In this digital age, there are various options for tax preparers in terms of tax software solutions. However, the decision to choose tax software should be made after certain considerations. It can be the size of your tax firm, the customer support, features, or the budget.
Among the most popular tax software solutions, Drake tax software is one of them. According to the 2019 tax software survey by the Journal of Accounting and The Tax Adviser, CPAs voted Drake as the most highly-rated software by giving an overall rating of 4.6 like the last year.
Here are some vital features of Drake software that makes it a favorite of tax preparers –
1. Drake Tax Planner
The Tax Planner feature is an integral part of Drake software that helps tax preparers to plan their clients’ taxes for the present season or the next year. With Tax Planner, the current tax status can be compared with different scenarios like marriage, change in income, or buying an asset.
To access Tax Planner: Go to Client’s Return > Tax Planner
With Drake software, you can eliminate the need for manual signatures or stamps on the tax forms. E-signature is a useful feature for taxpayers and preparers, which enables them to sign the tax forms like 8879 consent forms and bank applications for e-filing tax returns using a digital signature pad.
3. Data Backup and Restore
The clients’ tax data is the most important part of any tax process. Hence, it is only wise to take data backup to prevent any data loss due to unforeseen circumstances. Drake’s Backup and Restore feature offers multiple data backup options that can help tax preparers keep the tax data secure.
For instance, Drake offers the option to enable “Automatic Backup” for the data. There is also an option of Manual Backup, where you can specify the location where you want the backup to be taken (it can be either local or network location or the SecureFilePRO account). Moreover, with the option to perform a full or selective backup, the tax preparers can choose the critical files to backup.
The restore option lets you specify the location from where you want the files to be restored.
Tools > File Maintenance > Backup
4. Drake Scheduler
The Drake Scheduler feature lets you make appointments and add schedules for yourself as well as other tax preparers. It can also be used to send email appointments to clients for the required date, with the option of importing and exporting appointments from MS Outlook. The Drake Scheduler feature lets the tax preparers generate batch appointments for multiple clients and create organizers and proformas.
The Scheduler can be accessed by clicking on the Scheduler button on the toolbar.
5. Drake Documents
Are you stressed out by all the paper documents you have to handle on a daily basis as a tax preparer? Do you want a paperless environment for your office? Then Drake Documents can help you in this regard.
Drake Documents offers secure electronic storage for all your tax-related data, such as client documents and returns. This feature enables you to save costs on physical storage space for cabinets.
Drake allows you to store the PDF copies your tax returns directly to Drake documents by selecting the documents from the View button.
With Drake software, you can create amortization schedules for easy calculation of a loan amount.
Go to: Tools > Amortization
You can calculate the loan amount by filling the required fields, i.e., Loan Amount, Amortization Periods, Payments Per Year, and Annual Interest. Once you click on the Calculate button, the payment amount will be visible.
Drake also gives you the option to set the time periods and print the reports accordingly.
7. Printing Labels
Drake enables you to print client labels using an external label maker from the clients’ return window. You can choose among label types such as Name, Name/ID, Name/Tax Year, and Client Address Label. You can also select multiple labels simultaneously.
Then, click on the Print button and select the Printer Type. You can also send ‘Mail To’ labels for the IRS and create your custom label.
8. Drake Dashboard
Dashboard is a new web-based feature introduced in Drake, which enables the tax preparers to evaluate the performance of a business by converting data into interactive pre-built charts. Drake also takes the snapshot of the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of a business to offer insights into the business’ health.
To give users access to Dashboard, all you need to do is login to Drake website as Admin.
Then, go to User Mgmt > Manage Users. You can give access to the users by checking the box “Dashboard-Beta.” The user will receive an email for the same.
As an admin, you can set goals such as yearly revenue, target new customers, average revenue per customer, among others.
9. Research Tool
The research tool offered by Drake is a handy tool that lets users get information on the latest tax changes. The tool can be accessed by clicking on the Research button on the toolbar.
You can customize your search in the Research tool by adding only relevant websites related to tax, such as the IRS. You can also add keywords to filter your search.
10. Schedule D Import
Drake offers the 8949 Import tool that enables the import of client’s broker statements in an Excel format, directly into the 8949 import template. It gives you the option to create a personalized template or copy it from the knowledgebase.
Optimize the Performance of Drake with Cloud Hosting
These were only a few of the plethora of features that Drake tax software brings to the table. However, another aspect that affects the performance of the software is the platform on which it is hosted.
Contrary to the local systems, when Drake is hosted on the cloud, the tax preparers get the luxury of remote access. Hence, they can access the tax data from anywhere at any time. Secondly, the tax preparers also do not need to go through the hassle of maintaining and purchasing hardware for their tax firms.
Other benefits of cloud technology include:
- High scalability
- Better data security
- Enhanced user collaboration
Do you have any more questions about Drake software? Please let us know.
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