For Orrtax Software, the focus for the upcoming tax season is pretty straightforward: To have the product out and on time and to enhance efficiency for the tax preparer. "We are focusing on efficiency and operations for the tax preparer," says Mark Dean, director of product management for Orrtax. "The enhancements are to help EROs manage their business and interact with clients."
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Through its software product, called IntelliTax, Orrtax serves a range of clients from small independent tax preparers to multioffice and service bureau clients.
The company, which has been noted by some for its ease of use, features, customer support and price, is aiming to further assist time-crunched and understaffed tax preparers by implementing several new features for the upcoming tax season.
According to Dean, new for the season is Pay Per Return. This enables IntelliTax Individual customers to prepare business returns even if they do not buy the unlimited package. The cost is $100 for the first three and $30 each afterward. It includes Federal and any number of states for the same EIN/SSN.
Also new is the Filing Options Comparison Worksheet. This allows the ERO to manage their customer base by discussing filing options for the prepared return with the client so they understand the costs and processing time, as well as obtaining a PERC or RAL bank product.
The new Tax Estimator, which provides a quick estimate for a client's refund with just a few entries. This feature reduces the amount of time a preparer must spend with clients.
Orrtax can also now auto-generate taxpayer and spouse PINs for e-filing. And the company has made improvements to the client letter, enabling the ERO to further customize the letter with a graphic logo and a client referral coupon.
Dean also states that the company has bundled its software and is no longer selling the products a la carte. The company now offers IntelliTax Essentials for preparers offering primarily Federal 1040 and state individual returns; IntelliTax Expert for preparers offering corporate and partnership returns in addition to individual 1040 and state returns; and IntelliTax Enterprise, which includes individual, business and IntelliManager.
Those preparers using Orrtax's IntelliManager, suited for multioffice firms, can now move returns from one remote office to another.
What Frank Ewing II, EA, president of Grapevine, Texas-based Fast Refunds, finds especially beneficial about the product is its ease of use.
"I have been using the Orrtax Software program since 1990. Before Orrtax, I used TurboTax," says Ewing. "What I find especially beneficial about the software is the ease of operation. It has a logical flow to it and I have experienced excellent customer support."
Ewing did note that he would like to see additional search of database criteria added to the program.
Ewing says his firm has about 1,100 clients, and he also act as a service bureau for seven tax offices, supplying software and computer support to these sites. Between all of these locations, Ewing's offices serve about 8,000 clients ranging from the bilingual market to small corporations.
Training its users also is important to Orrtax. Last year, the company established the online "Orrtax Academy" for its clients. The online training enables users to train at their own offices.
And in September, Orrtax expanded the online offering by adding IntelliTax Individual online training to its Business Tools Portal. The Orrtax Academy also offers hands-on, classroom-style training, Webcasts and online tutorials for its clients.
HQ Bellevue, Wash.
Phone (800) 337-3337
Web site www.orrtax.com
Federal 1040 price (first year) $995 with seasonal discounts available.
Pay-per-return Available for business returns.
Multistate processing Unlimited.
Support methods Telephone, email, online knowledgebase.
Tax season support hours 2 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday-Friday; 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday; 4 a.m. to noon ET Sunday.
Document management/storage N/A
Client portals N/A
Online organizer N/A
Integration IntelliTax Business.
New for next year Pay-per-return; Filing Options Comparison Worksheet; Tax Estimator; auto-generation of PINS for e-filing; and enhancements to the client letter.