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Financial Reporting

2012 Review of IDMS Account Ability Tax Form Preparation

IDMS, Inc. – Account Ability Tax Form Preparation
888-IDMS-inc (436-7462)

From the Nov. 2012 Review of W-2 and 1099 Preparation programs.

Best Fit: Firms managing year-end compliance and ATF payroll for multiple mid- to large-sized businesses


  • Complete print and mail services available
  • Comprehensive reports
  • Built-in document management feature

Potential Limitations

  • Built-in billing and invoicing features not available

Account Ability provides users with a year-end compliance and ATF payroll solution. The software supports multiple clients and the most commonly processed forms. Account Ability also supports importing from Excel or other formatted text files, as well as electronic filing and TIN matching. The program’s print capabilities allow users to choose between self-printing on plain or pre-printed forms or outsourcing through the vendor’s printing and mailing services.

Basic System Functions: 4.5 Stars

Account Ability has a simple user interface that guides users through the setup process. The software is not web-based but can be installed on workstations or network servers with support for unlimited users. There are several menu bars, with the bottom one hosting links to order forms, visit the IDMS Facebook page and view instructions for individual forms.

Client management is simplified with the ability to sort through clients, view active forms associated with each client and create notes for each client. FICA wages and withholding amounts are automatically calculated on the W-2 forms and data entry is automatically replicated in the appropriate fields on subsequent forms.

Other features include data importing and mapping and electronic filing for the IRS and SSA. Account Ability supports TIN matching and verification as well as a document management system. The system offers several error reports and exported PDFs can be password-protected when sent to clients.

Reporting: 4.5 Stars
Account Ability supports unlimited clients with unlimited recipients and e-filing with the IRS and SSA for all 1098 and 1099 forms as well as W-2, W-2G, 3921, 3922, 5498, 941, 943 and 944 forms. The solution also supports compliance for Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas Islands. Users can also generate state and local wage and withholding reports, client activity reports and register listing. The data entry screens mimic the respective form, allowing users to type directly into the appropriate boxes.

Account Ability generates reports for missing TINs, federal and state exceptions, and TIN matching errors. The system also supports truncating social security numbers on returns. Users are able to password protect files at the client level and save forms as PDFs, using the built-in PDF print writer. In addition, users can print forms on plain paper or pre-printed forms. Account Ability also supports printing continuous forms on dot matrix printers.

In addition to the self-printing options, IDMS offers print and mailing services. Through these services, IDMS will print and mail forms to recipients. Customers can select whether all forms are sent to all clients. Account Ability doesn’t have any integrated billing and invoicing capabilities.

Import/Export Capabilities: 4.25 Stars

Account Ability supports Excel and text files, with a mapping utility to match the imported data to the correct data entry fields. There is also an option to import the previous year’s data into the program. Account Ability also supports exporting to Excel, mail-merge applications and PDFs.

Help/Support: 4.5 Stars
Account Ability has an extensive Help menu that offers a built-in guide, several user manuals and links to several IDMS support pages and IRS forms. Account Ability also offers 24/7 email support, remote desktop support and toll-free live telephone support during normal business hours. Software updates can be downloaded from the website.

Summary & Pricing

Account Ability offers numerous features and tools for electronically filing year-end forms for multiple businesses. Complete printing and mailing services are also available. Licensing for Account Ability starts at $219.95, with each concurrent user license costing $35.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

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