Sage Software Inc.

Abra Payroll, part of the line of Sage Abra HRMS solutions, handles payroll on the desktop or a network. Users can create special payroll runs, evaluate data and reconcile payrolls and quarter-ends with online analyses, generate cost accounting and labor distribution reports, secure sensitive payroll data, prepare payroll taxes, manage direct deposit, and print custom checks. It also features standard, ad hoc query, and Crystal reporting options. An employee self-service option supports online paystubs, check history, W-2s and W-4s.

Year introduced: 1997.

Current version: 7.4.

Pricing: Single user - $1,840 (for up to 75-employee companies); multi-user - $510 each additional user; avg. price per module - $968; suite of core modules - starts at $3,530.

Maint./support: Averages 20 percent to 25 percent of license price per year, includes quarterly tax and legislative updates, version upgrades, unlimited telephone and Web technical support. Tech support - included in annual fee.

Training: Three-day payroll classroom training - $1,320.

Customer contact: (800) 424-9392, or certified business partners.

Web site: www.sageabra.com.


ADP Employer Services

ADP's EasyPayNet is an Internet-hosted payroll offering that streamlines data collection, calculation of payroll totals and taxes, and other payroll and employer services. Clients can print checks, pay vouchers and reports, or have them delivered. Accountants can use EasyPayNet to process their clients' payrolls in a wholesale arrangement.

Year introduced: 1999.

Current version: 5.0.

Recent notable enhancements: Customized workflow determines steps needed to complete payroll; customized pay input screens to arrange columns to match input documents; and on-screen audit to review payroll before processing. General Ledger Interface allows accountants or clients to map their payroll data to their accounting application. Web-based Data Access Suite application lets accountants share payroll-related data with clients, regardless of payroll input method.

Pricing: Contact vendor.

Maint./support: Included with purchase.

Training: Included with purchase.

Customer contact: Lisa Appello, lisa_appello@adp.com or (866) 4ASK-ADP.

Web site: www.accountant.adp.com.


Paychex Inc.

This Internet-based program serves small and midsized businesses. Paychex Online Payroll enables businesses to enter payroll, create checks, change employee records and access other payroll options, all at the user's convenience, 24/7. With client authorization, payroll data is also available to users' accountants. Payroll reports can be delivered online or printed and sent to the client via mail. The Paychex service also allows payroll information to be posted directly to most accounting software. Paychex is the preferred payroll provider for the AICPA Business Solutions Partner Program.

Year introduced: 2001.

Recent notable enhancements: CPAs and clients now can access quarterly and annual state tax returns, employee W-2s and employer W-3s online.

Pricing: Varies; contact vendor.

Maint./support: Tech support included.

Training: Included.

Customer contact: (800) 322-7292 or sales@paychex.com.

Web site: www.paychex.com.


PayCycle Inc.

PayCycle targets accountants who serve small business clients, and aims to make paper-based payroll obsolete. PayCycle's technology platform enables a "do-it-with-yourself" approach to payroll that guides customers through the entire payroll process from paychecks to W-2s. It integrates with the leading accounting packages, including QuickBooks, QuickBooks for Mac, QuickBooks Online Edition, CCH ProSystem fx Write-Up and ATX's entire accounting product suite.

Year introduced: 1999.

Current version: PayCycle 2006.

Recent notable enhancements: New firm-branded payroll Web site; client tax to-do list; new client set-up wizard; employee self-service access; additional electronic state functionality and improved marketing support.

Pricing: $14.99 per client per month for first five employees; $0.25 monthly fee for each additional.

Maint./support: Free.

Training: Free.

Customer contact: (866) 729-2925 or support@paycycle.com.

Web site: www.paycycle.com.


Creative Solutions

Payroll CS offers stand-alone capabilities to handle payroll for small businesses as well as large, complex clients. It supports multi-department, multi-state and tipped employees; an unlimited number of user-defined payroll, deduction and withholding items; unlimited checks per employee and vendor; third-party sick pay; and over 30 configurable reports. Global payroll tax processing, 940/941 e-filing and a state tax payment export are supported.

Year introduced: 1998.

Current version: 2005.4.1.

Recent notable enhancements: Alliance with The Hartford to offer a pay-as-you-go worker's compensation insurance product. Certified Payroll Worksheet, including an interface for daily payroll entry. Ability to import time into Payroll Check Entry from a Excel spreadsheet. Ability to print a blank MICR check.

Pricing: $1,500.

Maint./support: Support contracts available; otherwise, support is $18 per 10-minute increment. Additional support via Creative Solutions Annual Users' Conference, ARNE2, knowledgebase, NetCS, online help, e-mail.

Training: Hands-on classroom training, teletraining, Web-based training, on-site training, Getting Started Guide, Tutorial Guide.

Customer contact: (800) 968-0600 or cs.support@thomson.com.

Web site: http://creativesolutions.thomson.com.



Payroll Relief AC is designed exclusively for accountants. It has automated payroll processing: The accountant or client enters payroll data over a secure Internet connection and Payroll Relief AC does the rest - comprehensive computation for federal and all 50 states, direct deposit, federal and state tax payments, quarterly and annual filings and W-2s, plus comprehensive payroll reports.

Year introduced: 2003.

Recent notable enhancements: New Full-Sourced Payroll Option performs entire payroll processing for an accountant's clients.

Pricing: Starts at $5.95 per employer, per weekly payroll, for up to five employees.

Maint./support: Technical and marketing support included.

Training: Personalized training and support available. Phone, e-mail, and Webinar training options available.

Customer contact: Lenny Bottiglieri, lbottiglieri@accountantsworld.com or (888) 999-1366.

Web site: www.accountantsoffice.com.


Intuit Inc.

QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll Plus for Accountants is an all-in-one payroll service that lets accountants offer end-to-end payroll processing. The service allows accountants to process payroll for up to 50 clients with a single subscription. They can calculate deductions, earnings and payroll taxes directly from QuickBooks and print paychecks in minutes, or use optional direct deposit. The service also automatically gives users the most updated federal and state tax forms and fills them out with payroll data directly from QuickBooks.

Year introduced: 2005.

Current version: 2006.

Recent notable enhancements: New Employee Center helps track payroll histories of clients' employees. New Payroll Center provides a dedicated payroll "home" workspace.

Pricing: Enhanced Payroll - $299 per year. With QuickBooks Pro - $399 per year. With QuickBooks Premier - $499 per year.

Maint./support: In-product and online help. Optional phone support for payroll set-up and usage. Phone and e-mail support with a dedicated engineer; online knowledgebase.

Training: CPA-led online training seminars. Interactive CD training. Local one-on-one training with a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Instructor-led seminars. QuickBooks student and instructor guides.

Customer contact: (800) 510-3522.

Web site: www.payroll.com.


Greatland Corp.

WinFiler Plus is a complete wage and income reporting software, well-suited for year-end federal reporting with 24 federal forms, including W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, 5498s, transmittals and corrections. WinFiler Plus also includes federal quarterly wage reporting (941 family) and state quarterly wage reports for most states. Users have the option to install a network version. Also available are e-filing for federal forms and magnetic media modules.

Year introduced: 1987.

Pricing: Preprinted forms - $249; blank forms - $344. Network users and magnetic media modules available for additional costs.

Maint./support: E-mail and phone support available.

Training: Getting Started Quickly Guide included. Program Help and online FAQs.

Customer contact: (800) 968-1099.

Web site: www.winfiler.com.



Sage Software Inc.

The Accpac Business Analysis Suite allows Sage Accpac ERP and Sage Pro ERP clients to create an interactive financial scorecard, and identify key areas for business improvement through the product's advanced goal-seeking capabilities. Clients can also generate industry benchmarks to analyze and compare selected client results, and develop "what-if" business scenarios and analyses.

Year introduced: 2000.

Current version: Accpac CFO 2.0B, Accpac KPI 2.0, Business Advisor 2.0.

Recent notable enhancements: Compatibility with the latest versions of Sage Accpac ERP and Pro ERP.

Pricing: Accpac Comprehensive Financial Optimizer - $1,000; Accpac Key Performance Indicators - $1,000; Business Advisor - $500. Entire BAS suite - $2,500.

Maint./support: Sage Accpac Software Assurance - 18 percent of price annually.

Training: Online product Webinars.

Customer contact: (800) 253-1372 or www.accpac.com/support.

Web site: www.accpac.com.


CaseWare International Inc.

CaseWare Scenarios displays an integrated income statement, balance sheet, cash flow, business drivers and analytics on a single screen. It allows users to create many different scenarios using actual historical data as a starting point, incorporating "what-if" and goal-seeking functionality. CaseWare Scenarios requires Working Papers and can be integrated into any existing engagement file. The software allows for integration of process improvement initiatives, as well as benchmark data based on either internal client data or external data.

Year introduced: 2003.

Current version: 2004.1.

Recent notable enhancements: Ability to run scenarios at a detailed operational level, allowing the user to focus on key accounts, analytics and measures; new report engine.

Pricing: Single user - $199; multi-user (up to five users) - $599; each additional user above five - $99.

Maint./support: Multi-user license renewable yearly at 50 percent of license value. Tech support included.

Training: Available.

Customer contact: (800) 267-1317 or sales@caseware.com.


Creative Solutions

Financial Analysis CS is a financial analysis application that lets firms compare the financial data of their clients' businesses in order to benchmark the financial position in relation to similar companies or to an industry standard. It allows accountants to filter clients to evaluate financial data based on user-specified criteria. Results can be quickly and clearly communicated to clients with extensive graph and text options.

Year introduced: 2004.

Current version: 2005.4.0.

Recent notable enhancements: Integration with RMA Annual Statement Studies; ability to create user-defined categories; ability to create "if/then" conditions in the Report Designer; reports can now include user-defined ratio text based on the client's performance in comparison to an industry standard or peer group; enhanced charting.

Pricing: Starts at $600.

Maint./support: Support contracts available; otherwise, $18 per 10-minute increment. Additional support via Creative Solutions Annual Users' Conference, ARNE2, knowledgebase, NetCS, online help, e-mail.

Training: Hands-on classroom training, teletraining, Web-based training, on-site training, Getting Started Guide.

Customer contact: (800) 968-0600 or cs.support@thomson.com.

Web site: http://creativesolutions.thomson.com.



IDEA can read, display, analyze, manipulate, sample or extract from data files from almost any source - mainframe to PC, including reports printed to a file. IDEA adds depth and productivity to audits and helps users meet the requirements of SAS 99 and Sarbanes-Oxley 404.

Year introduced: 1987.

Current version: 2004.

Recent notable enhancements: Support for PDF import; Smart Analyzer - optional component with sample audit tests.

Pricing: Single-user - $1,795; volume discounts available. IDEA Express - $499 per user

Maint./support: Annual fees - 25 percent (first year free for IDEA, first month free for IDEA Express). Tech support available by phone or e-mail.

Training: User Group - Audimation Services Inc.

Customer contact: Audimation Services Inc. (888) 641-2800, or ideasupport@caseware.com.

Web site: www.caseware-idea.com.


Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft FRx is a financial reporting application that gives midsized organizations and corporate businesses control of their entire financial reporting process. Decision-makers can start using Microsoft FRx 6.7 as soon as their general ledger has been implemented, to help them stay on top of business trends and respond to new challenges and opportunities.

Year introduced: 2004.

Current version: 6.7.

Recent notable enhancements: New FRx Report Manager allows users to quickly and easily pull together documents needed to deliver a comprehensive report book; improvements to the Currency Translation module; and upgraded support for the Extensible Business Reporting Language 2.0 specification.

Pricing: Starts at $4,500, based on size of implementation, number of concurrent users and general ledger interface.

Maint./support: MBS Software Assurance Program included.

Training: Through general ledger solution partners or integration designer partner.

Customer contact: (888) 477-7989.

Web site: www.frxsoftware.com.


SageWorks Inc.

ProfitCents is a financial analysis suite used by accounting firms to consult privately held business clients. The program translates financial statements into plain-language reports that assess a client's financial performance, compare it to its industry peers and make recommendations for business improvement. Over 2,000 industries are covered. The suite includes nonprofit analysis, forecasting, personal analysis and a real-time industry database.

Year introduced: 2000.

Recent notable enhancements: Comprehensive power suite providing a full analysis of client's strengths and weaknesses.

Pricing: Contact vendor.

Maint./support: Free technical support, training and updates.

Customer contact: Brian Drumm, brian.drumm@profitcents.com or (877) 724-3967 opt. 2.

Web site: www.profitcents.com.



ProSystem fx Profit Driver is a financial diagnostic and analytical solution that transforms client data into an interactive strategic planning tool, enabling professionals to instantly show their clients the outcomes of "what-if" scenarios and develop detailed plans for reaching goals. Profit Driver integrates with ProSystem fx Tax Engagement and ProSystem fx Tax, as well as data in spreadsheet form.

Year introduced: 2004.

Current version: 7.0A.

Recent notable enhancements: Benchmarking, integration with tax, Advanced KPI module.

Pricing: Network (three concurrent users) - $4,750; additional concurrent users - $750 each. Stand-alone, first user - $2,250; additional users - $750 each.

Maint./support: Tech support included with license.

Training: Online training available.

Customer contact: (800) PFX-9998.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com/pfx/products/profitdriver/.



LexisNexis Time Matters

Billing Matters 7.0 is designed to be an intuitive and easy-to-use time and billing application, while Time Matters handles calendars and tasks, client relations, engagements and projects, and communications. Billing Matters has advanced billing features, as well as consolidated and split billing, and an array of reports. Time Matters links with a number of business and accounting programs, while both programs link with the Palm, Pocket PC or BlackBerry wireless handheld devices, and synchronize with Outlook.

Year introduced: 2005.

Current version: 7.0.

Pricing: Professional Edition of either product - first user, $350; additional users, $200. Enterprise Edition - first user, $700; additional users, $400.

Maint./support: Both programs offer 10 complimentary incidents of tech support in first year of purchase.

Training: Electronic user manual; CD-ROM HelpCam; Time Matters training facility; online knowledgebase; network of authorized independent consultants.

Customer contact: (800) 328-2898 ext. 6 or sales@timematters.com.

Web site: www.timematters.com.


Both Worlds Software Inc.

Originally developed in 1986 as a DOS product, Imagine Time was transformed to Windows in 1997 and has since been intensely marketed by its vendor, Both Worlds. It combines time and billing with practice management, contact/calendar management, due-date tracking, and a Tax Tickler project/work reminder.

Year introduced: 1997.

Current version: 5.11.

Recent notable enhancements: E-mail blaster.

Pricing: Avg. price per module - $750.

Maint./support: First-year program - 18 percent of price (includes product updates; new features; minor refinements; database updates; federal, local and Canadian provincial tax updates; professional services tools library; support for incidents with a three-hour guarantee; and orientation training CD). Subsequent-year services plans - 16 percent of price.

Training: Classroom, computer and Internet-based training and manuals.

Customer contact: Contact Nancy Fontana, flindsley@imaginetime.com or (772) 781-3263.

Web site: www.imaginetime.com.


Creative Solutions

Practice CS is a customizable practice management system that simplifies practice management with time and billing functionality and more. With customizable digital dashboards that bring a firm's resources and tools together into one place, users can access key information for staff, clients and the firm at a glance.

Year introduced: 2005.

Current version: 2005.

Recent notable enhancements: Digital Dashboards. Ability to link directly to Microsoft Outlook. Ability to get an immediate look at staff status with the Staff In/Out Availability portlet.

Pricing: Starts at $1,200.

Maint./support: Support contracts available; otherwise, $18 per 10-minute increment. Additional support via Creative Solutions Annual Users' Conference, ARNE2, knowledgebase, NetCS, online help, e-mail.

Training: Hands-on classroom training, teletraining, Web-based training, on-site training, Getting Started Guide, Walkthrough Guide.

Customer contact: (800) 968-0600 or cs.support@thomson.com.

Web site: http://creativesolutions.thomson.com.



ProSystem fx Practice is designed to help practitioners capture more billable hours and bill more quickly. Integration with other applications in the ProSystem suite provides for access to management information. Practice offers anywhere/anytime time capture via the Web with Global Time Entry. The PDA Time Entry tool leverages the Palm OS, and the Remote Time Entry module lets users take Practice on their laptop. Internet Connect lets users connect to their server-based Practice program and database via an IP connection.

Year introduced: 1997.

Current version: 7.01.

Recent notable enhancements: New integration with Outlook; interface with Clients and Contracts; integration with Global fx - Time Clocks and Invoice Transactions, Client Inquiry. Updated project status from within ProSystem fx Tax. Interface with ProSystem fx Engagement.

Pricing: Five-user license - $1,785; additional users - $115 each.

Maint./support: Tech support included with license.

Training: New user - $375. On-site training available.

Customer contact: (800) PFX-9998.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com/pfx/products/practice/.



ProSystem fx Practice Driver is a practice management tool that gives users a dynamic view of what's working and what isn't in their practices, and what has to change and by how much to realize opportunities, avoid pitfalls and achieve goals. Practice Driver imports data from ProSystem fx Practice and other major time and billing software applications, as well as data in spreadsheet form.

Year introduced: 2004.

Current version: 4.0.

Recent notable enhancements: Modes for Analysis - user can switch from any mode to analyze production; billings, including write/up-down; open WIP. Upgraded dashboard, with ability to drill into categories; produce summary info on clients and staff; charts and graphics.

Pricing: Five-user package - $995; additional users - $12.50 each.

Maint./support: Tech support included with license.

Customer contact: (800) PFX-9998.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com/pfx/products/practicedriver/.


Sage Software Inc.

Sister to Sage CPA Practice Manager, Sage Practice Management is designed to empower employees to manage their own time, encourage billers to bill on-screen and on-demand, and inspire partners to better analyze the firm. It utilizes .Net technology to bring better remote connectivity and richer reporting. Unlimited timers are included that operate inside or outside of the product.

Year introduced: 2005.

Current version: 2005.51.01.

Recent notable enhancements: Enhancements to reporting; better remote connectivity; right-click menu options; resizable screens; printing enhancements; set-up and find & change enhancements.

Pricing: MSDE - $250 per seat; SQL - $340 per seat. Integrated Sage CPA Accounting programs include Client Write-Up ($1,285), Client Payroll ($795) and Client Accounts Payable ($395). Add-on modules are available.

Maint./support: First six months of tech support is free. Maintenance includes toll-free and on-line support, including 24/7 access to Solution Center knowledgebase.

Training: Classroom, regional, Web-based, and on-site training options.

Customer contact: (800) 272-7889.

Web site: www.sagepracticesolutions.com.


Sage Software Inc.

Timeslips 2006 has new features like interactive reports, the ability to export data to Excel, intuitive report design, name-specific alerts, and sorting of reports by value. Timeslips 2006 makes intelligent adjustments to interfaces and settings and improvements to its database.

Year introduced: 1995.

Current version: 2006.

Recent notable enhancements: Interactive reports; ability to export data to Excel; intuitive report design; name-specific alerts; and sort reports by value.

Pricing: Single user - $ 449.99; multi-user - $ 799.99 (five stations), $1,499.99 (10 stations).

Maint./support: 30 days free support for new customers; unlimited phone support - $229, single user; $349, network.

Training: Training guides, and Sage Software Small Business Division certified consultants.

Customer contact: (800) 285-0999 or tssales@sagesoftware.com.

Web site: www.sagesoftware.com.



BNA Software

The BNA Income Tax Planner streamlines and simplifies individual income tax forecasting and analysis. Users can create client presentations, complete with letters and graphics. The program computes federal and state individual income taxes from 1987 on - the latest release of the Fifty States version of the program includes calculations for all resident states and 28 nonresident states. Users can project taxes for 10 years, 10 scenarios, or any combination of the two up to 10 columns of data. The program handles all filing statuses and even calculates the income tax liability for trusts and estates.

Year introduced: 1984.

Current version: 2005.4.

Recent notable enhancements: New "watch window" holds up to 10 calculated rows from the program and is updated each time the user changes any amount on any worksheet. Ability to automatically elect either standard deduction or itemized deduction. Web update includes Katrina emergency tax relief legislation.

Pricing: Federal with Fifty States - $835, single user; federal-only - $525, single user. Additional license fees for additional users.

Maint./support: Federal with Fifty States edition - $625 annual renewal; federal-only - $415 annual renewal. Toll-free telephone tech support included.

Training: Fee-based training courses (include CPE credit).

Customer contact: (800) 424-2938 opt. 2 or software@bna.com.

Web site: www.bnasoftware.com.


Petz Enterprises Inc.

Crosslink 1040 is tax compliance software for federal and all states, e-filing and bank products. Easy to learn and use, CrossLink has comprehensive tax capabilities, instant calculations, integrated depreciation, and advanced productivity features.

Year introduced: 1990.

Current version: 2006.01.

Recent notable enhancements: 1040NR; multiple versions of client letters; integration with Microsoft Outlook; increased security; back-up/restore functionality; increased client tracking; user-configurable reports; and Quick Return Status look-up.

Pricing: Single user and multi-user - $695 for Federal 1040 TP with e-filing. State modules with e-filing - from $295 to $495; client invoicing - $95; client pro forma - $95; year-to-year transfer - $195.

Maint./support: Live tech support 24/7 during tax season included.

Training: Free training during the off-season.

Customer contact: Contact Chip Coakley, director of sales, ccoakley@petzent.com or (800) 345-4337 ext. 2301.

Web site: www.petzent.com.


Drake Software

A software suite backed by over 25 years of experience, Drake includes 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 706, 709, 990, 990PF, all state software packages, paperless office capabilities, real-time Web reports, tax planner, scheduler, multi-office manager, free and unlimited electronic filing for individual and business (including states), multiple bank options, online tax research, training options, letters, organizers and pro formas, multiple reporting options, and more. The software is network-compatible and conversion programs are available.

Year introduced: 1977.

Recent notable enhancements: New tax planner; client status manager; e-file for 940EZ, 941, 990 and 1041 returns and state e-file for 1120/1120S returns. Enhanced user interface.

Pricing: Single user, new and renewal - $1,395; multi-user - $1,395. Early season discounts available.

Training: Fall Update Schools in various cities; multiple CBTs, some in Spanish; sample returns including e-file testing; field-specific help; and FAQs.

Customer contact: Support@drakesoftware.com or (828) 524-8020.

Web site: www.drakesoftware.com.



Global fx is CCH's Web-based environment that provides firms with 24/7 access to ProSystem fx Tax, the cornerstone of the ProSystem fx Office suite of tax and accounting software tools. Global fx provides enhanced workflow flexibility and control, offers multi-office functionality and allows professionals to access other ProSystem fx programs.

Year introduced: 2002.

Current version: 2004.06020.

Recent notable enhancements: DataScan and ClientRelate capabilities added.

Pricing: Annual, $100 per user; seasonal, $50 per user.

Training: Contact vendor.

Customer contact: (800) PFX-9998.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com/pfx/products/globalfx/.


Thomson RIA

GoSystem is the tax compliance solution from RIA. It is the only non-Citrix ASP solution offered to the professional market. Its features include anytime/anywhere data conferencing, data evaluation, robust data exchange options, and integration with major accounting software packages.

Year introduced: Windows CD - 1993; RS - 1998.

Recent notable enhancements: GoSystem Tax RS To-Go; GoSystem Tax RS Archive; downloadable releases for CD clients from the Web; integration with Checkpoint Line Finder, FileCabinet Solution, Engagement Solution and Depreciation Solution; supports alternate methods for signing returns; tax equalization module; automated K-1 transfer from 1065 to 1120 and from 1065 to 1065; partnership consolidations.

Pricing: Contact vendor.

Maint./support: Included in license (includes nightly e-mail service and online service request management).

Training: On-site - $2,000 per day; regional training - $295 per seat. Web-based training available.

Customer contact: (800) 865-5257, ria-gosrs@thomson.com or gosystem.thomson.com.

Web site: www.ria.thomson.com.


Greatland Corp.

Great Tax supports federal individual, state and business tax return prep, and offers quick conversions from other tax packages. Features include easy data input, multi-state processing, seamless integration of e-filing and bank products, and an on-line E-File Center. Silver, Gold and Platinum packages are available that include unlimited federal and state e-filing, and bank product participation.

Year introduced: 2003 (for tax year 2002).

Pricing: Package prices from $375 to $2,560.

Maint./support: E-mail and phone support available.

Training: On-line tutorial and help files.

Customer contact: (800) 968-1099.

Web site: www.greattaxpro.com.


Orrtax Software Solutions

IntelliTax for Windows provides individual income tax prep for federal and state returns and is integrated with e-filing, bank products and Orrtax's 45 state tax preparation programs. The Launch Pad provides one-click access to new returns, client profile, reports, communications, check printing and other resources. IntelliTax Snapshot estimates a return and net refund amount. The client organizer provides organized pro forma information, and the Report Center provides customizable reports, complete with mailing lists.

Year introduced: 2001.

Current version: 2005.1 available Dec. 23, 2005.

Recent notable enhancements: Custom print packets; check printing flexibility with new user interface; Asset Center enhancements; new install program; Report Center enhancements.

Pricing: IntelliTax for Windows 1040 - $395; Premier System - $995. Seasonal discounts available.

Maint./support: Several contacts available. Online knowledgebase.

Training: Regional training sessions; online tutorial; IntelliManager training CD; numerous client Webcasts prior to tax season.

Customer contact: Don Kainz, director of customer support; support@orrtax.com or (800) 583-1040 or (425) 641-4357.

Web site: www.orrtax.com.


Intuit Inc.

Intuit's Lacerte software provides the features and functionality to help firms manage workflow, increase productivity and ensure accuracy. Lacerte offers a comprehensive list of worksheets, schedules and forms, advanced functionality and in-depth calculations. Users can also take advantage of integration with other Lacerte products.

Year introduced: Acquired by Intuit in 1998.

Current version: 2005/2006.

Recent notable enhancements: Individual client file passwords; one-click reports; simple tools for managing the flow of money; print checks, track customer payments and create professional-looking estimates, sales receipts and invoices. Internet-based version. New Asset Transaction Wizard simplifies complex tasks like like-kind exchange dispositions. New automated W-2 data entry. Expanded product library includes 1120, 1120S, 990 and Massachusetts 1041 e-filing modules and Ohio cities for business modules.

Pricing: Starts at $2,140; programs are available on an unlimited-use or pay-per-return basis.

Training: Intuit Electronic Filing Center, tutorials, live seminars and Webinars, video lessons.

Maint./support: Toll-free phone support, e-mail support, Web site support, in-program help, Help Me option with screen-specific topics, IRS instruction per form.

Customer contact: (800) 933-9999.

Web site: www.lacertesoftware.com/products/tax/index.cfm.



MAX is a workhorse that includes all federal, state and city programs, unlimited W-2/1099 (with free e-filing) and calculating sales and use tax forms, built-in spreadsheets, and free unlimited e-filing.

Year introduced: 1999.

Current version: 2005.

Recent notable enhancements: Ability to e-file 940/941 and 1041 returns; ability to e-file extensions (federal and state, individual and business); and expanded error messaging capabilities for e-file. Enhanced depreciation module. Improved calculations for handling bulk sales and automatic transfer of data to selected state depreciation forms. Alternate method for entering vehicle expenses including depreciation.

Pricing: Standard three-user version (plus updating and applicable state sales taxes) - $985; four or more users (plus updating and applicable state sales taxes) - $1,477.50. Networked version pricing varies.

Maint./support: Toll-free Super Support included.

Training: Training video, user's guide, program tutorial.

Customer contact: (877) 728-9776 or sales@atxinc.com.

Web site: www.atxinc.com/max.


Intuit Inc.

Intuit's ProSeries Professional Edition is designed to meet the unique needs of the year-round sole proprietor/small business that provides tax, accounting and other financial services. ProSeries Professional helps efficiently prepare, review and file tax returns with a comprehensive series of forms and schedules.

Year introduced: 1997.

Current version: 2005/2006.

Recent notable enhancements: Enhanced tax and depreciation calculations. Data entry directly onto forms. Final Review and Missing Client Information Tracker. Print preview, customization and form capabilities. Improved workflow. Client Analyzer to help find client groups affected by changing tax laws.

Pricing: PowerTax Bundle - $3,999; PowerTax Lite Bundle - $2,649; Tri-State Bundle - $799; Business Bundle - $1,199.

Maint./support: Toll-free phone tech support and customer service; 24-hour support during key days of last week of tax season; online support.

Training: Webcasts and teleseminars; live seminars and Webinars; case studies.

Customer contact: (800) 934-1040.

Web site: www.proseries.com/products/professional/index.aspx.



CCH's ProSystem fx Tax provides full capabilities for all types of federal and state returns, including individual, partnership, corporation, fiduciary, estate and gift, deferred compensation, and exempt organization. It is available as part of the integrated ProSystem fx Office suite.

Year introduced: 1990.

Current version: 2004.0603.

Recent notable enhancements: Over 75 new federal and state forms. Enhanced Worksheet View. Added some state composite returns for partnerships and S corps. Business-to-business K-1 data export. Worksheets grids can be imported from and exported to Excel spreadsheets. Expanded e-filing of business returns.

Pricing: Varies by product; $955 to $2,975.

Maint./support: Annual renewal required. Tech support included.

Training: Annual tax update training seminars, Web-based training, and on-site options. Price varies.

Customer contact: (800) PFX-9998.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com/pfx/products/tax/.


Tax$imple Inc. (AJV CDM Inc.)

This is a form-based, menu-driven, user-friendly software for 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709 and 990 returns with fully integrated state packages. It contains depreciation and passive activity modules, penalty calculations, and automatic generation of forms for federal and states, as well as enhanced diagnostics, tax practice management, client management, labels, transmittal letter, invoice and utilities. Preparers may use pay-per-return billing, available on Internet-prepared returns also. E-filing is available for almost all the states with enhanced e-filing diagnostics.

Year introduced: 1983.

Current version: 2004.

Recent notable enhancements: Automatic updates to client machines over Internet. Privacy letter, additional forms added. Word processing capabilities added to transmittal letter and invoicing. Context-sensitive menus added. Pay-per-return available over Internet on 24/7 basis.

Pricing: Single user - $300 to $3,000; multi-user - 20 percent additional. Starter package - 50 percent off. Avg. price per module - $800 to $1,000; core suite - $1,500 to $3,000.

Maint./support: Free.

Training: Free seminars, free last year's program to practice, and over-the-phone sessions.

Customer contact: (800) 989-8955 or support@taxsimple.com.

Web site: www.taxsimple.com.


Universal Tax Systems Inc.

TaxWise is a professional tax preparation program for the completion of all federal and state personal, business and specialty tax returns. TaxWise also offers a suite of integrated accounting solutions, including client write-up, fixed asset, trial balance and payroll programs, as well as research and tax planning products. TaxWise also offers mortgage origination services, stored-value cards, fee-collection products and tax return warranties.

Year introduced: 1986.

Current version: V. 20.0 released Dec. 15, 2005.

Recent notable enhancements: Seamless pass-through of K-1 data from business returns to personal returns; new user interface; expanded fixed asset and depreciation tools; improved married filing jointly vs. separately comparisons; more than 700 new state business forms and schedules; improved client letters and organizers; new FeeCollect service allows tax pros to deduct their fees from client refund; new Refund IRA allows tax professionals to set up traditional or Roth IRAs directly from client refunds.

Pricing: Starts at $300. No added cost for networks

Maint./support: Toll-free customer and tech support, seven days a week during peak season.

Training: Free new user orientation and conversion support; TaxWise University (free computer-based online training with CPE); TaxWiseTV (free Web-based streaming video programs); Training Electronic Filing Center (free electronic filing simulator); GetWise Fall Seminars (30 cities, fee-based, CPE); practice returns included in software.

Customer contact: (800) 641-9473 or customer.support@taxwise.com.

Web site: www.taxwise.com.



TaxWorks has been in the tax software industry for over 34 years. It offers an entire library of programs, including federal and state systems for 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1041 and 1065 returns. It also has federal programs for 706, 709, 5500 and 990 returns. Its programs include a scheduler, asset manager, tax practice manager, retirement planner, net worth module, and education expense planner.

Year introduced: 1972.

Current version: 2005.

Recent notable enhancements: New client write-up program, eGLWorks, and a paperless office program, ArkWorks.

Pricing: Single and multi-user - $1,095; starter package - $400. Core modules 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S and all available states - $2,995.

Maint./support: Included.

Training: Training seminars each December with 16 hours of CPE credit.

Customer contact: Alan Haacke, sales@taxworks.com or (800) 230-2322.

Web site: www.taxworks.com.


Creative Solutions

UltraTax CS provides a family of products to accommodate tax prep needs, including a full line of 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 1120 Consolidated, 5500, 706, 709, 990 and 5500 returns for federal and state, in addition to a variety of city, county, intangible, personal and property returns. It is part of the CS Professional Suite line of accounting, tax, depreciation and practice management software.

Year introduced: 1996.

Current version: 2005.1.0.

Recent notable enhancements: Enhanced UltraTax/1040 Portals for clients to access their final 1040 tax returns or the Web Client Organizer. RIA Form/LineFinder Research and Tax Alerts integration. UltraTax CS home page. Integration with PPC's 1040 Deskbooks.

Pricing: 1040 Federal - starts at $2,000

Maint./support: Support included. Additional support via Creative Solutions Annual Users' Conference, ARNE2, knowledgebase, NetCS, online help, e-mail.

Training: UltraTax CS Seminars, hands-on classroom training, teletraining, Web-based training, on-site training, Getting Started Guide.

Customer contact: (800) 968-0600 or cs.support@thomson.com.

Web site: http://creativesolutions.thomson.com.




Accounting Research Manager is a comprehensive online database of authoritative accounting, auditing, governmental and SEC material and interpretive guidance. Updated up to five times daily, it provides links to FASB, AICPA, SEC, EITF, IASB, PCAOB, GASB, GAO and OMB authoritative and proposal-stage literature, plus in-depth interpretations from financial reporting experts. Plus, Audit Public and Standard subscribers have access to free SEC courses for CPE.

Year introduced: From Andersen - 1997; from CCH - 2002.

Recent notable enhancements: ARM Splash Page, ARM Training for CPE, significant content additions, ARM SEC Financial Training Series, and bundling/integration enhancements.

Pricing: Ranges from $999 to $3,650.

Maint./support: Included.

Training: Free, one-hour ARM Webinar training with CPE offered twice a month.

Customer contact: (800) 872-2454 or cust_serv@cch.com.

Web site: www.accountingresearchmanager.com.



CCH ClientRelate is a data-mining tool that helps practitioners turn client information into increased revenue. ClientRelate consists of Tax Bulletins about new tax developments and Service Analyses on specific tax services, such as a change in accounting methods. A link within a bulletin or service initiates a scan of the practitioner's database of ProSystem fx Tax returns and produces a list of clients potentially affected. ClientRelate includes many ready-to-use practice aids, including mail-merge-ready client letters, spreadsheet templates and filled-in forms.

Year introduced: 2001.

Recent notable enhancements: Shorter search times; improvements to Search by Clients feature.

Pricing: Varies; single user - starts at $599.

Maint./support: No annual maintenance fees. No additional charge for tech support.

Training: Free Web-based training.

Customer contact: (888) 879-5515 opt. 2.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com.



This Web-based platform allows users to access more than 100 research sources covering federal, state, international and estate taxes; sales tax items; financial planning; business entity planning; and pension/payroll issues. It includes e-mail news notification, a customized desktop, express log-in, a browser toolbar, a client letter toolkit, unclaimed property look-up, IRS actuarial factors, practice aids, tools, calculators, forms and CCH@Hand functionality.

Year introduced: 1997.

Current version: 17.

Recent notable enhancements: Smart Chart functionality; new tools; expansion of international, federal and state content; new content integration (four new integrated library products); integration with BNA content; and new CCH@Hand functionality.

Pricing: Varies; single user - starts at $199; multi-user - 1.1 to 1.5 times single-user costs, based on network size.

Maint./support: No annual fees. Tech support at no added charge.

Training: $75 for two-and-a-half hours for new users; on-site - $350 for half day.

Customer contact: (800) 449-8114.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com.



Checkpoint brings together information on a powerful research platform, providing expert guidance and practice development tools. Coverage areas include federal, state and local; estate planning; pensions and benefits; international; payroll; financial reporting and management; and accounting and auditing. Checkpoint provides authoritative analysis from RIA editors, WG&L authors, and content from partners such as BNA, PPC, the AICPA, PLI, MicroMash CPE and World Trade Executive. It is also available on CD-ROM as OnPoint.

Year introduced: 1997.

Recent notable enhancements: Sarbanes-Oxley 404 Compliance Tools from Parson Consulting added, as well as PPC's Business Tax Planning Library. Revised Accounting and Auditing Disclosure Manual. New FASB literature added.

Pricing: Contact vendor.

Maint./support: Included.

Training: On-site, virtual classroom and Web-based training, and regional seminars.

Customer contact: (800) 950-1216.

Web site: http://ria.thomson.com.


Tax Analysts

The portable, personal OneDisc Premium Federal Research Library on DVD has 3 gigabytes of source documents in more than 40 databases, including the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; final, temporary and proposed regs; revenue rulings and procedures; announcements and notices; private letter rulings, technical advice memorandums, and all other chief counsel advice; as well as new legislation, IRS publications, the Internal Revenue Manual, U.S. tax treaties, and 100,000-plus full-text court cases (including every Tax Court decision). The software has tools immediately recognizable by all Internet users, and offers a quick search and multiple database search.

Year introduced: 2004.

Recent notable enhancements: Enhanced flexible search options, including proximity option to Advanced Word Search. New View Words in Context feature.

Pricing: OneDisc Premium - $359 per year for monthly updates, $339 per year for quarterly updates. Discounts for multiple copies.

Maint./support: Included.

Training: On-disc tutorial.

Customer contact: Joanne Oliver, (800) 955-3444 or cservice@tax.org.

Web site: www.taxanalysts.com.


BNA Tax Management Inc.

This research program, available on the Web, on CD-ROM and in print, combines over 400 practitioner-authored Portfolios covering virtually every aspect of federal, state and international taxation. Its practice tools include model documents; sample plans; federal and state forms and sample contracts; primary sources, including code, regulations and federal cases back to 1913; and daily tax news and journals.

Year introduced: Portfolios - 1959. Integrated version - 2001.

Recent notable enhancements: Improved search functions.

Pricing: Starts at $1,725.

Maint./support: Included.

Training: Express Training; instructor-led Web-based training; self-serve training modules; BNA Tax Management Library User's Guide.

Customer contact: (800) 372-1033 or tm@bna.com.

Web site: www.library.bnatax.com.



RIA Tax Alerts integrates tax research and compliance. RIA Tax Alerts indicates which forms(s) may be affected by tax law and regulation changes, providing links to related materials and offering recommended actions on how to address the issue. Practitioners can use this information to notify clients of tax developments that affect them, as a way to build both client relationships and revenue. Informing affected taxpayers is also made simple with the RIA Tax Alerts database of client letters, prepared to specifically explain the tax event.

Year introduced: 2000.

Recent notable enhancements: Client services advisory content; Search by Affected Client feature.

Pricing: Contact vendor.

Maint./support: Included.

Training: On-site, virtual classroom and Web-based training available.

Customer contact: (800) 950-1216.

Web site: http://ria.thomson.com.


BNA Tax Management Inc.

The Tax Practice Library is available on the Web and CD-ROM, and distills the analysis and insights of expert practitioners into practical answers on a wide range of tax questions. It offers hundreds of business-building productivity tools, including client letters, primary sources, and news and notification.

Year introduced: 2001.

Recent notable enhancements: Search improvements.

Pricing: Starts at $833.

Maint./support: Included.

Training: Express Training; instructor-led Web-based training; self-serve training modules; BNA Tax Management Library User's Guide.

Customer contact: (800) 372-1033 or tm@bna.com.

Web site: www.library.bnatax.com.



All of Total Kleinrock Office's components are designed to be user-friendly, with easy-to-understand plain-English content that's logically organized to follow right along with the IRS information. It also features an intuitive search engine.

Year introduced: 2003.

Current version: 2005.

Recent notable enhancements: Enhanced interface. New additions - Kleinrock's Quick Answers Library, Complete Tax Library, Federal Archive Library and State Archive Library.

Pricing: Three users (plus updating and applicable state sales taxes) - $600; four or more users (plus updating and applicable state sales taxes) - $900. Network pricing varies. All prices include CD version and full online access.

Maint./support: Toll-free support included.

Training: Toll-free research assistance, online training, training video, user's guide.

Customer contact: (877) 728-9776 or sales@atxinc.com.

Web site: www.kleinrock.com/tko.



CaseWare International Inc.

From an imported trial balance, CaseWare Working Papers generates working papers, GAAP financials and all required work programs and supporting documents for any engagement. Data changes are automatically updated in real time, and the document manager organizes all engagement documents in a controlled area.

Year introduced: 1988.

Current version: 2005.

Recent notable enhancements: Batch PDF; export of adjusting entries; spell check; support for integration with third-party DM systems; and conversions for GoSystem Audit, ProSystem fx Engagement and ePaceEngagement. Improvements to synchronization, compression size, automatic documents, engagement manager and file creation.

Pricing: Single user - $499; multi-user (up to five users) - $1,299; each additional user above five - $250.

Maint./support: Multi-user license renewable yearly at 50 percent of license value. Tech support included.

Training: In-house for up to 12 people - $2,100 per day. Classroom sessions available.

Customer contact: (800) 267-1317 or sales@caseware.com.

Web site: www.caseware.com.



This paperless engagement tool leverages an integrated electronic workpaper and trial balance system built from the ground up on Microsoft Word and Excel. It is designed to increase the efficiency of trial balance and tax engagements, using binders that are the electronic equivalent of your paper files.

Year introduced: 1999.

Current version: 4.0.

Recent notable enhancements: Active directory imports and updates supported. New catalog database to consolidate binder database architecture into fewer databases. Integration with ProSystem fx Practice and ProSystem fx Document.

Pricing: Single-user trial balance and workpaper management license - $1,150; additional trial balance and workpaper management licenses - $475 each; additional workpaper management license only - $265.

Maint./support: Tech support included.

Training: On-site full-day training - $2,000 plus expenses. Web-based full-day training - $1,500; multi-client training sessions - $295.

Customer contact: (800) PFX-9998.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com/pfx/products/engagement/.



This solution in the ProSystem fx Office Suite allows users to streamline compilations, reviews and audits and produce accurate financial statements and a solid set of workpapers. Trial Balance offers multi-user access, supports various entries, provides access to source journals, and supports nonprofit and consolidated corporation engagements. It also predefines industry features, holds templates for new companies, and has a client file conversion.

Current version: 2004.A01.

Pricing: First user - $1,150; concurrent stand-alone and network users - $185 each.

Maint./support: Annual fees; annual renewal required.

Customer contact: (800) PFX-9998.

Web site: http://tax.cchgroup.com/pfx/products/trialbalance/.



Total Tax & Engagement Office automates the engagement process - from creating workpapers to generating financial statements. Total Engagement Office not only computes the trial balance and financial statements, but also supports document management, online checklists and audit programs. To complete the year-end jobs, data also transfers to ATX's Total Tax Office (included) to complete the business tax return.

Year introduced: 2003.

Current version: 2005.

Pricing: Three users (plus updating and applicable state sales taxes) - $1,900; four or more users (plus updating and applicable state sales taxes) - $2,850; network pricing varies.

Maint./support: Toll-free Super Support included.

Training: Training video, User's Guide, program tutorial, online training.

Customer contact: (877) 728-9776 or sales@atxinc.com.

Web site: www.atxinc.com/teo.


Creative Solutions

Trial Balance CS handles annual engagements, and lets users easily import balances from a spreadsheet or QuickBooks Pro, custom-design the sequence of columns in the trial balance grid to view various combinations of balances and adjustments, and add custom workpaper references and tickmarks to indicate the review status of accounts. Trial Balance CS integrates directly with UltraTax CS and GoSystem Tax.

Year introduced: 2000.

Current version: 2005.4.1.

Recent notable enhancements: Ability to import grouping schedule codes, sub codes and adjusted budget amounts; ability to use grouping schedule codes and subcodes to create financial statements; new global financial statements.

Pricing: Starts at $600.

Maint./support: Support contracts available; otherwise, $18 per 10-minute increment. Additional support via Creative Solutions Annual Users' Conference, ARNE2, knowledgebase, NetCS, online help, e-mail.

Training: Hands-on classroom training, teletraining, Web-based training, on-site training, Getting Started Guide, Tutorial Guide, Walkthrough Guide.

Customer contact: (800) 968-0600 or cs.support@thomson.com.

Web site: http://creativesolutions.

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