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Five things I love (hate) about you.

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#1
irc162  
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262
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5-Jan-2015 5:34pm
Location:
Rogue Valley
The tax software edition...

I am looking to change software companies this year. I will be tyring out the demo editions during the summer against existing returns. I also know the Tax Advisor and J of A do software polls. Frankly, they are pretty tame and don't always tell the full story. I also know that running a return and getting it through E file in the relative calmness of July is not the same as trying to do this in April. In the heat of battle as it were. Things like April 15 MFA failures, bonehead security measures, mandatory updates that freeze the program and long waits for support aren't as apparent. So now while the good, the bad and the ugly about your tax software is still fresh in your mind, I would like to know: What are 5 things you love about your tax software? Five things you hate?
 

#2
Posts:
536
Joined:
22-May-2014 1:38pm
Location:
Texas
UT - price sucks
MFA sucks
file cabinet sucks

Basis calcs for Shareholder K1s are awesome
tax reconciliation report is awesome
year to year comp is awesome
 

#3
makbo  
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6178
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23-Apr-2014 3:44pm
Location:
District 13
It's not much different from hearing about pros and cons of various automobiles -- what is a drawback for one user is going to be a beloved feature for another. For example, as a UT user, I don't pay for or use FileCabinet, so what "sucks" for sdodsoncpa is not a problem for me at all.

I do feel it's also worth noting, since it was brought up, that MFA is optional for using UT (it's only mandatory for transmitting efiles), and even when it's not working, there are several work-arounds, such as creating a second user without MFA configured, or simply disconnecting temporarily from the network, just long enough to allow a log in.
 

#4
smtcpa  
Posts:
186
Joined:
28-Jul-2014 5:16am
Location:
Colorado
UltraTax
Like:
1. The processing of multi-state returns
2. Integration of flow-through entity K-1s to individual 1040s
3. Diagnostics
4. The supporting schedules
5. The mysterious images you have to guess at if you type in your password incorrectly just once.
6. Chat support is very quick and usually very good.

Hate:
1. The organizer
2. Their account reps (they call/email during tax season and are not the brightest bulbs in the box)

I am totally fine with their MFA. We turned it on for getting into the program

By the way, I went from UT to Lacerte two years ago and hated it. Ran back to UT as fast as I could.

By the way part 2...I would not look at those reviews in JofA or other magazines. They never seem to say anything bad about anyone. It's like it's all paid advertising.
 

#5
Posts:
1557
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24-Apr-2014 7:54am
Location:
Wisconsin
UltraTax as well:
Love the depreciation capabilities (including WI's personal property returns)
2 year comparisons, including the states, although I wish it omitted extraneous lines
"To Do" list of prior year documents, and the diagnostics (now that you can turn some of them off)
Its multi-monitor setup and support for a client-facing screen
The instant recalculation of the return (plus the ability to turn it off if desired)
Ability to configure client deliverables (i.e. I have the 2 year comparison in front of the 1040)
The checklist organizer (the full ones are about as bad as ProSystems)

Don't love that they don't offer Fixed Assets/Planner CS on a pay-per-return basis
It crashes to desktop more often than I would like
I wish the statements dialog (i.e. entering a 1099-DIV) would work better on a vertically-oriented monitor
I wish I could choose a base font for all client letters and transmittals rather than editing each one separately
 

#6
irc162  
Posts:
262
Joined:
5-Jan-2015 5:34pm
Location:
Rogue Valley
This is all really helpful....thank you.
 

#7
Posts:
205
Joined:
12-Jun-2014 6:13pm
Location:
North Carolina
Makbo makes an excellent point

"It's not much different from hearing about pros and cons of various automobiles -- what is a drawback for one user is going to be a beloved feature for another. For example, as a UT user, I don't pay for or use FileCabinet, so what "sucks" for sdodsoncpa is not a problem for me at all."

I still remember somebody told me that the (in my opinion) abysmal user interface Proseries has was what she thought was it's best feature. For the record, I've used Lacerte, Ultratax, Proseries, and Drake so it wasn't just reluctance on my part to learn a new interface; I had no trouble getting used to any of the others.

(edited to add quotation marks)
Because on T.A. ten was the most you were allowed
 

#8
Frankly  
Moderator
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California
Tenletters wrote:I still remember somebody told me that the (in my opinion) abysmal user interface Proseries has was what she thought was it's best feature.

ProSeries has two interfaces - one for the complete version (sux), and a different one for the basic version (pretty good).
 

#9
Posts:
537
Joined:
21-May-2018 7:50am
Location:
Hilton Head Island, SC
Finally, I agree with something else makbo has to say. Go read a forum on any vehicle, and you will quickly exhaust your list of options since you can find plenty of reasons to not buy anything, of any type.

I use UltraTax. I do NOT use any of their products. I used to use File Cabinet, hated it from day one, and finally ditched it last year without hesitation or regret. Is UT expensive? Yes, but it is generally reliable. I have had problems with UT 2018 crashing, but unlike others, I do not mind the MFA and have not had any issues with it (yep, knocking on my wood desk as I type this).

Editing templates is a PITA, such as engagement letters. I wish they would proforma and I could just make slight modifications each year. I do not like that they require you pay for certain modules/functionality that is included with other programs, which HAS tempted me to run a two system environment but I have not reached that point.

I have looked at other packages, and in looking at the big picture, cannot find a reason to switch away from UT. The pricing annoys the hell out of me, but the software works well. Their support is pretty good. My sales rep is responsive.
 

#10
Posts:
1557
Joined:
24-Apr-2014 7:54am
Location:
Wisconsin
CornerstoneCPA wrote:Finally, I agree with something else makbo has to say. Go read a forum on any vehicle, and you will quickly exhaust your list of options since you can find plenty of reasons to not buy anything, of any type.


For sure. But a reader of reviews can separate major problems from minor ones. The criticism of "I don't like the red paint" is less major than "the doors fall off and the sunroof leaks".

But if even minor issues in a review are explained in enough detail, the specific criticisms can be helpful, and then others can chime in and help others, like:

Editing templates is a PITA, such as engagement letters. I wish they would proforma and I could just make slight modifications each year.


Actually, you can do that. If you go to the pro forma area, there is a drop down box where you can choose between pro forma'ing clients, data entry setups (i.e. if you move the asset tab from the far right position on the Sch C business entry, that can be pro forma'd into the next year), return collations, and client documents. So next year, you can try to pro forma your engagement letters!
 

#11
Posts:
350
Joined:
28-May-2014 12:04pm
Location:
Arkansas
missingdonut wrote:UltraTax as well:
The instant recalculation of the return (plus the ability to turn it off if desired)


Now hold on just a cotton-pickin minute. Is this true? If so, did you notice speed improvements? How do you then initiate the calculation?
 

#12
Posts:
1557
Joined:
24-Apr-2014 7:54am
Location:
Wisconsin
It's called Data Entry Mode, and they put it in beginning with last year's version of the program (https://cs.thomsonreuters.com/ua/ut/201 ... ations.htm)

I use it only infrequently but it's amazing when you're working on a 5 or 6 state return or have a bunch of rental properties. So I enter the stuff and then turn the data entry mode off, and then it calculates.
 

#13
Posts:
350
Joined:
28-May-2014 12:04pm
Location:
Arkansas
missingdonut wrote:It's called Data Entry Mode, and they put it in beginning with last year's version of the program (https://cs.thomsonreuters.com/ua/ut/201 ... ations.htm)

I use it only infrequently but it's amazing when you're working on a 5 or 6 state return or have a bunch of rental properties. So I enter the stuff and then turn the data entry mode off, and then it calculates.


Excellent, thank you. I will certainly try that on some clients that moving more slowly.
 


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