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Thinking about switching to Drake Software


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We are thinking about switching to Drake software for next tax season. My question is for anyone who is using Drake. How big is your office? How many people are using it at once? Is it installed on the server and how does it perform. Our office has about 15 people and we are planning on installing it on the server if we get it. We had ATX set up the same way. Is Drake software too small for our office? We do about 2000 returns per year. If anyone can help, please reply.

Thanks!

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Guest Taxed

I am a sole pro shop with a seasonal help. I have tested Drake on a standalone computer and a network with 2 workstations and it worked great for me. I can't tell you how it would work with 2000 returns and 15 users logged in at the same time.

After a serious network issue couple of years back, I now always run my tax prep software on multiple stand alone computers. I can't afford to wait for the computer guy during rush period if the network has any issues.

Hopefully someone on this board who has a large network and uses Drake will be able to give you a better perspective.

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We have left ATX after the obvious reasons in 2012 mid-season and are completing our extensions in Drake 2012. We have also used prior year Drake software for older returns since they give you access to the software. We have 4-5 people using it at the same time, 800+ returns on the list and I can simply say that after using the program for a week or two, not only does it make more sense but it performs at an entirely new level. The company recognizes that firms cannot afford to spend 10-20 grand each tax season to make software run and still supports Windows 98 clients. What this means to our firm running a 2003 Terminal server with dual quad xeons and 8 gb of ram? Instantaneous results. I can open the program and be the return in under 2 seconds. This program is designed by tax practitioners, not college grad programmers filled with .net and xhtml who waste hundreds of meg of ram to do a simple tax return. A fairly complex individual return loaded in Drake takes 8 mb of system ram, not 1.2 gb like in ATX. While Drake is not eye-candied as we were spoiled with ATX, I can do a return in Drake in under 3 minutes that would take 15-20 in ATX. You just have to get acclimated to the structure of the program. It is hardcore streamlined and designed to do what it's suppose to do, complete a tax return. The only thing from ATX we will miss the the payroll compliance portion, mostly because of the state forms. Also, conversion is lightening fast. I converted 800 returns fully and were usable from ATX 2011 to Drake 2012 in under 12 minutes. Any questions I've ever had, i can resolve with Drake on the phone in just a few minutes. Looking forward to a full tax season next year with Drake.

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and i'll just add as far as networking, this program will work in almost any environment you put it in, I 've ran it on Windows 7 & 8, Windows XP, Windows 2003 as well as Citrix Metaframe. The reason why it works is simple, it's not designed to restrict you to licenses and copy protection or use microsoft developer libraries. Therefore, it just works. Simple. They should change the name of the software to Simply Drake, or Drake Simple. At one of the seminars I attended, there was a lady in her 50th tax season and had left ATX for Drake, she was happy with support and was adapting to the software, if she can so can you.

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Guest Taxed

Also Drake is programmed in Powerbasic with simpler code construction unlike .net etc. Therefore it executes faster and runs on older platforms like Win 98, Win 2000 and is not a resource hog!

I still have a Drake 2005 running on 256M, Win XP in a old laptop???

You are correct, it does not have the fancy graphics and the data input forms look dated, BUT who cares as long as it does the job and is fast?

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I am in the midst of evaluating Drake. I have seen 3 different posts this last week of users who switched who were unhappy

with the Depreciation Module and the reports. They weren't complaining about the conversion or accuracy but seemed to feel that

functionality was less than desired. I would appreciate any other feedback on this issue ???

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Guest Taxed

Before you do any testing please view this first:

https://support.drakesoftware.com/cbt/4562.htm

I tested a client with 12 different assets (vehicles, construction equip, office furniture, computers etc.). I use the grid method to quickly enter the data, and then after all is entered do a F3 and get into detail screen.

Drake does NOT prefill the period or the method of depreciation unlike some other software. You can hit F1 and get that by asset category. For your regular run of the mill assets like computers, office furniture etc. you will know it anyways.

If your state does not recognize bonus dep. then you can change that under ST field.

All I can see if that once you get used to it, you will be ok. When you print the return it does produce a nice dep. report.

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As for depreciation, I will have to agree that it is quite rustic in form, and difficult to generate reports. I would like to see assets separated by schedule/activity rather than grouped all into one basket for the tax payer. Retrieving the reports outside of the return from the "home" screen is also rather odd. It's not perfect, but it will most likely see improvement with user suggestions. Drake is more likely to make improvements from the suggestion basket than you would ever see come from the CCH complaint and moan box. In the end though, depreciation works and it works well even with conversions. If you want next year's depreciation for write-up purposes for example, you can easily use the federal next year depreciation statement within the tax return.

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Guest Taxed

Some preparers do NOT print out the depreciation schedules in the client copy (I guess for control purpose!).

I like to show them the future depreciation schedule for planning purpose, especially a property that is coming close to being fully depreciated and the impact it may have should the owner sell or trade that asset.

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I bought the Drake Software for year 2013. I used 4 different software in the last 4 years (TaxAct, Taxworks, Taxwise and TaxExact). Hope to stick with Drake for a while since I'm getting tired of learning new quirk stuff with of every software. I paid $1095 plus tax.

I downloaded the 2012 version to play with.

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I also purchased the Drake package for $1095 and downloaded the 2012 program plus the Client Write Up, Payroll, Accounts Payable, and Accounts Receivable which comes withe the package. They gave me the serial number so that I can use the 2012 package including the CWU and payroll. I haven't tried the CWU or the payroll yet but intend to soon. From what I have seen of the Accounts Receivable, it doesn't seem to fit my needs and I don't have any need for the Accounts Payable since I am a very small office, just my wife and me.

Hoping that this is the last tax software program that I will ever have to learn.

Dennis, I have used the Medlin program for years and have been VERY happy with it, but now my wife who has retired from nursing is working with me and I need to set up on a network. If Medlin ever becomes networkable, please let us know.

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Thanks for the feedback on Drake's Depreciation Module. I attended one of Drake's Seminars about two

weeks ago.The Drake Sales Rep, Cameron Holland kept telling us he was a Sales Guy and that he didn't

know that much about Taxes. After he showed us the Depreciation Entry Screen and went over it in some

depth, I asked him to show us the Depreciation Reports Screen and the Depreciation Reports. He just acted

dumb and shrugged his shoulders and acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. Several other

issues came up, which from reading a lot posts I knew were not Drake's strengths, and he just avoided

them. Looking back, I now realize he just showed us the good stuff and avoided showing us any of their

weaknesses. I'm just saying that I will take my time and do an in depth review, entering at least 6 to 8

different returns in their demo.program before I make any decisions

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I'd suggest that you convert several of your business clients into Drake and play with the program and see if it gives you the reports you like. I have some businesses that have several hundred assets entered and the reports seem complete to me. It also has reports for next year's regular depreciation, but I don't see an AMT depreciation report for future years. That's not a deal breaker for me since these are all under the threshold for being subject to the AMT. One partnership that I have does have a small AMT adjustment that flows through, but the dollar amount is inconsequential, so again I'm not too concerned about that one either.

FWIW, I didn't enter these assets manually. I converted everything into Drake in early February and spent some time that weekend checking all of the depreciation. I didn't find anything to correct. Everything came over from ATX correctly as far as the fixed assets were concerned. The only real issue for my conversion was lines not matching up on detail schedules for the businesses. The bottom line net profit was correct, but the detail worksheets were off. For example, accounting expense in ATX might have ended up on bank & credit card processing in Drake. I did correct those since the clients do like the comparison and I use it as part of my overall review.

I do have a separate depreciation program that I use for my accounting work that requires more detail than is found in any tax program. I've had it for years and plan on keeping it in the future. It is the old Creative Solutions DS II that is now part of Tompson Reuters and is called Fixed Assets CS. It would integrate with Ultra Tax if I ever used that. Too expensive for my little practice, but the fixed asset module is excellent and will give any kind of report I need.

I hope this helps somewhat.

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Guest Taxed

>>> He just acted dumb and shrugged his shoulders and acted like he didn't know what I was talking about.<<<

That is most unfortunate that the Drake seminar host ignored your questions. You should call Drake support and speak to one of their more informed people and get your questions answered.

I agree with jklcpa. The depreciation report is good enough for me.

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All the income and other forms that have depreciation lines also have links to the 4562. Also the 4562 input is fairly intuitive once you get used to it.

While it would be nice if the 4562 input were grouped by entity, the fact that it doesn't isn't a problem. Further a quick view of the return, which takes seconds I might add, groups the 4562 reports and detailed reports by schedule and entity or property.

Additional 4562 and asset reports also exist, and while this is not a full fledged FAM, neither is the built in FAM in ATX. Yet I personally find that the Drake FAM is sufficient for me to stop buying the Full ATX FAM. Just takes a little getting used to the differences is all.

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I do have a separate depreciation program that I use for my accounting work that requires more detail than is found in any tax program. I've had it for years and plan on keeping it in the future. It is the old Creative Solutions DS II that is now part of Tompson Reuters and is called Fixed Assets CS. It would integrate with Ultra Tax if I ever used that. Too expensive for my little practice, but the fixed asset module is excellent and will give any kind of report I need.

What is the pricing of the Fixed Assets CS?

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What is the pricing of the Fixed Assets CS?

Joel, I paid $315 to renew the license in 2012, and the year before was $305. I can't say what the price would be for a new user, but it might be the same. I used it at the firm I worked for and decided to stick with it. I've had it since 1996 and have never had any troubles with it. It is a great program.

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  • 1 year later...

Drake is fine if it works for your mind and you can figure out how their mind works.

 

Examples:

1. I close the return I'm working on probably 30x per day going from viewing the return back to data entry.

2. They change without any warning. I've been doing 1041's with the software for several years. This year attributing income from the fiduciary to the beneficiary changed completely and no warning or hint. Their new way is completely unintuitive.

3. their forms entry isn't really forms entry (like any other software) and I have real problems finding entry points with their software in either entry form.

 

Having said that, my co-worker absolutely loves it. It gives you ALL the worksheets and I do love that but it takes me 2x as long as my other software to enter a rental property.

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We are thinking about switching to Drake software for next tax season. My question is for anyone who is using Drake. How big is your office? How many people are using it at once? Is it installed on the server and how does it perform. Our office has about 15 people and we are planning on installing it on the server if we get it. We had ATX set up the same way. Is Drake software too small for our office? We do about 2000 returns per year. If anyone can help, please reply.

 

Thanks!

my question?

based on your 15 person/2000 return and a rough estimate of ?$400k+ gross receipts office...

why don't you already know the best tax program for your business? 

your need is possibly beyond atx/drake and into the upper level world of pro series, lacerte, etc. 

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