More Debits & Credits Posts

CCH SFS Deals with Problems in ATX Upgrade

February 4, 2013

A number of customers of CCH Small Firm Services have been complaining about problems with the latest version of the company’s ATX professional tax software, and the company said it has been working to address the bugs.

One reader wrote to Accounting Today that "the program released in early December was essentially inoperable, but an update promised in early January was supposed to fix the problem.  It helped very little.  Another update released today has increased the number of crashes reported on the ATX user message board."

Accounting Today also received another comment from a CPA last week who reported, "The 2012 ATX software continues to crash. I’m not able to complete any returns today and still can’t efile a return completed yesterday.  ATX has not posted a solution or even acknowledged the problem. I’d be more than happy to provide more specifics. I’m sure you understand how stressful this situation is to ATX users."

Other ATX users have also been reporting problems in comments left on Accounting Today (see Tax Preparers Struggle with Software Glitches).

Accounting Today contacted CCH SFS last week and received the following response Monday from product marketing manager Marie Jung:

“This is the first year of this platform for ATX software,” she wrote. “We worked with customers on the development of the platform, and we incorporated many of their suggestions in the software we shipped in November. Once the software shipped, we began an aggressive campaign to educate our customers on the enhancements and functionality changes they would experience as well as the configuration requirements of this platform.

“Many customers are successfully using the software to file their clients’ returns. We have already processed millions of returns. However, we understand the challenges this has caused many of our customers, and we are working diligently to resolve them and ensure a successful tax season for all of them.

“As customers have reported their issues to us, we have responded in a variety of ways, including accelerating the development and release of software updates. We have added more personnel to our phone lines to handle customer calls. If hold times have risen, it is because we are not trying to rush through every call as quickly as possible. We are staying on the line with each customer until we get all the questions answered. It can take time to handle calls that way, but we are trying to treat each customer the way we would want to be treated if we were calling.

“We have sent communications to the entire customer base, answered individual e-mails and made contact with customers who have reached out to us. As long as issues remain, we intend to use all of the resources at our disposal—e-mail, community boards, blogs and SFSTV—to communicate with our customers about their concerns.”

Comments (45)
We've been a user since the Klinerock days, in the 90's.

Its difficult for us to understand just where ATX is at as far as customer respect and service. The customer service has deteriorated to the point that it can only be characterized as pitiful.

This tax year I had a problem with dispositions not correctly functioning. So I emailed ATX. A week went by, no answer. So I started calling, six and seven times a day - same recorded message. I really wonder just how many SCR's they have on telephone or if this is an offshore contract?

Another week goes by, I send a fax, with screen shots, etc. NO RESPONSE.

Finally I discussed the situation on this message board. Mysteriously, within a few days I get an email that asked what the problem is (paraphrasing). So I told them, and attached scans of the fax and screen shots previously sent then twice.

Never had a response - nothing - not thank you we're aware of the problem and working on it. Not take a hike, nothing, nada, zip, zero.

So that begs the question (in my opinion), does ATX really want to keep its customers? Are they pushing their ATX customers to their more expensive CCH Pro line? How long will the ATX line be supported?

Frankly I don't know, but both the 2011 and 2012 return season were not what a tax practitioner needs, especially the 2012 return program (dreadful). Clients don't want to hear your tax software provider is non-responsive to problems. Clients want results. That's what they pay for and what we pay ATX for.

Recently I replied to an email offer by an ATX Sales Rep to renew. I advised him I was looking at other software and had yet to make up my mind.

Hear is a partial response:

"Since you have been with us so long, did not want you to leave with a bad taste in your mouth about ATX. We have resolved all issues we had in the season and doing our best to ensure we do not repeat a season like that again. We are taking each account on a case by case basis and working with the client. Please do not let one bad season, take the place of all the good ones. Let me know what I can do to keep you as our client, and also understand if you have already made a decision not to stay."

I wrote back and explained to him I lost a client over the disaster, one who I had for 12 years. And then he want dark, so the case by case basis appears to lip service only, as it was clear I had not made up my mind and was still looking.

So, my advice to anyone looking at ATX is: Things, at least from my prospective, have not be acceptable. Nor are the ATX folks trying to save clients, especially long term ones. In the end, we all must live by Caveat Emptor or, once bitten, twice shy.

Posted by numbersguy42 | Tuesday, September 24 2013 at 5:00PM ET
CCH did the same thing with ATX as they did when they rolled out their Pro Series SaaS system. It was a total disaster. The company is absolutely callous about delivering a product that clearly doesn't work and damn the consequences to the paying Guinea pigs. Never again, no matter what product they're peddling.
Posted by Patrick C | Friday, May 17 2013 at 7:58AM ET
I have been an ATX loyal customer since 2007 and so far, the software WAS a productive software. This tax season in particular CCH (or the ATX Division) Management decided to change and proof their new software DURING TAX SEASON using us and our clients as their "guinea pigs", and that people, is unacceptable.

This is our business, our source of income, our families depend on it, and while this business is all I have, looks like for CCH one customer (myself) is just another number in their list.

After Tax Season was finish I call their number and TALK about my personal experience this year, but regardless of the fact that I was still courteous, all I heard was a defensive position saying that the software NOW is a better software with a better "look and feel", etc. Nobody ask me if I was looking for a better "look and feel" software... all I want is a productive tool like the one we had before, that if in a certain way was going to be improved, please do it during of season, CONSIDERING PRUDUCTIVITY AS A PRIORITY, and please without USING us as your FREE CONSULTANTS, anyway, this is just my opinion.

By the way, even in the case ATX offers me a FREE software update, I will not even consider them again. There are a lot of better options out there, maybe not with good "Look and Feel", but managed by more responsible people.
Posted by Juan S | Tuesday, April 23 2013 at 12:33PM ET
I have used ATX since 1986. This tax year (2012)with ATX is the worst experience I have ever had. They improved the program by making it worse. I have Samsung's pro ssd in my computers. 2000 to 2011 opens in 8 seconds or less. 2012 takes 2 min. E-filing takes up to an hour and thirty seven min and locks the program. Partner and I have lost thousands of dollars in lost production time. I could go on with the number of problems. I can not beleive that a reputable company can produce such garbage and charge for it!!!!!!

Posted by obiewan | Friday, April 12 2013 at 9:18PM ET
I am so frustrated with 2012 ATX software. I think they did not bother to properly test the new platform before releasing it. The customer service is awful. I have been trying get hold of someone for last 3 days. No luck so far.
The main frustrations are as follows:

1) Opening Returns takes 4 to 8 minutes

2) Rollover problems- can't find last years return.

3) Delay when moving from cell to cell

4)Takes up to 5 minutes to load the list of forms to be printed.

(5) Many state tax forms have issues

I know I am going to loose a lot of clients and ATX is going to loose me too. I have used ATX for last 12 years and I think it is time to say good bye.
Posted by Zahid | Tuesday, March 12 2013 at 11:21PM ET
We've been loyal users of ATX software since TY 1998. 2012 TY is the final year CCH (ATX in particular) will have had our business. It's very, very disappointing. Today is March 1st, and we are still having major issues with the software (even after patches). To compound the impossibility of printing a half-dozen completed returns (all while clients waited patiently face-to-face), I was told by an ATX rep today that I would need to recreate four recently completed returns from scratch, in order to efile the associated state returns. 100% of the time, the program crashed while attempting to delete the state forms from the return. I opted to print paper state returns, and mail them to clients for signature. This is totally unacceptable. Thus far, I've calculated over $1,500 in productivity losses due to ATX's inability to offer a solid tax preparation platform this year. Corrected, make that $1,600 in efficiency losses due to this post. Tax season makes or breaks firms, I just hope we can nurse our 2012 ATX software along over the next six weeks. No confidence, however.
Posted by Jlillis | Friday, March 01 2013 at 10:38PM ET
Been a satisfied ATX customer since 2006. I can't stand this any longer. The frustration here is through the roof as clients are bailing. ATX is destroying my practice.

Problem is making a decision on who to switch to.

Decision is finally made to bail ATX in the middle of tax season. Ouch... Need to cut our losses.
Posted by Lawence | Friday, March 01 2013 at 9:48AM ET
I have been with ATX for many years - this will be my last. Spent a total of 25 hours on hold which prevented any incoming calls from being answered. The first time I held for 5 hours only to be disconnect by customer no-service. I was put on hold so they could check on something. After a couple minutes, it was disconnected. Twice, tech support has reinstalled the program through remote access, did some renaming and moved around some files and I am still having problems. I have been able to e-file, but the time spent just trying to correct issues has been a nightmare. Currently, I have one return that has a "glitch" that prevents it from being e-filed. Was told they know about it and will work on the fix in the next round. I have spent too much time dealing with software problems during a season where time is very limited. Would I recommend ATX, even though I have been satisfied in the past? No.
Posted by lkosareff | Friday, March 01 2013 at 1:40AM ET
I have been reading the posts. Just started to use the ATX tax prep software this week. Have been using in since 2001. It essentially barely works. Almost was going to buy a new computer til I saw this article. As I have been using it for over 12 years, you would think I would be OK this year as in the past. Well, I have spent 2 days trying to prepare mine and my daughters return. It take 3-5 minutes to load. I have spent hours in fixed assets trying to add my new vehicle. Stock transactions allow for a nap between them. K-1's are a nightmare. Any suggestions as to what to do. This may put me out of business. I can not prepare even my return let alone my clients. I hate lawyers but will sign on with anyone. This is a disgrace. Any suggestions how to get through this tax season. They should not be able to get away with ruining our lives.
Posted by mikeselen | Wednesday, February 27 2013 at 7:52PM ET
If there is a class action brought against ATX, please let me know. I would be happy to sign on the dotted line.

The software they issued in December was useless. The updates have not resolved issues at all. The program crashes, data files become corrupt, it takes 5-10 minutes to even open a file. Efile rejection codes that ATX can't "figure out".

I actually called them at the end of January with a tech issue...and the response from the rep was "Well, good thing the IRS isn't accepting returns yet. So we've got some time."

Hold times to even speak with a tech support person well exceed one hour.

My productivity has plummetted. My clients are very angry with me because I can't efile returns that they have signed off on weeks ago.

In an industry that is based on ethics and trust, ATX is compromising mine. And that...I take serious issue with.

I will be using ProSeries (from Intuit) for the next filing season. As a matter of fact, Intuit is contacting ATX users now with mid-season "emergency pricing" plans that will allow ATX users to be able to meet their tax filing obligations with their clients.

This is beyond insanity. We are tax professionals, not ATX's Guinnea pigs for their new software platform. This program was obviously not properly tested before jammed down the throats of tax professionals across the country.
Posted by KristinRoberts | Tuesday, February 26 2013 at 8:36AM ET
Some of our clients were also facing the issues while using ATX2012 in multi user enviroment. We have successfully resolved this issue and now they are able to use this in multi-user mode. If you are still facing this problem you may contact us at our tollfree number- 8884086044. Also you can mail us your issue at

Check this link for more information:

Real Time Cloud Services,LLC
Posted by Meenakshi | Tuesday, February 19 2013 at 10:54AM ET
This is my last year with atx anyone know of any good reliable tax software out their. email me
Posted by fredshetka | Sunday, February 17 2013 at 8:50PM ET
I have used ATX CCHSFS for at least 10 years and had only minimal problems, but not like ATX 2012. I was asked to update JAVA and when I did, this was the message I got "CCHSFS Tax Preparation Software has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available".

It's very frustrating when you can't get through to customer service and all you get is hang ups or after entering in your ID the automated operator would say "this account does not have authorization to use this phone number" then hangs up.

This problem started since Thursday and I was not able to get through to anyone. There was NO option in getting to a live person! I lost many appointments due to this problem.

Finally, today (Saturday) I got through after being on hold for almost 2 hours.

They helped me get my software up and running again. Here are the steps (hope this helps):

1. Start button
2. My computer
3. C Drive
4. Program data folder (If you don't in the list you have hold the ALT-key to see the folder)
5. CCHSFS Small Services
6. ATX 2012
7. delete app.preferences.prefs
8. delete app.user.admin.preferences.prefs

Run the program and it should work.
Posted by VPK | Saturday, February 16 2013 at 12:19PM ET
Let's sue! I know they probably have a clause in their contract that says they can't be held responsible for software problems but based on the comments I've read here and the experiences I've had I am heading to small claims court tomorrow. I might lose but at least they will have to spend the money to hire an attorney to respond.
I've been with ATX for over 15 years and I am tired of waiting for hours on the phone to discuss the same problem. It can take me 20 minutes just to open one return. I've had it.
Posted by Denis B | Wednesday, February 13 2013 at 8:04PM ET
This is our second year to use ATX and it will be our last. Perhaps the single workstation downloading and using the software works but the multi-user, server version does not. I have IT bills to support this statement. I do not even try to get involved with that part of the tax process. Being on hold for hours and then getting disconnected is inexcusable. I really don't think ATX or CCH know what is wrong and are just trying "fixes".
Posted by | Friday, February 08 2013 at 3:47PM ET
It is now February 8, and the problems are not getting any better. We held for 1 1/2 hours to speak with customer service, went through the exact same steps of retrieving updates from as we also did yesterday (this alone is enough to upset us because we shouldn't have to manually retrieve these updates from the internet--they should be auto updates as they have been in the past), held on the line for another 2 hours for approval to speak to a technical support person, and transferred to technical support where we held for another 2 hours only to be disconnected. We then attempted to call again where we got a recorded message telling us to go to the community page online because the call volume was just too large, and we were once again disconnected. So now we can't even speak with a person! We are ready to send CCH an invoice for the wasted time on the phone because, after all, we get paid for our TIME! We have approximately 8 hours wrapped up in phone calls to CCH during the last two days, and we are no better off today than we were two days ago!
Posted by stacy0526 | Friday, February 08 2013 at 2:45PM ET
I wish they would just bring back the old format. On Wed I had 48 returns that I could not e-file from an error restored from backup, which ATX tech had installed our program for the 4th time, I was on hold from 10:00 am and finally at 9:15 pm I went home, they never did answer. Today we have several user that can't even open the program and the only update today was a fix for printing. Wow can't wait for the next one. We have lost so much time and money. Have a tech bill for over $1100.00 because tech told the boss she need to upgrade computers to Windows 7 because we had xp, not cheap. I don't have the answer but wish they would have told us this was a beta program. I think a refund is really do to all and FREE software for the next season or two if they don't loss us.
Posted by Suedev.customaccounting | Friday, February 08 2013 at 9:29AM ET
Well lets see i have been on hold since 8:14 and is is now 1:59. That's almost 6 hrs.

I have actually lost through the updates information that i entered. Yes some of you may know the instructions mean. In 44 years this is the latest date that I have not been able to complete a return
Posted by CCOOYYBBOOYY | Thursday, February 07 2013 at 2:57PM ET
ATX 2012 is the most horrible experience I have ever had. I have been using ATX since 2000 with no issues. This year, we work on 5 stations normally and right now we can only get into 2. Then it kicks us out evey few minutes. I have had Tech support on it twice, on hold over 4 hours first time and over 3 hours second time. Issue is still not resolved. We prepare over 1200 returns between January and April and if this is not fixed, honestly do not know what we are going to do. They offered Tax Wise, but it is on an input sheet basis not actually on the tax form. Did not want to do this. I truly believe they have threatened every business using their software and agree that legal action may be necessary.
Posted by ssccpa | Thursday, February 07 2013 at 12:48PM ET
This is by far the worst execution of a software release I have ever experienced. The worst part is after sitting on hold for 1.5 hours waiting for a customer service agent, they then inform you it'll be another 6 hours to speak with tech support. At the end of the day, the solution they provided is..."we hope the new release will fix the various issues and if it doesn't please call back." ATX should be giving us options at this point, one being an upgrade to one of their 'working' Software Suites at their cost. Or an expedited refund so we can find a software package that will assist us, instead of generating a backlog of unhappy clients and putting everyone's livelihood at risk.
Posted by bjensencpa | Thursday, February 07 2013 at 12:37PM ET
ATX software 2012 is terrible !!! It took 1/2 to 1 hour
to complete 1 sample tax return compared with 5 minutes for ATX 2011 software. I think all clients of ATX need to send a letter to President Obama asking him to move the dead line of 2012 tax return to April-15-2014 for all ATX customers.
I lost 1/2 of my customers because of ATX software 2012.


Posted by BigBlack | Thursday, February 07 2013 at 12:15AM ET
From ATX Customer who stated he started legal action:

"We've been with ATX for 8 years. CCH is going to put my firm out of business. They breached an implied warranty, withheld warnings they knew I should have been informed about and kept my money under false pretense. They knowingly didn't allow time for us to get out of harms way. The firm I helped build for 8 years cannot function during critical seasonal demands due to ATX's negligence. The President of CCH misrepresented in various interviews and publications that ATX 2012 had been tested and was functioning properly, which was grossly misleading. I have paid several thousand dollars in IT consulting fees and staff labor. All of this, and ATX won't respond to any communication."
Posted by MRLI | Wednesday, February 06 2013 at 7:28PM ET
There are reports on the ATX forum that a customer has sued CCH.
Posted by MRLI | Wednesday, February 06 2013 at 7:11PM ET

please post the changes you made - we are not a stand alone computer system we use a master computer with several slaves linked back to the master computer through a network, we also remote in from other locations. if you have this type of network set up please post what you did to get this program to work.

reading the instruction does not help as we have a devry network communications graduate on staff and he cannot get this to work properly - thank you
Posted by james1970 | Wednesday, February 06 2013 at 6:29PM ET
We have been users of ATX for 9 years. I have never witnessed a disaster like the one we are involved in with the 2012 ATX software. We are having the same problems just like everyone else so I will not waste any more time being redundant with my comments. Who is interested in starting a class action lawsuit against CCH/ATX? Maybe a class action lawsuit will get their attention and get us compensated for this hellish nightmare we are all going through. Contact me
Posted by mmffjj | Wednesday, February 06 2013 at 5:23PM ET
Marie Jung:

So glad to see an apology from you, as well as ATX's President.

My biggest complaint I had with you, was your comments to Accounting Today, which clearly attempted to shift the blame to users, by suggesting that they were not educated with the software. This was an out right misrepresentation. Thank you for rectifying this in the comments section.

You should be aware that those of us that complained the most and had the most issues are High Level users, that understood the changes. We did, however, have issues with the changes, and how CCH/ATX made these changes to the software at the last minute without proper testing before releasing the software. We also had issues with the bugs in the software that should just not be in a final release.

I will not go into other issues and concerns about the software, as I am not posting this in an attempt to use this as a forum to bash either CCH or ATX. For all my other issues I have religiously posted to the ATX private community boards, with the hope that ATX would take those comments to heart and make an effort to help.

For those reading this comment, I do believe ATX is moving forward and trying to correct their mistakes. It just remains to be seen if they are capable of doing so quickly enough to helps its users get through a short season.
Posted by joelgilb | Wednesday, February 06 2013 at 3:41PM ET
I have used ATX since 1998 and up until this year been very pleased and referred to many peers....This 2012 is terrible..Called for a support call yesterday and waited FIVE HOURS AND TWENTY TWO minutes!!!!!!!! Honestly...we had to use a land line to wait....then the problem was not completely resolved!!!! I will not use them again after this year....Their support is terrible, you cannot even reach sales to speak with anyone...the line is busy on support or now a brief computer message and then says good-bye....I am checking to see about reversing my payment and getting another program especially after reading all the crash problems...we havent run into those yet....there is enough issue with the delays in opening the season to now deal with this and worse is the lack of support to big problem is that ATX will not run in a server environment this year!!!!! the user mistakes we did have...WE corrected without their help....
Posted by hldozier54 | Wednesday, February 06 2013 at 11:47AM ET
I have been using ATX for over 10 years and never had this many problems, even in the earlier days. Their re-write needs a re-write. It is slower than a herd of pregnant snails. Tax season will be over by the time some of these files open up! Their support is clueless. Got it to run because of my better-than-average computer knowledge - I made suggestions when they couldn't find a solution. The phone lines have been jammed....good indicator. The message says "they are MODERATING their telephone queue" and cuts you off. I think they need a "moderation" of their charges due to implied warranties of mercantibility and fitness for a particular purpose - which don't seem to be there. Gimme the old versions back - they at least work. Nothing like making a late, bad tax season even worse.
Posted by | Wednesday, February 06 2013 at 1:38AM ET
I also have all problems as many of you have posted. Waiting on the phone for ever, so happy to have the tech online, but the tech did not know how to fix it (printing problem) then hung up on me. My friend also uses this ATX software, and he was waiting on the phone from 3PM to 9PM - This is true!
I believe that ATX should refund the money to all of ATX clients because ATX software does not perform as its promised.

Posted by 49ers | Tuesday, February 05 2013 at 7:29PM ET
I have been using ATX since 2001. Never a problem as this year's roll out has been. There's never a really good time for a new roll out, but sometime after 4/15 probably would have been a better move on their part. At least we would have had the chance to re-enter info into the new program and not only see if it worked, but also use it as a training tool for the next season.

Yes there are some user issues, having loaded the workstations with the payroll module install, instead of the new "workstation" set-up could easily have been avoided had I read the manual. And trying to correct that problem took over 12 hours, but never corrected it. But even after wiping every instance of ATX2012 from my registry and starting all over, there are still the issues of low resources, with an i7 8gb ram machine on Win7. Other than slower times on the XP's, all the XP's work? Go figure.

I trust they will get it right, and hopefully soon. What I do find most disturbing is the amount of whining going on. Yeah we have a problem, but trying to get info on the community boards with solutions, you have to read through 1000 complaints. I've heard all the complaints, I'm experiencing them too! I stopped whining about Obama's 2nd term a couple of days after he won (well maybe it was more like a week) but I've moved on. I'm looking for the solutions, I already know all the complaints. If for one minute you think ATX doesn't care what you're experiencing, go find another company that will give you the product that will. Move on!
Posted by PAT | Tuesday, February 05 2013 at 6:41PM ET
I am a cpa who has been using ATX for at least fifteen years. Never again. They took decent software and totally ruined it. It is taking me three times as long to complete a return. The client letter process is a joke. All comments about how slow it is are true: Many minutes for program to open, many minutes for return to open, many minutes to move from form to form, it you actually sit and wait for what you entered to print to a cell on the screen. Why did they do this? I am shopping for new software, and I want a refund. Does anyone know the process?
Posted by krant | Tuesday, February 05 2013 at 6:11PM ET
@ Joelgib & Richw0913 - I understand your ATX program issues. Today we released an update and are fully committed to continuing to improve software performance.

We're also dedicated to keeping you informed on the latest developments as we work through these issues, communicating through our support channels including: our Latest News ticker, the ATX blog, the ATX Community Board, our searchable Knowledge Library, Good Morning SFS TV and our new ATX Afternoon TV show.

Again, we apologize to all our valued ATX customers and we appreciate your patience. We are committed to resolving your issues, and the entire ATX team is working diligently to do so.
Posted by mjung | Tuesday, February 05 2013 at 2:08PM ET
Well, for my comments below, ATX has now seen fit to remove my access to their community forum and support chat.

This even though I have somehow remained a user and not YET bailed out to other software.

But who knows, my post may have been the one that triggered Jeff Gramlich's public apology on ATX TV yesterday. See the 2/4/13 update with Jeff Gramlich at

Posted by Danny | Tuesday, February 05 2013 at 12:05PM ET
On one of my professional forums ATX is now being used as a verb... as in "CCH really atx'ed us this year" sad, very sad, they lost me for next season.
Posted by | Tuesday, February 05 2013 at 10:19AM ET
I have used atx for 12 years and was very happy with it. Now I absolutely hate the software. It is extremely unstable, I loose at least one or part of a return a day when it crashes. If my finances wold support changing software now, I would change in a heart beat. Unfortunately I am stuck with this garbage for this tax season. Customer support is all but worthless. I called on a weekday morning at 8:05Am and was told that the wait time was over one hour. The only enhancement I like is the ability to open up to 3 returns at a time, but this enhancement is not worth the agravation I am going through with the rest of the program. One upgrade wiped out all of the returns I had entered to date. Fortunately the lost returns were simple returns and easy to re-enter. I hold my breath every time there is a program update. And YES, I read the installation instructions and users manual but they are oflittle help with an unstable program. I have identified problems that tech support didn't even know existed.

I would not recommend this fortware to my worst enemy!

The congress and president messed up tax season enough, I didn't need my software provider to make things even worse.
Posted by richw0913 | Tuesday, February 05 2013 at 9:12AM ET
As other posters here have said, it is not a few people have trouble it is a majority having trouble and at every facet of the program. It also seems that the networked offices and users with higher level computer knowledge are having the most problems.

I honestly don't know why joanmcq is not having problems, good for her, but Joan, don't speak for the rest of us. Marie Jung lied to Accounting Today, pure and simple. None of what she said has any inkling of truth in it

I have been an ATX paying user for 15 years now and rarely ever had to use their support. Used 5 other softwares in the past as well, all with great success.

When accounting firms first started going in-house for tax prep, I consulted and setup their in-house systems. Never have I seen a tax software product with so many problems.

This year, 3 separate occasions, I needed ATX to take remote control of my PC to attempt to fix the problems (after up to 7 hour holds on the support line I might add), and not once have they even been able to correct the problems.

As MRLI said, returns are taking 2 to 3 times to prepare this year as in previous years software from ATX.

I have also demo'ed every other professional tax preparation package out there except for Redgear/Taxworks (also having problems I understand) and everyone of them works better than ATX and is stable.

This is not a User problem, it is a Software/Programming problem. ATX needs to be honest and admit their failure!
Posted by joelgilb | Monday, February 04 2013 at 10:01PM ET
Posted by MRLI | Monday, February 04 2013 at 9:41PM ET
@msswess No I don't work for CCH and I am using ATX. If you check the boards, there are also quite a few of us that are not having problems-there are several threads of us. Others have upgraded their RAM, and are reporting much better results. Many installed on the network incorrectly.

And with at least 20 different threads asking 'how do I find the cover letter', I can imagine how many calls are of the same variety.
Posted by joanmcq | Monday, February 04 2013 at 9:25PM ET
Who ever posted the comment that they are not having problems with their ATX software is not using ATX software or works for the company. This software has been crashing since their last update on 1/28 both networks and stand alone computers. This is not just a few people complaining just look at the posts on their community board and it is in all areas of the community board. This has been a huge problem and ATX has not dealt with the problem-putting customers on hold for hours for support and refusing to answer questions about the problem. I have been an ATX customer for many many years since at least 2003 but please rest assured I am not renewing. I just wish I could go with someone else now but have already paid for the software and I understand it is a nighmare trying to get your money back. Somehow I will get through this tax season but never never again.
Posted by msswess | Monday, February 04 2013 at 8:27PM ET
i am very disappointed in atx this year. i cannot even open my sofware even to use.
Posted by 1jennyt | Monday, February 04 2013 at 8:18PM ET
Really? Very few issues? Visit the ATX Community Boards and you can find literally hundreds of people having problems. The problem with printing of returns, noted by joelgilb, is widespread, and CCH has already told us it will not even be fixed in tomorrow's program update.

Admittedly, I can now use the program - but it takes at least twice the amount of time as last year to do a single return, due to program BUGS, slow program operation, actual program crashes when trying to cancel a print job that's taking forever, etc.

As I just wrote on the CCH Community Board:

The TRUTH as we, the customers, know it is that a hugely disproportionate number of customers are experiencing problems with software that WAS NOT ready for the public.

The TRUTH is that these customers are jammming CCH's phone lines and have wait times that they shouldn't have.

The TRUTH is that CCH, even when customers get through to a rep, often have no answer that works NOW.

The TRUTH is that, while an occasional post on this board receives a CCH response that helps, many more receive NO ATX RESPONSE at all - probably because there is no immediate solution.

I will give them this: I firmly believe that they are trying...

but I also firmly believe that they are completely overwhelmed, from customer service reps to programmers to the president!
Posted by Danny | Monday, February 04 2013 at 8:05PM ET
ATX has been a total nightmare this year. The software was completely rewritten and our three offices have experienced following issues:

1) Opening Returns takes 3 to 10 minutes

2) Rollover problems

3) Lag and Delay when Moving from cell to cell

4) Printing 30-60 seconds per page

5) Takes up to five minutes to get to sign-in screen to open program

6) Program instability and crashing

It's taking twice as long to do a return with ATX 2012 this year. ATX 2012 wasn't adequately tested and is a defective buggy product. Avoid.
Posted by MRLI | Monday, February 04 2013 at 8:00PM ET
The evening of February 2, an ATX employee posted on the ATX message board that "To date, we have over 100,000 federal and state e-files accepted using ATX 2012."

So which is it -- "millions," as the CCH spokesperson claims while blaming users for the program's faults? Or a drop in the bucket, compared to the total that should have been completed by now?
Posted by bkamman | Monday, February 04 2013 at 7:56PM ET
In response to the comment mad by Marie Jung at CCH SFS:

The software includes none of the suggestions I made earlier in the year NONE!

Features that had been added to previous years software, year after year based on our suggestions, were just removed from the software, without our input.

Here are just a few features ATX removed (list is too long to be detailed): QuickBooks Import, W-2 Import, Internal Custom Excel Spreadsheets, ability to create formulas on in input cells (allowing preparers to maintain detail), Custom Lists that could be attached anywhere in a return, etc. All these features which worked in prior years were either completely removed or crippled. All were removed with minimal or no customer feedback or input.

As for educating their customers... Besides the fact they have done very little here, it really doesn't matter anyway; the software itself doesn't work. The product is unstable, frequently crashes, is extremely slow in all modules(for instance printing a simple return can take 30 minutes or more) and is full of bugs.

How can you educate customers how to deal with bugs? They shouldn't be there in the first place. They are the 5th major release (bug fixes) and still haven't fixed the software. With 2 more MAJOR bug fixes to come.

If there own staff realize they need to fix the software with major upgrades, I have difficulty understanding how Ms. Jung can make the comments she has to Accounting Today and put the blame for their fiasco on their users.

As for Enhancements, there are NONE! NONE! NONE! Rather they took out almost all the enhancements made in prior versions of the software.
Posted by joelgilb | Monday, February 04 2013 at 6:53PM ET
I have been using ATX 2012 with very few issues, all minor or user error due to the new platform. Many of the complaints I've seen have to do with users not even reading the installation guide that came with the CD, nor the user manual, or taking advantage of the many fixes posted by ATX or other users.
Posted by joanmcq | Monday, February 04 2013 at 6:31PM ET
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