ProSeries supports various bank/refund loan products, including RALs and RTs, with built-in tools for managing these client services. New for TY 2010, Intuit introduced the Intuit Refund Card, which is not a bank product/loan (but can be used in conjunction with them). The Visa-branded debit card allows unbanked clients to receive the benefit of e-filing with deposit of their refund onto the card. ProSeries preparers can also utilize the Intuit ProLine QuickCollect system for deducting preparation fees from client returns, which costs the firm a flat fee of $15 each (and the firm can then pass on to the client). All of these refund functions can be managed from within ProSeries, which also includes billing management tools that support flat-fee or time-based billing. The billing utility offers customizable invoices and client letters, as well as the ability to set global and client-specific defaults. Through the QuickBooks Online Terminal for ProSeries, firms can also accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover payments. 4.75
ProSeries offers line-by-line access to form instructions and has a built-in link to the Intuit Live Community, where users of the program can interact and help each other. The program also includes a thorough user’s guide and Help center that provide indexed topics, how-tos and other guidance. The online support site includes categorized articles, topics and instructions, including practical tips and videos, access to the ProLine blog, FAQs, common issues, feature usage explanations, e-filing resources and other materials. Online guided and self-based training is also available, including options for CPE credit, at no cost.
Live phone-based and chat-based support is available during tax season from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (PT) and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and is extended until 10:00 p.m. on the last week of tax season, and until midnight on the last day of filing. All support is U.S.-based and is initially answered by an automated system. Users must provide an Intuit customer number for assistance. The system can be set to automatically check for and install program updates. Intuit does not offer a hosted version of ProSeries, although it can be hosted through a third-party Application Service Provider. 4.5
Executive Summary & Pricing
ProSeries provides the most comprehensive federal, state and local support for tax systems designed for small and mid-sized practices, and the program is available in multiple bundled options that allow for lower volume preparers, or those with low volumes of particular entity types, to still take advantage of the tools that the system offers. These include good optional research, asset depreciation and document management functions, and especially the ProLine Tax Import feature, which provides both scan and organize benefits, as well as direct download of 1098 and 1099 information from client financial institutions. Pricing options allow users to purchase the functionality they need, whether as a pay-per-return model (returns cost $21 each) or in bundles starting at $1,499 for a 1040-focused firm, and up to $4,549 for the most comprehensive version. Any license of the program includes e-filing at no additional charge, and the program can be used by any number of staff within an office location.