Intuit's goal with this tax season's edition of Pro-Series is to save professionals one minute on each return, rather than seconds on just a few. "We want our preparers who offer both tax and accounting services to spend as little time on taxes as they possibly can," says David Kramer, group product manager for ProSeries. It also doesn't hurt that Intuit offered it's 55,500 users who signed up by June 30 a three-year freeze on pricing.
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Time-saving features include K-1 import into the 1040 returns, electronic filing of 1120 and 1120S, and an employee identification number database. Once an EIN is entered into the program, it will be automatically saved for future use. Also added to the program are a print preview option, print customization, a client analyzer, and an integrated document management system.
Users can now pick and choose what forms they wish to print. "We took a list of more than 800 forms and consolidated them into 10 groups. For example, it used to take 83 clicks to print a short organizer, now it only takes one," Kramer adds.
Preparers can also customize print jobs for individual clients and can choose which forms to print or not. The preview option will also allow users to review forms onscreen.
Meanwhile, the client analyzer helps preparers provide better customer service. Preparers will now be able to identify clients that meet certain criteria for tax planning and marketing purposes.
Steve Brooks, owner of Stroudsburg, Pa.-based Brooks E*Tax Services, has used the ProSeries product for five years and appreciates it for its ease of use and cost competitiveness. In fact, he recommends the product to other accountants due to its pay-as-you-go option.
HQ Plano, Texas
Phone (800) 934-1040
Fax (800) 685-7036
Price Starts at $949.
Pay-per-return 1040, $15; state package, $11.
Multi-state processing Unlimited.
Data entry Batch and interview.
Support methods Toll-free telephone, fax, and Web.
Electronic storage Pro-Series Document Management System.
Electronic filing 1040 and all efileable individual states; 1120 and 1120S and selected states.
Integrates with the following QuickBooks, ProSeries Document Management, Forms Library, Research Library, Fixed Asset Manager, QuickBooks Client Analyzer, and Intuit EasyAcct.
New for next year
ProSeries Document Management System, Client Analyzer, K-1 import into 1040 returns, and electronic filing of 1120 and 1120S.
In addition, features such as the client analyzer "make the product stand-out. The client analyzer will allow me to take everything that has to do with my clients and download everything onto my PDA. It's great to personalize my services, and customers know I care," says Brooks.
Integration with ProSeries Document Management System is available and costs $450. The system enables preparers to save and store electronic documents of all kinds and scan non-electronic documents into individual client folders. DMS helps with record keeping/referencing, sharing documents in the office, and sending documents to banks and clients.
Last season, Intuit introduced ProSeries Express and Basic for smaller, more seasonal cost-conscious users. As of April, the Express edition had 3,900 firm users and Basic had 8,800 firm users. The print enhancements that apply to the Professional edition also apply to Express and the integrated document management system is also available. The Express edition is priced at $795 with a three-state bundle and $895 for a network version. New features include early instant refund anticipation loans, and multiple EFIN support, which allows customers to transmit returns and receive acknowledgements under multiple EFINs with a single licensed copy of the product. Users can also customize client's letters to include their logo and print the logo on their invoices.
The Basic edition in-cludes functionality such as a final review feature, which ensures accuracy by scanning returns for missed deductions and errors; printing customization; and the ability to select state forms within the product and not when ordering. The ProSeries Basic 50-return suite starts at $250.