From the July 2010 Review of Document
Lacerte DMS and ProSeries DMS are essentially the same application with minor
differences to accommodate their respective tax prep packages.
As you might expect, the primary feature is the integration with the tax software.
When you print a preparer or client copy of the return, a check box is provided
to send a copy directly to the appropriate client folder in the DMS.
Navigation of the documents begins with a client list organized by type, i.e.,
individual, business, etc. A template of folders and sub-folders keeps the documents
organized. The template is established globally and applied to all clients.
You can customize the folder structure for individual clients as necessary.
There are three tabs in the document view: documents/folders, client information
to display contact info, and an issues tab to access a log of recorded issues
related to the client. The client information is synchronized with the tax program.
A PDF print driver lets you publish output from any application directly to
a select folder as a PDF.
In addition to the tight integration with the tax prep software, a “Save
to DMS” button is added to the MS Office applications to store files directly
to the DMS. E-mail integration lets you select a whole document or individual
pages, as well as password protect the file with 128-bit encryption. You also
have the option to include or exclude annotations. You can store multiple client
e-mail accounts and a drop down menu of the available client addresses will
appear when you create the e-mail message.
The DMS supports direct scanning from any TWAIN or WIA (Windows Image Acquisition)
compliant scanner. When you create a scanned document, a thumbnail preview of
each page is displayed to assist with quality control. You can rename the pages
and reorder them on-screen before they are sent to the DMS. A proprietary PDF
viewer is provided with annotation tools including stamps, comments, tick marks
and digital signatures. There is no OCR convertor; therefore, full text searching
is not available.
Document searching is enhanced by the ability to assign one or more customized
category labels to a document. Every year, the user is given the option to automatically
add a new folder to the folder template for the current year. More than a dozen
individual user permission settings can be established to secure the documents.
In addition, passwords assigned to tax return files in the tax software are
applied to document accessibility in DMS. An archiving feature is not currently
available, but is scheduled for release this summer.
A particularly unique feature offered by Intuit is the Document e-Sort service.
For $3 per client, you can upload an unorganized file of a client’s supporting
1040 tax documents and you will receive a fully bookmarked and sorted PDF file.
SUMMARY & PRICING
These programs are well designed and offer a lot of functionality for the price
at which they are offered. The pricing for Lacerte is $830 for the first year
and $170 annual maintenance fee thereafter. The ProSeries version is priced
at $450 annually.
2010 OVERALL RATING: