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Top 50 Accounting Firm Products of 2013

A 22-year tradition of reviewing tax software continues with CPA Magazine's Top 50 Accounting Firm Products of 2013. While the basic bread-and-butter features are still the core of a product’s importance, special consideration was given to companies with ongoing educational initiatives to the CPA community.

The listing features fifty products spanning ten categories. Products were considered based on four key sets of attributes: usability, imbedded intelligence, integration and overall value. All accounting and tax applications selected provide extended applications such as depth of functionality relative to the cost of the system.

 

Tax Prep

TaxACT Preparer’s Edition

TaxACT Preparer’s Edition contains advanced tools and powerful features at an affordable price. Includes a client organizer, invoicing, multiple preparer support, unlimited return filing, low-cost Form 1040 e-filing, and affordable state packages. In the Journal of Accountancy and The Tax Advisers' 2012 tax software survey users praised its ease of use and price. TaxACT rated among the top three in both categories and received the highest user rating for easy update/installation process.

www.taxact.com | 800-573-4287

 

ProSystem fx Tax

CCH Tax and Accounting’s ProSystem fx Tax is the cornerstone of the ProSystem fx Office, a tax preparation and compliance tool. Designed to handle an extensive range of federal and state individual, corporate, partnership, fiduciary, deferred compensation, exempt organization, and estate and gift tax returns.

www.cchgroup.com | 888-224-7377

 

ATX

CCH ATX can prepare federal, state, city and payroll tax returns. It has unlimited electronic filing of individual and business returns. Software provides complete tax preparation while the  Electronic Filing Center and TaxWise University provide quality training.

www.atxinc.com | 866-345-4172

 

Drake Software

Drake Software Tax Solution forms include in one package: 1040, 1040NR, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120H, 1120S, 706, 709, 990, 990PF. All states are included. With over 4000 forms, schedules, and worksheets, the software is network ready and includes Federal and state e-filing. Unlimited and PPR packages are available.

www.drakesoftware.com | 800-890-9500

 

Lacerte

Intuit’s Lacerte has a Missing Client Data Utility to reduce the hassle of tracking down client data and the ability to email encrypted PDF copies of your client returns from within Lacerte.  Lacerte includes over 5,600 tax forms including multi-state K-1s, consolidated corporations, publicly traded partnerships, basis calculations, depreciation, amortizations, debt forgiveness, schedule J (farming), and oil and gas. Lacerte has more than 20,000 error diagnostics, including a specific e-file review.

www.accountants.intuit.com/tax/lacerte | 800-446-8848

 

ProSeries Professional

Intuit ProSeries Professional provides planning and review tools for accurate, complete tax returns. The software works well with other Intuit programs such as Quicken and QuickBooks to transfer client data smoothly and flexible data entry methods to input information efficiently. Returns can be reviewed with onscreen diagnostics and quick-help features.

www.proseries.com | 800-446-8848

 

CCH TaxWise

CCH TaxWise offers four packages designed for the full service tax office. The Power Package is for tax professionals who prepare personal and all types of business returns in many states. It includes the federal 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709, 990 and 5500 modules along with companion modules for every state with a filing requirement plus the CCH U.S. Master Tax Guide Online and unlimited e-filing.

www.taxwise.com | 866-345-4171

 

UltraTax CS

ThomsonReuters UltraTax CS includes all federal and 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, and 1120S state programs. The Electronic Client Organizer offers data transfer via email or over the Internet. Data sharing facilitates data transfer; and per-return-pricing allows preparation of a few returns within specific categories.

www.cs.thomsonreuters.com | 800-968-8900

 

 

Tax Research

Bloomberg BNA

Bloomberg BNA Federal Tax Practice and Procedure Research and Guidance provides practical, topical analysis from leading tax practitioners. Hundreds of client communications spell out pitfalls and opportunities. Services can be expanded with report-generating E-Financial Analyst, while tapping into the primary source materials, eliminating surprises with the latest IRS news.

www.bnatax.com | 800-372-1033

 

IntelliConnect

CCH’s IntelliConnect combines CCH’s authoritative content with Internet technology to offer a current, customized and intuitive line of tax research products and access tools, real-time tax news, and training and support, and is integrated into CCH’s tax compliance software solutions.

www.cchgroup.com | 888-224-7377

 

Lexis Advance

Lexis Advance provides research task materials on one page with access to treatises and updates from Matthew Bender, The Wall Street Journal and Shepards. It provides information on developments with tax dailies and weeklies, such as Tax Notes Today, BNA Daily Tax Reports, and others.

www.lexisnexis.com | 800-227-4908

 

Thomson Reuters Checkpoint

Thomson Reuters Checkpoint service provides complete tax law, expert analysis, practitioner insights, tax-related news, cases, rulings, and productivity tools. Some of the sources include WG&L Treatises, AICPA and FASB content. Coverage areas: federal, state and local, estate planning, pensions and benefits, international, payroll and financial reporting and management.

www.cs.thomsonreuters.com | 800-968-8900

 

 

Tax Planning

BNA Income Tax Planner

BNA Income Tax Planner with fifty states calculates individual federal and state income taxes for all resident states, NYC and DC, and many nonresident states. Program offers seven modes of analysis, displays up to 10 years/cases, handles K-1 and 1099 income on an activity-by-activity basis, automatically handles complex tax limitations and phase-outs, produces 1040-ES/1041-ES payment vouchers including annualization, includes clients letters, graphs, and reports.

www.bnasoftware.com | 800-424-2938

 

ProSystem fx Planning

CCH’s ProSystem fx Planning allows tax professionals to streamline tax planning engagements that naturally flow from tax compliance activities. It is customizable and allows practitioners to develop, calculate and review tax scenarios, as well as create effective planning strategies for their clients.

www.cchgroup.com| 888-224-7377

 

Retirement Plan Analyzer 2013.11

Leimberg & LeClair Retirement Plan Analyzer 2013.11 is designed to evaluate pension and profit-sharing distribution strategies. It computes an almost unlimited number of alternatives under methods such as discretionary or attained age, includes minimum distribution rules, prints comparative graphs and many reports. The Pre-59½ Distributions section had several changes. The "Reasonable" Interest Rate selection was updated for The State Death Tax Manager to version 3.20. The following states were updated: CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, IN, ME, NC, OR, RI and TN.

www.leimberg.com | 610-924-0515

 

Planner CS

Thomson Reuters UltraTax Planner CS handles an unlimited number of scenarios and/or years, and includes calculations for all states. Built-in graphing capabilities make it easy to communicate tax plans and alternatives clearly to clients. Integrates seamlessly with UltraTax or operates stand-alone.

www.cs.thomsonreuters.com | 800-968-8900

 

 

Sales Tax

Avalara

Avalara is a fully-automated sales tax management solution that performs real-time, automated sales tax calculations, and provides automatic returns preparation and filing. It enables reporting, treasury management and audit defense with sophisticated, web-based compliance management and reporting tools. Avalara was founded on the premise that businesses of all sizes should be able to confidently, accurately and affordably outsource the most time-consuming aspects of sales tax compliance - researching, calculating, posting, reporting and remitting sales taxes.

www.avalara.com | 877-780-4848

 

BNA Sales & Use Tax Rates and Forms

BNA Sales & Use Tax Rates and Forms has continually updated rates, forms, and instructions for every U.S. taxing jurisdiction and easy rates look-up. Onscreen forms have a built-in calculation ability. A “What’s New” section highlights changes, and interim rate changes are downloadable from BNA Software’s Web site. The Rates File Generator exports rates into formats for use in other systems.

www.bnasoftware.com | 800-424-2938

 

Sales Tax SaaS Pro

CCH’s Sales Tax SaaS Pro combines the practical advantages of web-based technology with CPA-designed functionality. The strengths of the application include: web services and coding economies for real-time accuracy in sales tax determinations, a Sales Tax SaaS Console online administration and service center and a Sales Tax SaaS Service Engine to ensure efficient handling of rule additions and changes.

www.cchgroup.com | 888-224-7377

 

 

Estate Planning

BNA Estate & Gift Tax Planner

BNA Estate & Gift Tax Planner offers a complete set of estate planning calculations, including interrelated marital and charitable computations, GRITs, GRATs, GRUTs, private annuities and SCINs, Sec. 6166, and all “special credits.” The calcs integrate seamlessly and all state current estate tax laws are incorporated. Features include a Quick Start Wizard, customizable graphs, minimum distribution and actuarial utilities.

www.bnasoftware.com | 800-424-2938

 

NumberCruncher

Leimberg & LeClair’s NumberCruncher estate financial planning software couples numbers, Windows graphics, and client-ready explanatory text for each of its many programs which makes it possible for planners to also “cut and paste” any calculation, graph, or report into a Word or other document. The Estate Tax changes from the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013 reflect the maximum estate tax rate of 40% starting in 2013 and the applicable exclusion amount for 2013 of $5,250,000.

www.leimberg.com | 610-924-0515

 

 

Engagement

QuickBooks Accountant

For engagements accountant can: view income-producing transactions in one place, and take immediate action to get overdue invoices paid. Add attachments to a QuickBooks transaction email, customize email templates and see prior email conversations. Pull in banking transactions from multiple banks and accounts to view and categorize them with Bank Feeds. Work in two company files at the same time with Multi-Instance. Create & customize financial statements with Working Trial Balance.

www.accountants.intuit.com | 888-236-9501

 

Accounting Relief

AccountantsWorld’s Accounting Relief is a fully secure, web-based system for client accounting and bookkeeping, trial balance and write-up. It works collaboratively with clients in real-time using a cloud-based system that can be customized to match needs and resources of each client, enabling accountants to streamline all phases of the engagement.

www.accountantsworld.com/AR | 888-999-1366 ext. 517

 

Working Papers

CaseWare’s Working Papers is engagement software and an assurance and reporting tool. Electronic review has real-time updates, full annotation capabilities, issues management, and version control at the document, cell and account level. Plan, perform and review the engagement on screen, eliminating paper.

www.caseware.com | 800-267-1317

 

 

Time & Billing

BillQuick

BQE Software’s BillQuick tracks projects, staff and billing. A project logged into BillQuick and assigned to a staff member can be their to-do list and lets them know what kinds of projects are in the house and lets a manager track staff as far as due date timing and the workload on their desk. When a new project is launched, employees can see all of the steps that need to be completed to get the project out on time. When a client calls in with a question about the status of their project, the front-line staff can determine exactly where it is in the process. The tool can also track unbilled time, such as answering client phone calls.

www.bqe.com | 866-945-1595  

 

Sage Timeslips

Sage Timeslips manages the entire billing cycle. Features include time and expense tracking, custom bill formatting, accounts receivable tracking, and Timeslips Today.

www.timeslips.com | 800-285-0999

 

TPS Software

TPS Software links directly into Microsoft Outlook 98’ to 2013’s “CONTACT” feature. You can have the entire history of a client’s business individually or grouped together to determine the profitability of any individual engagement, client or company. See the productivity of every CPA recording time and see what time has not been placed in WIP. A remote time entry function  imports all the remote time. Generate time transactions with or without the use of a clock. Multiple Write up/downs including “Provisional”.

www.tpssoftware.com | 888-877-2231

 

 

Practice Management

ProSystem fx Practice

CCH’s ProSystem fx Practice is the practice management component of The ProSystem fx Office, goes beyond tracking time and billing. It also delivers critical office management information to better manage project activities and reports, capture accurate billable hours, and raise realization rates. Also takes advantage of Advantage Database Server, CCH’s client/server database platform.

www.cchgroup.com | 888-224-7377

 

Practice CS

Thomson Reuters’ Practice CS is an integrated suite of practice management products with data analysis capabilities enabling users to capture and invoice all billable activity, monitor staff productivity and client profitability. Combines time and billing with project scheduling capabilities.

www.cs.thomsonreuters.com | 800-968-8900

 

 

Payroll

Payroll Relief

AccountantsWorld’s Payroll Relief offers a cloud-based payroll processing service to offer to clients and an after-the-fact payroll system that is always up-to-date with current federal and state tax forms and filings. Web-based processing service designed exclusively for accountants.

www.accountantsworld.com/PRAC | 888-999-1366 ext. 517

 

ADP RUN

ADP’s RUN was designed specifically for accounting professionals looking for an end-to-end payroll tax filing service, from do-it-yourself with eFile/ePay to full tax filing. Connectivity to additional services for clients: HR resources, workers' compensation premium payment program and retirement plans and time and attendance solution and benefits administration solutions to help clients comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

www.accountant.adp.com | 800-225-5237

 

CheckMark Payroll

CheckMark’s Payroll offers professional payroll services and software for small businesses at an affordable price.

www.checkmark.com | 800-444-9922

 

Intuit Payroll for Accountants

Clients collaborate by visiting a client-accessible payroll website branded with the firm's name. Set client's level of access depending on their level of involvement in payroll activities. Keep track of important deadlines through the Client Dashboard and To Do List. Run payroll on the go with a mobile app. Enter employee hours, review and approve, and pay employees from iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Perform job costing and class tracking. Time-tracking is integrated with payroll. Integrates with QuickBooks, QuickBooks for Mac, QuickBooks Online, Quicken, and Peachtree.

www.accountants.intuit.com | 888-236-9501     

 

 

Clarity Payroll

Paymate offers cost-effective payroll/HR, ESS, time and attendance and scheduling solution for North America SMEs with short implementation, training and migration from other software or service.

www.paymatesoftware.com | 866-729-6283

 

 

Payroll4Construction

Payroll4Construction is a payroll service just for construction that offers standard processing services, fringe management, multiple states, localities, jobs par rates, and free certified payroll and construction reporting.

www.payroll4construction.com | 800-949-9620

 

Sage HRMS

Sage HRMS offers flexible, in-house payroll processing, powerful reporting tools to help with compliance and strategic planning, and maximum security of sensitive data.

www.sageabra.com | 866-271-6050

 

 

Business Management: NFP, Construction and Office Utilities

 Financial Edge

Blackbaud’s Financial Edge from Blackbaud is accounting software with expertise in reporting, grant management, restricted fund management, nonprofit specific workflows, and collaboration with the fundraising department.

www.blackbaud.com | 800-443-9441

 

Foundation

Foundation helps contractors improve their accounting and reporting with job cost accounting software offering 19 modules, a mobile app, and SaaS or on-premise options.

www.foundationsoft.com | 800-246-0800

 

Net Worth Express PRO Edition

KISS Computer Company’s Net Worth Express PRO Edition allows you to compile a personal financial statement based on GAAP. Include a compilation report, provided with the program or by creating your own custom report.

www.networthexpress.com | 888-848-8105

 

CPA SafeSign

CPA Paperless’ CPA SafeSign allows users to e-sign accounting documents with their PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Users can e-sign engagement letters, Form 8879s, management representation letters and partnership agreements. Internal documents can be signed from anywhere, anytime via a PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

www.cpaperless.com | 800-716-2558

 

 

Document Management

CyberCabinet

AccountantsWorld’s CyberCabinet is a document management and client portals system that supports Send/Receive files of virtually any size securely with easy drag-and-drop functionality.

www.accountantsworld.com/cc | 888-999-1366 ext 517

 

iChannel

Conarc’s iChannel features an integrated document manager, CRM, email manager, secure email, client portals, tax workflow, links to engagements, tax, scan, practice, caseware and XCM.

www.conarc.com | 770-849-0508

 

Doc.It Suite

Doc.It Suite is easy to interact with. The system utilizes embedded intelligence methodology for organizing the electronic process.

www.doc-it.com | 888-693-6248

 

 

Workflow

Beyond415

Beyond415 provides current guidance on individual, business and payroll areas of IRS practice and procedure, including the following categories: authorizations, agreements, Section 7216 consents, IRS client account research, audits, penalties, return corrections & adjustments, collection, IRS e-services, past-due returns, tax identity theft, and taxpayer advocate service. For each issue, Beyond415 provides a step-by-step work plan with instructions, practice tips and examples of the documents and forms needed. Beyond415’s sample documents, including forms, letters, analysis tools and work papers.

www.beyond415.com | 866-414-6004

 

Office Tools Professional Practice Management Software

Office Tools Professional Practice Management Software from Office Tools Professional provides accounting and tax professionals with next generation practice management software, providing a single interface for client, staff, office and documents. Simplified office management while tracking time, due dates and assignments.

www.officetoolspro.com | 888-667-8440

 

SPbinder

SurePrep’s SPbinder automatically bookmarks and organizes source documents and exports data to tax software. Workpapers are then reviewed using the integrated electronic workpaper system, SPbinder.

www.sureprep.com | 800-805-8582 ext. 3

 

 

Write-Up

Client Write-Up

PC Software Accounting’s Client Write-Up system keeps all financial periods open. Changes can be made to produce financial reports for any period at any time. It includes an integrated bank reconciliation program, payroll sub-system, and a Computer Checkbook feature that can be used by the accounting firm to write checks or by clients at their offices. Payroll reports are generated from plain paper without requiring a form. The system can handle MICR checks and direct deposit. The Client Write-Up system interfaces with other accounting programs and many tax preparations programs. It produces reports that can be placed in Excel or Microsoft Word.

www.pcsai.com | 800-237-9234

 

Accounting CS

Thomson Reuters’ Accounting CS offers transaction and after-the-fact payroll processing and a flexible report writer that enables creation of customized financial statements. The heart of an integrated suite of software, the product enables seamless data flow between UltraTax, and Practice CS.

www.cs.thomsonreuters.com | 800-968-8900

 

Swizznet

Swizznet cloud accounting and QuickBooks hosting is a premier Citrix cloud accounting and Intuit-authorized QuickBooks hosting provider offering a fast mobile and online solution for accessing accounting applications anytime, anywhere.

www.swizznet.com | 888-794-9948

 

QuickBooks Accountant 2014 Plus

QuickBooks Accountant 2014 Plus enables an accountant to gather beginning balances, period transactions and adjustments, and ending balances for any time frame with Working Trial Balance. Create complete financial reports with QuickBooks Statement Writer. Find and fix client entry errors with Client Data Review. Batch-enter checks, deposits, or credit card transactions on one screen. Identify checks written from the wrong account and reassign them to the right bank account. Track unpaid invoices, make the right adjustments and charge bounced check fees. Email journal entries from QuickBooks and let clients import them with Send General Journal Entry. Send Accountant’s Copy files through secured Intuit servers with Accountant’s Copy File Transfer Service.

www.accountants.intuit.com | 888-236-9501

 

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