Ranking the products.

 
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Tax preparation software is getting better--faster, more comprehensive and more stable. Those are the conclusions of a just-completed survey the National Association of Tax Practitioners (NATP) conducted and shared with the Journal of Accountancy. The major areas of dissatisfaction, according to the survey, are rising prices and customer support.

The NATP asked its members to rate their software, and 1,096 of them reported what they liked and didn't like about the products they used this year and their vendors' customer support. Although the association received information on 32 products--representing 620,000 computer-prepared returns--we include in our report only the results on the 16 that generated assessments from at least 10 users; we felt that assessments from less than 10 would not be statistically valid. Exhibit 1, at right, contains the vendors' names and how to contact them.

Exhibit 1: Tax Software Vendors Vendor Tax program AM Software AM-Tax Professional 1040 ATX Forms Saber 1040 CCH Computax ProSystemfx Creative Solutions UltraTax Drake Software Drake Dunphy Systems 1040 Professional Tax Preparation ExacTax Package EX Intuit ProSeries Lacerte Software Lacerte 1040 Tax Software Micro Vision Software Tax Relief 1040 Orrtax Software 1040 Preferred TAASC The Professional Tax System Tax$imple Tax$imple Taxworks By Laser Systems Taxworks By Laser Systems Universal Tax Systems Taxwise Xpress Software Xpress 1040 Software Vendor Address AM Software PO Box 681661, Kansas City, MO 64168 ATX Forms PO Box 1040, Caribou, ME 04736 CCH Computax 21250 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503 Creative Solutions 7322 Newman Blvd., Dexter, MI 48130 Drake Software 235 E. Palmer St., Franklin, NC 28734 Dunphy Systems 6740 Huntley Rd., Suite 103, Columbus, OH 43229 ExacTax 2301 W. Lincoln Ave., Suite 1000, Anaheim, CA 92801 Intuit 2535 Garcia Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043 Lacerte Software 13155 Noel Rd., 22nd Floor, Dallas, TX 75244 Micro Vision Software 140 Fell Court, Hauppauge, NY 11788 Orrtax Software 13208 NE 20th St., Bellevue, WA 98005 TAASC 6914 S. Yorktown Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136 Tax$imple 8 Emery Ave., Randolph, NJ 07869 Taxworks By Laser Systems 350 North 400 West, Kaysville, UT 84037 Universal Tax Systems 6 Mathis Dr. NW, PO Box 2729, Rome, GA 30164 Xpress Software 203 Bradley Dr., West Columbia, SC 29170 Vendor Telephone AM Software 800-859-8537 ATX Forms 800-944-8883 CCH Computax 800-457-7639 Creative Solutions 800-968-8900 Drake Software...

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