CCH Small Firm Services — TaxWise
From the May 2012 review of professional tax compliance systems (traditional workflow).
Best Fit: Firms specializing in high volume or new preparers growing their practice with 1040s and small business clients, all seekingan affordable suite that include options for bookkeeping and payroll.
- Compliance for all entities at federal and all states
- Form-based interface, friendly navigation
- Scan and populate feature for W-2s, 1099s and K-1s
- Integrated suite of products including fixed asset management, client write-up (AP and AR) and document storage
- Multiple client refund options, such as debit card and refund transfers
- Strong bilingual features including forms (on-screen & printed) and client letters
- Multi-office and staff management tools
- Does not offer client portals or online tax organizers
- Limited tools for organized review of complex returns.
Offered by CCH Small Firm Services, TaxWise offers compliance for all taxed entities and provides workflow tools for small and mid-sized firms managing high numbers of 1040 clients. The system also offers full business and non-profit compliance, and the broader suite includes optional programs for professional trial balance, asset management, payroll, payroll compliance and W-2/1099 compliance, plus client bookkeeping and check writing tools.
Core Product Functions/Features - 5 Stars
TaxWise is available in three different packages that allow firms to select from just individual tax prep to full individual and business preparation. Power, the most comprehensive package, offers full reporting capabilities for forms 1040, 1041, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 990, 706, 709 and 5500 and their state counterparts, plus local taxes for New York City and all cities in Michigan and Ohio. The system also supports multi-state client filings, and includes unlimited e-filing to all jurisdictions accepting them.
The primary TaxWise interface offers a very comfortable interface with the feel of a web browser, using tabs for navigation between the user’s home screen, the TaxWise website, IRS, training features and the support website. Users can also add custom links to websites. From their homepage, users can select from frequently used tasks, incomplete tasks, communication tools, hot topics and the appointment scheduler, or can move into new and existing returns. The spreadsheet client/returns list offers sortable columns for TIN, name, spouse, entity type and contact information, as well as search options.
When working on returns, TaxWise offers a return tree on the left that displays all forms associated with the return, along with a quick-glance refund monitor, while the main work area offers either interview-based worksheets or form replicas. Calculations are made as data is entered, with information automatically transferred from underlying worksheets or forms to the main return. Line-by-line context sensitive help is displayed at the bottom of the screen as users move between fields and IRS instructions can be displayed by pressing SHIFT+F1. For review purposes, fields can be marked as estimates or users can attach notes. TaxWise automatically adds state forms to the engagement, and a full forms library can be accessed from the Form pull-down menu or the Forms Tree.
TaxWise supports extensions and amended returns, including the latest AMT and kiddie tax rules, and offers options for performing MFJ vs. MFS comparisons. A built-in diagnostics tool also helps identify missing or incorrect data. The TaxWise Central Office Manager add-on enables multi-office support, with a web-based data synchronization system that enables collaboration between separate locations.
Paperless Workflow - 4.25 Stars