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Pricing for ATX # of Users is changing


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I don't know why those with high volume would want to use ATX.  I'm a one person office so it fits my needs very well. 

 

Price, silly.   Because the low cost of the ATX product is attractive, even when they've had to go out and purchase new machines and additional hard drives to run that program that, when in actuality they could raise the price of each existing return by $5-10 and more than cover the cost (and then some!) of a more stable higher-end program that would probably make them faster or more efficient too and would allow for growth of their practice.

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Not just the price.  ATX has always had more forms than any other single tax software package.  For one price you got not only tax but also payroll, OIC, sales tax forms, Franchise tax forms, LLC, etc

Don't forget about on form entry and the former bunny hop (now green arrow).  I would have gone to Drake a couple years ago if not for this feature.  No one else has this entry method in a program wit

You make a great point.  Everybody has a different way of processing a return.  One is not necessarily better than another, just different.  I came to ATX after 5 seasons with Proseries, so I was very

Not just the price.  ATX has always had more forms than any other single tax software package.  For one price you got not only tax but also payroll, OIC, sales tax forms, Franchise tax forms, LLC, etc.  A fantastic option for not only tax offices but law firms, etc.  

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Not just the price.  ATX has always had more forms than any other single tax software package.  For one price you got not only tax but also payroll, OIC, sales tax forms, Franchise tax forms, LLC, etc.  A fantastic option for not only tax offices but law firms, etc.  

I agree.  Where I worked in a large "Day Job" Corporation Tax Department we used RIA Thomson OneSource very expensove $35K per year.  It still did not have all the forms you need as MAX, especially if you file Annual Reports, Merger documents, Amended Returns (A lot of "X" forms not available, but available with MAX). US Residency Applications. etc.

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I agree, price and forms.  But I still wonder with a high volume, multiple user office, why they wouldn't want a more powerful and stable program.  They should have the revenue to support the higher end programs.  But I also realize the big guys are raising their prices higher and higher too.

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I agree, price and forms.  But I still wonder with a high volume, multiple user office, why they wouldn't want a more powerful and stable program.  They should have the revenue to support the higher end programs.  But I also realize the big guys are raising their prices higher and higher too.

Don't forget about on form entry and the former bunny hop (now green arrow).  I would have gone to Drake a couple years ago if not for this feature.  No one else has this entry method in a program with all the forms that ATX has.

 

It is price, and it is forms (PR forms especially), but it is also entry method.  It is intuitive to me to be able to look at the 1040 and say "I need some data there...the client told me something that should go in that box.  Now why isn't it there?"  Then I click on the Green Arrow and go looking for the way I should enter that data.

 

Tom

Newark, CA

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Don't forget about on form entry and the former bunny hop (now green arrow).  I would have gone to Drake a couple years ago if not for this feature.  No one else has this entry method in a program with all the forms that ATX has.

 

It is price, and it is forms (PR forms especially), but it is also entry method.  It is intuitive to me to be able to look at the 1040 and say "I need some data there...the client told me something that should go in that box.  Now why isn't it there?"  Then I click on the Green Arrow and go looking for the way I should enter that data.

 

Tom

Newark, CA

 

Absolutely!!!!

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Don't forget about on form entry and the former bunny hop (now green arrow).  I would have gone to Drake a couple years ago if not for this feature.  No one else has this entry method in a program with all the forms that ATX has.

 

It is price, and it is forms (PR forms especially), but it is also entry method.  It is intuitive to me to be able to look at the 1040 and say "I need some data there...the client told me something that should go in that box.  Now why isn't it there?"  Then I click on the Green Arrow and go looking for the way I should enter that data.

 

Tom

Newark, CA

Positively!!  This is the method preferred by those that know more about tax returns than which worksheet the numbers go in.  It is intuitive to see a number on the return and be able to jump to the input rather than the other way around as in Drake and most other so called "high end" tax softwares.

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I agree with Bulldog Tom, mcb39 and Jack from Ohio.  I have had Drake for two years (paid for it, am I crazy?).  I tried to get into Drake more.  I wanted to give it a try.  I'm sure it's a good program and once you're used to it, it is good.  But I prefer ATX.  I have the Total Tax package.  I'm used to it.  It's much more intuitive.  More forms, payroll, tax research.  All handy in one program.  I will renew ATX again but not Drake again.  I'll just live with the slow reaction time of ATX.  My volume isn't that great.  The pros just outweigh the slowness of the program.

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I have the opposite view. I understand the attraction of forms entry, but it's a vastly overrated Bell & Whistle with no practical advantage. But Bells & Whistles don't earn you money - program speed is the only thing which levels that playing field. It's no harder to use data sheet entry than forms entry, but there is a steep initial learning curve while one learns where the data resides. It's really just a matter of training the mind & hands and breaking ingrained habits. As people wed to routine, that is a difficult barrier for many tax preparers. Once you reach some degree of sotware transparency, switching from data sheet to forms and back is only an extra mouse click - hardly the Herculean task so many pretend it to be.

Incidentally, when I speak of program speed, I'm speaking of other things in addition to data entry. There is speed of updates, speed of backups, speed in opening and closing returns, speed of customerr service on those rare occasions when it is needed. Nothing I've seen comes anywhere near Drake in all of those areas and in this price range. I'm not implying there's anything wrong with ATX - it just doesn't measure up to Drake where I think it counts the most. Its only advantage is the large number of forms available - I'm expecting that to change over time as well.

Edited by JohnH
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I have the opposite view. I understand the attraction of forms entry, but it's a vastly overrated Bell & Whistle with no practical advantage. But Bells & Whistles don't earn you money - program speed is the only thing which levels that playing field. It's no harder to use data sheet entry than forms entry, but there is a steep initial learning curve while one learns where the data resides. It's really just a matter of training the mind & hands and breaking ingrained habits. As people wed to routine, that is a difficult barrier for many tax preparers. Once you reach some degree of sotware transparency, switching from data sheet to forms and back is only an extra mouse click - hardly the Herculean task so many pretend it to be.

Incidentally, when I speak of program speed, I'm speaking of other things in addition to data entry. There is speed of updates, speed of backups, speed in opening and closing returns, speed of customerr service on those rare occasions when it is needed. Nothing I've seen comes anywhere near Drake in all of those areas and in this price range. I'm not implying there's anything wrong with ATX - it just doesn't measure up to Drake where I think it counts the most. Its only advantage is the large number of forms available - I'm expecting that to change over time as well.

I wholly disagree.  Speed is #4 or #5 on my list of priorities when preparing a return.  Accuracy and completeness are #1 & #2.  My pricing reflects my attitudes in this area.

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That's irrelevant. Accuracy and completeness are not operational issues - they are simply a necessary pre-requisite for any acceptable softtware program. Speed is where you make money or lose it by wasting time operationally. You're trying to support an illogical argument - that dog won't hunt.

Edited by JohnH
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It's impossible to see and feel the difference in speed without being proficient on both and having used them.  Drake definitely beats ATX in speed in all of the areas that John mentioned.  It rarely crashes or has problems with printing letters and sets and such that users of other software complain of. 

 

There is a learning curve which I didn't have much trouble with. Other users might, especially those that *need* that bunny hop or green arrow.  I know Tom mentioned that he likes and used that, but in his instance he mentioned that he recognizes a spot where an entry is needed and the arrow takes him there. Drake will do that in forms entry mode as well by having the links on the form.  That being said, Drake software will not hand hold the preparer that uses those bunny hops as a crutch as a replacement for truly not knowing what one is doing when preparing a return. I'd hope that all here are above that skill level, but unfortunately I see questions on a variety of tax forums that leave me wondering at times about the skills and knowledge of some preparers, and I'm not talking about asking for some reassurance either, because many of us get tired and do that at times.

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JM, are you using ATX MAX?  How much do they charge for the extra user?   Maybe you should consider purchasing the Total Tax office package that includes up to 5 users and would give you the research package too.  I used MAX for years and then found that purchasing TTO actually saved me some money because I was able to eliminate other research products I was purchasing separately.

Yes I bought MAX. I didn't understand the other options. Thanks, I'll check into when I renew!

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I received my quote for renewing my 2015 1040 Office Package today with a price of just under $1,000 (compared to 2014's price of just under $900).  So an increase of about $100.  The main difference between the two years was that the current package allows for unlimited efiles.  The renewal includes 175 "free" efiles and any subsequent efile over 175 (for federal/state combo returns) will cost $5 per combo.. I need to call my rep and discuss this further but wanted you to know what the quote reflected.  

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I have the opposite view. I understand the attraction of forms entry, but it's a vastly overrated Bell & Whistle with no practical advantage. But Bells & Whistles don't earn you money - program speed is the only thing which levels that playing field. It's no harder to use data sheet entry than forms entry, but there is a steep initial learning curve while one learns where the data resides. It's really just a matter of training the mind & hands and breaking ingrained habits. As people wed to routine, that is a difficult barrier for many tax preparers. Once you reach some degree of sotware transparency, switching from data sheet to forms and back is only an extra mouse click - hardly the Herculean task so many pretend it to be.

Incidentally, when I speak of program speed, I'm speaking of other things in addition to data entry. There is speed of updates, speed of backups, speed in opening and closing returns, speed of customerr service on those rare occasions when it is needed. Nothing I've seen comes anywhere near Drake in all of those areas and in this price range. I'm not implying there's anything wrong with ATX - it just doesn't measure up to Drake where I think it counts the most. Its only advantage is the large number of forms available - I'm expecting that to change over time as well.

You make a great point.  Everybody has a different way of processing a return.  One is not necessarily better than another, just different.  I came to ATX after 5 seasons with Proseries, so I was very familiar with the data sheet method.  I liked Proseries, and I would have stayed, but I just could not stomach the price. 

 

The learning curve from Proseries to ATX was very short.  It took me 2 seasons to get good at using Proseries (I did not have a lot of clients, so I had plenty of time to work with the software).  It took about 10 returns to get used to ATX. 

 

The thing that I learned when first starting tax prep work was to review the final return and make sure you had everything in the right place.  You had to know what the expected outcome of the return was, and then double check your input against the source documents.  I can do that with ATX on the screen, and make corrections so much more quickly in ATX than I ever could in Proseries.  When in Proseries I had to work from what was essentially a PDF on the screen, then go out, go to the data sheet, make the change, go back to the print preview, check it again, etc. 

 

I find the ATX interaction much faster for the way I prepare and review.  It is a personal choice.

 

Tom

Newark, CA

Edited by BulldogTom
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Just got off the phone with my rep at ATX.  According to her, the current renewal prices that are being quoted are the lowest prices of the year as they include the 10% discount.  The price will not go lower and there will actually be a price increase in December.  I recognize some have indicated that they were able to negotiate better pricing than what was quoted and that may continue to be the case.  I'm simply relaying what I was told.  In addition, PPR pricing will increase to $54 from the current $25 for personal and $35 for business returns. 

 

I'm leaning toward renewing with Max from my current 1040 Office Package. 

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I like to check my numbers as I go.  From the old paper and pencil days; I know where a number is supposed to go when I enter it on a form.  I generally check to see if it went there as I go; such as, did putting in the retirement savings cause the savers credit to populate.  I have always been happy with ATX and form entry and depend on the jump to arrows because I know where I am supposed to jump too.  I agree that the most important part of creating a return is checking the numbers and location of the numbers on the printed return before filing.   BTW:  I had my first identity theft return for the year last night.  Hope and pray that it will be the last.

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You make a great point.  Everybody has a different way of processing a return.  One is not necessarily better than another, just different.  I came to ATX after 5 seasons with Proseries, so I was very familiar with the data sheet method.  I liked Proseries, and I would have stayed, but I just could not stomach the price. 

 

The learning curve from Proseries to ATX was very short.  It took me 2 seasons to get good at using Proseries (I did not have a lot of clients, so I had plenty of time to work with the software).  It took about 10 returns to get used to ATX. 

 

The thing that I learned when first starting tax prep work was to review the final return and make sure you had everything in the right place.  You had to know what the expected outcome of the return was, and then double check your input against the source documents.  I can do that with ATX on the screen, and make corrections so much more quickly in ATX than I ever could in Proseries.  When in Proseries I had to work from what was essentially a PDF on the screen, then go out, go to the data sheet, make the change, go back to the print preview, check it again, etc. 

 

I find the ATX interaction much faster for the way I prepare and review.  It is a personal choice.

 

Tom

Newark, CA

Today, with multiple monitors that process is easier, but still, like you, I like ATX better.  

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On a good day, I can have 3 open.  Joint and both separates.  Makes it a breeze... 

 

How many other software packages allow up to 3 returns open at the same time?

Drake has allowed this for years, with no appparent slowing down of the software when running multiple returns windows.

 

In fact, right now I have 5 2014 returns open, all screaming along.

Edited by joelgilb
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  • 3 weeks later...

I couldn't figure it out on the ATX site so I emailed my contact and got this reply:

 

This year you have the ability to purchase user license bundles. You can purchase 1 License for $99 or 5 Licenses for $299. You can buy the 2 additional Licenses for $198 but you get a better deal by adding 5 Licenses for $299. Just let your account manager know which direction you would like to go in.

This is a nice savings for me because I was paying about $600 for unlimited licenses.

 

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Drake has allowed this for years, with no appparent slowing down of the software when running multiple returns windows.

 

In fact, right now I have 5 2014 returns open, all screaming along.

​I can have 3 returns open in the same screen.  Not multiple copies of the program running, which is the only way Drake will do that.  I simply click the tab to change returns.  PRICELESS for those of us in Ohio.  MFJ and both MFS open at the same time.

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