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Drake Leads Industry in Software Satisfaction Surveys

In spite of a year of change and delays, tax preparers and CPAs rated Drake Software at the top of the industry for user satisfaction and other key metrics.

According to the IRS, roughly 145.5 tax returns were processed in the 2015 season, with 74.2 million filed electronically by tax professionals through August of 2015.  These represent increases of 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

The 2015 tax season brought last-minute changes to the tax law as Congress extended dozens of tax breaks.  It also saw major confusion over new filing requirements for the Affordable Care Act, including the fact that the wrong forms were sent by the federal health care exchange to tens of thousands of taxpayers.  Budget cuts at the IRS meant long wait times for responses to questions, putting more stress on tax preparers to meet the needs of their clients.  Finally, a dramatic increase in identity theft and fraud resulted in rejected returns for some taxpayers and the resulting difficulties in working with these clients.

The nearly 5,000 accountants who participated in the AICPA’s 2015 survey of software performance rated Drake Software in first place for:

  • Overall Satisfaction (as it did in 2014)
  • Electronic Filing
  • Multi-State Business Returns
  • Ease of Use
  • Update /Installation
  • Updates During Tax Season
  • Implementing ACA Changes
  • Price
  • Support: Both Quality and Accessibility

The accountants also rated Drake software above average for its conversion package (among those who used a conversion package), and 93.6 percent of them – substantially more than any other vendor’s software – said they would recommend Drake to an accountant starting a new firm.

Ninety-four percent of those using Drake said they plan to use Drake again next year.  Users noted that the three things they liked most about the software was its price, support, and ease of use.  While seven percent of the respondents changed their software to a different package this year, Drake’s customer base grew to 12 percent of the total of CPAs surveyed.

The AICPA also provided information about the major findings of its survey in the areas of the Affordable Care Act and Identity theft.

With regard to the ACA, for which Drake was given the highest rating, the AICPA said, “This year, the core metrics of adequacy of updates, technical support, and—always a concern—perception of pricing versus value showed little change from previous years, despite the additional challenges. For additional insight, however, this year's survey asked specifically how users' software performed tasks relating to PPACA, such as calculating the Sec. 5000A individual shared-responsibility payment, popularly known as the individual mandate, and the health insurance premium credit under Sec. 36 and its reconciliation with any advance credit. Regardless of how well CPAs and their clients themselves were able to apply these new provisions for tax year 2014, they reported their software was largely up to the task - see more at [The Tax Adviser website].”

With respect to identity theft, sixty-three percent of respondents said at least one of their clients was a victim of tax identity theft in the 2015 filing season. Ninety-seven percent of those respondents said the problem affected fewer than 5% of their clients.  Most respondents with clients who were victimized by identity theft had difficulty dealing with the IRS in resolving the issues, with only 27% saying it was easy or very easy to resolve, and 39% saying it was difficult or very difficult.  A significant percentage of respondents, 44%, reported that the victims were unaware of the theft before attempting to file their 2014 returns, and another 42% said some victims were aware of it and others were not. Click here for more information.

The fall, 2015, edition of the Tax Pro Journal, published by the National Association of Tax Preparers (NATP) also gave top marks to Drake software, with first place recognition in the categories of:

  • Price
  • Reliability
  • Customer Support
  • Technical Support
  • Timely Updates for State Tax Law Changes

In addition, Drake scored above average in overall satisfaction; ease of installation and use; accuracy; and timely federal tax law updates.

The 1,727 tax preparers participating in the 2015 survey rated Drake at or near the top in all categories.  More of the respondents used Drake Software than any other system, with 93.8 percent said that they plan to use Drake again next year.

Overwhelmingly, the NATP tax preparers rates pricing and reliability as the most critical factors in their choice of software.

Drake Software has consistently given top marks in industry software ratings performed each year by these two leading associations of CPAs and tax preparers.

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The Taxing Subjects staff is proud to cover the latest in tax-industry-related news, from tax law and IRS updates to technology and business strategies. If you have questions about an article or just want to reach out to the Taxing Subjects staff, email comments@taxingsubjects.com.

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