This is the time of the year when tax professionals work six-seven days a week and very long hours. Thus, it’s critical for them to conduct business as efficiently as possible, and that includes their use of tax preparation software.
Below you will find a list of important, and possibly overlooked, time-saving tips and tricks for ProConnect Tax Online, or PTO (Intuit’s cloud-based pro tax software). These features will make your life easier, and ultimately, simplify your work during this ever-hectic season – and beyond.
Importing client data
Importing data into a tax return is not only a big keystroke saver, but it also cuts down on keypunch errors.
- QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) Integration: New this year, this capability allows you to transfer balance sheet and income statement data from QBOA to PTO in seconds. This Books-to-Tax feature automatically maps data into the appropriate tax lines on the tax return with a few clicks.
- K-1 Import: After preparing a partnership, fiduciary and S-corporate return, the tax preparer can import information directly from the generated K-1 and into the individual return.
- Financial Institution Download for W-2s and 1099s: This feature allows you to import your clients’ W-2 and 1099 data directly from the provider into our PTO software.
It can be frustrating for tax preparers if they can’t locate the black box and unable to navigate from a calculated amount on a tax form directly back to the root input field(s) that comprise the value. The Jump-to-Input feature solves the problem.
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To view the tax forms themselves, click on the tax form on the left navigation panel. You can then click on any blue shaded field to go from a line on a tax form to the correlated input field and then drill in to make any necessary adjustments.
Data collection from clients can be a challenging, time consuming ordeal for any tax professional. You can invite your client to Link (client portal) from PTO and send a personalized engagement letter, checklist and questionnaire. Then, you can find out when your client accepts your invitation and track client progress accordingly. Your clients will complete their personalized checklist and share source documents (W-2s, 1099s) from any device, including uploads, snapping pictures or directly from their financial institution to this portal, which offers bank-level security.
You can quickly find what you need within the input area by using the search box that is located in the left navigation pane. Simply enter all or part of a form number, line description, box number or value within the return. The search will narrow down the results automatically and take you to where you need to be within the return. This feature can greatly assist you with finding areas you may not be familiar with, as well as help you do a quick audit on the return.
Now that you are armed with these tips and tricks, hope you have the best tax year ever!
About Mike D'Avolio, CPA
Mike D'Avolio is senior tax analyst with the Intuit Professional Tax Group, he has been a small business tax expert for more than 20 years and serves as the primary liaison with the IRS for tax law interpretation matters, manages all technical tax information, and supports tax development and other groups by providing them with current tax law developments, analysis of tax legislation, and in-depth product testing.