If you are a CPA or an accountant, you’re looking for a program that is accurate, easy to use, and that offers all the forms you need. With all of the programs available, you could spend more time looking through what to use than you would actually filing taxes. To help you, here are top four professional tax software programs available to you.
Intuit Lacerte Tax
One of the top things that CPAs love about Lacerte is its ease of use. Its accuracy is top notch and it has a wide array of forms that are useful for any accountant. It maintains a peer-to-peer network for program and situation assistance and has strong integration with QuickBooks. Past versions have made printing a little difficult, but this feature has drastically improved since last year’s version. Now, no matter what you’re printing, the file is processed as a separate PDF rather than one file containing all of the print jobs.
Returns can be printed or emailed to clients, and Lacerte will automatically generate a password based on the social security number or employer identification number, which encrypts the document. If you’re still unsure, this program is available for a free trial. If you buy the program, you have the option of Lacerte Unlimited (for which you’ll have to call Intuit for the price) or a Pay-Per-Return option that ranges from $295-$395.
CCH ProSystem fx Tax
While ease of use is important when it comes to ProSystem fx, CPAs mainly love how accurate this program is. They also find the number of forms and comprehensiveness extremely effective when it comes to filing taxes. It has multiple integration points, the ability to calculate complex returns, and offers an eSign option. Unlike Axcess Tax, ProSystem offers a static, drop down menu to navigate, which makes it easier to move from file to file.
As mentioned before, an eSign option has been implemented into this program. This allows a person to securely deliver signature return forms to clients through a secure portal and allows clients to digitally sign with a tablet or smartphone. This drastically reduces the amount of time spent filing forms, which is especially helpful as deadlines approach. The price for CCH ProSystems fx is based on the amount of client returns processed, though there is an unlimited federal version for $1,575 and state starting at $550 each. Returns may also be purchased as a per-return-pricing model, and there may be various discounts.
CCH Small Firm Services – ATX
For ATX, price is one of the biggest features. Like Lacerte, CCH allows you to evaluate the program for free. Another fantastic feature of ATX is that all of its packages are supported by an award-winning team to help you with training or general help. They are available 24/7 to help you during one of the busiest times of the year.
If you’re looking for something simple, look no further. ATX has an easy user interface that allows you to input data without any issues. It also has an option to check for any errors or omissions, perfect for any small business. Most of the packages available also allow you to file electronically for individuals and businesses for free. The pricing varies depending on which package you choose to purchase. The cheapest option is the ATX 1040 package which is available at $639. The most expensive option is the ATX Advantage at $3,399. Each package comes with certain features, and the website will help you find the best option for you.
Thomson Reuters – UltraTax CS
UltraTax CS is a well-rounded application. CPAs love the accuracy, ease of use, possible integration, and its comprehensiveness. Thomson Reuters focuses on allowing accounting practitioners to work efficiently, and they succeeded with this program. For an office, UltraTax CS allows you to have multiple profiles that are unique to the user. The user can set up different settings, rules, letter configurations, and a variety of other options. If you are unsure if this program is right for your firm, UltraTax CS allows a scalable option for offices of all sizes.
With the ever changing updates to tax laws, this program has worked to make updates available that are due to the Affordable Care Act and DOMA. There is a more streamlined approach for same-sex filers who file a joint federal return, but may need to continue filing separately for state taxes.
Like some other programs, you have the ability to try UltraTax CS for free. Thomson Reuters allows a pay-per-return option depending on what you need to file. You can also purchase the program for a one-user processing unlimited federal 1040s for $2,760.