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What are everyone's thoughts on income tax software. I have used Pro Series for years. The last 2 years have been horrible. What are your thoughts on other software?

meoleson
Level 5

I spent some time in the retail side of production agriculture.  When some of the customers would come in with complaints I would ask them what was their major concern.  Quality?  Service?  Price?  I would tell them they could have two out of three and quality and service were usually at the top of the list.  In my opinion Intuit has fallen flat on their face in all three categories the last couple of years, and just wondering what are your thoughts on other available software products that you may have used or been exposed to?

This thread may get me booted. 

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IRonMaN
Level 15

"This thread may get me booted."

I don't think so.  If complaining about Intuit got you booted, nobody would be left here.  I would have been gone years ago.  I agree that it has been a frustrating couple of years.  But overall, they do have one of the better products out there ------------------ once they get the bugs shaken out.  They have been beaten up pretty bad the last couple of years here, but I am willing to give them a chance to "totally redeem themselves" next year (sorry, I've watched Dumb and Dumber too many times).  But to be honest, if they don't right the ship next year, I will probably be evaluating other softwares myself.  Hang in there.  The end is near ---------------- and I mean that in a good way 🙂


Pot Stirrer Gold Medalist - Rio de Janeiro Games

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IRonMaN
Level 15

"This thread may get me booted."

I don't think so.  If complaining about Intuit got you booted, nobody would be left here.  I would have been gone years ago.  I agree that it has been a frustrating couple of years.  But overall, they do have one of the better products out there ------------------ once they get the bugs shaken out.  They have been beaten up pretty bad the last couple of years here, but I am willing to give them a chance to "totally redeem themselves" next year (sorry, I've watched Dumb and Dumber too many times).  But to be honest, if they don't right the ship next year, I will probably be evaluating other softwares myself.  Hang in there.  The end is near ---------------- and I mean that in a good way 🙂


Pot Stirrer Gold Medalist - Rio de Janeiro Games

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rbynaker
Level 11

I think it really depends on your practice.  I have a small practice and just use PPR.  With ProSeries software costs rising ~15% per year I switched a lot of my clients to Drake PPR a few years ago.  It got to the point where 60-70% of what I was billing my "little old ladies in nursing homes" for tax prep was going straight to Intuit.  I switched them to Drake at $20/client (now up to $22 this year) including state returns.  Their bills are lower now and yet I make more money so it was a win-win.

I still do many of my complex returns in ProSeries.  A client making a half-million working for Google with rental properties in 4 states doesn't bat an eyelash at $200 in software costs plus prep fees when the final product is a half-ream of paper.  Don't get me wrong, Drake can probably do the complicated returns too, but Intuit makes the multi-state returns go much smoother than Drake and ProSeries has excellent worksheets when it comes to stock option/grant/rsu/etc.  Even something like a sale of home, ProSeries includes your workpapers as part of the software.  Some things in Drake I have to put into a spreadsheet first and then just enter the results into Drake (like it's a fancy typewriter.)

So I love the Drake price and the customer service is great.  But that can be a double edged sword.  I have to call Drake several times per year just to figure out how to enter ABC so that my Form XYZ has the right numbers in the right boxes.  I have ProSeries software dating back 20+ years and I've never once had to call ProSeries for technical support.  No pun intended, but the software really is intuitive.  It's easy to drill down from the 1040 to where things get entered.  So as long as I know where something is supposed to end up (and it's my job to know this, I'm a paid professional) then I can find out how to get it to show up there pretty easily in ProSeries.

Rick

Jim-from-Ohio
Level 7
Been a customer since 1997, over 20 years..  long time. items I would like to see

- U.S. Based customer support for account issues.. I have had an issue that I have been trying to get addressed for a week now and I get is a line how someone will get back to me.  The Intuit account rep, who I thought was my account rep does has not replied to any emails or phone calls that I left.  An over 20 year customer and I get no reply back none.. If I treated my clients that way I would lose them as a client.  Tax season lasts what, maybe 8 - 9 weeks.  I have several returns on hold as my issue still is not resolved.  When the tax season lasts so short but is so busy quick reply is paramount.

- Early season bugs.  Two schools of thought on this but to go to a dead standstill, on the sidelines to to speak tax prep wise and the flood gates open on January 28 with no live real world testing creates what we saw these past several days, program crashing, errors on forms, users saying they cannot get through to customer support.  At least consideration of some early filers, even if returns are put on hold until official IRS opening date can spot some problems and can be fixed without the crush of all users at one time.

- Two tier phone support... used to be when I called, though I do not call often high likelihood person taking call could address the issue and get a solution.. when i have called lately the person answering has to "consult their resources" then almost all the time realize they cannot address the question and it gets sent to another person

- Direct line to tech support agent, to develop a working relationship instead of this random aspect now.
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TaxGuyBill
Level 15

These are probably my contenders:

  • UltraTax.  Superior software, but more expensive.  It is worksheet-based, so there is a big learning curve.
  • Drake.  The best customer support around and costs less than ProSeries.  Decent software, but the 'flow' takes some getting used to.  I also don't like that you can't see the automatically calculated fields (such as depreciation) directly on the worksheets (you need to go elsewhere to see what those numbers actually are).
  • TaxAct Professional.  Entering data is very similar entry to ProSeries and the software costs noticeably less.  However, (a) it is slightly less automated than ProSeries, (b) is released until much later than ProSeries (but ProSeries is pretty much useless for the first two months anyways), and (c) is still based off of Do-It-Yourself software (TaxAct for consumers, likewise ProSeries is TurboTax based), so the company's priority is towards the consumer version.
  • ATX.  Similar to TaxAct.  Data entry is a bit more annoying, but it is made from a company that focuses on tax professionals, rather than Do-It-Yourselfers.


Here is a discussion from several years ago about it:




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itonewbie
Level 15
For my international returns, ATX is a strong contender in terms of versatility and willingness to negotiate on price.  Agree with Bill one clear advantage is the CCH focuses only on tax professionals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Still an AllStar
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garman22
Level 12
Level 12

I use UltraTax for business so that is the only other software I've even remotely considered using. I would use them as a last resort due to the high price tag and I dont prepare the more complex tax returns. 

I've never given serious thought or even compared others to any degree other than a cursory glance. PS has ALWAYS been perfect for my needs. Plus, I hate change. I agree with IronMan above. I thought last year was an aberration, a toe stub. This year has not started off the best either.....but I will cut them a little slack due to the Tax Reform this year. The support is disappointing for the 2nd straight year. I am not ready to abandon ship yet.......but I feel they need to shore up in certain areas. 

Okay, back to work. 

Accountant-Man
Level 12

I'll be retired before they get it right. Yay.

** I'm still a champion... of the world! Even without The Lounge.
Jim-from-Ohio
Level 7
Been a customer since 1997, over 20 years..  long time. items I would like to see

- U.S. Based customer support for account issues.. I have had an issue that I have been trying to get addressed for a week now and I get is a line how someone will get back to me.  The Intuit account rep, who I thought was my account rep does has not replied to any emails or phone calls that I left.  An over 20 year customer and I get no reply back none.. If I treated my clients that way I would lose them as a client.  Tax season lasts what, maybe 8 - 9 weeks.  I have several returns on hold as my issue still is not resolved.  When the tax season lasts so short but is so busy quick reply is paramount.

- Early season bugs.  Two schools of thought on this but to go to a dead standstill, on the sidelines to to speak tax prep wise and the flood gates open on January 28 with no live real world testing creates what we saw these past several days, program crashing, errors on forms, users saying they cannot get through to customer support.  At least consideration of some early filers, even if returns are put on hold until official IRS opening date can spot some problems and can be fixed without the crush of all users at one time.

- Two tier phone support... used to be when I called, though I do not call often high likelihood person taking call could address the issue and get a solution.. when i have called lately the person answering has to "consult their resources" then almost all the time realize they cannot address the question and it gets sent to another person

- Direct line to tech support agent, to develop a working relationship instead of this random aspect now.
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Katie C
Level 2

Customer service should provide customer service.  Theirs is nonexistent.  I am so UNIMPRESSED with their responses, I will go through the pain of switching to a different tax software company altogether.

 

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sjrcpa
Level 15

The grass may not be greener on the other side.

The only contender for good customer service that I have heard is Drake. And apparently their customers need a lot of it. Also I have heard that since they have new owners the quality of service has declined.

 


ex-AllStar
Katie C
Level 2

Good to know.  I have just recently been looking at their(Drake) demo software.  I like Proseries software for the most part.  DO NOT care for their so called service.  It is a joke.

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Terry53029
Level 12
Level 12

I also have used PS over 20 years, and have never had to call support except for a few account issues. PS is very user friendly, and easy to navigate. The last couple of years have been rocky, but I realize there were a lot of tax issues, and some preparers using other software have had more complaints also the past couple of years. I had been thinking about changing due to high price, but did not want to go through the learning curve. I closed office this year, but will still have about 20 - 30 returns to do, so for 2022 tax season I am sticking with PS, and I believe they will smooth out the rocky parts, and hopefully will improve customer service, maybe even add back chat 

sjrcpa
Level 15

You're quite optimistic.


ex-AllStar