For several years, the TaxWise has offered Scan&Fill, but for the 2011 tax season and beyond, the program has been redesigned with a new interface and enhanced with a faster processing system and renamed PaperlessPLUS. The central focus of PaperlessPLUS is to provide document management and electronic foldering for client engagement documents, correspondence and emails and spreadsheets, which are saved as PDFs by the built-in PDF print driver. The system also offers password protection of documents for emailing, provides access security and works with e-signature pads. Backups of the document management system can be scheduled to perform automatically.
PaperlessPLUS is also available with Premier features, which allows users to scan in client documents while the program automatically organizes and files them in a single, bookmarked PDF file. These files can be annotated with review notes and comments. The system can identify and extract data from most W-2s, 1099s and K-1s (with or without barcodes), and directly export the information into the client return.
In addition to the password security features in the PaperlessPLUS document management utility, the broader TaxWise suite includes user-level access rights and the ability to create client groups, both of which limit the returns a preparer may access. TaxWise does not offer direct import of data from client financial institutions or payroll companies, nor are web-based client data organizers available.
Integration - 4.5 Stars
Within the various TaxWise modules and utilities, the system shares data as needed, allowing users to import K-1s into 1040s, as well as transferring between parent and child returns. A built-in trial balance worksheet is included for 1120 returns. The system allows import of GL data from accounting programs for business entities. Also built into the program is a basic depreciation management utility, or firms can use the optional add-on Fixed Asset Manager, which provides greater functionality including multiple books, automatic calculations for common depreciation methods and customizable management of conventions and methods. The TaxWise-branded professional accounting and management products also integrate with the tax system.
As noted previously, the PaperlessPlus system integrates with the program to offer document management, secure client communications and a scan and organize PDF utility that also has the ability to recognize client documents. With this feature, it can pull client financial information from their sourced documents and allow the user to import them into a client return, with the PDF versions of the documents stored in their engagement folders.
For comprehensive tax research, firms can add integration with the IntelliConnect Tax research platform, which includes primary source documents, guidance and customization tools. Users can also access CCH’s Tax Handbooks, the U.S. Master Tax Guide, CCH Essentials and the Tax Prep Partner Series.
For tax firms with more than one location or with retail kiosks during tax season, the Central Office Manager provides synchronization of data between the locations, allowing full access to preparation, e-filing, bank products and other features. The InterviewPLUS module also helps these types of firms by providing a simplified interface for data entry staff. Firms using TaxWise can utilize invoicing tools included in the program, including the ability to take payment via credit and debit cards.
Several bank products can be used in conjunction with TaxWise, including loan and non-loan products, such as FeeCollect, through which firms can deduct their fees from client refunds. Proceeds of refunds can also be distributed to clients on debit cards without requiring a loan product.
Help/Support - 4.5 Stars
TaxWise is user friendly for even novices, with form or interview style data entry and line-by-line instructions. The program also offers a traditional help utility, plus right-click menus and user guide, while online support options include training, a knowledge base and user communities. TaxWise University offers more video, interactive and in-program training opportunities, with some programs qualifying for CPE credit. Users can download update files from the support website or the program will automatically update new versions during user initiative program communication with the Small Firm Services’ electronic filing center
All TaxWise support is included in pricing and staff are U.S.-based. Live support hours during tax season are 8am to 10pm (ET) on weekdays, and 9am to 6pm on Saturdays. The system is available as a SaaS model, called TaxWise Online, but features 1040 return preparation.