Crosslink

CrossLink is owned by Petz Enterprises, Inc., a family owned business that started in 1964. Petz Enterprises worked with the IRS during its initial consideration of electronic 1040 filing, and in 1987 released CrossLink as an add-on to existing tax software programs that did not support electronic filing or tax related financial products. In 1994 the product evolved into a fully-functional tax preparation application based around electronic tax return filing.

There are three desktop-based and one web-based version of CrossLink available:

  • CrossLink 1040 allows you to create individual federal, state, and local tax returns. All 50 states are included in CrossLink 1040, but U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam are not supported.
  • CrossLink for Business allows you to prepare federal returns, and includes these forms: 1041 Fiduciary, 1065 Partnership, 1120 Corporation, and 1120 S-Corporation. State returns are also available.
  • CrossLink for Business Plus includes the capabilities of CrossLink for Business, but also adds these forms: 706 Estate, 709 Gift, 990 Exempt, and 5500 Benefit Plan.
  • CrossLink Multi-Site Online is a web-based version of CrossLink 1040 that allows up to 200 returns to be prepared per location.

Cross-Link has some groundbreaking features:

  • The ability to send text messages to your clients from within CrossLink, which you can use for both customer service and marketing purposes.
  • Support for electronic signature pads, which minimizes the amount of paper copies that you have to keep on hand.
  • A new Scan and Store option allows you to use a hand-scanner to use a "point and shoot" approach to capturing source documents without leaving your desk.

Other new features for 2009 include:

  • Online Electronic Return Originator (ERO) Enrollment with the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Online ERO Configuration/Control through the CrossLink Customer Support Web Portal.
  • A Management Dashboard allows you to access tax return information for remote sites.
  • State Only Fling allows state returns to be filed without a completed Federal return.
  • Enhanced State Amendment functionality eliminates the need to rekey original values from the previously filed return.
  • Automatic return locking prevents tampering or accidental alteration. Returns rejected by the IRS are automatically unlocked, and you have the option to override the lock when needed.
  • Archive or Print option allows you to designate which return copies should be printed, and which should be stored electronically. Thus your preparer copies can be saved automatically in digital form, while client copies will automatically route to your printer.
  • Cash card option allows preparers to disburse financial products on a card rather than by check or direct deposit, which provides another line of service for you.

The application doesn't offer Spanish language forms, but multi-lingual support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week during tax season. Training options include self-paced online tutorials and instructor-led classes. A dedicated account team will help you convert your data from your existing package and help you get started quickly. Since the program is geared for high-volume production, it doesn't include what-if capabilities such as lease-versus-buy or maximizing retirement contributions, but does offer a Tax Estimator feature. What the program does offer, though, is blazing fast speed. A video on the CrossLink web site demonstrates how fast the software runs with over 600,000 returns loaded on a single Windows XP computer. Further, the program allows you to generate and track client invoices and payments within the software.

In short, this lean, production oriented software is best suited for tax practices that focus on rapid return preparation and ancillary financial services, such as storefront practices. However, any preparer that wishes to work more efficiently and virtually paperless should take a look at CrossLink.

You may like these other stories...

Divorce is hard, and the IRS isn't going to make it any easier. The IRS generally says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. In certain circumstances, however, you might be able to salvage...
IRS chief: New rule on the way for tax-exempt groupsIRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the USA Today on Monday that the agency will likely rewrite a proposed rule regulating the political activities of nonprofit groups to...
With tomorrow being Tax Day, you might see some procrastinators at your office filling out forms, printing out paperwork, or getting last-minute tax advice from their accountant so they can meet the IRS’s filing...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 17
In this exciting presentation Excel expert David H. Ringstrom, CPA shares tricks that you can use with pivot tables every day. Remember, either you work Excel, or it works you!
Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.