Web-based technologies also continue their advance, with online professional compliance suites now available for the largest and smallest of firms. Only a few years ago, the only truly web-based tax prep program was Thomson’s GoSystem, but now Intuit and Orange Door are offering built-for-the-web compliance systems for small and mid-sized firms. Thomson and CCH offer SaaS versions of their systems for advanced workflow practices, and Drake Software offers a hosted version of its tax suite. Next up is TaxWise, which has started to roll out a 1040-focused online system. While this migration to “the cloud” for professional tax may take awhile, the benefits are proven: No more IT management headaches or having to constantly keep up with the multiple updates that come in at the beginning of the year, the ability to access the program from anywhere at any time, and the ability to quickly ramp up during busy season and even add remote staff.
If you’re considering a new tax system, or starting a new practice, first consider the volume and complexity of your clients, the services they want, and your firm’s staff. Then determine how various technology features, along with technical support, pricing and other factors, relate to those needs. Each of the systems reviewed here has attributes that can make them a valuable addition to a firm, but not every firm. It’s all about finding the compliance suite with features that help you be more productive.
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