What Types of Tax Softwares Should Freelance Accountants Use
By Christian Ortega, Content Writer
If you’re starting off as a freelance accountant for the first time, there may be several questions storming through your head. None should be more important than figuring out what kind of tax software you should use for your business. Before you figure out where you’ll work, your branding, and how to find customers, you need to figure out what you’ll use to manage your clients’ taxes and bookkeeping.
There are countless tax softwares to choose from. While they all revolve around the same principles, they’re each different whether it’s because of the cost, complexity, and what types of taxes can be filed from the software. We’re cutting out some of the hard parts by providing you with some descriptions of tax software.
- Intuit's Lacerte Tax is a robust tax preparation tool. It is designed to meet the demands of both individual taxpayers and business clients to provide a smooth tax filing procedure. Lacerte provides consumers with tailored packages based on their unique needs, which include:
- Lacerte 200 Federal 1040: For preparing up to 200 federal tax returns individually.
- Lacerte Unlimited Modules are a collection of Lacerte's most popular modules. For an unlimited number of personal and business tax returns
- Lacerte REP: Lacerte Pay-as-you-go price for limited tax returns filing
- Lacerte is known for its user-friendliness with a unique interface that allows filing to be quick and easy. Lacerte's tax software includes approximately 5,700 forms, allowing it to service a wide range of clients and enterprises. Multi-state, K-1s, and other features are supported. 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 706, 709, 990, and 5500 are among the tax form modules available.
- Lacerte also allows you to immediately import tax data from Excel or CSV files into the Schedule D form, removing the need for human data entry. Furthermore, 1099 and W-2 information may be downloaded straight into the tax return from the banking institution.
- Missing Client Data utility tool is a built-in tool in Lacerte software that identifies fields with missing information and send requests to the clients for the required information and documents. Missing Client Data tool saves time and speeds up the tax filing process by reducing the hassle of tracking down client data.
- Some cons associated with Lacerte are their lack of free trials and packages, and the way some forms are reported along with tax summaries need improvement.
CCH Axcess Tax
- CCH Axcess Tax is designed for more complex tax returns, and offers complete cloud accessibility, with a mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices.
- CCH was updated to include more state filing forms including Forms 461, 965, 8991, 8992, 8993, 8994, and 8995.
- CCH Axcess Tax has a user interface that is simple to use and navigate, with a ribbon-style toolbar that will be familiar to Microsoft Office users. The Rapid Access toolbar may be tailored to individual accountant's needs, and the dashboard provides quick access to all connected projects, activities, and client documents. Furthermore, the improved Return Manager allows users to simply tailor the on-screen display to just reveal elements that are required. When a return requires attention, users will be notified immediately.
- Individual, Corporation, Partnership, Fiduciary, Employee Plans, and Non-Profit are among the five return types offered by CCH Axcess, which employs color-coded data entry to make it easier to distinguish between them. CCH Axcess also supports multiple screens, allowing tax preparers to examine numerous screens at once while working on a return.
- CCH Axcess Tax provides full e-filing support for all forms, including federal, state, and local returns. Users may monitor the status of all e-filed returns, as well as examine notifications and rejections, with ease.
- Some cons associated with CCH Axcess Tax are that the software is not easy to install and begin operating and that there have been instances where users’ Microsoft Suite locked up.
- ProSeries is best suited for individuals looking for software that can prepare both personal and business returns for clients.
- ProSeries Tax presently has two plans: Basic, which is for businesses that just file 1040 forms, and Professional, which is for businesses that need to prepare both personal and company returns. The ProSeries Basic plan does not yet provide cloud access; however, for a price, the Professional plan may be accessed on the cloud.
- Client management tools in ProSeries Tax include a client advisor, which provides over 70 tax planning recommendations; a client presentation tool, which allows users to create visually appealing charts and graphs for clients; and a tax planner feature, which allows firms to create a variety of scenarios for clients for future tax years. ProSeries Tax enables multi-year e-filing, and the client status function allows users to keep track of the status of all of their clients.
- More than 3,600 forms and schedules are supported by ProSeries Tax, including the US form 1040 and associated schedules, as well as limitless returns for all states that need filing. Additionally, the tool supports an infinite number of federal and state business returns, including forms 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, and 990.
- Some cons of using ProSeries are that users have experienced poor support, and some users experienced difficulty using the software’s cloud storage.
- TaxAct is a dependable and thorough tax preparation service with a big potential audience of taxpayers, particularly W-2 earners who wish to itemize their deductions The firm has improved the user experience and increased current features since our last assessment.
- TaxAct’s biggest selling point is being a simple-to-use solution for relatively easy tax filing. It “interviews” you to understand the most out of the return you’re filing so that you can get the most information filed as easily as possible.
- Some accountants enjoyed TaxAct’s ability to important documents and data easily. The software is compatible with several tax forms and allows you to easily flip between each depending on what needs to be included in your client’s return. The software also includes a loan and savings calculator. Also, the refund or amount owed is constantly visible on screen, updating automatically so you know your clients' moment-to-moment tax situation.
- Some cons associated with TaxAct are that because the software was designed to be affordable, it lacks the robust features competing software contain. Similar to other software, users have experienced poor customer support when using TaxAct.