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BulldogTom
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98 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like to see demos of other tax software on this website?

    • Yes
      75
    • No
      20
    • Who Cares
      3


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If it was possible for Eric to give other software companies a demo page or link to a demo page of their own, would you appreciate that. I know many of us are looking to get new software next year. If there was a working demo of Drake, Proseries, Taxslayer, or any other software out there where we could try it and comment on those trials, would you find that helpful?

I have not asked Eric about this, but why ask if there is no interest, right?

Just a thought.

Tom

Lodi, CA

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Tom, I don't know whether you saw my previous posting re this issue, but this year (2007) I bought

both ATX and Drake. Every other return I'm preparing with Drake. I was planning on reporting back to

everybody after tax season. Once you get the "hang" of not inputing directly on the tax form, Drake's

not so bad.

Booger

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I might have some interest later in the year, but not now. I doubt that I'll be renewing with ATX early, if ever again. I'll be evaluating new software choices this summer.

I did go to Drake's website & watched the prerecorded webinars. It gave an overview of the basics. It looked fairly easy to use. That would be one of my choices.

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I voted yes, but I think they should also be expected to make a generous contribution toward erc's expenses of keeping this forum active. After all, they will be getting some pretty nice advertising aimed directly at a targeted & motivated group - a marketing person's dream audience.

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I might have some interest later in the year, but not now. I doubt that I'll be renewing with ATX early, if ever again. I'll be evaluating new software choices this summer.

I did go to Drake's website & watched the prerecorded webinars. It gave an overview of the basics. It looked fairly easy to use. That would be one of my choices.

After the tax season almost every software company offers a free trial for prospective customers. I got free trial versions of TaxAct, Drake, LaCerte, TaxPro and TaxSlayer a few years ago and tried doing a difficult return on all of them. TaxAct, LaCerte and TaxPro handled that situation the best.

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My 2 cents' worth.....

I voted "yes" in the poll, but what I would REALLY like to see is a NEW Software Company to introduce a product with the capabilities of ATX, i.e., not just income tax forms, but sales, tax, unemployment tax, personal property tax, state registrations, payroll forms.

ATX has been so much MORE than just an income tax return processing software. With ATX, I can do so much more than just the income tax returns.

And to add write-up capability, we would no longer need Quicken, QuickBooks, etc........

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I will be looking at other options after the tax season as well. Although I like the software I can't stay with a company who refuses to hire the technical staff needed to service its clients. I wouldn't mind seeing a few options but I think it would be fantastick if somehow we could rate the service quality of each software.

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I will be looking at other options after the tax season as well. Although I like the software I can't stay with a company who refuses to hire the technical staff needed to service its clients. I wouldn't mind seeing a few options but I think it would be fantastick if somehow we could rate the service quality of each software.

Rick,

You are on the track that I was going for. I don't have time to evaluate 5 or 6 software packages this summer (I am hoping Mel has his going and that is the one I want to put to the test). I would be willing to take one for a test drive and then post my feelings about what is good or bad, including customer service. If each of us were to take one and really give it a good workout, then we might be able to get some good ideas about each package. If 10 of us tried brand XXXX and 7 thought it was garbage on business returns but good on 1040s, the people who only do 1040's might want to try it, but those with business clients could save the time of looking at it.

Anyway, that was the thought.

Tom

Lodi, CA

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In May I will be happy to set up a list for folks to sign up to evaluate one program, or as many as you feel you can do. Then we'll set up a separate forum just for reports , sorted by software, for pros and cons. I think that could work out real well, as a place we can all go to get feedback, directly per package. Hopefully, lots of you will give us feedback.

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I'd been sure I'd use ATX when I went out on my own, already used it for a dozen or so returns at home and used it at work for entities, etc. But was so mad at CCH for closing our message board.... Well, I sent for all the demos and gave a quick look at the high-end and the run-m-thru-and-sell-bank-products low end and spent some time on Drake and even reserved ProSeries Pro. But, ProSeries wasn't going to handle some of my returns, so they were giving me Lacerte free to use as pay-per-return when needed. Thought, with my clientele, why learn two programs; so took a longer look at the high-end products. Lacerte was fine, and many of my clients use QB, so liked that it could probably import the best from QB. Went to an all-day seminar on Ultra Tax; liked Thomson with NO products for our clients, just for us professionals. Then was looking at ProSystem fx and had to call tech support with an issue. Well, this guy spent three hours with me, showing me all the menus, walking me through a sample 1120S to show me the product. Blew me away. I bought ProSystem that day. With my clientele waiting for brokerage statements and AMT issues and K-1s and setting up my new home office, I'm just getting started. On my own, so calling tech support with stupid little start-up questions that I would've solved in December if I'd chosen my software sooner. But, I get right through and get undivided attention and am ridiculously happy with tech support. I've only completed three returns and have some in progress, so low on the learning curve for actually using the software. Some things seem buried awfully deeply in menus, but I'm learning. I'll report back at the end of the season.

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OK, who changed the Title? KC, you messing with my posts? I like the million $ hook to get them to read it.

Tom

Lodi, CA

[Guilty, Tom, I must confess, I did it to make readers aware that we have sort of changed the focus just a bit. I want everyone to consider evaluating and then reporting, at least one product. Hopefully without any sniping at any other product, just giving us pros and cons of the one they tried. Lion's was a good start, although I hope at the end he has at least one 'con', just to be totally fair about it. They all have some quirks, or weaknesses, after all.

KC]

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ProSystem fx is a very complex software. I'm having a long learning curve. But, I didn't buy until the season and have the type of clients that come in late. Also, no returns on my computer to convert and get a head start; because I worked for a company before going out on my own this season. So, I have to take some responsibility for my slowness. Things are buried deep in menus since there are so many things and thus so many menus. It wasn't intuitively obvious to me how to deal with both a resident and not-resident state, but a techie talked me through it. There are forms and worksheets and IRS forms and e-file forms, and I haven't learned the difference between them, when one would be better, which circumstances need a certain one, etc. On my own, so calling tech support for lots of hand holding. They are amazing. Called yesterday to hold my hand while I transmitted my first e-file (federal and two states). Gal talked me through all of it, never leaving the line even when she had to get someone from another department to join us to solve a password problem; so I had TWO of them with me for lots of time. She showed me two ways to do things and how to check up on the returns later. I can't tell you how important tech support is to me on my own, especially since I'm too old to be comfortable with all the computer stuff. I still can't find everything about printing or not printing certain pages and changing order, but the printing is fine with me until I do learn to fine tune it, and I learned a couple of printing features. I really am getting what I pay for, and I have a three-year lock on the price.

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I've used profx too, and checked it out when I went out on my own because that was all I'd ever used....but it is EXPENSIVE!!! (and owned by CCH by the way). but even back in 1999 it did everything. K-1 entry for 'state-if-different' is still something I miss whenever I have to do a K-1 adjustment in ATX.

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Oh, yeah, it's expensive; although, I'm getting it at half price for three years and pay monthly with no interest. I don't know why, as a small company, or something. Based on how many returns I thought I might do -- and I was waaaay too optimistic when I committed myself. But, it's still no more than I'd be paying to hire an assistant. Yes, I was so mad at CCH that I looked at it last (that's why I bought so late and am so low on the learning curve); but the tech support blew me away. I haven't used these features yet, but liked the fact that I can group returns to work with kiddie tax (parents and siblings) and K-1s (partnership and partners). I'd always loved the completeness of ATX, the forms available; but moving W-2s and 1099s to a separate module ruined some of that usefulness for my needs. Drake seemed almost as complete, but wasn't going to be able to handle many of my complex returns. ProSeries Pro looked good, but was going to be almost as expensive as the discounted ProSystem fx; and Lacerte that could handle all my returns was not offering me any discounts. Ultra Tax looked great until I read their support hours -- shorter than other software. Again, being alone, support was high on my list of priorities.

Yes, I'm a she, but answer to almost anything respectful. Guess it should be Lioness, but the nickname Lion goes back to high school and ties to my middle name and sorority mascot and.... And, no, the icon is not me but my stepdaughter in the UConn Marching Band; now she plays baritone horn instead of flute/piccolo.

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The other software companies must be hearing about the dissatification with ATX, I have already started to get calls to demo or use their software for free this year. I ordered the one that called (dont remember who it was) will post after I try it out.

Still like the idea of user owned software.. hopefully the ball is rolling on that.

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Oh, yeah, let's have Mel building a web site while programming new tax prep software and preparing tax returns and raising kids or grandkids and will we let him eat or sleep? I guess, being in Hawaii is vacation enough, so he should work 24/7 just like the rest of us during tax season!

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