From the May 2012 review of "advanced workflow" professional tax compliance programs.
Small and medium size firms with a focus on medium complexity work and organizations reliant on other Intuit products, such as QuickBooks
- Easy, intuitive interface
- Licensing structure includes electronic organizers, trial balance modules and state electronic filing
- Strong integration with Intuit product offerings
- Not available as a hosted or web-based solution
- Some supporting applications within Lacerte Tax Suite not as complete as competitors offerings
- Trial balance module may be too simplistic for some users
Lacerte Tax is the most comprehensive professional tax software offering through the Intuit Accounting Professional Division. With its ease of use and new value packaging, Lacerte Tax offers a complete solution for small and medium sized firms. For the 2011 release, Lacerte Tax has added significant changes to the electronic filing capabilities. Electronic filing has been added for several states, and is now included with the state return module pricing. Several new reports have been added to aid in the tracking and filing of returns. Also, Intuit has bundled an electronic organizer and a trial balance utility with the Lacerte Tax license fee.
CORE PRODUCT FUNCTIONS/FEATURES - 5 Stars
The core strength of Lacerte Tax is the user interface. This interface is simple in design and intuitive to use. Upon opening the software, users are directed to a client screen which is filtered by return type. Tabs at the top of the screen provide the basic navigation and allow users to jump directly to input, forms or diagnostic views without the need to open or access the client file first. Once inside the return, data entry is driven through drop down menus under the above mentioned tab navigation and is generally intuitive on where and how to enter data. The forms view is driven by a folder tree structure on the left side of the screen and allows users to narrow the displayed forms down to only forms with populated data. Lacerte Tax includes the ability to prepare all major federal tax returns as well as most state and some local tax jurisdictions.
The biggest change in Lacerte Tax from prior years is within the electronic filing capabilities. The electronic filing modules have been updated and expanded, with over 20 new state modules added for the current year release. State electronic filing is now included with the unlimited state modules pricing and no longer requires a separate license. Users also have the option for proforma and current year returns to automatically be setup for electronic filing. All management of electronic filing is maintained through a redesigned drop-down menu that steps users through the process of electronic filing to help avoid any confusion and to ensure each return is properly processed. One final change of note relates to the E-File Center, which has been redesigned to provide more interactivity in the way returns are managed. The client data has been streamlined to provide the most relevant data, but all columns remain fully customizable to suit end-user needs. As with the redesigned electronic filing drop-down menu, the E-File Center provides users steps to ensure each return is processed correctly.
Lacerte Tax provides a variety of options to help ensure returns are completed without errors. Diagnostics are generated with the return and most are directly linked to underlying forms and input screens. This allows users to view diagnostics and be routed to the appropriate screens to correct errors. New for 2011, however, is that electronic filing diagnostics are visible within each data input screen. These visual clues provide users with immediate feedback to ensure that data is entered correctly for electronic filing purposes. This feature will likely save time during the review process as the return should be nearly error free from an electronic filing standpoint.