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IDMS Inc. — Account Ability Tax Form Preparation

888-IDMSINC (436-7462)

From the Oct. 2007 Review of W-2/1099

The Account Ability system is designed for preparers who handle the annual
wage statements and information returns for multiple clients. It also offers
support for any number of payer companies and payees and offers compliance functions
for all versions of forms 1099, 1098 and W-2, W-2c, along with W-3, W-3c, 1096,
5498, 5498-ESA and 5498-SA. The network-ready program allows printing to plain,
pre-printed paper or pressure seal forms and includes unlimited e-filing and
magnetic media filing to the IRS and SSA, as well as to states supporting the
MMREF-1 format. Account Ability costs $154.95 per year for a single-user network-ready
license; additional users can be added for $35 each. An optional add-on e-filing
service through which IDMS submits and tracks returns for the user costs $50
per year. As well, the vendor extends a 10 percent volume discount on all tax
forms and envelopes to subscribers of The CPA Technology Advisor, which
is obtained by entering the reseller code CPATECH on the shopping cart when
checking out at

Usability/Navigation – 5 Stars
Account Ability installs quickly and opens to a mostly blank primary window
with pull-down menus across the top for Module, Preferences, Forms, Window and
task-related Help functions. Most tasks are accessed either via the Module or
Forms windows. Working within client data files is performed by selecting the
Client Management option from the Module menu, which provides a spreadsheet
client selection list that includes search and sort functions. The window also
offers icons for creating new clients or copying existing ones, displaying all
active forms for a selected client, activity reports and printing options. When
within a program module, the system maintains a system menu on the right side
of the master screen, which includes options for adding new forms, navigation,
searching, printing, electronic and magnetic filing, saving, and closing out
of the module.

Working within forms is intuitive since the program utilizes form replicas
for data entry, automatically populating all payer information and making overrideable
calculations for various fields such as FICA and Medicare taxes as data is entered.
Data is not automatically saved, and the right-side menu with the save button
is a little odd at first. However, the form-based data entry is otherwise very
simple to understand and navigate, and most users should grow accustomed to
the program quickly and with no training. Account Ability watches for duplicate
taxpayer IDs and includes a U.S. Postal Service address verification function
as well as password security at the payer level. Backup and restore functions
are easily accessible, and the user is prompted to backup each time the program
is closed. The system uses the SSA’s AccuWage and AccuW2c tools to identify
file errors prior to transmission. Users can customize the system desktop and
navigation features, as well as font and color options.

Reporting & Import/Export Capabilities – 5 Stars
The system’s Client Activity Report and Client Master Report are easily
accessible via icons on the top toolbar, while all forms can be printed to plain
or pre-printed paper or to pressure seal forms. The program also has a state/local
wage and withholding report. In addition to laser and inkjet printers, the program
still supports dot-matrix printers for continuous forms printing. Account Ability
also offers PostNet barcoding, which enables the system to automatically print
the USPS postal barcode on envelopes. Account Ability can import from QuickBooks,
Excel, ASCII and MMREF-compliant files, while the vendor also offers free conversion
services for importing data from third-party payroll programs. Filer and recipient
data can be exported to ASCII formatted files that can be imported into most
financial applications, including Excel.

Support for Paperless Transmission – 4.5 Stars
Electronic and magnetic filing functions are handled via links to the SSA Business
Services Online portal and the IRS FIRE reporting system. Magnetic and electronic
media files are formatted per each agency’s requirements. IDMS’
optional e-filing add-on acts as an outsourced service that handles the submission
and tracking of information returns and includes unlimited original and correction
returns processing.

Help/Training – 4.5 Stars
Account Ability is easy to use and offers built-in assistance features, including
task-specific help, IRS and SSA instructions, an electronic user manual, a program
tutorial, and links to various sites, including the IRS, SSA, the vendor’s
support website, FAQs and a tip of the day. Phone support is included in the
cost of the program.

2007 Overall Rating: 5 Stars