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Drake Software - Is it Enough?

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#1
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Texas
I don't do much return preparation, but I am starting to do some additional work and want to add it as a value add, but not with every client. My primary knowledge area is state and local, so the return prep I take on will be heavy on the state and local issues (allocations, different types of income, etc.).

I'm generally familiar with Thomson Reuters' offerings in other areas, so my inclination is to go with ultra tax because it seems to be very customizable. However, it's obviously expensive if I'm not preparing tons of returns.

So I was looking at Drake Tax, which seems interesting, but I'm a bit concerned about what it can do on the state side. Does anyone have any guidance/advice here? The ability to not have to pay a huge amount up-front seems nice, but I may need to be able to handle complex things. If I go with Drake and the software doesn't support what I'm trying to present on the returns, how easy/possible are overrides?
 

#2
ATSMAN  
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MA
Download their trial software and do some test returns to see if it meets your requirements. It can handle your run of the mil 1040 with state allocations. Some manual intervention is required.

https://kb.drakesoftware.com/Site/Brows ... ly-eFiling
 

#3
CathysTaxes  
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Suburb of Chicago
One of my clients needs to file in almost ten states. Drake has handled it fine. I also have clients who moved to AZ - no problem
Cathy
CathysTaxes
 

#4
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Overrides are straightforward. Of course, you don’t want to be overriding a lot, but if you need a number in the right place, it is easy. Generally, that involves going to a different screen. Test it thoroughly and see if it works.

I moved to Drake about three years ago, mid-year when I realized that TaxAct wouldn’t work for my newly-acquired business returns. I asked my mentor what she thought. She gives it an 8/10 (no software is perfect) and observed the only way to use tax software is by knowing what the end result should look like. Accept those two points and evaluating software becomes much easier.
 

#5
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845-NY
UT offers a PerReturnPrice.
On a large scale it becomes not cost effective, but it's a good way to start and expand.
They will also negotiate and lock in a 3 year deal if you start talking to your rep about your PRP cost vs Drake etc.
Good luck
 

#6
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Wisconsin
I agree with the others, there's only one way to find out if Drake is right for your situation -- get a demo and test it out. Actually prepare the returns in the software, both easy ones and hard ones. I think almost all professional tax software has some sort of per-return option.

Drake is one of the top options of the value tier of professional tax software, if not the top option. It's not as full-featured as Prosystems/Axcess, UltraTax, and Lacerte, but the price is significantly lower as well. However, they have been recently acquired by private equity so I would expect to see major changes in the next couple years.

I used Drake in a previous firm and for the first year of my solo practice before switching to UltraTax. IMO, the biggest limitations to Drake for small firms like mine are its asset module and complexity on the state side. If you have standard nonresident filings, it is probably sufficient, but you have to watch the hard ones. I had an issue where taxpayers were full-year residents of two states (one state due to domiciliary rule and one state due to physical presence rule) and the software did not handle that well at all. But it's been a few years so perhaps that situation has been overcome.
 

#7
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Location:
OH
Kudos to what everyone else said. The unfortunate thing about TR's customer service is that its absolutely terrible. The tax software is much better, but if you ever have an issue, goodluck.
 

#8
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2535
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21-May-2018 7:50am
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A Shark on a Cash Reef!
I really dislike Drake, but I would use it before I would ever return to UT. I am pretty happy with Lacerte--very few instances where I need to override anything. Tax is only about 25% of my practice so I am still on PRP since clients reimburse all fees and I actually turn a rather nice profit on it.

Drake is too simplistic for my needs, the UI sucks, and it took too much time to figure out how to do more complicated returns I handle that may involve 10-15 states and special allocations.
 

#9
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266
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Location:
Texas
Thanks all. Unfortunately I don't have any returns to test other than my personal ones which aren't complex enough. I could make stuff up and test things out, but it's hard to make up complex scenarios. I do think that I'm going to be preparing few enough returns that I can figure out the number that I want to be in a specific place on the return myself, if necessary. I just want to make sure I'm able to get that number to show up there if I want it to.

Interesting that some people really like something and others really hate it. I'm mostly intrigued with UT because I'm somewhat familiar with onesource income tax, but I'm still in the early phases of researching so I don't even know if they're similar (or if OIT is even the same as it was 6 years ago).

I'm going to stay away from Intuit, but does Prosystems/Axcess have per return pricing? I can't seem to find any pricing information on their site.
 

#10
CO CPA  
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17-Oct-2018 10:46am
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Colorado (CO)
I find Drake is fine on individual multi state but horrific on entity multi-state. I had a partnership with 11 states last year and some of the software bugs were terrible - one being the CA salt tax workaround didn't calc properly when one partner was res and one NR.
 

#11
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22-Apr-2014 3:06pm
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WA State
atxsaltax wrote:I'm going to stay away from Intuit...


I am no fan of Intuit, but I agree with Cornerstone on the functionality of Lacerte. That's what I've gone with for my new firm.
I'd love to use UT, but their lack of support and mismanagement of other areas of their company has removed the trust I need to be able to pull the trigger on UT.
~Captcook
 

#12
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306
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12-Feb-2015 8:50am
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Northern New England
SumwunLost wrote:I moved to Drake about three years ago, mid-year when I realized that TaxAct wouldn’t work for my newly-acquired business returns.


FWIW Drake just acquired TaxAct.
 

#13
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North Carolina
09RoadKing, to be precise, I think the fund that acquired TaxAct also owns a large chunk of Drake. My impression from when the deal was announced was that Drake will be the "premium" package and TaxAct will be entry-level and consumer, which is pretty much the space it occupies at the moment.
 


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