Editorial Manager/US Team Lead
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App Watch on MetaTax, Bloomberg BNA and Vertex SMB

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Mar 21st 2016
Editorial Manager/US Team Lead
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Hello and welcome back to another edition of App Watch, the weekly column that gives you – the accounting professional – a quick snapshot of what was announced in the application and service provider world that we have deemed relevant to you. We also offer a bit on insight as to the importance of the news for you and, at times, the accountant-focused tech world at large.

This week’s Watch should come as little surprise. We’re neck deep into tax season and, as such, some familiar (and some not) tax product vendors have some news to share that could be pertinent to this season and beyond. So, without further adieu…

News: Small Firm Tax Research Tool Hits the Market

Metakite Software has released MetaTax, a tax research tool built for small firms and sole practitioners available on the Web and iOS. The company claims it has has over 100 tax topics covering the most common issues encountered while working with individual and small business clients. All content in MetaTax is fully searchable and cross-referenced. All information in MetaTax can be tied back to IRS forms, revenue procedures, notices, and other IRS guidance. Citations are available upon request. Sole practitioners can pay $9.99 per month for the product, while a small firm can pay $19.99 for up to 3 members.

Views: On first pass, who wouldn’t want a relatively inexpensive tax research tool. If you are a sole prac or very small firm, you’re probably just on Google or some other web search for what you need, maybe even the IRS site. Sure there’s the tax research tools offered by the major tax and practice management software makers, but it may not be viable if you’re an extremely small tax practice. If this tool does all it says it can, it seems worth examining.

News: Bloomberg BNA Updates State Tax Analyzer

The new version of Bloomberg BNA’s State Tax Analyzer is out and features NOL Manager, a new way to predict the impact state net operating losses (NOLs) will have on cash, the effective tax rate (ETR), and corporate earnings per share. The NOL Manager feature automatically computes the generation, utilization, carrybacks, and carryforwards of state net operating losses across multiple years and multiple scenarios. NOL Manager was also built to compute and document valuation allowances to withstand internal and external scrutiny; show impacts of IRS and state tax audits on NOLs; estimate taxes for financial statements and quarterly estimates; and calculate and track NOLs from the year 1998 forward for pre- and post-apportionment states

Views: So if any of your clients are dealing with net operating losses (they probably are), you know that while the federal code allows 20 years of NOL carry forwards and two years of NOL carrybacks, states vary greatly on their own NOL rules. As such, companies often have to navigate filing multiple entities in multiple states, forcing them to deal with hundreds or even thousands of returns in a single year. Not to mention, each filing requires its own NOL supporting schedule that could span upwards of 10 to 20 years. Sure, you’re in the middle of tax season now and you probably don’t have a lot of time to check out something new. But it seems this can help take away a pretty significant headache when it comes to state taxes.

News: Vertex SMB Inks Partnership With TaxCloud

Vertex SMB has formed a partnership with TaxCloud, a sales tax compliance service for online retailers. This partnership effectively expands TaxCloud’s geographic area of automated capabilities to include all U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions, while expanding e-commerce platform support for Vertex SMB – specifically to small online retailers. TaxCloud is certified to provide registration, filing, remittance, and audit response in the 24-member automated compliance states included in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.

Views: As with any growing business in this space, it’s good to build partnerships. And when you are a comparatively lesser known service provider, particularly when it comes to sales and use tax compliance, any such union is going to be a plus. Some of you may know that Vertex has a strategic partnership with CPA.com, the business/promotional subsidiary of the AICPA. That alliance alone looks to generate some awareness within the accounting community, now with this TaxCloud deal it adds further awareness and usefulness within the small business community.

That’s all for this week, as ever, if you have anything to add or some of your own commentary and insights feel free to do so below or post your own Any Answers or Blog post on our site.

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