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Orrtax Software — IntelliTax


From the April/May 2008 Review
of Tax Compliance Suites

Orrtax offers several bundled versions of its IntelliTax system for professional
preparers, from a 1040-focused bundle to a complete individual and business
suite as well as an option for practices with multiple offices. The systems
all include e-filing, and Orrtax offers several integrated bank products and
loan features. Depending upon the IntelliTax bundle, the program offers compliance
support for individual, corporate, S-Corp, partnership and fiduciary returns.
The company also offers several add-on applications to give tax practices added
revenue streams, including the warranty-like SafetyNet audit protection plan;
the InfoPrompt phone-based automated, bilingual return status information system;
Vertical Lend for mortgage products; and XpressCash for offering payday loans.
The Essentials system, which provides 1040 preparation software and e-filing,
costs $995 and gives users access to the business entities on a pay-per-return
basis. At $1,495, IntelliTax Expert provides 1040, 1065, 1120, 1120S and 1041
compliance with unlimited e-filing. The Enterprise system costs $1,995 and includes
all entities plus remote access and multi-office capabilities.

General Operations/ Ease-of-Use — 5 Stars
The IntelliTax interface offers a clean and intuitive design with traditional
icons across the top of the main screen, which resembles a web browser and actually
can be used as one, with a web address bar and browser navigation buttons. By
default, the main work area (the browser window) opens to the Launch Pad, a
box-based menu that offers icons for the most common program features, such
as starting or opening returns, transmitting e-file returns, printing checks,
accessing reports, viewing client profiles, downloading updates or using support
options. The Launch Pad also has links to third-party add-on services, including
iHost and

The bottom of the menu displays links to the IRS website, official forms, state
tax entities and other tax resources. While each of these website links opens
within the main screen, the program-specific functions, such as working with
returns and the report center, open within a separate window. Users can access
a comprehensive client selection screen at any time using the Client Profile
icon on the main toolbar, which opens the system into a multi-paned view that
includes a spreadsheet list of returns with the ability to filter by type of
entity using a menu on the left. The program also allows searching by TIN, name,
phone number or invoice, and provides a detailed profile selection below the
client list. When a client is highlighted, this profile section immediately
shows a breakdown of virtually all return information, including refund, prep
fees, check numbers, e-filing fees, transmittal date, acknowledgements and other
information, and it provides tabs for viewing specific data regarding Client
Info, Federal Filing, State Filing, RAL Bank, Fees/Refund and Comments. This
allows a full overview of any client’s return even while working within
a different
client’s files.

When working with a client return, the interface of the return window provides
text-based links for the various data-entry tasks and directly accessing forms,
with a vertical menu on the left for moving between forms and data-entry areas,
a tax summary, billing/invoicing and other functions. Data entry can be performed
either on interview-based worksheets or form replicas, both of which include
field-specific instructions, popup calculators and smart ZIP Code entry, with
all data moving to forms as necessary. Calculations are automatically performed,
including withholding for SSI and Medicare. Forms and worksheets include drilldown
access as well as the ability to add W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, K-1s and other forms
simply by clicking on the appropriate field on the primary return. Even though
the program moves between a few interfaces, IntelliTax provides a very intuitive
environment that is a quick learn and aids in workflow.

Workflow & Productivity Tools — 3.5 Stars
IntelliTax provides good guidance in processing returns, from creation through
filing and invoicing functions. It includes added features such as a basic fixed
asset depreciation module and managerial reporting focused on practice management,
billing and bank products. With drilldown functions from each line, a review
checklist and the ability to add notes to any data-entry field, the program
makes basic review processes fairly simple and also provides an automated diagnostics
system accessible via the Review Return icon, which points out potential inaccuracies,
missing information and other potential problems. The program allows overriding
of calculated amounts but tracks all return activity with an audit trail feature
that provides added managerial supervision. The IntelliTax SnapShot feature
makes it easy to provide a quick refund estimate to clients based on estimated
data entry (or last paystub data), along with an estimated timeframe in which
to expect the refund proceeds.

Integration/ Import & Export — 3 Stars
Data is shared as necessary between the business and individual income tax modules,
providing automatic population of related returns and K-1 pass-throughs. Additionally,
all forms, client letters, reports and worksheets can be generated as PDF documents.
The program’s Launch Pad includes links to the IRS and state agencies,
but no integrated research options are available.

Support/Training & Help System — 4 Stars
Line-by-line instructions are available, and the program’s Help utility
provides good general assistance, while the guided interview mode provides very
simple processing. IntelliTax users receive a printed Getting Started Guide
in addition to access to the company’s online support website, which includes
FAQs, tutorials and other options. Orrtax offers live and web-based training,
and technical support is included in program pricing.

Relative Value — 4 Stars
The IntelliTax system is easy to use and provides good Help and guidance features,
which, along with strong banking and e-filing options, make it a good fit for
small and mid-sized practices with primarily 1040 clients, but that also need
some support for business entities. The program’s remote office capabilities
also make it useful for practices that are considering the addition of retail
store preparation locations.

2008 Overall Rating: 4 Stars