2011 Review of IDMS, Inc. — Account Ability Tax Form Preparation

IDMS, Inc. - Account Ability Tax Form Preparation
888-IDMS-inc (436-7462)



From the Oct. 2011 Review of W-2 & 1099 Compliance Systems.

Best Fit: Professionals with multiple mid- to large-sized clients managing year-end compliance and ATF payroll for multiple entities.


  • Multiple data-entry views, management dashboards.
  • Good managerial reporting options, output formats.
  • Print & mail outsourced service.
  • Strong Help utility & assistive features.
  • Built-in document management with secure emailing.

Potential Limitations:

  • No built-in invoicing functionality.

Account Ability offers multi-client management and processing of all common year-end returns, including forms W-2, 1099, 1098, 3921, 3922 and 5498, in addition to correction forms, with support for all states and U.S. territories. The program includes full electronic filing, TIN matching, and can print to plain or pre-formatted stock. The company also offers print supplies and can act as a service provider for printing and mailing all recipient copies.

Basic System Functions (4.5 Stars)

Account Ability is designed to be installed on workstations or networked servers, but can also be hosted by third-party application service providers (ASPs). It can support any number of concurrent users in a firm. The system’s installation process is simple, and setup of new clients is somewhat guided, with tabbed data input screens for entering business default data. Existing businesses can also be duplicated. The program opens into a full-screen interface with a vertical menu on the right and links at the bottom of the screen for ordering forms, visiting the IDMS Facebook page, and viewing official instructions for the form currently being worked on. An additional pull-down menu at the top of the screen offers similar access to features and forms.

The system’s client management screen offers a sortable spreadsheet view and has options for adding or editing clients. From this list, users can quickly view active forms associated with each of the payers or start working on new forms, which are also presented in a drop-down list. Account Ability uses form replicas for data entry, and W-2s include a button for performing calculation of FICA wages and withholding amounts. All data is automatically accumulated and merged onto the appropriate transmittal forms.

Client management functions are intuitive and include global and client-specific notes features, as well as cross-client printing and submittal processes. Users also have access to other system modules, including the import mapping utility, the online filing utilities for the IRS and SSA, and a TIN matching function. The program offers customization of the main interface and printing defaults, which are reflected per user. A recently added feature is the optional FileCabinet eDelivery utility, which can be used as a document storage system and also to email password-protected PDF copies of forms to recipients and clients.

Reporting (4.5 Stars)

Account Ability can manage any number of clients with unlimited form recipients/employees, and includes unlimited e-filing via the IRS and SSA online systems for forms W-2, W-2G, all 1098s, all 1099s, 3921, 3922 and 5498, all of which can also be printed to plain paper or pre-printed stock. The system can also print using continuous forms on dot matrix printers. Additional print-only forms include 1097-BTC, W-3, W-3C and 1096, which can be batch printed for each state. The program also supports filing of 941, 943 and 944. It supports all states as well as multi-state reporting for W-2s. It offers compliance for Washington D.C. and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas Islands.

Other reporting options include a state/local wage and withholding report, client activity, control and a register listing. Security features include the ability to password protect files at the client level and for each type of return. The system includes a built-in PDF print writer, enabling generation of PDF copies of all forms and reports. It does not offer integrated billing or invoicing features.

IDMS offers a “Print and Mail” service, through which the vendor manages all production and distribution to recipients, including postage and paper. It can be used for all or select clients and form types. The company’s other offerings include laser forms, envelopes, continuous forms, pressure seal forms, presentation folders and envelopes, labor law posters, and safety posters.

Import/Export Capabilities (4 Stars)

Account Ability can import client data from Excel and formatted text files, and has a mapping utility for processing the data into the correct program areas. The system also offers rollup and append options, import of current and prior year transmittal files, and data roll-forward to subsequent years. The system can export to Excel and to mail-merge applications. As previously noted, a new File Cabinet eDelivery system is also available, providing document storage, PDF generation and email capabilities.

Help/Support (5 Stars)

The Help and assistive features in Account Ability are extensive, with a traditional Help index, several topic-based user manuals, FAQs, links to various IDMS web pages and the IRS and SSA. It also provides access to applications and instructions for various form types. The online support center offers several of these options in addition to a tips knowledgebase, information on data conversions, access to email, and Help desk and live telephone support, which are included in program pricing. The Preferences menu includes the option to automatically detect and download system updates at program startup. System updates can also be downloaded from the support website.

Summary & Pricing

Account Ability provides excellent built-in support for e-filing year-end wage and information returns, with features and tools that simplify management of multiple clients. The new FileCabinet system is a welcome addition, providing good storage and secure electronic delivery of forms. The company also offers a broad array of related print products. Account Ability is priced starting at $219.95 per year, with early order discounts available.

2011 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars


Product Delivery Methods

_X_ On-Premises

___ SaaS

_X_ Hosted by Vendor