The system does not currently offer direct integration with financial institutions for data transfer or with document automation systems, but can be used in conjunction with stand-alone scan and organize programs such as Copanion’s GruntWorx. Orange Door anticipates partnering with such a solution by next year to also provide direct population of tax data (scan and fill). In addition to the ability to email returns and share files via the client portal, Orange Door includes client communication templates with instruction letters and invoices, which can also be emailed through the system, or can be printed. The web-based system includes client-level password protection, allowing firms to grant access to only specific preparers or groups.
The program’s document storage function includes basic features for paperless management of client documents in the original format, including Word, Excel, image files and most other formats, but does not directly provide advanced PDF bookmarking features such as tickmarks, annotation and cross referencing/linking.
In addition to the electronic tax organizers, client data can be imported into the system from the personal financial management website Buxfer, and from CSV formatted files, which allows a two-step output-import function for pulling in trial balance and accounting data from most small business accounting programs. The vendor offers conversion of client data from other tax systems at no charge. 3.5
As client data is entered, it is automatically routed to necessary worksheets and lines, with calculations also applied, but with override capabilities if necessary. As previously noted, the system includes a document management system, has K-1 import from business returns, and data import from CSV format, Buxfer and the electronic client organizers. The program’s export capabilities also offer similar output to formats importable by trial balance and engagement systems. Orange Door includes a tax estimator tool for providing quick, basic projections, but does not offer true tax planning functionality across multiple years. For asset depreciation, the system includes worksheets and summaries.
Orange Door offers bank product services through Refund Advantage, with the ability to have preparation fees deducted from the proceeds of RAL payments. The system does not have other built-in payment acceptance capabilities, although it does provide billing management tools and invoicing. Integration with tax research is not available. Form instructions are accessible from the company’s online support center. 3.5
The program’s interface provides easy-to-understand navigation, with the ability to move quickly between forms, invoicing and portals. The Help utility offers tutorials for common features and engagement tasks, as well as links to state and federal taxing authorities. The Help system does not offer traditional index-based assistance or search functions. Form instructions, a user manual, additional tutorials, and links to chat-based and email support are also available from the online support center, but FAQs and user forums are not offered, nor does the vendor offer formal training options or CPE credits.
Live phone and chat-based support are available during tax season until at least 8:00 p.m. Pacific time during weekdays, and until at least 11:00 p.m. in the final weeks. Phone support can be used by any preparation staff and is initially greeted by an automated routing system, but requires only one step to reach live support staff. Since the program is completely web-based, all form updates, tax law changes and other program enhancements are made by the vendor, with no maintenance required by the firm. 4.25
Executive Summary & Pricing
The primary benefits of Orange Tax Suite Pro are found in its web-based platform, which allows users to easily access the system from anywhere, and lets firms instantly add users as needed. The program’s importable tax organizers, client portals and integrated document storage system offer additional paperless management utility, although it lacks OCR scan and populate options. The program is best suited toward smaller practices and those with remote staff. It can be used as a pay-per-return system, with all of the document management and portal features, for $20 per 1040 and $30 per business entity, inclusive of all associated state returns and e-filing. An unlimited 1040 package is offered for $1,750, or $2,500 for both unlimited individual and all business entities.