Which tax software option is the best choice for you? That all depends on what you need your software to handle for you, and for your clients.

Which Tax Software Options Should You Take A Closer Look At?

Generally speaking, most tax and accounting software offers the same core set of functions. As an accounting professional, you need more than just the basics; your client’s needs are changing, and so is the way you handle those needs. Modern tax software is built to accommodate those needs and provide added features and options that make your job simpler.

As with any type of software, there are some that stand out from the rest. A recent comparison of more than a dozen options has uncovered 6 programs that are best suited to today’s tax prep professional.

#6 – UltraTax CS (Pricing is based on individual needs)

Ideal for CPAs whose firm uses CS Professional Suite for both tax and audit purposes, UltraTax CS is a powerful automation tool. Integrating seamlessly with other Thomson Reuters solutions such as CS Professional Suite and Onvio, this software provides access to a complete list of federal, state, and local tax programs while allowing you to make use of a cloud-based, customized end-to-end solution.

#5 – ProSeries Professional (Starts at $489)

A great fit for accountants wanting to use an Intuit product, prefer a Forms-based interface, and who primarily file Form 1040s. ProSeries Professional offers several software packages for both individual and business returns, and makes it easy to locate and request missing client information and transfer data to individual returns, saving you the time and hassle of taking on each of these tasks manually.

#4 – CCH Axcess (Pricing by request only)

Tax accountants who need an API to customize their tax software will find CCH Axcess especially useful. A cloud-based tax preparation and compliance solution, this program maximizes productivity and profitability by providing customization options that support the way your firm works. With thousands of automatically calculating schedules and forms and licensing options ideal for smaller firms, CCH Axcess makes use of the cloud to help keep IT expenses down.

#3 – ProConnect Tax Online ($43.95 for individual returns or $54.95 for business entity returns)

Offering all of the benefits of traditional professional tax software and all of the advantages of the cloud, ProConnect Tax Online is an Intuit solution built for forward-thinking tax professionals. With unmatched flexibility, freedom, and efficiency, this program can provide incredible value thanks to its all-inclusive pricing models. Fully integrating with QuickBooks Online Accountant, ProConnect also offers smooth data collection and flexible document management. This program is ideal for those whose clients use QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Self-Employed.

#2 – Drake ($1,695 for their unlimited package)

Tax pros in search of flat pricing for an unlimited number of tax returns need look no further than Drake. Available either as a desktop or hosted desktop program, Drake offers a host of features including easy data backups, simple import and export tools, multi-state returns, and e-file options. The hosted version has even more to offer with automatic backups and added technological support.

#1 – Lacerte  (Starts at a $447 base fee)

Ranked as the best overall option, Lacerte is yet another Intuit program, this one ideal for accountants looking for software that offers integration with several different accounting software programs instead of a single program. With more than 5,700 form modules, Lacerte allows you to serve a vast range of clients. Automated calculations increase accuracy and efficiency, while the Jump to Input option makes navigating forms a breeze. An added bonus is the e-organizer wizard, which makes requesting and collecting data from individual clients a smooth and simple process. While this is a slightly pricier option, no matter who your clients are, Lacerte can help you to help them to the very best of your abilities.

While these are not the only tax preparation software options out there, they are some of the best choices. Each program has affordable pricing models and per-year or per-return fees (if any) based on what each program offers, user friendly features, great data import and integration functions, digital invoicing, and stellar customer support.