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Finally switching to Drake

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After 30 years of using ProSeries along with ATX until 2012 and then ProSeries alone through tax yar 2017, I am finally ready to make the switch to Drake.  I have attended their seminars for the last two years and loaded up and played with the Demo, but have always gone back to ProSeries because of the deep discount they gave me on the most expensive package which brought it down to about $300 more than Drake from a list price of $6200.  In 2018 the long waits on the phone and lack of instant chat and the overall ATTITUDE of the company (ProSeriesn not Drake) has really turned me off.  I have downloaded the 2017 Demo, converted my 2016 files to 2017, and I am now reworking the 2017 returns in Drake and comparing them to the 2017 ProSeries returns.  So far I am having pretty good success in learning the input screens, and I LOVE the macros and the amount of program control that I have.  The only item I don't like so far is that I cannot see the depreciation on a schedule C or E without leaving the input screen and going into the View mode and then back again to the input screen to continue.  Is there a reason that Drake does not put the calculated values for Depreciation or Auto expense or 1099-MISC values on the C and E input screens?

Also, do any of you "old timers" have any tricks that helped you convert from form based to input screen entry?  So far I have done about a dozen or so 2017 returns in Drake to compare them to the Pro Series returns that I filed for 2017 and I hope to do another 150 or so during the off season, but I am open to any suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

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Congratulations and welcome to the club!  

Drake tends to try to group like items together, so that might be why instead of putting depreciation directly on C or E, instead they hot-link from those pages to the 4562 input screen.  It annoyed me as well, at first (I switched during the 2012 debacle) but then I had to trace some depreciation between a couple of rental properties (I forget why) and it was SO much easier having them all together.  

As for the input screen entry - every year the input screens become more and more like the forms we get from our clients.  And remember that in any input field you can make a break-out list by hitting CTRL-W in the filed and it will give you a worksheet list.  Great for charity, or tracing property tax payments from HUD-1's, or anywhere you want more detail.

While I was not crazy about having to "View" the return every time I wanted to check something, once I realized that Drake would calculate and go to view significantly faster than ATX (back in 2012, at least) would swap screens, I was appeased.  A year or three back they added the look-back from View mode to see where it's drawing info, if something doesn't look right.  Better than the jump-to-bunny that used to take me in circles sometimes!

Always check how depreciation figures converted - no matter what software or what direction, those are always the weak point.

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Thanks, Catherine!  How long did it take you to get comfortable with Drake after ATX--2 weeks, 1 month, etc?

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I don't quite remember, but it wasn't very long.  Facile came first; comfort followed (when I started automatically going to the right screen, instead of having to think which it was).

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Thanks Catherine.  I prepare about 60% of my returns during the clients' appointment, and I don't want to appear to be fumbling around with the program while they are here.  It doesn't inspire confidence, if you know what I mean :)

 

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Tell 'em you have a new keyboard and the spacing is a little different - it's astounding how tentative that can make you!  (As I know from experience.)

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I switched about 3 months ago, cold turkey, after being with ATX for about 20 years.

After two days, I was pulling my hair and cursing frequently. The layout and logic is very different.

After 1 week, I was saying, OK I can survive this.

After 1 month, I was happy that I made the change , although there are certain Drake functions that are more opaque than ATX.

After playing with Drake's forms  option, I quickly switched to learning where everything is with Drake's input approach.

One thing I will say that Drake  software for my state of Oregon is more in depth, significantly better than ATX.

After I catch up with my CPE this month, I was planning to share my observations of Drake vs ATX.

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Are there any users on this board who were previously with Ultra Tax who switched to Drake?

I've been a (very satisfied) Ultra Tax user since the early 2000s when Microvision sold out to Ultra Tax.

Ultra Tax is a fine product, their tech support is excellent which is why I stayed there so long, but this year I think their price is out of sight.

Drake is my first consideration right now and I do like the idea of using the 2017 program now and getting experience using the program by entering my 2017 data for my clients' returns rather than depending on the conversion program to do it all. I do remember when switching from Microvision to Ultra Tax, I did have problems with carryover of depreciation amounts and carryover losses of passive activity losses.

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Actually, I was very pleased with the ATX to Drake conversion.

There were a few things that didn't come across.

There were other things that Drake prompts your to confirm.

Depreciation was my biggest concern, so I was satisfied that all the assets came across.

However a number of depreciation parameters/categories didn't convert, so I had to go thru each asset to double check things

and correct a number of selections/parameters,  In my opinion, Drake's Depreciation is a noticeable improvement over the ATX Depreciation Module.

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Evan, our office uses UltraTax  on a "pay-per-return" basis. We have one or two big clients with big depreciation schedules and it would be a nightmare to convert.

That being said, UT lost a LOT of utility when they discontinued CSA and forced everybody to ACS. My big client switched to QuickBooks, believe it or not, and so far, it's working as well as CSA ever did (!!!!) for a LOT less money.

I predict that UT will, one day, say that you will use the cloud or begone. As big as Thomson Reuters is we accountants are a "spit in the ocean" for them.

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I didn't use Ultra Tax for any other program than the tax program - not payroll, not accounting - nothing.

I'm surprised though, that this forum doesn't have an Ultra Tax forum like this one for Drake.

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