Intuit Inc. is gearing up to debut ProLine Tax Online Edition, a limited-time free 1040 software-as-a-service offering that will be available in California and Arizona in early September.

The product, which has been in development since October, was released to a controlled user group of 500 in February, 120 of whom used it to file their returns, according to Jill Ward, senior vice president of the Intuit Accounting Professionals Division. A subsequent alpha test was sent out August 19.

The announcement was made at the 29th annual Midwest Accounting and Finance Show, here.

Intuit said preparers can register at for the free trial. ProLine Tax Online Edition features a single-screen data entry with a three-step process - input, review and file.

"We wanted to get the foundation right," explained Intuit group product manager Jorge Olavarrieta. "Then we can eventually expand it to users with tax needs other than 1040 such as corporate, partnership and small business. Then potentially areas such as payroll."

Ward explained that the product is the latest of a series of developments, such as Client Data Review and E-sort scan-and-organize, in Intuit's Accounting Professionals Division strategy of reducing by 50 percent the cycle time for accounting workflow by 2012. Ward said APD has slashed that to roughly 13 percent thus far in 2009.

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