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Firm Management

Covering All the Bases: How Lacerte Keeps Team Brolin On Their Game

A cornerstone of her tax practice is the Intuit Lacerte tax preparation system, which Dawn has used since 2013, when she partnered with the other accounting practice.


To say that Dawn Brolin wears many hats is an understatement. The Connecticut-based CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner is a principal and founder of Powerful Accounting (, a partner in Anderson, Brolin & Coba CPAs (, offers IT services, provides small business accounting and fraud prevention services, and is a nationally-recognized consultant, speaker, author and thought leader in the profession. She’s also been honored as one of CPA Practice Advisor’s “40 Under 40” and one of the “Most Powerful Women in Accounting” for several years, and has been lauded by Accounting Today.

From late January through April, however, Dawn usually has her tax hat on, providing compliance services to individuals and business entities across the country. During the 2019 tax prep season, Powerful Accounting processed nearly 200 individual returns, and ABC CPAs filed more than 1,000, along with partnership and corporate returns, most of which were fairly complex and interrelated, she says. Due to the simplification of taxes for many lower income earners this year, the firm had a strategy to decrease the number of simple returns they prepared, with that time spent on more productive clients and services.

Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE
Founder and Principal
Powerful Accounting, LLC
Windham, CT

A cornerstone of her tax practice is the Intuit Lacerte tax preparation system, which Dawn has used since 2013, when she partnered with ABC CPAs. “Lacerte covers all of the forms and entities, with strong tax planning and back-year tax filing,” Dawn said. In addition to using the system for current clients, the prior-year features are essential to her work with IRS representation and with criminal and civil litigation.

The firm has the Lacerte system hosted on a remote server so that it is accessible from wherever the staff is located. Considering how mobile Dawn is with multiple career endeavors, her consulting work and her speaking engagements, the remote accessibility is a great benefit. This is especially so during the spring, when in addition to tax season, she is an assistant coach for Eastern Connecticut State University NCAA Division-III Women’s Fastpitch Softball and travels throughout the country, including their recent trip to the NCAA National Championship Tournament in late May where they placed 3rd in the country.

“I’m extremely mobile, but with a hosted version of Lacerte and my Mac Book or iPad, I can work on client returns and other engagements wherever I am, even while in Florida for spring training.”

Dawn says that Lacerte streamlines and automates the entire tax engagement process, from entering basics, to integration with GruntWorx, which the firm uses to scan client source documents, then populating the return in the tax system.  Brolin even maximizes Lacerte and SmartVault by printing directly to SmartVault from Lacerte and subsequently sending 8879’s to clients with the KBA requirements through DocuSign. This past tax season, an intern handled most of the admin data collection work.

“Lacerte’s diagnostic tools are fantastic, and it includes great review functions, including the ability to instantly jump to the input forms, plus form comparisons and searchability,” she said. “And moving to Lacerte was really easy, with fast support, and Intuit converted all of our data files from our previous tax prep solution .”

The Lacerte Tax system is available in a variety of versions, with bundles designed for firms of any size.

Visit and try the free demo version.

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