2013 Review of BNA Tax & Accounting Center and Financial Resource Center

From the Dec. 2013 issue.

Best Fit: Tax, accounting, and legal professionals seeking expert analysis and editorial views directly from one of the leading tax content providers.

Strengths

  • Featured content includes Bloomberg BNA portfolios, which are authored by well-respected experts in the profession.
  • Fast Answers is in an easy-to-use Q&A format, and may be the fastest way to find an answer to a common tax question
  • Interface and layout is easy to use and ideal for tax professionals who read or research by topic

Potential Limitations

  • Does not natively integrate with any leading tax preparation software.
  • There is no mobile version of the BNA research website, though the full site can be used on mobile devices.
  • Mobile app provides access to Portfolio analysis, news, and primary sources, but is only available for iPhone and iPad.

Summary & Pricing

Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting Center provides extensive research materials to tax and accounting professionals, highlighted by the expert analysis found in the BNA Portfolios. Basic subscriptions start at $800 with additional fees for adding other user logins. Prices start at $3,000 for subscriptions with the U.S. Income Portfolios.

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Full Review:

From the Dec. 2013 issue.

Bloomberg BNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloomberg L.P., offers an online research tool with expert analysis from leading authorities in the tax and accounting profession. BNA Tax & Accounting Center and Financial Resource Center covers a wide range of topics including Federal tax, state tax, international tax, estate tax, and financial accounting issues.

Tax Center by Bloomberg BNA, which can be downloaded for free from iTunes, provides on-the-go research materials to Tax and Accounting subscribers. This app requires a username and password to access the content. BNA also offers a simple Quick Tax Reference app for Apple and Android devices which provides information such as mileage rates and tax rate schedules. This app is free for anyone to download and use, even those who are not Tax and Accounting subscribers.

Basic System Functions - 4.5 Stars

The Tax and Accounting Banner appears throughout the website, providing constant and convenient access to search and program navigation. The top menu bar with white text and a black background includes links to the home page, about (overview of the center’s contents), contact information, a site map, user preferences, help and My Folders.

Multiple options are provided for searching BNA Tax and Accounting. Users can perform a quick search by typing a phrase and clicking the search button, run an advanced search through multiple collections and criteria, or search specific collections through a guided search. The “Go To” tool is especially fast and helpful for advanced users who know exactly what document or citation they are looking for.

BNA Tax and Accounting also has a tabbed interface for navigating between different topics. Contents can be easily expanded and collapsed, and users can split the screen to view multiple panes.

Content - 5 Stars

The biggest strength of BNA Tax and Accounting is its content, in particular, the BNA Portfolios. The portfolios focus on specific subjects and take a comprehensive approach. The feedback from many practitioners is that the portfolios are easy to read and understand, as they provide practical examples, insightful commentary, and useful tax strategies.

All types of tax is covered in the product, including Federal, state, sales and use, payroll, international, estate, gift and trust taxes. Content provided in BNA Tax and Accounting includes the Internal Revenue Code, court cases, and both current and proposed legislation changes.

For quick answers to common Federal tax questions, BNA offers a feature called Fast Answers containing more than 3,000 answers in a simple Q&A format. For further research, Fast Answers provides links to related code sections and analysis.

Customization - 4.5 Stars

Customizing certain parts of BNA Tax and Accounting requires a user to activate his or her account profile. After a profile is activated, a user can use My Folders to organize documents and searches, set default views, save Favorite Collections for easy access on the home page, and adjust text size. Subscribers may also choose between practice or interest areas to receive e-mail updates.

Integration / Import / Export - 4 Stars

Unlike the other tax research systems reviewed, BNA Tax and Accounting does not integrate with any third-party tax preparation or accounting software. Users will need to launch the BNA research site outside of the tax software.

By clicking on the share button, users can e-mail a link to multiple recipients and add comments. However, recipient users must have a subscription to view certain documents and will be prompted to log in.

When the print button is pressed, users can choose between a printer-friendly version and a rich text format for importing into word processing programs. Also, users can select what chapters/sections or portfolio segments to print. Charts may be exported to Excel.

Help/Support - 4.5 Stars

BNA Tax and Accounting has a comprehensive help menu with helpful screenshots throughout the topics covered. The help site has links to training, product support, and frequently asked questions. The help menu is searchable, however, users may find it more cumbersome to navigate than other traditional help systems.

Bloomberg BNA offers free CPE credit for several product training courses which cover conducting Federal, state and international tax research with Tax and Accounting Center. In addition, users can schedule a live training session. For support, users can call a toll-free number to reach either technical specialists or content specialists.

Summary & Pricing

Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting Center provides extensive research materials to tax and accounting professionals, highlighted by the expert analysis found in the BNA Portfolios. Basic subscriptions start at $800 with additional fees for adding other user logins. Prices start at $3,000 for subscriptions with the U.S. Income Portfolios.

Best Fit: Tax, accounting, and legal professionals seeking expert analysis and editorial views directly from one of the leading tax content providers.

Strengths

  • Featured content includes Bloomberg BNA portfolios, which are authored by well-respected experts in the profession.
  • Fast Answers is in an easy-to-use Q&A format, and may be the fastest way to find an answer to a common tax question
  • Interface and layout is easy to use and ideal for tax professionals who read or research by topic

Potential Limitations

  • Does not natively integrate with any leading tax preparation software.
  • There is no mobile version of the BNA research website, though the full site can be used on mobile devices.
  • Mobile app provides access to Portfolio analysis, news, and primary sources, but is only available for iPhone and iPad.

2013 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

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