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Intuit bring you Lacerte, a tax filing program that boasts a range of features and improvements on its predecessors including enhanced security features and e-file functions. It’s perhaps best suited to small or medium businesses who are interested in using the other Intuit products in sync as it’s certainly not the cheapest software option around but is able to cope with more substantial accounting situations than individual returns.
A number of improvements have been made to Lacerte for the 2012 tax year, which help to make the system an easy to use and intuitive program. There are also a large variety of add-ons which can be purchased including tax planners, tax analyzers, a research library and a comprehensive databank of more obscure forms should you need them. The tax analyzer is particularly interesting because it provides retrospective advice by examining data in tax returns, such as “you might have saved $X if you had invested $Y in Z”. You are encouraged to purchase a licence, which has a higher first time cost but subsequent deductions if you renew your account. These structures include electronic filing for state and federal taxes and an electronic organising system. It is worth checking the site’s more extensive list of features and extras to see which ones might benefit you.
Our major bugbear was the signing up process, which required some pretty specific information from official documents before you could even sign up to access the site more fully. Some prices are also withheld, though the reason is that personalised quotes are given depending on your company needs. Of course this also means that the sales team is able to be flexible with their prices (be it to your advantage or to your cost). The website has plenty of information but because the Intuit site is so large, it’s often difficult to tell exactly where you need to look to find out a specific piece of information that is applicable to your request and you’ll sometimes find yourself redirected out of the Lacerte section of the website. An FAQ for each specific section might be a way around this as the process can be a bit overwhelming at times. As for the software, there are a few more obvious limitations including the occasional over simplification / lack of depth for more advanced users, particularly if they want to access some supporting applications that can be found elsewhere but not through Lacerte.
Essentially the product on offer here is a very good one, depending on your needs and how much money you have available to spend. It is worth spending some time checking the site’s complete list of software features and emailing the team for a quote before making any big decisions. And remember to have the appropriate documents on hand if you’re wanting to start the signing-up process or you’ll be stumped!
Click on the button below to check out Lacerte.Intuit.com for yourself...