Orrtax's primary focus has always been tax preparation. But now it wants to help its customers run their businesses more efficiently. The new IntelliManager for IntelliTax for Windows is a step in that direction, giving preparers in multi-office environments the ability to manage, control, and administer returns from a central location.
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"By using IntelliManager tax preparers in a multi-office, service bureau, or franchise environment can configure remote office bank, billing, and software information, and process tax returns from a central location. Remote offices download the information configured by IntelliManager and are able to efile independently. It enables central administration and central processing from a single location," says Stuart Lisk, director of product management.
Highlights of the program include the ability to set up, submit, and manage location information for remote offices. Preparers can use IntelliManager to open, edit, and efile tax returns prepared by remote offices, and configure RAL bank information for remote offices to download. It also allows them to establish and reuse multiple billing schedules for both federal and state, configure tax preparation options and send them to remote offices, and report on all remote office IRS efile, filing center, and bank product activity.
"It adds services that weren't available to preparers before and it cuts down on their travel time because they no longer have to visit all their offices," adds Lisk.
For users of IntelliTax Classic, Orrtax is offering ModemNet to enable remote offices to transmit returns to one central location. Classic users will also now be able to efile state returns separate from federal forms. They will also get 2-D barcode support and enhanced reporting. Also, client letters can now include state information. Classic preparers will be able to save and print in a PDF format.
Users of IntelliTax for Windows get those enhancements, along with customizable reports and mailing lists, improved depreciation workflow, a client organizer, and help in the tax modules. Windows users also get the client organizer, previously available with the Classic software.
Virginia Neel, owner of Catoosa, Okla.-based Catoosa Business Services, has been using IntelliTax for Windows since 1997, when she took over her company.
"I was working for H&R Block and they were using the product," says Neel. "I liked the way the screens looked just like the tax forms, and things were calculated for me. I wasn't computer savvy at the time and this was important."
Neel, who files about 300 returns annually, likes the ability to enter tax information via worksheets, and have the data carried to the rest of the program.
Meanwhile, Orrtax has begun serving the Hispanic market, which Orrtax recognizes as a growing segment. The company, which already has more than 100 Spanish-speaking preparers, offers Spanish marketing materials, and dedicated Spanish-speaking support personnel, although the software is not in Spanish.
Materials in Spanish include the interview sheet and a marketing manager document that teaches users how to grow their business. This includes suggestions for how to market electronic filing, along with the inclusion of direct mail pieces and banners in Spanish.
Orrtax will again offer hands-on educational courses in two-day training sessions throughout the country. However, this year, Orrtax Academy will also feature in-depth training through Webinars. "This means clients will be guided through selected topics from the privacy of their own office or home and the convenience of their own PC," says Lisk.
Details are being finalized, but the Webinars are expected to provide instruction on a wide range of topics, including courses in bank products and federal and state efiling.
Orrtax Software Solutions
IntelliTax Classic, and IntelliTax for Windows
HQ: Bellevue, Wash.
Phone: (800) 337-3337
Fax: (425) 372-0072
Software distribution: CD-ROM with updates via Web downloads.
Price: IntelliTax Classic and IntelliTax for Windows are $495.
Pay-per-return: Not Available.
Multi-state processing: Unlimited.
Data entry: Interactive.
Support methods: Telephone, fax, and email.
Electronic storage: Not available.
Electronic filing: Over 75 forms through Orrtax Filing Center.
New for next year: 2-D barcode support, enhanced reporting, and IntelliManager to enable preparers to administer returns in firms with multiple offices. Client Organizer for IntelliTax for Windows.