For Tax Professionals: How To Choose Your Tax Filing Software

June 3, 2020

For tax preparers and accountants, your tax filing software is the foundational layer that supports the rest of your tax practice. A good tax filing software will feel intuitive to use, and offer functionality to help you obtain your clients’ tax information in a timely manner.

The Rapidly platform offers integrations with various tax filing softwares, and we want to share that expertise to help you make the right decision for your tax preparation practice.

Keep reading for your tax filing software checklist.

Pricing

The base pricing of tax filing software is always an important decision, if not the first test for qualifying a new software. This is the case particularly for independent solo practitioners, who must be confident their client payments outweigh the software price. The tax software cost versus benefit will depend highly on the volume of tax returns you are filing each tax season.

Depending on your tax filing software and volume of return filing, you may also have additional fees per return or have a cap on return filings.

Software Functionality

Tax preparers have the option to choose between a cloud-based solution that will run in a browser from any device with internet connection, or a desktop-based solution that runs offline from your specific device. A cloud-based tax preparation software means no installation, no software updates, and no data backups. 

The right choice for you may depend on whether you use a PC or Mac device for your tax practice. The extra option for a mobile app or mobile-friendly website may be desired if you require extra flexibility while you are on the go between clients.

It is also key to consider the other tools you use for tax preparation, such as accounting software, bank products and document storage solutions. This will depend on your unique situation and the tools you need to perform your tax and accounting services for individual or corporate clients.

If you are a Rapidly platform user, our software integrates with several cloud-based web solutions that will run in a browser for both PC and Mac users.

Tax Filing Features

Your preferred data entry style can make or break your relationship with your tax preparation software. While form-only entry can be faster for a high-volume office, an interview-style entry can help establish rapport with new clients in a conversational manner.

Many tax filing softwares are geared toward individual taxpayer returns with 1040 forms included. If you file annual returns for corporate clients, you will want to read the fine print about additional fees for those features.

If you work remotely with clients from various locations, you will want to have e-filing and e-signature options included in your software for ease of return processing.

Tax Filing Software Checklist

Pricing

  1. What is the base pricing of this software?

  2. How many returns do I expect to file annually?

  3. Based on the number of returns I file annually, are there additional fees?

Software Functionality

  1. Do I prefer a cloud-based or a desktop-based tax prep solution?

  2. Will my tax preparation solution run on PC, Mac, or both?

  3. Do I need a mobile app for my tax preparation software?

  4. What integrations will I require for: the Rapidly platform, accounting software, bank products or document storage solutions?

Tax Filing Features

  1. Will I file returns for only individual clients? 

  2. Will I file returns for corporate clients as well?

  3. Do I prefer a form or interview style for tax data entry?

  4. Do I need document storage built into my tax filing software?

  5. Do I require e-filing features?

  6. Do I need an e-signature option for remote clients?

With this checklist in mind, the Rapidly team hopes you will pick the best tax filing software for your needs, to simplify your operations and propel your tax preparation productivity.