The Drake Tax system has been voted the best tax compliance system in the Readers’ Choice Awards (www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/10243383) for several years, with most users applauding the live, U.S.-based support, including bilingual support, and no automated phone systems. Live assistance is available during tax season from 8am-10pm (ET) on weekdays, and 8am-6pm on Saturdays with the average call answered within 9 seconds. Within the program, several assistive features also aid users, including a help/search utility, tutorials, a setup assistant and a full user manual. Line-by-line form instructions are also available from a right-click menu.
The program’s online support center includes manuals and documentation, FAQs, a knowledgebase, state taxation resources, preparer regulations, sample 7216 letters and a free sales tax calculation lookup engine for all U.S. jurisdictions. Several training options are offered through the e-Training Center, including interactive tax courses, tutorials and practice returns and videos that train users on Drake software products.
Drake is also an accredited continuing education provider with various organizations, including NASBA and the IRS, as well as opportunities for online CPE credit , including webinars and interactive tax courses Program updates can be set to automatically update, and the company offers free preparer websites to all Drake users. The system has been made available to select firms as a hosted solution.
Summary & Pricing
Drake is one of the most popular professional tax compliance systems, and the addition of new options for client portals and integration with GruntWorx for automated return preparation makes it a great fit for firms with high volumes of 1040s and business clients. The inclusion of document management, client write-up with payroll, asset management and scheduling features make it an excellent bundled solution for small and mid-sized practices. With multi-office support, it can also help these firms ramp up and branch out during tax season.
Pricing for the Drake program is $1,495, unchanged from last year, and various discounts are often available, such as early renewal pricing of about $1,000. A pay-per-return model is also available, with an up-front fee of $285 (which includes the preparer’s first 15 returns), and each return thereafter costing $19 for federal and one state, with e-filing. Pricing for the SecureFilePro portals is based on the size of files, with a basic version starting at $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year. Pricing for the GruntWorx system depends on the features used.