Much has changed since the 16th Amendment legalized income tax in 1913. But, when it comes to making money as a tax preparer, income tax season still holds huge earning potential.
Despite the government reducing the length of the 1040 form in 2018, income tax is more complicated than ever. Hence, it only makes sense for your tax preparation business to utilize software that can take the helm with you. After all, with the right tools in your arsenal, you can save time, reduce costs, increase productivity, and maximize profit.
In this post, we’ll recommend our favorite software to help tax preparers make more money all year round.
Tax Preparation Software
Make sure you don’t waste time wasting money by choosing the right tax preparation software from the get-go. Although many software providers offer free trials, understand your business requirements before registering to ensure you’re maximizing your productivity.
What’s right for your business one year, may not necessarily be right the next year. Review the tax preparation marketplace regularly to ensure you’re still getting the best value for your money. Some key questions to ponder are:
- What is your budget per month, per year, or per tax return?
- Will you need the software year-round, or just for tax season?
- Does the software include accuracy checks? Or will you need to pay extra for these?
- What type of support does the platform offer? Is it included in the package you’d choose?
- What is their turnaround time on customer issues and queries?
- Which tax forms will you need to file (Schedule C, Schedule 1040, etc.)? Will the software support them all?
- Do you the software to be available through your web browser? Or to have a desktop-installed program?
And without further ado, here are our favorite three tax preparation software.
With a user-base of 50,000 tax professionals who process more than 26 million federal and state returns every year, Drake Tax Software is one of the most comprehensive, and respected, tax preparation software out there for tax professionals. In 2018 they were voted number one in the Tax Software Survey for Price, Support, Most Recommended for New Practice as well as Overall Rating.
Three different pricing structures are available, including the “Pay-Per-Return” a.k.a. the “Pay-As-You-Go” package for smaller businesses with less tax preparation requirements. Support is available year-round but they operate shorter business hours during off-peak season (Apr 20th to Dec 1st).
For convenience, they offer both “Drake on the Desktop” – desktop-installed software, and “Drake Hosted Desktop” – web-hosted software, along with various integrations including SecureFile Pro and GruntWorx.
One drawback of Drake is that it might be overkill in terms of both cost, and number of features, for smaller businesses or freelancers. If that rings true for you, our next recommendation may be a better fit.
Boasting a 99% acceptance rate on tax returns, and working with over 120,000 tax firms, is Intuit ProConnect, our second favorite tax preparation software.
Helping tax preparers make money for more than 30 years, Intuit is registered under the same trademark as QuickBooks and TurboTax. And they offer various integrations including “QuickBooks Online Accountant”, “e-Signature” and “Online Refund”.
Unlike Drake Tax Software, Intuit ProConnect’s software is only cloud-based with “Pay Per Return” pricing. Although they provide access to more than 5,000 different forms, the pricing varies depending upon which forms you need to file: 1040 only or multiple.
One of the great things about Intuit is the regular training they supply for free. Live web training is available, almost daily, to teach you about anything: from recently passed tax legislation and safeguarding user data, to general management tips and how to be more productive with the Drake software.
Perhaps the lesser known of the three, TaxWise from Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting is a good option for professionals and companies filing a high-number of returns per year. Although most of the features are only available through their desktop-based version, they do offer web-based filing for firms that only need to process 1040s.
TaxWise has built-in error diagnostic tools to help you identify and rectify errors while offering free 24/7 online support. Similarly to Drake and Intuit ProConnect, TaxWise offers Pay-Per-Return filing, however, e-filing does incur an additional fee.
QuickBooks is our favorite accounting software on the market. Their full array of accounting services helps tax preparers maximize their salary by getting paid quicker, and keeping more of their earnings.
Part of the “Intuit Suite”, QuickBooks is considered to be a world-leader for accounting software. The customizable dashboard view pulls together key information in your business such as:
- Hours worked
So that you can understand how your business is performing at a glance.
What’s so inviting about QuickBooks, is how intuitive and flexible it is. It’s able to take the pain out of usually painful processes by letting you share data with other tools like Microsoft Excel and automating simple bookkeeping tasks.
CRM / Lead Management Software
Staying on top of your sales funnel is even easier with the right CRM at your fingertips, and Insightly promises to be just that.
Insightly draws its name from its ability to create “rich” and “insightful” visual representations of your data, helping you to better understand your business. Meanwhile, its vast array of integrations including Google Suite, MailChimp, Slack and Evernote, helps you to keep your business in-sync and well-oiled.
In 2018, Insightly was recognized as the Customers’ Choice for Sales Force Automation. And from for a small amount each month, you can discover opportunities, automate workflows and close sales faster than ever before.
Credit Repair Software
As a financial professional who helps others make money, tax preparation doesn’t need to be your only forte. Instead of going through the feast-famine cycle of work that many tax preparers face, you can offset the post-tax-season lull by offering credit repair services to existing clients who want to save money through improving their credit scores. Or similarly, find new clients who need help with credit repair, and then upsell your tax preparation services to them.
Take Harley Walters, Founder of Texas Custom Credit Repair, for example. He spent 25 years selling credit cards and managing loans at major banks before starting his credit repair business in 2011. Since then, his company has flourished into the most popular credit repair company in San Antonio Texas.
As well as providing end-to-end marketing solutions that bring credit repair clients to you. Credit Repair Cloud also offers integrations that help you centralize operations like lead generation and CRM.
Learn more about how Credit Repair Cloud can improve your tax preparation business throughout the year.