The Best Tax Software for a CPA

by Michael Owens ; Updated September 26, 2017
CPAs have much tax software to choose from.

Tax Accountants and CPAs have many options to choose from when deciding on tax software. The software chosen often depends heavily on the size of the CPA firm and the complexity of the work that they complete. Large firms buy complex software with many options where a single sole CPA may buy a relatively simple system for their handful of clients. Tax software, like all software, has evolved significantly over the last three decades.

GoSystem Tax RS by Thompson Reuters

GoSystem is a web based tax software platform that is used by larger CPA firms. This tax software is used by nine of the ten largest CPA firms in the United States, according to Thompson Reuters. This software allows multiple staff to work on the same return while others limit a return to a single user. This technology is referred to as Multi-User Concurrent Access technology. The software can handle the most complex international and domestic corporate tax return or simple individuals.

UltraTax CS by Thompson Reuters

UltraTax is made by Thompson as is GoSystem. However, this software is intended for medium sized regional or boutique CPA firms. UltraTax has the capability of handling highly complex corporate returns but also has many user friendly features for small businesses, estates, trusts and individuals. Thompson states that, “UltraTax CS is filled with time saving tools to ease every step of the tax preparation process. With the efficiencies and time saving you gain, you can do more client returns in less time without adding staff. The software is easily implemented and has advanced E-Filing features that make the task very simple.

Lacerte by Intuit

Lacerte is Intuit's premier tax software product. It is designed for small local and multi-location boutique firms. It is sophisticated enough to handle complex business returns but not meant for public companies or extensive high-net worth tax planning. Lacerte has a built-in research tool that saves the tax preparer time. In addition to the built-in research library it also has user-friendly help topics, guides and tips to ensure that the return is done correctly. Lacerte integrates with Quickbooks, used by many small businesses, and makes converting the balance sheet into a tax form very easy.

ProSeries Tax by Intuit

ProSeries is a great web-based tax software program that is affordable for the individual CPA. It has a smaller version of Lacertes research suite and has more user features that help guide the return. It is easier to use and resembles TurboTax with its intuitive walk-through approach. It is not meant to handle highly complex returns. It does not have a multi-access interface for multiple users to work on the same return. However, if you are a lone CPA with individual and small business clients, this is a solid option.

About the Author

Michael Owens is a corporate recruiter and business owner in Houston, TX. He joined Demand Studios in 2009, writing for eHow Money and eHow Business & Personal Finance. Michael has a master's certificate in accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management.

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