paper? Uh, just print what you need and edit the client letter to print what info you want. Oh, maybe people pay the extra $1500 or so for Lacerte do it for them. Save your money.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 16, 2007
Z32 - Yes! I used CPAID for four years, beginning with tax year 1989, used Best (by Chip Soft) for 1993, and ProSeries Pro since then. I just dug through the 3 1/2" floppies that I still have since 1993. Do you believe I still have those? Thought I might need them some day, I guess. I remember using the CPAID disks to backup my client files in the mid-90s. My first laser printer (HPII) was about $1,600, and my first 286 PC was about $2,000 with a 40-meg hard drive (which I had to quickly upgrade to 80 megs). I also had to pay about $2,400 for the required modem back in 1989 in order to efile directly to the IRS. My second laser printer (HP4) was on sale at Sam's Club in about 1993 for about $800. I had to retire that printer two or three years ago, but I bought two more HP4 printers from eBay for less than $100 each and then just installed new rollers and other parts in them. They still work fine, but I'm thinking about upgrading them this year. Sorry for the boring details...

Anyway, ProSeries Pro is my favorite of all, and in my situation, I don't think I have any need for a program like Lacerte, but I've never installed Lacerte, so I'm not familiar with the differences.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 16, 2007
Steve - An email was just sent to you at the address listed on your web site.

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
So...does anyone use CS? Just curious on how many "wealthy accountants" we have here :)

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 16, 2007
Sandy - Never used it, but I've thrown away several of their ads mailed to me over the years.

Z32 Twin Turbo (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
I still have all copies also. :)

Z32 Twin Turbo (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2007
And I found my client back ups too. :) I also used to 3 1/2 they sent to back up clients. Every update and you would get 8 or more disks in the mail.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

January 16, 2007
Yup... It's so much easier now to just use one CD to install everything, and actually, after I install the first CD, I upgrade from within the program and just save the CDs they send to me (and use them only when I wipe out everything on my hard drives and reinstall Windows--which is not very often).

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

17 January 2007
Since I sprung for Cable Modem, I installed all on line and use the CD only to put the software on my second laptop that does not have cable modem. One backup I have is that I still pay MSN their monthly fee for dialup access. $240 a year can be worth it when Comcast goes down and it works on my other laptop. I have Proseries disks back to 1997, and probably could find the floppies from before that. Of course I also have Package X that far back.

Skasselea (talk|edits) said:

17 January 2007
Thanks, Deback. I will be contacting you.

Oscar737 (talk|edits) said:

14 February 2007
Does any one know if Pro-Series or Lacerte handle 1045's (NOL) carrybacks. From what I've been hearing both programs default to the carryforward ave. Looking to by the one that does the carryback calculations and fills out the 1045 Sch A and B

Kathyt (talk|edits) said:

14 February 2007
Lacerte will do the 1045 but you have to input the prior year info in the 1045 screen.

Verikon (talk|edits) said:

10 September 2008
does proseries 2007 figure NOL carryforwards and the AMT NOL carryforwards for federal and California State? I believe the 2006 did not.

Umk395 (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2009
I went from using "Best Programs" tax software in the early 90s to using ProSeries and I love it. I read the thread here and see comments like "Could not believe what ProSeries left out until we switched" and Lacerte has so much "more". What does that mean!? Does anyone anything more specific that they feel makes Lacerte more efficient or more functional to use? I'm curious what SPECIFICALLY Lacerte does better than ProSeries. Do they offer more forms in Lacerte than in ProSeries. What does "Lacerte allows us to print fewer pages than ProSeries" even mean?

I have found ProSeries to be very intuitive and love the product. Have used it for 18 years. There have been minor bugs from time to time, but nothing that has created any huge problems. We prepare about 650 returns (1040, 1120, etc).

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2009
I've used Proseries since 1993 and am too used to it to change. DOS for the first years, but as I saw them always being a year late in DOS when adding items they put in Windows, I switched to Windows. I like the form based look and would find using a system where you are referring to Screen # x to be akin to a certain Eastern religion and its lists. Yet for all that, there are items I wish we had:

1. Family returns with form 8615; it would be nice to transfers required numbers to Child 2 and 3, or from parents.

2. Better functionality on states where taxes are not based on the 1040. They have come a long way here; I can remember it being easier to do a Massachusetts NR on Superforms than struggle to eliminate 90% of the information that did not pertain to MASS from the Proseries software.

3. K-1 lines 11 and 13 could use more options [I have never had one of those REMIC entries from a K-1]

4. More important: when there is an entry for Line 1 and 2 on the same K-1, you should not have to create a separate K-1 entry sheet....and in situations with PTPs, where income is netted at PTP level, you can end up paying tax on the gain on Line but not reducing it for the loss on Line 2 when you use two K-1 entry sheets, since the software does not realize it is the partnership. And if you override, you cannot efile, and these are just the returns you want to efile (I have two people with over 30 K-1 forms).

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2009
To quote Martineo above:

"A NEW BUSINESS- SMALL NUMBER OF RETURNS - NO BUSINESS."

That's exactly what happened to my tax business. In exactly that order. lol.

Martineo, you're a good man. Your phrasing of the business cycle is a lesson in the economical use of words.

Eric1032 (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2010
i have used Lacerte and prosysfx when i was working for an accounting firm. and i used proseries when i started my own business, i am in the sixth year.

prosys is no question the best software in the business, follow by lacerte...hence they are both expensive. i think they are catered to firms with complex returns and high networth clients. they have every scheduele and highly customizeable. i don't know how much profx costs but lacerte is about 13K (approx) to buy the whole license. profx costs more. So you better have clients that can turn you a profit on that type of costs.

i used proseries for the last 5 years and it can handle most situations however, i can point out 3 to 4 cons:

1. for non-profit form 990, no CA state returns. 2. HOAs 1120H, it's not usable, it basically just have the forms but doesn't link to anything. 3. For CA state corp (forgot about indiviudal), it doesn't calculate NOL for AMT. must input manually. 4. I was doing the NOL carryback for indiviudal last year and realize it doesn't generate AMT NOL worksheet, had to prepare manually.

every year, i gripe about the same things when i work on the client that has the above problems. fortunately, it's only a few. i am sure prosys and lacerte can whip out the above in an instant.

proseries is priced reasonably and caters to us sole preprietor, so i will settle for those little bugs for now. but i am sure i will switch to Lacerte when the time permits.

my 2 cents

To join in on this discussion, you must first log in.
Personal tools