Skip to main content


Orrtax Software Solutions – IntelliTax

Orrtax Software Solutions offers
individual preparation through its
IntelliTax for Windows and corporate,
S-Corp, partnership and fiduciary
filing, through the IntelliTax SuperSystem.
The company also produces a character-based
version of its individual preparation
software. Orrtax also offers several
marketing packages and other productivity
bundles. The business and individual
versions of the software are sold
separately but integrate with each
other. The 1040-only version of
IntelliTax lists at $495. At the
opposite end of the spectrum, the
SuperSystem lists at $1,495. Seasonal
discounts are available. The programs
support all states with individual
income taxes.

Learning Curve – 4 Stars
IntelliTax opens to a main menu
Launch Pad screen that provides
access to the primary functions
of the program via clean and intuitive
buttons that are easy to understand,
such as New Client, Open Client
and Print functions. This main menu
also includes links to IRS functions
and reference materials, as well
as to companies Orrtax partners
with, such as Official Payments
Corp, Tax-Aid and It’s Deductible,
as well as People’s Choice
Accounting products. The system
guides users through many of the
most common functions involved in
return preparation using a Home
Page for each return that works
as a checklist of sorts, using text-based
links to various sections of the
return. The interface also includes
a vertical navigation pane that
enables users to quickly jump to
different sections of the return,
as well as billing, the client organizer
and a two-year tax summary.

Use/Workflow & Productivity Tools – 4.5 Stars

offers form- or interview-based
data entry, with the option to toggle
back and forth between the two,
using some ‘smart’ data-entry
features, such as a ZIP code feature
that automatically fills in city/state.
The system also uses some web-like
entry forms that include check-boxes
and ‘radio’ buttons
during some of the client information
entry and through the system’s
IntelliTax Snapshot feature. IntelliTax
Snapshot can be used to provide
prospective or current clients with
quick tax estimates or can be used
as a shortcut page, since it includes
summary data that links to source
forms, including information on
RAL fees, credits and anticipated
refund. It is a little difficult
to return to the primary client
Home Page from this summary screen,
but the user still has access to
all areas of the return from this

The primary method for opening a
client return is not the best: Using
the Open Client icon presents the
user with a field for searching
by SSN. A more intuitive method
is available via the Client Profile
function, which provides a client
list by return type, with a clickable
summary list of each client with
full contact data, federal/state
refund amounts, direct deposit and
RAL info, and e-file status. This
screen, which offers a customizable
and sortable spreadsheet interface,
would best serve users as the primary
client Open File screen. This year’s
version includes a My Returns filter
that allows users to view only returns
assigned to him or her, but this
is not a security filter, only a
client list filter. The program
offers various security levels that
can be set for specific features.

Within forms and interview sheets,
IntelliTax allows users to attach
notes to any field and provides
links to supporting documents such
as W-2s, Schedule Ds, or K-1s, as
well as offering field-specific
help and links to line instructions.
Data flows to wherever it is needed
within forms, and automatic calculations
ease the data-entry process. Additional
diagnostic functions are included
and accessible, along with review
functions, from the Tax Snap Shot
screen. Review functions allow users
to review overrides, bookmarks and

New for TY 2003, the program now
has an expanded Tax Summary that
can include more than 75 customizable
data fields from within a client
tax return. The program also now
supports MS SQL Server.

Integration/Import & Export – 4 Stars
IntelliTax moves data between its
modules and allows transferring
of Proforma data but does not allow
import or export of data from/to
common data formats such as *.XLS
or *.TXT. Paul Slagle, senior product
manager for IntelliTax, said the
company is considering integration
with People’s Choice Accounting
products that will enable import
of income statement and balance
sheet information into the business
tax and Schedule C forms. Orrtax
offers free conversions for users
switching from Crosslink, Drake,
Lacerte, ProSeries, ATX Saber, TaxSlayer,
TaxWorks and TaxWise.

Support/Training & Help System – 4 Stars

The company produces IntelliTax
Newsletters and an E-mailzine (think
‘e-mail magazine’) for
its users that include deadline
reminders, notes on recent tax law
developments, user tips and other
information. The company offers
web- and phone-based support systems,
including FAQs and ample links to
IRS and tax information. A variety
of training options is also available.

Product Evolution & Vendor Vision – 4Stars
endured a change of parent companies
a couple of years ago and has come
out stronger, with an apparently
greater devotion to product development.
The designers have produced a product
that provides essential functions
and added features in an intuitive
package. And they’ve backed
it up with good online support and
reference tools. The company has
sometimes been slow to incorporate
newer technologies, however, as
is evidenced by its adaptation of
a Windows version not occurring
until 1999.

Slagle said the slowness in the
changes is to help ensure a better
user experience. ‘The change
from DOS to Windows [and then incorporating
the Microsoft’s TaxSaver technology],
provided an excellent user experience
and a pure graphical user interface
that is consistent with the surrounding
32-bit system,’ he said. The
company also uses other features
to improve user experience, ‘such
as Smart Forms. Each year since,
we’ve added and updated tax
forms, states and system features.’

Relative Value- 4.5 Stars

IntelliTax is a user-friendly, 1040-focused
system that also offers business
modules that are adequate for most
small and mid-sized preparation
firms. The system is ideally suited
to firms providing RALs and other
‘added-benefit’ services,
providing strong feature sets in
both of these areas. The program
is simple to use and navigate, which
should minimize training downtime.


This review section examines tax
software that did not meet one or
more of the requirements. That is
not intended to diminish the quality
of the software in this review.
We had to draw the line somewhere
regarding our prototype office’s
needs, and these products here simply
take a different approach to their
offerings. For this review, there
is no prototypical firm because
each of the products is quite different
in their form support and feature
sets. There are a few that barely
missed the Tax Suites cut because
of one missing module or the lack
of full state support, and there
are programs that focus solely on
one or two areas of compliance.
So we are not comparing apples to
apples here (it’s more like
a bowl of mixed fruit), and therefore
direct comparisons were not always
possible. Each product in the review
is examined and given a score in
several areas that users and vendors
determined were key aspects in using
tax preparation software, aiding
professionals in comparing those
aspects and making a purchasing
decision. The products in this review
section received scores in the following
six areas:

Learning Curve addresses the ease with which new users are likely to grow comfortable and proficient with the program.

Use/Workflow & Productivity Tools involves the intuitiveness of the user interface (how well a user can get around) and the way
work is handled from start (interview)
to finish (receipt of return). This
includes tools that help professionals
keep track of client and IRS status
for returns, as well as additional
tools such as integrated calculators
and cross-form linking that streamline
the entire process.

The Integration/Import & Export rating assesses the program’s capability to use data between modules, how it exchanges data with software from other vendors, and how the program retrieves existing data from the previous year.

Support/Training & Help System looks at training options and how the vendor has incorporated assistance features into its program,
the quality of its support documentation
and the extent of its online help
component, whether it be simple
FAQs, online user communities or
more advanced systems.

The Product Evolution & Vendor Vision rating is reflective of the company’s commitment to continued development of its product by looking at the technological culture of the company and its product development history.

Relative Value will provide a subjective determination of the dollar-value ratio of the software. While it is often said
that, ‘you get what you pay
for,’ the most expensive option
does not necessarily guarantee the
best value, nor is the product with
the lowest sticker price always
the greater bargain. On this line,
we will look at the value of the
features and tools provided in a
software suite and provide a judgment
on how well its price matches its

Finally, the Overall Rating will provide the reviewer’s general assessment of the product. An Executive Summary follows the review section, providing a brief synopsis of the reviews along with a summary chart with products and their scores in each area.