Ease of use is still a big concern for CCH during tax season 2005. Last year, the company introduced the worksheet interface for ProSystem fx Tax, to allow users to input data directly onto worksheets and consolidate the information necessary to complete a government form in one location.
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Improvements this year include greater keystroke functionality to simplify data entry for those users who prefer limited use of the mouse; import/export from Worksheet summary grids to and from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets; Government view to Worksheet view context-sensitive links and scrolling has been added between state K-1s, increasing speed in data entry and review.
During the past tax season, the New York-based firm of Hoffberg, Oberfest, Burger & Berger found the worksheet view helpful in completing its 1,300 returns.
"The Worksheet view combines workpaper and estimated paid federal and state taxes all on the same page. This ends up being a major time-saving enhancement for us," says partner Jeffrey Sapper.
To make life even easier for its 20,000 users, CCH has included downloadable permission keys that will allow users the option of accessing their ProSystem fx Tax permission key automatically from a secure location on the tax.cchgroup.com Web site.
Ernest Zoumot, director of software product management for ProSystem fx Tax, notes that the IRS is making a major push for efiling, while an increasing number of states are making efiling mandatory. CCH has added several capabilities to electronic filing to keep up with the trend.
Now, PDF files can be attached to returns filed using the Internal Revenue Service Modernized e-file, and this includes corporations, S corporations, exempt organizations and private foundation returns.
CCH Tax and Accounting |
ProSystem fx Tax
Phone (800) 739-9998
Fax (310) 543-8104
Multi-state processing Unlimited.
Data entry Batch and interactive
Support Method Toll-free telephone, fax, and Web.
Electronic storage PDF files can be stored in ProSystem fx Engagement or ProSystem fx Document.
Electronic filing 1040, 1041, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 5500, and 990 through CCH.
Integrates with the following ProSystem fx office products, Sage CPA Practice and Sage FAS asset management.
New for next year
Integration to ProSystem fx ProfitDriver; PDF files may be attached to returns filed using IRS e-file; electronic filing for Form 990-PF and integration with EstateWorks.
Meanwhile, CCH continues to expand the integration of ProSystem fx Tax with the rest of the ProSystem line and with third-party products. ProSystem fx Tax can now export financial statement data from the tax return to CCH's ProfitDriver to provide what-if analyses.
Users can also import financial statement data from ProSystem fx Write-up into individual tax returns, eliminating double entry of data on Schedule C, E, and F, while the company's Dynalink and Quiklink tools let users import farm and rental property tax lines into a tax return from ProSystem fx Engagement.
Third-party integration includes the ability to import client and tax-related data directly from EstateWorks trust administration software into ProSystem fx Tax estate tax program. Sage FAS integration provides for transfer of asset, depreciation, and disposition information from Sage FAS asset management software to business tax programs.
For last season, the company linked Global fx Tax, its Web-based system, with its desktop applications. For the 2005 software, the company has added the ability to bring in data from spreadsheets.
"People are finally seeing the convenience of remote access, sharing files, and the ability for remote employees to have access during the seasonal crunch," says Zoumot. In fact, CCH has seen interest in Global fx Tax more than double. It currently has about 4,000 users.
"What I like best is that it mirrors the network version, so there was no learning curve. I'm out of the office two days during tax season, and it allows me to access all the information I need," says Sapper, who has used the product for two seasons.