2011 Review of Drake Software 1040.com Preparer Websites

Drake Software
www.1040.com
 

From the Oct. 2011 Feature on Web-Building Tools & Services for Tax & Accounting Firms.

Best Fit

Drake’s 1040.com preparer websites are exclusively for Drake Software users. and have gone through a full modification in layout, look, color scheme, enhanced ease of use and full edit capabilities.

Strengths

  • Free for Drake Software users.
  • Unlimited pages.
  • Built-in counter for measuring site traffic.
  • Reporting tools allow users to monitor visits, clients using the site, as well as any income generated by the site.
  • The prep-site template offers linking to social media platforms.
  • Users receive free subdomain (prep.1040.com/yournamehere), but can upgrade to a unique domain name.
  • Blog portals may be linked to site, and syndicated news content is provided by Taxingsubjects.com; additional content available for a fee.
  • Firms can offer do-it-yourself online tax preparation through their websites.

Potential Limitations

  • Only seven customizable layouts.
  • No client portal integration or compatibility with Google Analytics is available at this time.

 

 

After introducing its 1040.com service in 2000, Drake is now on its seventh version. In that time, the product has gone through a full modification in layout, look, color scheme, enhanced ease of use and full edit capabilities.

Drake reports that 1040.com has 1,100 firms with sites up today, having added 300 in the past 12 months and having dropped none.

There is no maximum or minimum to the number of pages a site can have; however, the average site has 10 pages. 1040.com offers seven customizable layouts. Sites can use one of five predefined color and font templates, or users can create their own color scheme and font selections. Users can build unlimited custom pages and control static pages (pages that link to 1040.com) that are linked from their site.

All browsers within the last two versions are supported. While preparer sites and Online Filing software work with many mobile browsers, they “are not purposefully optimized for this platform at this time,” according to Drake.

Pricing. Setup is free for existing Drake Software customers with no recurring costs for users of the full package.

Search engines. A built-in counter is available to measure traffic. Reporting tools allow users to monitor visits, clients using the site, as well as any income the generated by the site. No compatibility with Google Analytics is available at this time.

The prep-site template offers linking to social media platforms. The customization tools built in to the template do this in the same manner as creating static links to other sites.

Hosting. Data is housed locally by Drake Software, and all data is private with multiple redundancy protocols in place. Data is backed up hourly, and administration is done over a secure SSL interface. Client portals are not integrated at this time.

Domains. Users are given a free subdomain (prep.1040.com/yournamehere), but can upgrade to a unique domain name if desired. If preparers choose the free domain, it is Drake-owned; if they choose to upgrade to a unique domain, the user is the owner. Dnet Internet Services (a related company) owns and maintains the DNS records for the domain.

Email & content management. Email is available, and an address at 1040.com is required. Users cannot maintain their own Exchange server, although they can forward 1040.com email to a customizable server. Blog portals may be linked to the site, and syndicated news content is provided by Taxingsubjects.com with additional content available for a fee. Content is attributed to Drake Software and is available to all subscribers.

One of the unique offerings by Drake involves online tax prep. Firms can offer do-it-yourself online tax preparation through their websites free of charge. The preparer sets the pricing structure for potential customers. When clients come to their site to prepare taxes, revenue is shared between Drake and the preparer.

Drake’s 1040.com has a dynamite premise: preparers helping clients do their taxes online easily and inexpensively. And the long-established Drake Software seems like the logical provider to move this good idea ahead.

Loading