AccountingWEB's Tax Software Reader Survey results

Over a period of nearly two months, AccountingWEB surveyed our readers, asking questions about the things they look for in tax software, which features are most important, which how long they've used their current software, and the likelihood that they will make a change.

Here are the results of our survey:

1 - Do you plan to use the same tax software program in the spring of 2009 that you did in 2008?

  • Yes, definitely 75%
  • Probably, I am leaning toward using the same program, but open to change 17%
  • Probably not, I am leaning away from using the same program, but may make a change 3%
  • No, will definitely use a new program 5%

2 - How important are the following features in your decision to purchase tax preparation software?

A. Software price

  • Most important 12%
  • Very important 50%
  • Unsure 2%
  • Somewhat Important 24%
  • Least important 2%

B. Add-on features

  • Most important 10%
  • Very important 42%
  • Unsure 17%
  • Somewhat Important 21%
  • Least important 10%

C. Availability and quality of technical support

  • Most important 36%
  • Very important 52%
  • Unsure 2%
  • Somewhat Important 9%
  • Least important 1%

D. Ease of data entry

  • Most important 35%
  • Very important 60%
  • Unsure 1%
  • Somewhat Important 3%
  • Least important 1%

E. Availability of portal software

  • Most important 6%
  • Very important 60%
  • Unsure
  • Somewhat Important 3%
  • Least important

F. Program speed

  • Most important 19%
  • Very important 68%
  • Unsure 5%
  • Somewhat Important 8%
  • Least important 0

G. Network capabilities

  • Most important 21%
  • Very important 29%
  • Unsure 6%
  • Somewhat Important 14%
  • Least important 31%

H. Availability of a refund anticipation loan service

  • Most important 4%
  • Very important 5%
  • Unsure 2%
  • Somewhat Important 7%
  • Least important 82%

I. Client tax organizer

  • Most important 11%
  • Very important 39%
  • Unsure 8%
  • Somewhat Important 25%
  • Least important 17%

J. Client documents, including client letters and billing forms

  • Most important 24%
  • Very important 54%
  • Unsure 4%
  • Somewhat Important 19%
  • Least important 9%

3 - How many people utilize the tax preparation software in your firm?

  • 1-5 83%
  • 6-10 10%
  • 11-25 2%
  • 26-50 3%
  • 51-100 1%
  • Over 100 1%

4. How many different tax preparation software programs have you used in the past five years?

  • only one 50%
  • two 33%
  • three 15%
  • four 1%
  • five or more 2%

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