We don’t wade into politics at this publication, but the upcoming change in control of the U.S. House of Representatives will certainly bring changes to business law and taxation. Regardless of your perspective on these changes, they will directly affect your clients and practice, which means that keeping up with the changes is imperative to providing optimal service to your clients. Likewise, it’s important to keep up with new technologies that can help you and your clients be more efficient and productive, which are increasingly important as we continue through this tough economy.
Each year, the Readers’ Choice Awards give our readers the opportunity to help shine a spotlight on the technologies, services and vendors they use and trust — the ones that help them succeed in their profession, and those that they find valuable for their clients. While voting for the awards is not scientific and can sometimes resemble a popularity contest, that’s absolutely fine with us. We believe that technologies and vendors who’ve earned a positive reputation and have users who are eager to praise them are probably deserving of recognition by the accounting profession.
If you’d like to see how your practice is doing in terms of technology and workflow, take our free online Productivity Survey at www.CPATechAdvisor.com/productivity. Your Productivity Score gives comparisons with other firms of your size and nature, as well as comparison to those in your geographic area. The results also offer advice tailored to your firm for how you can achieve greater productivity.
Voting for the awards was open during October to all professionals through our website, www.CPATechAdvisor.com. Thank you to all of the readers of The CPA & NSA Technology Advisor who took the time to vote in this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a successful tax season.
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Federal/State Income Tax Compliance
Insight: What can we say? Drake has won this category ever since we started the Readers’ Choice Awards, which is a testament to the loyalty of the vendor’s customers. While Drake maintains about 10 percent of the actual market for professional tax compliance programs, its users are consistently raving about the vendor’s customer service, as well as the all-in-one, single-price system, which also offers tools for practice management, write-up, website development and marketing aides. Of the more than 88 percent of all voters that selected a preferred tax system, Drake received 40 percent of the votes, which is up from about 27 percent last year. Coming in second this year is TaxSlayerPro, another professional tax prep system geared toward generally smaller practices, and which has been around since 1992. Following these are systems from the “big guys” — Intuit, CCH and Thomson Reuters.
See our 2010 review of Professional Tax Compliance Systems at www.CPATechAdvisor.com/go/2736 and www.CPATechAdvisor.com/go/2737.
Specialty Systems & Tax Prep Tools
Insight: Sometimes the full tax suites either don’t offer some specialty tools and forms, or users have found that separate programs can better tackle those jobs. Topping the favorites list in this category is BNA for its estate and gift tax compliance systems, DynaTax for its quarterly estimated tax calculators for the self-employed, and FT William.com for its pension compliance reporting system.
Read more about Specialty Tech Tools at: www.CPATechAdvisor.com/go/2950.
Tax Planning Systems
Insight: Tax professionals know that proactive planning can have positive effects; in other words, it can decrease a client’s potential tax liabilities. While professional tax systems generally offer some functions in this area, true planning programs offer much more extensive scenario testing and include anticipated future and prior-year tax laws. Of the 35 percent of all of this year’s voters who had a preference in tax planning systems, the Thomson Reuters Planner CS system took the crown, with the planning systems from Intuit, BNA and CCH close behind.