The program has a very clean look. Tabs across the top allow you to have multiple clients open at a time. Adding new clients is easy and straightforward. Once you are working on a client, there are just three options to choose for your workspace; Input, Review, or File. Input lists the forms you have data entered onto, whether from this year or prior year's data. There is a button that allows you to add new forms, opening a menu where you can scroll through form categories to find the form that you need. You could also enter the form name or number in a search box to pull up the required input screen for the tax form. Review puts you into a screen with two columns to organize the review process. The left side has button options for you to choose to review your federal or state tax summary. Below the buttons is another button that would create a new window to display the actual tax return. Next is a listing of Critical Diagnostics with a direct link bank to the input form. Finally, Suggestions lists recent and/or relevant tax law that might affect entries you have on the return. The summary is displayed in the wider right column, with three columns showing current and prior year data and computing the difference. File is a very simple screen that allows you to choose whether to e-file now or later and whether to view or print the return. At the top of the screen, well marked, is a note if e-file or informational diagnostics exist.
The benefits of a web-based system is the significantly reduced needs and costs of hardware and the flexibility of being able to work anywhere.
Intuit has been running this Beta version since September 1, 2009, to allow tax preparers to test out the system for free while preparing extension returns. Not all forms are currently available, but the initial reviews are positive. The ease of working with the system reduces the learning curve and training needs to virtually nothing to be up and running on the package. The openness of their Beta testing process ensures that the end users, CPA's and other tax preparers, will have their wants and needs included in the end produce.
"Tax professionals are increasingly turning to online, Software-as-a-Service products for secure, affordable Web-based solutions that are available anytime, anywhere and Intuit ProLine Tax Online Edition adds to the growing number of SaaS-based products and services Intuit offers across many of our businesses," said Jorge Olavarrieta, group product manager.