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Tax software

I am looking at Tax software to process SA returns and file online. At the minute looking at around 50 - 100 clients, any recommendations ?
Sean Maloney

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Mehmet and Digita
Will you be sharing with us any fact on which your conclusion is based, Mehmet, or do we have to guess whether or not it has any merit?

In the absence of any supporting information, I know what my guess is!

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Digita
I would rate Digita 9/10 and give 7/10 to PTP.

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Sponsors
Squirrel - maybe its to do with who sponsors this site...you tend not to want to upset your sponsors.

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removal of squirrel's comment
Without further evidence I am not surprised it was removed ! We do not want unsubstantiated gossip. OK, we do, but we would much prefer substantiated gossip.

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Wow Tiger Woods
Good to see professional golfers taking time out to recommend Drummohr. To do SA100, SA800, CT600(full) and electronic filing is nearly £700 with Drummohr. That is relatively expensive compared to FTax (and others). Not a problem if you have Tiger's income !

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Drummohr "expensive"?
Jenni, this is the first time I can re-collect that our software, Tax Assistant, has been called "expensive"!

Are you comparing like with like, please?

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Drummohr
I can't remember off the cuff of the prices but no, Drummohr is not 'like with like' with Digita and PTP and is cheaper than them I'm sure. I know Drummohr came highly recommended to me. I just happened to choose FTax and now love it.
Sorry Stuart for my careless words!

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Tax Assistant from Drummohr
Works well, never falls over, can receive data from accounts packages. Competent technical staff that understand tax, online filing and their software.

And a dividends database.

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Taxcalc
I can also recommend Taxcalc which is very straightforward to use and excellent value for money. Maintaining it is painless as well which for someone like me is important. I find the CGT pages a little clumsy to use but otherwise it is excellent. I used to use PTP and I do miss the dividend database you get with it but Taxcalc is much cheaper for the 200 returns I prepare.

I hope you'll be re-joining Celtic soon.

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Tax Calc
Digita may be the favourite for accountants but I have been using Tax Calc since it came out and apart from a hiccup a couple of years ago when Intuit dropped it I have been very happy with it.

It is easy to use though it doesn't link to an accounting package which Digita does which, for me, is not a problem.

Also I have it running, quite legally on 12 computers ( and I can put it on as many as I like), I can prepare an unlimited number of SARs, CT returns, Trust returns, Partnership returns plus others and it cost me £325 plus VAT. Not bad value for money if you ask me.

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Tax Software
Sean,

I have used Digita tax software for over 10 years and can highly recommend it.

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Digita
Put simply, I use Digita and cannot recomend it highly enough.

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Digita
I have used the Digita software for many years and it will do exactly what you want it to do with excellent tech support! It is also very easy to use, so as a new user you wont waste lots of chargable time learning where everyting goes.

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Digita
I agree. Been using Digita for the last two years and can't fault any aspect of it.

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Digita...
Been using it for around 10 years now, and filing over the Internet since it was possible to do so. No problems over these years, wouldn't move to any other package.

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PTP
Without doubt PTP - it is so easy to use, support is absolutely super (on the rare ocassions you need it) and pricing is competitive.

I have tried and used many packages and truly find PTP's software to be the best.

I should add unlike many packages I'd almost guarantee within 30 minutes of using it you could print off a completed tax return and tax calculation with no training - you cant say that about many packages!

Also online filing is very very easy.

If you go onto PTPs website you can download a working version of the software and try it today.

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Digita is the best
Digita is user-friendly and very good value. simply the best tax software package.

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TaxCalc
I recommend TaxCalc. For all the reasons previously mentioned. Also, the staff are very helpful (not that you will need to ring them much).

I have prepared 161 Returns so far this year and only had problems with a couple - both of which were married allowance transfers and basically my fault!

Hope this helps.

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Question for Helen
Helen

Can I ask do you still use PTP for accounts production, assuming that was what use used in the past - just wondered if you missed the link of the accounts info to the tax software?

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PTP
I'm with Nicola, PTP is really easy to use. Good value, very straightforward, no idea what the support is like as haven't needed it yet, easy to file....

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What about Objective Tax?
Nobody has mentioned Obejctive Tax from Keytime! Any thoughts?

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Digita
I have to agree with the earlier posts, Digita is the best

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Digita has the edge
Having used both Digita and PTP, preference is for Digita.

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Its got to be PTP..
..because the program is intuitive to use, it looks like a paper return so if you can fill in a paper return you can use PTP, the support is first class and the product includes many features free of charge that are charging extras in competing products such as the excellent dividend database. I’m not connected with PTP, just a well satisfied user.

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Forbes???
I have been using Forbes for years and what I like about it is that the Returns are saved as individuals files which I can save onto my memory stick and load them onto my lap top when I go to see clients. Do any of the software products mentioned offer this facility?

Also, do any of them have an "easy" process of transferring data over from Forbes - in case I was tempted to change!?!

Thanks.


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IRIS
OK, David!

IRIS Personal Tax is a superb product, but its core feature is its integration with Business Tax and in turn, with Accounts Production, and with P11D. It would be pointless to incur the expense of IRIS for a stand-alone product, which is what Sean, who asked the question, appears to want.

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IRIS
Euan

It sounds good. Do you know if I can download a copy to look at ?

David

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Drummohr is excellent
My firm has used Drummohr for over 10 years and have never been let down.

They produce software for Personal, Partnership, Trust and Corporate Returns, all of which can be filed by internet. They also do Repayment Claims and P11D's.

If you have a problem or query with the software someone is always available to take your call and if a fix for the software is required you have the updated software within 24 hours.

Non printing versions of each years software is always ready before the tax year begins for the keen accountant who wants to get a head start!! Printing versions are available on 6 April.

Drummohr produce excellent software which is great value for money and you should definately get a trial version of their software to see for yourself.

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Forbes???
I have been using Forbes for years and what I like about it is that the Returns are saved as individuals files which I can save onto my memory stick and load them onto my lap top when I go to see clients. Do any of the software products mentioned offer this facility?

Also, do any of them have an "easy" process of transferring data over from Forbes - in case I was tempted to change!?!

Thanks.

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MYOB & Iris
Has anyone anything good to say about MYOB's tax filing software?

Also, what experience do users have of Iris' own-branded software (as opposed to PTP, which they now own)?

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Different Question...
I always find it very difficult to assess the answers to these questions, as many people seem to have their favourites without having looked at another package.

I think it would be good to ask what people are unhappy about with their current package or with other packages they have used.

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Drummohr
Has to be Drummohr.

Ten years for me now, great product ,good price.

Do try their evaluation package.

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Not exactly democratic
As IRIS has the lion's share of the market place, where are all the postive or negate comments ? Maybe their users are unfamiliar with this interweb thing.

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Digita v PTP
Having used PTP for several years I have just this year switched to Digita for personal tax.

My reasons were the extras included in DIgita -

the ability of the system to report on variances from the previous returns

A great pension planner - how much relief is avaialable

A much more user friendly reporter on where you are with your clients

A much more detailed computation report

On the downside - having used both I find that Digita takes longer to produce the return

Digita's dividend listing seems very incomplete compared with PTP's

I had hoped to get a better letter writer from Digita than the simple offering included in PTP - but its if anything - worse!

What I do miss from PTP is the abbreviated tax return - just 2 pages containing only the answered questions instead of 12.

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Keytime
I have used 4 or 5 different tax softwares over the years and, when it came to choosing one for my own business, was recommended Keytime by a friend who also has about 150 returns to prepare.

It is simple and straightforward to use so you can prepare returns straight away rather than spending ages just trying to find how to enter data.

The support is good and there is no pressure to buy additional modules although the facility is there when/if required.

The price is excellent value (much cheaper than most others!) and you are able to negotiate a multiple year deal for your software so there are no sudden increases or surprises.

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Digita~PTP
So do the Digita users normally print out all 12 pages of the return, rather than the 3 page summary that PTP users have to ?

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TaxCalc
Quick, user friendly and with very good support if it's ever needed.

Reports are produced in high quality PDF's and the electronic filing is an absolute doddle.

Overall, I reckon that its excellent value for money.

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Covert marketing and defamation
Do you think "The Squirrel" isn't his real name then !

I think all posters should have real names (and who they work for if it is not obvious.)

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Read the instructions on the Any Answers page...
...which state: "We reserve the right to remove any postings which are offensive, libellous, self-promoting or engaged in covert marketing. We will not notify users of removals."

Unless you can provide evidence to back your claims (which Digita has denied), to suggest what you did is defamatory and puts you (in spite of hiding behind a pseudonym) and AccountingWEB at risk of legal action. We cannot afford the time, distraction and potential cost of a libel case, which is why we remove offending items first and worry about your feelings afterwards.

AccountingWEB is a professional web community, and we ask our members to use it openly wherever possible and to apply the same standards of behaviour and propriety as they do in their professional life.

"Freedom of information" in the UK applies only to scheduled bodies mentioned in the Freedom of Information Act. The rest of us are subject to all the other laws of the land - such as libel and defamation.

If you do have information that you think might have a bearing on the devleopment of a software product used by our members, please do not put unsubstatiated allegations on to the site. Please share your concerns with the editorial team privately and we will do what we can to follow the story up.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk

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Perhaps Digita could deny it...
...if it is not true.

How do you know this, Squirrel?

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DIGITA ALL THE WAY
Digita has everything, they have the best technical help team ever!

Very user friendly, I am an IT graduate and tested so many systems when I decided which software to go for and ocassionally look again.

There is only one name in the Taxation Industry and that is DIGITA

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Price is not the most important factor
I just got the prices off Drummohr's website at http://www.drummohr.co.uk/prices.htm

I have not looked at FTax or Drummohr for a while now but certainly at my last look Drummohr was much nicer to use. (Obviously I think the Forbes software is better than either - but I am very biased !). Price and lists of features are not the only factors - a lot if it is down to personal preference. If Jenni likes FTax and it saves her money then she is a winner. I wish I had spent slightly more on my lawnmower - but at least I am not using it day in day out !


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...
I've just read David Forbes' comment and having not found a price list on the website, will have to take his word for it.

I would consider £700 very expensive!

I am sure there is much more Drummohr's £700 program can do than FTax's £125 but I find FTax does what I need it to nicely, which is file unlimited partnership, corporation and personal tax returns on paper or online.

I'm not a fan of all the add-in-modules which gradually builds the price up a lot, which seems to be a common feature of the other software options available and also makes compiling a purchase a chore. It's nice to be able to tailor a product specifically to your needs, but not at such a cost. I would suggest an online filing module to be part of the core, surely, given that the majority of people file that way these days?

I chose something that does the job straight off the webpage by clicking 'buy' on one product with a stunning price tag.


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Digita Pros and Cons
I use Digita, which does the job, but has a lot of hidden costs.

When I originally bought it, the sales literature hid the fact that the quoted price did not include the business tax module (see Digita lies which caused my Digita "Account Manager" to ring me up and tell me he felt personally insulted, but not to do anything to resolve the issue).

On attempting tax returns for 2006/7, I now find that they have started charging for the dividend feed, despite the fact that their web site claimed (at the date of writing, but subsequently changed) the software "Instantly calculates dividends from UK listed equities and managed funds."

To be fair to them, they did offer to drop the price by 50% (to £103 + VAT) in recognition of their dishonest marketing. Quite frankly, though, I am amazed they continued to do it until I wrote this post.

Backups are also a problem: because of the technology used, you do not get a data file for each client, just one ENORMOUS one for each of their products. New backup files are produced even when the file has not changed; as a result, your backups take longer and longer and take up more and more disc space, which costs money.

The problem for me now is that there is a huge time investment involved in changing your software.

The help desk is good, although you usually have to wait for a call-back, as there is very rarely anyone there to help straight away. The other staff are very nice too - except the ones who write the sales literature!

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I agree with Stuart
Drummohr is certainly not expensive.

It's the best I have used and I have tried Keytime (dire) whilst I found Iris and Digita too expensive. I also used Fast Tax for a while but found it just took too long.

As a small (ish) practice I would recommend: -

VT - Accounts
Drummohr - Taxation
Moneysoft - Payroll

At the end of the day it boils down to your preference and I would trial as many as you can.

By the way Sean as you posted this a month ago have you made any decision yet?

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How do we rate (in Scotland)?
"I have used 4 or 5 different tax softwares over the years"

How would she rate these after Keytime 1?

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VT & Ftax
I'm in a similar position with client numbers and after much thought and evaluation versions, I went for VT Final Accounts and Legatio FTax. For the Tax Return Software, Legatio FTax is great, so straightforward and the customer service is just excellent.

They do the job and are a fraction of the price of Drummohr, PTP, etc. FTax gives you unlimited SA 100s for under £100. It's a no-brainer ;o)

They aren't as all singing-all dancing as the more expensive ones, but they do all that I need them to, and they have sped up things dramatically. I can't fault them, and haven't found a need for any more singing and dancing, so why spend more?

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