Street Talk: Reader Views

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What is the biggest improvement you would like to see in the tax software you or your clients use? The biggest improvement would be in terms of seamless sharing between local staff, remote staff, and clients. This involves an integrated tax, accounting, practice management, Web, document management, workflow tracking, time keeping, billing, communication, and shared computer systems. So far, only Creative Solutions has this. But CSI has increased prices more. My clients would be unhappy at the substantial extra money Creative requires. Therefore, I want better integration between ProSeries, Intuit's Client Manager, and Microsoft Outlook.

Mike Block

BlockTax RealTime Accounting

Partner Insights

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

I would like improved speed on network versions of software. We use Creative Solutions. It is a great program, but the network version is much slower than desktop, especially when switching between depreciation entry and other tax data entry. Software firms really need to get together standardization of database files. Everyone wants you to use their proprietary add-on programs, but all CPA firms will always deal with multiple software platforms. The software companies must standardize certain database fields across platforms to make it much quicker to set up a new tax client in all systems.

Bert Doerhoff

Bert Doerhoff CPA

Jefferson City, Mo.

I would like a locking feature for the return in order to freeze it as filed. Once locked, the return could only be unlocked with an administrative password. Without it being unlocked, you could open the return to look or calculate next year's taxes, but no changes could be made to the filed return.

Terry Rivers

Rivers & Co.

Warner Robins, Ga.

We would like to see the software (ProSeries) come up with an alert that would notify us every morning or evening about any tax returns that were e-filed, but rejected by the IRS. It would also be nice to have any letters that are written through the software to be in Word format. That would make it MUCH easier to work with and edit.

Kelvin B. Porter

Foothill Business Services

Palmdale, Calif.

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The ability to link our electronic calendar to the tax program. It would be nice to have a Web feature where the client could have a log-on to find out where their reurn was in the process once it was filed electronically.

Lynn Pasqualetti

HLM Accounting & Tax

Dacatur, Ga.

The biggest improvement that could be made to our tax return software does not actually involve the preparation of the tax returns. We would like to see a list or letter produced containing tax planning suggestions based on information provided in the tax preparation software. For example, if a client's information includes a very profitable sole proprietorship business, the tax planning list or letter could include a suggestion to incorporate and elect S status to reduce self-employment/Social Security taxes. Sometimes during busy season, when the actual preparation of the returns is a priority, tax planning topics are overlooked. Such a list or letter would be helpful.

Robert J. Blankman

RBSK Partners

Greensburg, Ind.

We would like the tax software to be more compatible with the Microsoft Office Suite. This includes such features as Outlook for quick emails to a group of clients chosen by tax issues (such as quarterly estimated payments) or allowing an Excel spreadsheet to be imported into Schedule D for stock transactions.

Mary Jane Reyes

Virginia Society of Enrolled Agents, Northern Virginia

Chapter, Richmond, Va.

The input of information from third-party reports (particularly various 1099 forms) is the most time-consuming and is also the area of tax return preparation that is the most subject to error. So, we think that improved ability to accurately scan such documents for data entry would have the biggest impact. It would ease the data entry burden, improve accuracy, and reduce subsequent inquiries from the IRS.

Robert Cross

Cross Business Services

Wheatland, Wyo.

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