One final addition that may be useful in reviewing returns is the new partner allocation screen. This screen has been revised and is more unified than previous releases. The new data presentation presents all income, deduction, contribution and distribution allocations as well as partner ownership percentages in one easy to read location.
INTEGRATION - 4.75 Stars
UltraTax CS integrates seamlessly with fellow products in the CS Professional Suite lineup. Direct import is provided through Accounting CS allowing trial balance information to automatically populate return data entry fields. Fixed Assets CS, the CS Professional Suite depreciation solution, directly integrates and imports fixed asset and depreciation information as appropriate. For tax planning, UltraTax CS has a built-in planning module, but is simplistic in nature.
UltraTax CS does, however, provide a bridge to export data to BNA’s Income Tax Planner and directly integrates with Planner CS for more in depth planning scenarios. As returns are completed, invoices may be generated within UltraTax CS and provided to clients with the final return. These invoices may then be pushed to Practice CS which automatically records the invoice and generates accounts receivable. New for the current year, is the ability to deliver all business, trust and other returns directly to NetClient CS. Previously, this function was only available for individual returns.
This direct export function allows users to bypass the previous process of exporting to FileCabinet CS and then uploading to NetClient CS. Additional integration functions are available for guidance from Thomson Reuters Checkpoint and PPC Deskbooks.
PAPERLESS WORKFLOW - 4.75 Stars
UltraTax CS has a number of built-in capabilities to save time with data entry to help speed up the return preparation process. Returns may be tracked within UltraTax CS through status assignments allowing users immediate feedback on who is responsible for a return and where it is within the return preparation process.
New for the 2012 release is the ability for users to add custom tick marks to the returns. Users may now enter any keyboard character in green, red, blue or orange. Each custom tick mark is a user specific setting, but will travel with the return as it is opened on another user’s computer.
UltraTax CS supports data import from a variety of methods. Through the data sharing capabilities built in to each of the CS Professional Suite products, as information is added or modified, each respective product imports those changes as appropriate. This allows client addresses and contact information to remain unified throughout the firm, for instance. Within UltraTax CS, any K-1 data that is added or modified is automatically pulled into the returns. Data may also be imported through Excel, barcode scanning of K-1s and W-2s and scan and populate technology by Copanion Gruntworx.
REMOTE CAPABILITIES - 5 Stars
UltraTax CS is available as either a traditional locally installed application or as a hosted solution through Thomson Reuters. There are two tiers of the hosted service; a purchase option and a lease option. Virtual Office CS serves as the purchase option and allows firms to purchase software licenses and have them installed on the Thomson Reuters server structure.
Software as a Service (SaaS) serves as the lease option and allows firms to lease Ultra Tax CS and other CS Professional Suite products, as well as Microsoft Office software, on a monthly basis. Both solutions allow firms to work in a virtual server environment with little software or hardware to maintain, backup or update within the organization.
As a hosted solution, UltraTax CS may be accessed through virtually any Internet connected device, including tablets. Although data entry may be limited on some devices, such as tablets, the hosted UltraTax CS solution remains a full featured product and is not limited in any way.
SUMMARY & PRICING
UltraTax CS is a high-quality solution for small and mid-sized firms serving a wide range of client types. With the built-in data sharing capabilities and tight integration with other CS Professional Suite products, UltraTax CS is capable of preparing virtually any return.