Share this content
34

Taxcalc , the hub of the problem

Taxcalc , the hub of the problem

Didn't find your answer?

Search AccountingWEB

I really am finding that taxcalc has lost its appeal, it is taking an inordinate amount of time to do the same tasks that were quickly dealt with in the pre-hub days

so many clicks , so many screens, right click, left click this - accidentally ending up in the hub when I want to open a return

why do practitioners want to have a choice of prior year returns when they are busy in January ? .. all I want to see is the 2014 return,... yet more tiresome clicks,

so counter-intuitive, also having to enter  client personal detail / partner changes in the hub database not the return itself , remember to do it before you create the return.... ( I did  add personal address change in one case , created return.. but still no option to change  in the return? )

Worst of all ...no option to create returns en masse ? , a huge increase in  the amount of time ( and hundreds of clicks)to do things that were seamlessly and quickly carried out previously with 1 click ... madness ..  perhaps they are trying to self-destruct as a company ?

the backup option is tiresome , it was much easier just to quickly copy the  folder containing the returns  in previous years (um.. taxcalc your recommendation to do backups every week  methinks is a little silly .. its daily for most of us, we cant afford to lose data at this time o year )

They really need to do a stand-alone package , otherwise they will start losing customers by the hub-load

I see what they are trying to do , but I have no interest in vat filer ..etc etc , one size does not fit all

Sorry to say it... it was good while it lasted ...but I don't want to endure another year clicking away so franticly and so unnecessarily .... goodbye

Replies (34)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By Maslins
23rd Jan 2015 22:44

I love the hub.
No more saving hundreds of separate files.
No more accidentally saving one client Taxcalc file in the wrong place and struggling to find it.
From my perspective it's progress...in a good way.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By JSK
23rd Jan 2015 23:03

Agree

Maslins wrote:
I love the hub. No more saving hundreds of separate files. No more accidentally saving one client Taxcalc file in the wrong place and struggling to find it. From my perspective it's progress...in a good way.

Agree with Maslins. 

Comeon Taxcalc get the cloud version sorted!

 

Thanks (0)
By mrme89
23rd Jan 2015 23:05

Cloud

JSK wrote:

Maslins wrote:
I love the hub. No more saving hundreds of separate files. No more accidentally saving one client Taxcalc file in the wrong place and struggling to find it. From my perspective it's progress...in a good way.

Agree with Maslins. 

Comeon Taxcalc get the cloud version sorted!

 

 

There's always Taxfiler.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By JSK
23rd Jan 2015 23:14

Taxfiler

Is not fully there yet in terms of functionality

Thanks (0)
By mrme89
23rd Jan 2015 23:22

.

JSK wrote:

Is not fully there yet in terms of functionality

 

I really like it, and can't fault it for the price. 

 

What bits don't you like?

Thanks (1)
avatar
By qad999
23rd Jan 2015 23:17

cloud ?

and if one Christmas eve .....someone goes bust ......and the remote servers are down ?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By qad999
23rd Jan 2015 23:08

never had any of those problems

my experience is completely the opposite .. its much more time consuming and tiresome

what do you mean saving hundreds of files  ?.. you still have to click to save!   ( and a huge number of extra clicks to create and get to the 2014 return instead of 1) 

Didn't you keep  the pre-hub data files in folders  by tax year ? so they were easily accessed .. I dont understand that comment at all.  Struggling to find a taxcalc file ? I am a little confused how someone could manage that  ??

be  careful if you are not creating pdf returns as well, it is good practice .. I  put a pdf return in client folders separately from the taxcalc database , its useful to have all client information  ( scanned w/p's , incoming letters etc etc )  in one central folder system ,

particularly if you run a  paperless office as I do .. clients ring up , and you can access everything relating to their affairs immediately all in one uniform and universal  format

 

...besides single image files in backup systems don't always work properly

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Gmb
23rd Jan 2015 23:13

I really love tax calc and disagree. It's intuitive and well designed.

Thanks (1)
Logo
By marks
23rd Jan 2015 23:23

another fan of the hub

I much prefer the way taxcalc now works.

I want to be able to open up more than one year at a time.

I want to open up more than one client at a time.

I like the way the hub is now so you can set up custom fields where I can put information and data mine on it when previously I had a massive spreadsheet containing all the info (still have the spreadsheet as dont think could ever let it go).

I am thinking about moving to a fully integrated package such as IRIS or Digita and will trial both in Feb but will take a lot for me to move from Taxcalc as the integrated accounts and tax package is so easy to use (plus is very competitively priced).  Will probably end up adding on something like Logical Office or MB PracticeManager or might use TBookman for timesheets (which is what I am really looking for as currently keep timesheets on excel) together with Virtual Cabinet for moving paperless.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Gmb
24th Jan 2015 00:21

How does one run a "paperless

How does one run a "paperless office" ?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By qad999
25th Jan 2015 16:17

well..

Gmb wrote:

How does one run a "paperless office" ?

 

obviously not strictly "paperless"..

 

its just we effectively have virtual filing cabinets , every bit of paper coming in  is scanned  and  filed in a client folder system as pdf , every email , set of working papers , letters , tax return & client signatures/ declarations sent out ,etc etc  is similarly converted/or scanned  and filed so there is a complete file in universal format on desktop

majority of accounts and returns are now pdf'ed and emailed  (returns and accounts password protected of course )

all paper is immediatelty archived in the basement and we never see it again, access to prior year working papers is via pdf only

 

it is a hard disclipline at first ,and not rocket science .. but it works ..and it does save time ... for example client rings up  queries something , no putting him on hold and dashing to filing cabinet , or saying you will check and ring back , queries sorted immediately, we all saw the benefit within a year ,   even the sceptics agreed.. its been in operation for about 8 years

all pdf's are given informative short names , eg letter/email to client /date/ subject and the client folder shows the "filename" as a list (latest date first)  (not pdf thumbnails which are unworkable) and you have latest letter arranged at top of folder in date order , so its easy to scroll down and find things.. much easier and quicker than looking through a  paper file

 

post/stat.costs are tiny compared to what they were

 

check out some of the fast scanners that are available , including the fujitsu ones which scan both sides of paper at once ( and discard blanks) and have sheet feed facility for a4 or smaller  (occassional larger a3 can be folded into a4 and put through in special sleeve and you get a side by side a3 pdf , which is neat)

Thanks (0)
Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
24th Jan 2015 01:08

BTC

Its great.

Pre-population of data fields from previous years has saved me hours this month.

I did use Taxcalc, so glad I moved the BTC.

No plans to change again.

Thanks (0)
By ShirleyM
24th Jan 2015 07:19

Each to our own

Taxfiler is the quickest and easiest software I have ever used (and the cheapest), and though I haven't tried every piece of software on the market, I have used quite a few.

Why should I spend more money to use up more of my time?

I loved TaxCalc pre-hub. The individual files suited me as we kept them all in folders per tax year, and created pdf's in the client annual folders. Backup was immediate, and automatic, by using Dropbox (or similar). The hub (initially) removed a lot of vital utilities (as far as I was concerned). Given that the downgrading of the software was well-hidden and not broadcast, this caused a lack of trust in TaxCalc.

Also, I hate daily/weekly backups with a passion!

Thanks (1)
avatar
By TaxTeddy
24th Jan 2015 08:02

The Hub is Marmite, it seems

Personally, I hate it.

A simple fix - set a flag to show / not show all the gubbins on the left hand bar : thereby all the stuff I never use (most of it) would disappear.

This would easily keep me happy and a TaxCalc customer.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By busacrun
24th Jan 2015 11:21

Left Taxcalc this year

I fully agree with the OP

The software was a breeze for small practices like ours pre hub, really user friendly, efficient and with good support.

Not only did the hub slow the software to a snails pace, we also considered there to be a real decline in the quality of the support being offered - previously you could call get an answer to your problem and move on, post hub it was more difficult to get through and often required a call back - a real decline in standards.

we did advise taxcalc that we didnt want the hub (as I beleive many others did) but they didnt listen and merely pointed out it would allow us to use the accounts program as well, which I have no intention of using as a VT lover

I'm sure taxcalc know what they are doing but they certainly alienated someone here who must be in their core market

Now moved over to taxfiler, which is the easiest software to use ever FACT. good support, albeit online and very good pricing.

if you are not using taxfiler, you should be!!

Thanks (1)
avatar
By robert
24th Jan 2015 11:32

taxcalc hub

Agree I hate the hub - time consuming and it worked so much better for me before.  I will have a look at Taxfiler a new one for me.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By qad999
25th Jan 2015 16:24

taxfiler

the only thing with taxfiler is the cloud thing , I'm not averse to change .. but we like to have control over all client information ....  and just what if ? 

it raises very serious questions ..

when we leave the office , we leave it all behind   , I really dont want to be bothered with it at home .. or on holiday, or with another client's affairs when I am with different client  !

so I see no benefit from using remote servers

Thanks (0)
RLI
By lionofludesch
24th Jan 2015 13:50

Interesting views.   I've trialled commercial software and struggled to see much of an advantage over HMRC's free software.

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Tosie
24th Jan 2015 15:06

Support

I find taxcalc support wonderful. Two weeks ago I sent a query at 6.45 pm was telephoned at 6.55 by a delightful lady who stayed with me until everything was sorted via remote. She then spent a considerable amount of time pointing out ways I could use Taxcalc better. I am sure she must have wanted to get home but gave no sign of any impatience.

Thanks (1)
Stewie
By Stewie Griffin
24th Jan 2015 15:17

Only have 2 issues

I quite like the hub, I have really only two issues with it:

1) You used to be able to bulk file returns that had been approved.  You can't now.  Slows things down a bit I think

 

2) Would love to create a report that showed all the clients and their tax liabilities so I could email them out a payment reminder.  there's probably ways round this with mail merge etc, but it seems like it will be very long winded to add email adresses to the Hub

Thanks (0)
avatar
By TaxTeddy
25th Jan 2015 11:05

Time for TaxCalc to Listen

What I find really interesting about this post is that we have gone beyond the "shock of the new" with the TaxCalc Hub system.

We all hate change and there was a thread about these changes to TaxCalc back in April 2014 see https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/anyanswers/question/new-version-tax-calc-what-do-you-think

But this intense dislike of the Hub is still rumbling on - after we have been using the new interface for almost a year.

It reminds me of when Apple upgraded the superb OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) to Lion and beyond - introducing changes that nobody wanted or asked for. Incidentally, over 4 years on (and 3 further new upgrades) more than 27% of iMac users are still running Snow Leopard. It has become Apple's equivalent of Windows XP - the platform that refuses to die.

Of course, Apple being Apple they will force user to eventually upgrade by killing backwards compatibility across the apps.

But TaxCalc is a small software house and I know they listen to their customers.

Maybe us Hub refuseniks will be heard at last.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By TaxTeddy
25th Jan 2015 11:41

The Hub - The Heart of your Practice

Just to be clear.

Many people use the Hub. For those of us who hate it - all we are asking for is an option to make it and all it's functions disappear. The net result would be an interface like we had up to 2012.

Oh, and the colours could be better.

Thanks (2)
By ShirleyM
25th Jan 2015 12:00

It's too late, TaxTeddy

TaxTeddy wrote:

Just to be clear.

Many people use the Hub. For those of us who hate it - all we are asking for is an option to make it and all it's functions disappear. The net result would be an interface like we had up to 2012.

Oh, and the colours could be better.

Those of us who hate(d) the hub, and the massive changes made to TaxCalc, have had to look elsewhere .... and found something better. If TaxCalc had retained the standalone tax software as an option I would probably have stuck with them and not bothered looking elsewhere.

Now I have found Taxfiler I won't be going be going back ... unless Taxfiler screw up by making the software less user friendly and alienate half of their customer base.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By TaxTeddy
25th Jan 2015 12:38

I was expecting that.....

My first instinct was to ditch it and move on - that was a year ago. But up to that point TaxCalc had been very helpful - especially to me as that rare beast, an accountant with a Mac.

I have the Taxfiler web page on standby for implementation in February.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By qad999
25th Jan 2015 19:35

stand alone taxcalc

I would have stayed with taxcalc also , as Shirley said , if they sold a standalone package

I tried some of their other applications , but I didnt find them very good , so i dont need an integrated  hub ! and separate client database which slows  my work done  , also its not very intutive , when you go to a client record in the hub and want to change address I automatically try and overwrite the address fields displayed .. common sense ? .. I think so ..,but  it doesnt work like that

Im glad I am not the only one who thinks tax prouction is now slow and  time consuming... previously I  could seemlessly produce all client returns in a few seconds, now I have to click  so many times ... multipled by XXX individual clients .. crazy

 

Thanks (0)
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
25th Jan 2015 16:47

Taxcalc-new user since October

I have found it fairly intuitive in the main, though I have got a bit fed up with it telling me that I have too many characters in a field/ white box line and I need to shorten them.

Also surprised I could not find B Telecom dividend in the database, or maybe that was just me not searching correctly-gave up looking and searched online instead.

The Hub has its uses re checking those returns not yet submitted and I recently used the 64-8 production part, from within forms, and it worked fine.

I moved from Iris (Drummohr) Tax Assistant which I had been using since SA started. Taxcalc,  is obviously not as familiar but all in all it is good value for money in comparison. (less than half the price)

One feature I do not like is how it lays out the SA302, I would prefer to have the tax paid/ to be paid shown on the bottom of the sheet rather than on a different sheet.

Now going to go to see if it produces payslips (somehow I doubt it)

Thanks (0)
avatar
By JSK
25th Jan 2015 23:05

Tax Calc

I will also be looking into taxcalc accs production to have benefits of integration. 

We like TaxCalc. I wish they would go full swing on cloud version. Feedback from my last conversation with them was that a large number of accountants do not want the cloud version. I find it hard to accept this. Reading some of the comments here, they may have a point. 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Ken Howard
28th Jan 2015 08:50

Self selecting poll

JSK wrote:
We like TaxCalc. I wish they would go full swing on cloud version. Feedback from my last conversation with them was that a large number of accountants do not want the cloud version.

If they've just asked their current client base, then their "survey" is self-selecting from a pool of people who havn't already moved to Cloud alternatives isn't it?  So, basically, they're just asking the people who don't want to go Cloud or who aren't bothered - no surprise at their conclusion!

I'm sure a similar poll of Taxfiler users would come up with a large number of their users who don't want a desktop based system!
 

Thanks (1)
By ShirleyM
26th Jan 2015 07:35

What I find interesting ...

Is that TaxCalc have retained the 'single purchase' for individual taxpayers.

I haven't looked at it, or tried it, but I'm guessing that they don't force use of the Hub on those purchasers, so the capability of standalone tax software may be there already. 

Never mind, it's TaxCalc's loss! Note to all software houses ..... ignore your customers wishes at your peril. We can vote with our feet.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By TaxTeddy
26th Jan 2015 09:06

To Cloud to not to Cloud

Some really good points above.

I share the concerns raised by qad999 abut parking data in the cloud. Frankly, I don't trust anyone to safeguard my data. Everything can be hacked, Sony, Apple, Google, you name it.

On the other hand, the 'Mac' version of TaxCalc isn't compatible with my version of OSX (Snow Leopard) so I can't use it and I am reduced to running the Windows version using an emulator. Works OK but a bit clunky, and I still really, really hate the hub.

So I'm reluctant to jump to a cloud based solution - but hate the present TaxCalc. Maybe I will go with the cloud after re-writing the client T&C to agree it's not my fault when the data gets stolen.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By qad999
28th Jan 2015 02:21

maybe...if you are using taxcalc on MAC

its time to come out from the darkside and run applications natively on windows

Thanks (2)
avatar
By Maslins
27th Jan 2015 12:05

We use Taxcalc for tax (personal, corporate, and occasionally partnership).  We don't use it for accounts (we use VT).  The hub in no way forces us to use it for accounts.

Yes it does mean there's lots of options/data fields in the hub that we simply don't use...but to my mind that's the same with any software package.  I understand that it hasn't been specifically designed around my practice, and not every practice will want exactly the things I want.

I don't know what Taxcalc's overall aims are, inevitably if they drift in a direction that pleases a bunch of their clients it'll almost certainly upset others.  You can't please all the people all the time.

...but the move from lots of separate files to one hub is in my mind a great thing.  One thing which I imagine might be relevant is that we have a few staff, accessing it from different PCs.  I've almost forgotten how the old way used to work, but from memory it meant if I did something on one PC, it wouldn't automatically update the view other people had of things on their PC.  Can't recall details, but I remember it being a bit annoying at times, and the hub solved that.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By qad999
28th Jan 2015 02:33

taxcalc have contacted me

.. which i appreciate..so they obviously listen to customers,  and I will probably speak to them after this manic rush ..during which all of us are so understandably frustrated

I dont think they are alone in software providers, there is a great tendancy to create unnecessary bloatware, but my gut feeling is that a central database/hub   servicing an integregated set of applications ( which some will never use) is unnecessary, particuarly when one  only wishes to use a single (form based) application

if only they could resolve the main issue of populating current year returns quickly , rather than laboriously having to do it taxpayer by taxpayer.. because all those clicks count up to a huge amount of time

I remember the days of the amstrad 1512 ( i can hear the groans , but they did kick the pc industry up the backside) , there was an alleged issue of overheating  because there was no fan (it was unsubstantiated), so Sugar tried to persuade everyone of this , but failed and realised he had fallen foul of the basic rule of sales marketing .. and that is .. to give the customer what they want , and so  decided to install a fan , and said he would paint the pc with green spots on it if  "thats what people wanted"  ( or something similar)

 

3 clicks to minimise the taxcalc screens ?... why so many ?

why do I need to update the hub database for address changes , and then have to chose a change of address in the return ,when  previously a simple update of the tax return address was enough, and the change was brought forward to the next year in the return automatically ?

 

backup in post hub version  - open hub , chose administration, then backup , database , then chose/change  location , backup, then more clicks to close the  blasted thing

pre-hub days .. right click/copy folder "taxcalc returns year 20XX"   , navigate to  backup location and simple one click  paste (takes about 5 seconds at most)

 

Thanks (1)
avatar
By qad999
28th Jan 2015 20:10

actually..

I've been looking at other software and I suppose it made me realise why i chose taxcalc in the first place.. apart from my niggles of course

Some of the other suggestions also seem to work out quite expensive if you want both unlimited SA and  CT

I am also concerned about the problems in migrating and the work involved

I take their point that their customers numbers show a large net increase, with only a small number complaining about the new version (usually a few noisy deranged accountants suffering from January madness)

so from their point of view ...it seems to have been a success, so maybe its worth seeing what  the new year will bring

I dont like the idea of using hmrc (and the service issues that seem to pop up unexpectedly- that would frustrate me even more), although some seem happy with it

Does anyone take periodic blood pressure readings during January ? .. I wish i had'nt started... but mine's starting to return to normal  as the month comes to an end

This is not a healthy occupation

Thanks (0)
Share this content