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A Walk Down Memory Lane


joelgilb
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In addition to your postings I found the following additional tax software companies on the website http://www.taxsites.com/software.html. I have not researched them as yet therefore I cannot vouch for thier relevance, etc.

Good luck

Mike Dubin CPA

CCH:  ProSystem fx

Deloitte and Touche:  CORPTax

Dunphy Systems:  Dunphy Systems [no longer in business]

ExacTax:  Package EX

Forms Unlimited

Full Duplex Systems:  FD-Prep

LamSon Technology:  ExelTax

RIA:  GoSystem and InSource

Tax Link:  AutoTax Pro

Tax Technologies:  Tax Series

TaxCut

TurboTax

U.S. Tax Systems:  TaxStar

Vertex:  AACTS/VantageTax

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Randall,

Many many years ago they used to have "Dot Matrix" printers. These printers, while being faster than typing, were not what you would call "graphically friendly." Many software packages had to print on tractor fed paper using these printers. You had to use "Overlays," which were the original tax form printed on a thin sheet of thin plastic. You then took the proper form, placed it on top of the dot matrix printed sheet, hoped that everything lined up, placed it in a copy machine and you could produce a completed page of your tax return.

Repeat this process for each page of the return and within a reasonable length of time, you could have a complete return. You also knew there was no way your clients would even think of doing this on their own. It sounds almost like using a hand printing press in today's world, but it really was pretty slick compared to completing the form by hand. My copy machine also cost $4,500.00 and my first laser printer was $2,500.00 and I also had to buy a "Tax Font" cartridge to produce the graphics, which was an additional $250.

My HP2420 printer was around $800 and is pretty quick.

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My first computer in 1983 or 84 had a 10 Meg hard drive and a floppy drive. I paid $10,000 for it and the printer and software. The original price was about $13,000 but the store was going out of business and they let me have it at a reduced price. The programs were the only thing loaded on the hard drive. I had a separate floppy disk for each accounting client and had to place that client's disk in the drive to work on that client. Doing tax returns by computer came much later. I've progressed a little since then.

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My first computer in 1983 or 84 had a 10 Meg hard drive and a floppy drive. I paid $10,000 for it and the printer and software. The original price was about $13,000 but the store was going out of business and they let me have it at a reduced price. The programs were the only thing loaded on the hard drive. I had a separate floppy disk for each accounting client and had to place that client's disk in the drive to work on that client. Doing tax returns by computer came much later. I've progressed a little since then.

My first computer did not have a hard drive, only floppy drives. I can still remember getting my first 20 meg hard drive and was sure that was more space than I would ever need in my lifetime.

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My first desktop computer? Back in 1981. It ran on an operating system prior to DOS called CPM. It had a 9" floppy disk and it was floppy. The partner I worked for came into my office one day and said there was a new operating system coming out by a company in Redmond and I should buy some stock in it. Well, he was the partner and I was just the junior accountant. The stock did not get bought and I have regretted not doing so ever since.

Maribeth

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Moderators can change titles, edit, delete, move threads from here to the efile forum, etc. I use it occasionally, to either move a thread, or to edit for someone who needed just a little. You guys can edit your own typos, if you do it right away. I, on the other hand, can do it anytime!!!! Ah, the power! LOL

I don't do it often, In fact I think this is the only topic title I've changed, other than to correct a typo once. But it did seem a good idea, in this case.

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BTW everyone, this was supposed to be more that a walk down memory lane when I started this topic. Now KC has even changed the topic name to protect the innocent! LOL Or maybe she is protecting me....hmmmmm.

Anyway, just took a cursory review of the 2006 Drake tax software.

Although the software is reasonably priced and appears to perform the calculations competently I find a few things that I don't like with this software:

1. Entry is all input sheet oriented. I prefer to see the actual tax forms. Although it is not essential in my opinion to provide direct input onto the forms Like ATX, at least having the form in the background with instant updates would help see the flow (as TAASC did before Intuit discontinued the product).

a. A drill down feature from the form would also greatly help.

2. No where near the depth in forms that ATX has. Maybe I could prepare individual and business taxes with this, but all the other forms i would need to buy additional software for, such as Superform Tax Forms.

3. Had difficulty find where to enter several things, but this I believe is just the typical learning curve. Although, I might add that I did not have the learning curve when I switched from TAASC (when it was discontinued) to ATX, as I can follow a tax form and the drill down eliminated the curve for me.

Didn't spend much more time with this software due to the time of year, so that's all for now.

Guess I have one more thing. Looks like Drake might not be for me. (thinking out loud) Geesh I would hate to have to look at ProSeries and go back to using that product again.

Joel

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although, Mel I do think we still need you and whatever you can do for us.

Well, things aren't as rosy as I wish I could report. Initial work was quite fast to get something running, but I hit a few snags with the major one being a componant that I wanted to use having easily reproduced bugs. Orriginally I thought I was doing something wrong, but I am starting to lean the other way towards there is an actual problem. I can't just leave it to crash the program when manipulating the forms for printing, so I better switch to another componant.

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Well, things aren't as rosy as I wish I could report. Initial work was quite fast to get something running, but I hit a few snags with the major one being a componant that I wanted to use having easily reproduced bugs. Orriginally I thought I was doing something wrong, but I am starting to lean the other way towards there is an actual problem. I can't just leave it to crash the program when manipulating the forms for printing, so I better switch to another componant.

About 15 years ago, I took a couple of classes for writing code. I should have pursued it. I know how specialized and tedious your work doing that is.

You have my utmost respect and support in this venture.

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  • 4 weeks later...

TRX is currently offering a payroll system for trial. I don't know if it is on their website, but you can call their 800 number for sales and ask about it. I do not use it, but have been using their tax program this year, after 5 yrs with ATX. Conversion went very well, some input required for PY depr and setting up depr sch. More on that after tax season and we report our experiences to each other on this forum.

TRX phone to Sales=866-829-9777. I have not any wait over 6 minutes to get Tech help and they have stayed with me until sure it worked, in one case over an hr.

Daune/CA

I copied this quote from another post, as I thought it provides another option. One I had never heard of before. Looks like this company charges a $299.00 membership fee and then provides the software with unlimited efile. Don't know anything about the capabilities of the program, but at $299 I wonder if it is a bit on the lite side.

Joel

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I'm using TRX this season. It is not as full featured as ATX, but it does seem to have most stuff. I did find that there was no check box for making the election to treat a traded-in vehicle as taken out of service at time of trade-in. It had to be put on a preparer's notes page. A friend said she couldn't find the worksheet for lump-sum distributions for Social Security. You have to use the one in the instructions and input the results.

But it does seem to have the forms and worksheets that I use the most. For the cost savings, I can live with doing a few things manually.

And they don't have a community board.

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