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Tax software for practice

Tax software for practice

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I work in a tax department for a 5 partner firm where we deal with about approx 1000 tax returns each year.  For a small firm we have a wide variety of clients which include sole traders, large and small partnerships, LLP's, clients with large share portfolios, non-resident landlords, lloyds underwriters - I could go on, but you get the idea!

We currently use CCH, which meets all of our needs, but it is getting very expensive, and making us feel ripped off.

I have looked at lots of posts on here that suggest software for sole practioners, but wondered if anyone had any suggestions for a tax department of 4 staff, working on a windows network, where the data is stored on the server for ease of backing up.

Any suggestions would be very much appreicated.  We have been using CCH for some years now and although we would like something that is cheaper, don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot if it doesn't do what we need it to do!!  Won't be savng any money if the chargeable time on jobs increases due to software that is not adequate. 

We did look at Sage tax software, a little while ago now, and after some debate, they advised that their tax software could only deal with 80% of our client base.

Many thanks.

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By cmacrae
19th Nov 2012 14:56




Keytime offer a fully integrated software suite including: Tax, Corporation Tax, Accounts Production, Payroll and Practice Management. 

Check out our website: 

If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact me via email: [email protected]


Callum Macrae


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By justsotax
19th Nov 2012 15:12

Haven't used digita

for while but i found it to be the best personal tax software i have used (currently i use IRIS...good re intergrated software but not as good as digita on the personal tax front)

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By AccSec
19th Nov 2012 17:47

Cost should be relative to functionality

I remember I was recently looking to see what else there is out in the market to deal with complexitieis you note in your thread above. I looked at TaxCalc and BTC as I thought were reasonably priced. However, they confirmed with us  when we spoke to them that the features you have with CCH are not present on their software. Their software are meant more for inputting the final figures and then the computations are done and the returns are ready for filing through the internet.

I suspect even the likes of IRIS and Digita will struggle to fill that void and whilst you may get integration with their other software for CRM, Accounts, Co Secretarial modules, that is not what you are after.

Incidentally, how much do you pay per annum? If you were to add the additional functionality you are looking for from the software noted above, you may find that the cost of changing to alternates can be much higher. Do remember that if you have 4 other staff inthe tax dept to train, this is another cost to factor in too.

There was a recent thread on this. Look at this:

Good luck in your search & let us know your experiences.


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By Andrew Ross BTCSoftware
20th Nov 2012 08:51

Missing Features?

Dear Tracyc & AccSec,

I'm a bit puzzled at AccSec's comment about features in CCH that BTCSoftware don't offer, as I'm not seeing anything in the orginal question  that we don't include. True our software does not cover Time & Fees but you've not actually mentioned that. We do cover all the available online tax requirements as well as Companies House filing and would be delighted if you would take up a free trial.


[email protected]



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By AccSec
20th Nov 2012 10:13

These issues for eg

Does BTC allow you the following for eg:

1. Allow input of each share purchased/disposed and then sales being matched against purchase (same day/30 day & pooled purchases) thereby allowing calculation of Profits/Losses on share disposals by individuals/Ltd Co. Also what about tracking of each individual incidental cost of purchase & sale (commision, stamp duty, etc) 

Does it allow c/f of shareholding & cost remaining to be carried forward to the following year. This allows further matching in the following year's disposal.

2. Tax Losses in a tax year and how best to utilise losses when client may have made profits in earliers year(s) or is likely to make profits in future. Does it allow such extrapolation?

3. Disposal of BTL (or Private residence) properties and making profits or losses for CGT purposes  on such disposals. Detailed workings are required for ascertaining the period of ownership/actual & deemed residence/letting etc if individual. Does it have a facility to show the dates of such nature with the summary then being used to compute the CGT liability?

4. For Pension Payment, will the software allow caculation of the optimum use of annual allowance for different years within the £50K/annum allowance, bearing in mind the overall higher limit of £3600 and relevant earnings? 

These are some of the issues we struggle to find in a tax software. In the end, we do some manual/spreadsheet calculations to work it out.

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