From the October 2005 Review of W-2/1099
Account Ability includes full, unlimited record support for an unlimited number
of filers of Form(s) W-2 and 1099. Supported forms include the following: Form
1099-MISC, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-PATR, 1099-A, 1099-B, 1099-C,
1099-G, 1099-LTC, 1099-Q, 1099-R, 1099-S, 1099-SA, 1098, 1098-E, 1098-T, 5498,
5498-ESA, 5498-SA, W-2, W-2C, and W-2G. A single-user license on a single PC
costs $109.95. For shared access on a network, the network server license is
$119.95, and a concurrent user license is $35.
Usability/Navigation — 4.5 Stars
Account Ability’s screen interface features pull-down menus and icons.
Its features are organized around the Client Management Register, which maintains
all Payers/Employers in a sortable and searchable on-screen listing. The Register
offers fast access to common tasks and provides descriptions of each icon’s
function when the mouse is placed over the icon. After setup/entry of a new
client, users can access a client’s files and returns by selecting them
from the Register. After selecting type of return, an image of the form appears
on-screen. Data entry is performed directly into the on-screen image, and payer
information fields are automatically populated. Account Ability offers the option
to automatically assign employee control numbers for W-2s and issues a warning
when a taxpayer ID has been duplicated. Forms W-2 can automatically calculate
FICA and Medicare taxes. Users can override all form entries.
Account Ability permits users to work on up to five tax forms simultaneously.
Password protection is available at the client return level, and a backup and
restore utility is also provided. The program links to the SSA Business Services
Online (BSO) and the IRS’s FIRE System. Account Ability also uses the
SSA AccuWage and AccuW2c utilities to identify any file errors prior to transmission
Reporting & Import/ Export Capabilities — 4.5 Stars
Account Ability can import 1099, 1098, 5498, W-2G and W-2 information from QuickBooks,
Excel, SSA MMREF-1 compliant W2REPORT files, IRS Pub. 1220 compliant IRSTAX
files, and ASCII text files, which most accounting programs can export data
to. IDMS offers free conversion services for various payroll systems. In addition
to a Client Activity Report, a comparative analysis report is available that
details which forms have been used.
Support For Paperless Transmission — 4.5 Stars
Account Ability supports magnetic filing via diskette per the SSA and IRS specifications,
and also supports electronic filing. As noted earlier, users can access the
IRS FIRE and the SSA BSO systems directly through the program.
Help/Training — 4 Stars
Account Ability features a built-in Help utility including Windows-based index
and search functions, mouse-over icon descriptions, a tutorial, FAQs and How
To’s, and traditional tech support via e-mail and traditional telephone
support. The program’s pull-down Help windows include links to the company’s
web site and to various other useful sites. Account Ability Exchange is an e-mail-based
support forum available through Microsoft’s bCentral, which keeps users
informed about program updates and other products and services.
2005 Overall Rating — 4.5 Stars