Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Products on the Web

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Products on the Web

Article excerpt

The trend of moving toward the Internet continues as vendors that traditionally offered desktop versions of their product introduced Web-based versions.

Last August Intuit announced its plans for ProLine Tax Online Edition, a new SaaS professional tax software product powered by the Lacerte engine, rather than creating Web-based versions of ProSeries or Lacerte itself. It is a pay-per-return model of roughly $19.95 per return in 2009 with no upfront license fees. The product launched in November. Pricing for 2010 had not yet been determined at press time.

In June 2009, Thomson Reuters unveiled a SaaS option for which users pay monthly software leasing fees rather than upfront purchase fees, starting at roughly $425 per month, and can access their software, including the CS Professional Suite of products as well as Microsoft Office and Exchange, over the Web. CCH also released a SaaS version of ProSystem fx Tax in 2009, which starts at $450 per user per month.

Drake offers two types of SaaS offerings. Webl040 runs in a browser, so it requires no installation. Remotel040 is an application that customers have to download, consisting of a data entry module that runs locally on the customer's machine. For both products, calculation, printing and e-filing all happen on the server and are executed over SSL encryption.

GoSystem Tax KS is Web based, and Thomson says it plans to expand its Web services, including online monitoring tools and additional products. UkraTax plans to enhance its tool for monitoring the status of e-file clients and to include an option to send an automated e-mail to the client when the IRS has accepted the returns.

Most vendors offer some type of online help, including chat, e-mail or Web-based discussion forums as well as blogs and videos. Online portals, through which accountants and their clients can exchange files, are also becoming popular. …

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