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Time to move from TaxCalc???

TaxCalc issues

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Hello,

It is with a heavy heart I think the time has come to move away from TaxCalc. A system that is well priced, user friendly and was once reliable has now become more of a headache than a solution.

I always found the tasks and task notes to be slightly unpredictable, however by keeping an eye on them everything else worked seemlessly. TC have just upgraded to a new practice management hub which has caused our system to go nuts! Tasks will not complete, recur, or recur on the correct date, notes have gone missing from one client to appear on another, and most worryingly our client addresses have all moved around between each other (thank god for back-ups). This is all I've found naturally thus far, however it has caused enough of a headache for me to look elsewhere, after really falling in love with TC since we started using their system for everything, aside payroll (Brightpay - love it!).

Data and reliability are so valuble and I just cant bang my head against the wall anymore.

I have reached out to CCH & BTC to speak with their sales guys and have downloaded a free trial of BTC. BTC does look less user friendly but then any new system will take a bit of getting used to... A well priced, integrated, reliable solution is what we're after. If anyone has any insight regards systemes and data transfer please post below!

Thanks in advance,

WAS

Replies (29)

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By SXGuy
26th Oct 2019 17:42

I've been away on holiday so I've not had a chance to see the new practise management section nor seen if it's had any impact on my client details but I'll be very disappointed if it has, as I quite like tax calc.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
26th Oct 2019 20:11

You have now scared me, I now do not want to open TaxCalc in case Armageddon has occurred.

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Replying to DJKL:
WASLTD
By WASLTD
27th Oct 2019 12:16

Not trying to scare anyone, DJKL. I'm merely sharing our experience. The system still works as beautifully as normal and the new practice manager (when de-bugged) is fantastic, although a bit slow.

Our data has, however, gone haywire which has caused significant concern. I have lost confidence as we rely so heavily on the data and tasks. I only hope there is a quick resolution without damage.

I am now open to considering a move and would be interested to see peoples opinions on other software.

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
26th Oct 2019 22:24

We don’t use TC for tasks etc (Glide), so I’m hoping this hasn’t affected anything for me. I did notice that the main page is now called ‘practice management’ not ‘client hub’, but didn’t think anything of it until now ...

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
WASLTD
By WASLTD
27th Oct 2019 12:19

Tasks, for us, have always been a bit unpredictable. Whats really put the fear of god in me is the movement of client data. The task issue is frustrating though, which also leads me to consider peoples views on other software.

Its hard because I LOVE TaxCalc!

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By penelope pitstop
27th Oct 2019 01:30

I like Taxcalc. Love it? Almost, but not quite.

My main gripe is that it is a shame it is not just that little bit cheaper. I feel they are a tad too expensive for the smaller firm. For the larger firm Taxcalc may be a cost-effective option.

If there were a cheaper version of Taxcalc I would probably jump ship, but there is nothing I have come across that falls into that category.

Whenever I have sickened of Taxcalc (usually around the annual Taxcalc renewal date) I have contacted CCH and BTC, but from memory I think they were somewhat more expensive than Taxcalc so I reluctantly stayed put.

I have not used Taxcalc too intensively recently, so I have not seen any new issues yet. So far it has been a fairly solid piece of kit. But I hope we do not start being used as guinea pigs for untested developments.

The cheaper tax software fails to show warnings when questionable data etc. is inserted, and that is a huge downside. The Taxcalc capital allowances calculator is an invaluable safety tool, acting as double check to my own capital allowances calculations.

The more expensive tax software is far too sophisticated for what I want. Taxcalc has so far fallen into that middle ground of being able to virtually fill in a paper tax return on screen, so it is not that much different to populating a paper return, albeit most of the number crunching etc. is done by the software.

However, if someone cares to mention any tax return software which falls within the same ball park as Taxcalc, albeit cheaper, then I am all ears. I have tried to find some but without any success.

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
WASLTD
By WASLTD
27th Oct 2019 12:26

Thanks PP,

I really have no gripes with TC, other than the headache I have with the tasks sometimes and now this data worry. As a company I have every faith it will be put right - they are fantastic!

This "headache" has, however, led me to consider alternatives purely as I don't have time to get annoyed with the software or have to deal with upgrade bugs which has effected our client database.

From your comments, I would recommend having a look at TaxFiler: https://taxfiler.co.uk/tax-software/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3cm94Le85QIVUdHeC...

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Replying to WASLTD:
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By carnmores
28th Oct 2019 14:31

Seconded i would probably have given up practicing years ago without it

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By Tracyep45
27th Oct 2019 09:21

Good morning WAS, sorry you appear to be experiencing some issues but the best way for a quick resolution is to contact us directly. As it’s Sunday why not email me in the first instance at [email protected]. I’m the CEO and happy to help. Let me have your contact number and we’ll sort it.

Best Tracy

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Replying to Tracyep45:
WASLTD
By WASLTD
27th Oct 2019 13:07

Thanks Tracy,

I have already done as you suggested, we are dealing with Support who have taken various back-ups to test. I was, however, supposed to receive an update at the end of the day on Friday. I certainly wouldn't jump on here without seeking a quick resolution directly! I do understand things take time and support have been really helpful. I look forward to hopefully speaking with the support team tomorrow.

I just want to make it clear that this post is not to shine a negative light on TaxCalc, you guys really are fantastic in all areas! I always recommend TC.

The task issues I've highlighted are frustrating and the data issues are worrying. This has led me to seek from the community their experiences of this and other software; so that I have contingencies, if needed.

I just get very annoyed when computer says no, therefore I wanted to see peoples views on the systems they have in place. I am so loyal to TC that moving would not be taken lightly.

As data issues are not system wide, I find myself always second guessing as I cannot fully trust the tasks/addresses etc. I started to think, what if the phone numbers have moved around, what if staff don't notice errors - what would I do??? I don't go hunting for system issues so when they pop up I panic, I just email support to "let them know" as it certainly wouldn't be something to consider leaving over, more to do with putting it on their radar. The problems of late, since the practice manager upgrade, have been more serious though.

1) Speed of task manager has slowed.
2) Tasks not recurring correctly (this has always been an issue, now worse).
3) Task notes have moved.
4) Client data has moved.*

Thank you for your contact details, I will email you tomorrow. I do appreciate your support, this really is testament to how good a company TaxCalc is.

KR,
WAS

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Replying to Tracyep45:
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By mumpin
27th Oct 2019 13:14

@Tracy.
When are you going to let us turn off the silly error messages that are meant to prepare us for MTD?
HMRC have pretty much stopped pushing MTD.
I think you're maybe flogging a dead horse...
Remember we are your customers and pay for your product?

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Replying to mumpin:
By Tracyep45
30th Oct 2019 23:14

Hello Mumpin ... please email me so that I can find you on our systems .. then I can call you. Best Tracy

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RedFive
By RedFive
27th Oct 2019 10:57

Tracey's comment above is why I've been a long time customer of TaxCalc.

The company is big enough to provide a superb service (though I also don't like all the PM and other extras, the core product of Tax & Accounts provision is outstanding) but small enough to care.

Phil at VT seems to have been cut from the same cloth too.

Sage / QB / Xero / Iris aren't even playing the same sport never mind on the same pitch.

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Replying to RedFive:
WASLTD
By WASLTD
27th Oct 2019 12:35

I'll second that, their service is first class and is the overriding factor in sticking to them.

Its interesting to see that know one else is really highlighting similar issues. I'm still keen to see peoples views on their alternative software, as a plan B if you will.

I like to have a contingency as the system has scared the hell out of me lately! VT wouldn't work for us as we need a more integrated solution.

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Universe
By SteveOH
27th Oct 2019 11:07

WOW. A response from the CEO on Sunday morning. At least their customer service appears to be top notch.

Coincidentally, I've been looking at the TaxCalc website after having read that they had upgraded their offering.

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Replying to SteveOH:
WASLTD
By WASLTD
27th Oct 2019 14:07

If we forget the issues I have experienced - I fully recommend their system!

1) User friendly
2) Integrated
3) Reasonable cost
4) Customer service

I just hope the data issues I have are resolved.

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
27th Oct 2019 16:12

There's only one for tax return submission - Taxfiler.

There's only one for practice management - Accountancymanager.

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By Glenn Martin
28th Oct 2019 16:00

After 30 years using software ( I know I don't look old enough) one thing I never do now is dive in when a new product launches and always wait for the usual early stage glitches are ironed out. All software has glitches, I choose to let others iron them out now.

I use Taxcalc myself but was planning on waiting a while before signing up to the PM+ module. My only comment would be that I feel a lot of the additions Taxcalc have made should be part of improving the core product and not all billable extras.

I have always found Taxcalc support to be very good and I an sure they will get you sorted, I certainly wouldn't be looking to jump ship if you have previously after this 1 hiccup. There is only really BTC that is close in price and functionality to taxcalc, but you need to consider the time cost and retraining of moving.

You have grabbed the attention of the CEO on a Sunday morning which is fairly unique, I have only previously seen Gary Turner of Xero engage with users in such a way so on that alone, i think they will get you sorted fairly quickly.

I hope you get it sorted soon and will be keen to hear an update once you are back in office, as I was maybe going to upgrade to the new PM module once tax returns are out of the way.

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By frankfx
28th Oct 2019 07:49

The CEO Philip hodgson of VT was online this Sunday.
IMHO..Another customer _focused company .

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By Tonykelly
28th Oct 2019 09:08

To be fair to Taxcalc, it is one of the best products on the market now, ie for accounts, corporation tax returns and personal tax returns.

I have never used the tasks module until last week, when I purchased the PM+ module after watching the webinar.

I trialled it for a couple of days and then went back to Taxcalc and asked them to remove it from my system.

They were very good about it and gave me a credit note for the £48.00. It wasn't a question of the money, but that I couldn't really get on with the system.
I wasn't going to invest time in setting up a system unless I could be sure I was happy with it and that it would produce the desired results.

As WASLTD has mentioned, there does seem to be an issue with the dates.
The system doesn't seem to generate the expected dates when setting certain recurring tasks. I have sent the screenshots with the issues to Taxcalc, and they have come back to me and told me they will look into it further.
I have left it at that, as I won't be using the PM module as we have a different system for workflow management and CRM etc.

However, I do understand WASLTD's frustration with the product as he relies on it for practice management and so for people who do, this issue needs sorting out fairly urgently.

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Replying to Tonykelly:
By Tracyep45
30th Oct 2019 23:17

Tony thank you for your feedback. If acceptable to you I’d like to revisit this with you and understand personally where we’ve not met your expectations.

Best, Tracy

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WASLTD
By WASLTD
28th Oct 2019 14:01

Afternoon all,

Just to update on current proceedings...

TaxCalc have been extremely supportive (as always) and we have had a further conversation today. They are currently investigating some back-ups for data issues. It was suggested I revert back to an old back up but I couldn't agree to that due to the potential loss of time & data.

I have noticed that since closing and re-opening TC a few times, the addresses "seem" to have gone back to normal. Weird.

Tasks, I'm having to correct as and when I notice the issues manually.

In my panic, I did reach out to both CCH & BTC, however only BTC have tried to contact me! I am interested in speaking with them but I would like to hear some user feedback from anyone using BTC full suite in house. I do think, however, I will be staying with TC.

Will update further in a few days.

Thanks!

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By ohorad44
30th Oct 2019 10:47

Hi,

I am currently an IRIS user that is coming up to my 300 client limit, I prepare and file a lot of Property management company accounts which are effectively dormant and therefore low fee.
In order to increase my client numbers at Iris i have to move to their Modular System, which includes a large one-off fee,
So i am looking for alternative software to produce the Property management company accounts, would you recommend Taxcalc?

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Replying to ohorad44:
WASLTD
By WASLTD
16th Nov 2019 18:35

Don't see why not. IRIS are extortioners.

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By marks
30th Oct 2019 22:23

We use Taxcalc just for acccounts, CT, PTR and automail letters.

We dont use any of the tasks etc functions (we use Glide to track our workflows).

I was going to look at the new PM offering but that will probably be a task for Feb next year.

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WASLTD
By WASLTD
06th Nov 2019 10:40

Hi all,

I am back from leave today and will respond to any replies and provide a general update in due course.

Thanks

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WASLTD
By WASLTD
16th Nov 2019 18:34

Hi to you all,

The main issue we had, which put the fear of god into me; and has still left me worried, is that somehow our main firm address in admin centre got swapped with a clients address. This caused all clients who used our reg. office and service address to now show the wrong address. In changing our firm address back to normal this corrected the issue. Mysteriously, the client address that had replaced ours then totally deleted itself from the global address book. Very strange and TaxCalc are still looking into it. They have been very helpful.

I am just content enough in that the system seems to have settled and I hope it does not happen again.

Regards the other issues which were frustrating, and worsened post the new practice manager update: tasks not recurring correctly, speed of recurrence heavily slowed down (10 second lag for the task to reappear when completed) and the task notes disappearing. TaxCalc have identified this to be an issue which should be resolved in a future system update.

I don't want to have to move from a system I really like, or a company who provide really good service; and in my opinion a good price overall. To do so would cause even more stress, so for now I'm staying put and just hope that things get better.

I've spoken with three other suppliers and just been honest with them and said I am loyal to TaxCalc.

Happy to answer any questions whilst I'm still checking this thread.

Kind regards,
WAS

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By darkmatter
21st Nov 2019 18:53

Yes .. taxcalc is now basically sh~t.. too bloated , its standalone tax return is fantastic , and I despair why they don't take this on board ,

I see what they are trying to do , but there must surely be a huge market for a taxcalc standalone tax return solution, without the dreaded hub

it takes me only about 5 minutes to manually complete the p/l b/s in the SE pages , I don't need a clunky import data thing , that I have to check anyway ,

ps also get rid of those prompts telling you the fields in the hub don't correspond to the tax return .. it is making small practictioners life a fcking misery

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Replying to darkmatter:
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By darkmatter
21st Nov 2019 18:57

pps .. also the ability to create and set up next years tax returns for all clients , with just a single click , was a fantastic time-saving feature , sadly now gone... as taxcalc sadly shot themselves in the foot

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