Tenenz - Laser Link
From the Oct. 2011 Review of W-2 & 1099 Compliance Systems.
Best Fit: Small practices managing year-end compliance processes for multiple small businesses.
- Easy interface & data entry.
- Free e-filing.
- Good forms support.
- Limited import options & does not export.
- No built-in invoicing functionality.
- Minimal online support, but live support is free.
Tenenz is a well-known provider of tax and accounting supplies and services including client newsletters, web sites, folders, forms, reference guides and marketing materials. The company is also a reseller of two software programs for managing, processing and e-filing year-end information returns for multiple businesses — TFP and Laser Link. The TFP program is designed primarily for print-based filings generated on pre-printed forms, while the Laser Link program, reviewed here, offers printing to plain paper and has more extensive built-in e-filing capabilities. Tenenz also provides a resold web-based solution available at www.efileforbusiness.com for lower-volume filers.
Basic System Functions (4.25 Stars)
Laser Link guides users through initial entry of clients/payers using a tabbed interface for setting defaults for each entity. The system then opens into a primary interface that offers a filer master list in a spreadsheet view, as well as various sort options and the ability to search records. The program’s main navigation menu appears to the left, with quick access to form selection, data-entry screens, transmittal forms (W-3 and 1096), and several reporting shortcuts. Additional pull-down menus are available at the top of the screen and add to the intuitive navigation of the program.
Laser Link uses form replicas for data-entry tasks and automatically calculates FICA wages and withholding amounts on W-2s, with the ability to override if desired. When overrides have occurred, the system alerts the user prior to leaving the form, and an internal diagnostic utility displays potential form errors. Form selection lists are similar to entity lists, with quick report functions at the bottom of each form type. The program remembers previously entered recipients by their TINs, which speeds subsequent forms entry. Overall, the program’s client management screens are well designed and offer simplified access to entities, recipients, forms and reports.
The program can be installed on individual workstations or. ASP hosting of the program is allowed under the licensing terms. The program offers only a single-level password/security protocol, and can be used to manage any number of client entities, each with unlimited form recipients.
Reporting (4.25 Stars)
Starting last year, Laser Link includes free e-filing for unlimited forms to the IRS and SSA, as well as all states that participate in combined filing. The program supports multi-state W-2s (two states per employee). Forms generated by the system include W-2, W-2G, 1099-B, 1099-Div, 1099-Int, 1099-Misc, 1099-Patr, 1099-R, 1099-S, 1098, 1098-T and 5498. It also produces transmittal forms 1096 and W-3 for paper-based filings. Batch printing options enable output of all forms for specific clients, all forms across all clients, or the ability to select specific forms from individual clients.
Other reports available in the program include summaries for each form type, blank W-9s, filer lists, recipient lists, and a form totals report. All forms and reports can be saved to Word and PDF, with the ability to mask TINs. The program offers digital signature functions and can print to either pre-printed form stock or to blank paper. It does not offer integration with outside software or file formats, nor does the program include a built-in invoicing utility. The online eFileforBusiness system supports the same forms, in addition to 1042-S, 1099-A, LTC, OID and SA.
Import/Export/Integration (3.75 Stars)
As previously noted, Laser Link does not offer direct integration with outside payroll, accounting or timekeeping applications, but it does enable import from ASCII-delimited files and has a rollover function for bringing in client data from prior-year versions of Laser Link. The program can output directly to email, or to Word and PDF formats.
Help/Support (4.25 Stars)
Laser Link provides a traditional, index-based Help utility, along with quick access to task-specific Help via buttons on most screens. Additional tools include “How Do I?” tips, troubleshooting, error and validation checks, and the welcome wizard. The program can be set to automatically check for system updates during startup. The support website is limited in self-assistive options, providing primarily contact numbers, email and support hours. Free technical support is included with system pricing.
Summary & Pricing
Laser Link is best suited to small tax and accounting practices, providing an easy-to-use system for generating year-end returns for multiple clients and recipients. The program includes free e-filing and costs $59.99 per license. This supports all users in the same office and includes the ability to print to plain or pre-printed stock. The TFP system, which is also designed for multi-entity filing of W-2s and 1099s but only supports printing to pre-printed forms, costs $39.99. The online eFileforBusiness system, which includes built-in e-filing and which is designed for lower volume users, is offered on a per-use basis for as little as $0.95 per form to e-file to the government and mail to the recipient.
2011 Overall Rating 4.25 Stars
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