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Discussion:Tax Software Advice

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Lcherrer (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
Dear Practitioners:

I just joint this forum and I am impressed with the quality of the answers, and the kindness of many practitioners.

I am setting up my tax practice and I have been searching for efficient tax software that is reasonable in price at the same time. In addition, I would like to find out about current prices in the market for each type of tax return.

I greatly appreciate any suggestions that you may provide me concerning this matter. I have covered the marketing part of my practice and I know the kind of service I deliver because in addition to doing business, I care very much about my customers; however, I am lacking these two major points.

Thanks in advance for your valuable insight.

Sincerely,


lcherrer

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
So much to say to this; could you fill in your profile to give us a better idea. Then tell us how you plan to work and your planned specialities. Personal interviews? Walk-ins? By mail? Individuals? Business? The latter two would really give us a better idea.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

January 15, 2007
Unless you're over 60 and/or in love with clunky DOS-like interfaces on keypunch computers (ahem), get with ProSeries. It's roots are in the Mac, which is where the software came from originally, and is very very efficient and built for productivity. You can use pay per return or a low end version to get started. Now, that being said, if you're doing a lot of high end returns...LaCerte is probably slightly more accurate for those...but the learning curve is quite high in my opinion.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
Thanks JR1 - couldn't have said it better myself

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
I use Proseries, but would note that if your practice will be high-end taxpayers with many K-1s, look at something more detailed. The other income and other deductions lines on the K-1 worksheet love REMICS, but there are so many categories of income and expense that have to be manually entered. I have perhaps five clients like this, K-1s with Section 988 losses and income or the like. I won't even go into the problem entering PTPs with income on Line 1 and Losses on Line 2.

Mark Eason (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
I have used both LaCerte and CCH FX. Both are for higher end users. I have found the learning curve on LaCerte to by higher than FX. For computer problems, I was able to fix my own with FX. FX secret is to double save every time you go into a return. That puts the return into their automatic save program. Where I used LaCerte, they have an IT person. So, I don't know what it is like to resolve computer problems with LaCerte. Both programs are good. You need to try the programs out to see if it fits with your personality and budget.

Sea-tax (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
I personally have used Lacerte for many years. I have tried TaxWise and ATX and viewed a couple more.

I would encourage anyone to use Lacerte. It is by far the best program I have used or viewed. It has great features like, missing info lists, diagnostics, tax planner, quickbooks import, k-1 imports. and the list goes on and on. I truely think you get what you pay for. I think that Lacerte saves so much time and really makes my productivity go higher. Good Luck.

John of PA (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
I have been using Lacerte for 14 years. I have found it very user friendly, easy to learn, and has improved each year to the point where it is very comprehensive now (handles complex returns well). I am really looking forward to the new feature this year of scanning W-2's. That is, W-2 and 1099's do not have to be entered, just scanned. Best wishes.

Pjnieves (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
Lcherrer,

I personally use Proseries, but have used Profx and Taxwise. I will be helping a colleague that uses Lacerte and the feedback is pretty good. Proseries has done the job for me for the last 4 years. Proseries also has the new scanning feature which most software are getting into.

By the way, can you let me know a bit more about your marketing startegy and some concrete examples.

Thanks,

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

January 15, 2007
The time to make this decision, sadly, isn't now, but at the Accounting Shows in the summer. You must get to one where you can play with all the entrants and you'll know what rings your bell. It's a short list now...

Dennis (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2007
I don't know about roots in the MAC, JR. I was using turbotax (keeping client files on separate floppies and using DOS functions to rename to get around the multiple use limitation (executable batch files) in the mid eighties when I switched to ProSeries. It was A DOS program then.

Note that ProSeries Basic with full ProSeries on a pay per return basis costs about $350 for unlimited use with two states. (other states cost $3.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

January 15, 2007
The Mac roots go back to MacInTax, a company called Layered, as I recall, and it was full GUI interface, just like now, you filled in forms on screen, printed to a dot or laser printer, which no one had at that time...Intuit bought it and ported it over and it never changed, other than the minor year to year things. Exact same look and feel...Maybe the same outfit wrote Turbotax, too, I don't recall since I didn't care about Dos land at the time, and Windows theft of Mac 3.1 was just out and most accountants couldn't stand it...help me fill in some more blanks. I'm going to the mid-80's there, too. The 1985's were the first I did live, and had the 84 software for some prior year filings...enough reminiscing...W2's to do!

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