In one way, there's not much difference between CCH's goals for the TaxWise and ATX packages, they are marketing through its Small Firms Division. "We have been focused on creating an integrating suite so that the tax professionals don't have to rekey the data," notes Gene Goldenberg, the vice president of marketing for the division.
Like what you see? Click here to sign up for Accounting Today's daily newsletter to get the latest news and behind the scenes commentary you won't find anywhere else.
For example, the Fixed Assets Manager, which has been designed for both tax preparation programs, is designed to make maintaining assets easier in the TaxWise tax prep program.
"If you put an asset in the tax return and change it, the next time you export it to Fixed Assets Manager, they are reconciled, because they are using the same depreciation schedule."
The system operates the same for both tax programs and "the user interface is virtually the same except when it comes to integrating with the tax programs," he continues.
Preparers with a high volume of individual returns continue to be major users of TaxWise, which offers its TaxWise ProFiling Package to this market. The bundle includes TaxWise Individual, which offers several 1040 forms, along with TaxWise 1040 for all states with a personal income tax.
For those handling business returns, there is the ProBusiness Package, with the federal 1120/1120S and 1065 forms and TaxWise state business software for one to three states.
The TaxWise ProBusiness and Specialty Package adds on the 1041, 706, 709, 990 and 5500 forms to the ProBusiness package, along with the companion state and business specialty modules.
Carlis Abney of Vicksburg, Miss., who has been using the 1040 program since 2003, put the company's support services among the most appealing features of the TaxWise line.
"They are very good on support," says Abney, who has a three-person staff year round at Taylors Audit & Tax Service, and adds two other staff members during tax season.
Abney switched to TaxWise after her prior package, TaxByte, had been purchased by Drake Software. She chose TaxWise because she felt its screens more closely resembled the paper returns.
Although Abney's firm implemented TaxWise prior to its purchase by CCH, the acquisition, she says, was very smooth. "I didn't see any difference," she says.
Abney tried the company's Scan & Fill software during the last year, but didn't implement the program simply because she needed a better scanner.
"It's taking the time to learn something new," she comments. However, this year, she plans to try the product, which has a new engine.
This year, she says she would be quickly interested if the product would support the W-2Gs, which are used by the riverboat casinos in the Vicksburg area. For returns involving the casino business, the W-2Gs can come in stacks four-inches high she says.
"It would be a tremendous boost," she says. Beyond that, Abney is interested in document management because her office is running out of room for storing paper.
Meanwhile, TaxWise is also increasing its efforts to reach preparers with Spanish-speaking customers. The TaxWise Web site offers a description of the products and services of TaxWise Puerto Rico in Spanish.
Goldenberg notes that all of the company's marketing materials, which are useful for areas in which practitioners offer a lot of bank products and serve walk-in clientele.
TaxWise also has Spanish television and radio advertisements and provides Spanish versions of its warrantee program.
HQ Rome, Ga.
Phone (800) 755-9473
Web site www.taxwise.com
Federal 1040 price (first year) $595 (federal 1040 only); $1,032 (federal 1040 and all states)
Renewal $476 (federal 1040 only); $826 (federal 1040 and all states)
Pay-per-return price $300 minimum (20 returns including e-file); $15 (additional returns including e-file)
10 states simultaneously
Support methods Toll-free phone and email
Support hours M-F 7:30 am to midnight ET; Sat. 8:30 am to 6 pm ET; Sun. 1 pm to 4 pm
Document management TaxWise Document Management; TaxWise Scan&Fill
Client portals N/A.
Internet capabilities Embedded online links to knowledge base help files; email capabilities.
Online organizer N/A.
Bank products. Instant RALs, RALS, RACs, electronic fund transfers and FeeCollect, for professionals to deduct their fees from the client's refund and deposit to the professional.
New for next year Expanded business form e-filing, improved client organizer and client manager