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Intuit Lacerte, ProSeries Focus on Accountant Productivity and Growth
From amassing client documents to automatic data import, Intuit's professional packages reduce the hidden workflow bottlenecks
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Nov. 19, 2007 - Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) today introduced Lacerte® and ProSeries® professional tax software for the 2007 tax year – the latest innovations of which include new features that can increase practitioners' end-to-end productivity by helping them do more in less time, and also help them grow their businesses.
"We are continuing to build in new features which bolster productivity that are not just specific to a task, but based throughout the workflow, from collecting client information and entering tax data to reviewing and filing returns," said Jorge Olavarrieta, Lacerte group product manager. "These hidden bottlenecks of the preparation process cumulatively add up to extensive hours of lost time."
In order to solve for the needs of their customers, Intuit conducted several quantitative surveys and extensive customer research -- through its renowned Customer-Driven Innovation process -- including onsite visits, forums, phone support feedback, and comments from the company's Accountants Advisory Council. One result came through loud and clear: tax practitioners see increasing their productivity - doing more work in less time - as critical to their success.
"The professional accounting world is going through a lot of changes," said Kathy Kirkendall, ProSeries group product manager. "The regulatory temperatures keep rising, yet there are fewer qualified staff members. At the same time, accountants want to go beyond the routine document-gathering stage at tax time to provide the kind of high-value services that lead to client retention, referrals and delight."
Lacerte software is designed for full-service firms that offer a complete range of professional services, such as accounting, compliance and review, while ProSeries is designed for firms that primarily focus on tax preparation.
Lacerte: reducing data entry
Lacerte 2007 is scheduled to add features that help reduce the time-consuming task of entering client data by extending the import capability first introduced last year in Intuit's award-winning SmartMap technology. SmartMap allows direct import of QuickBooks® files through an intelligent, self-learning database tool.
Working in conjunction with SmartMap, the Lacerte Trial Balance utility opens the door to non-QuickBooks data, importing data from any accounting application that can write to a comma-separated file, such as a spreadsheet. Together, these two tools enable tax preparers to import data from virtually any accounting application, thereby substantially reducing the time needed for re-keying.
Lacerte has also focused on increasing productivity by planning to introduce a new tool that enables quick and easy importing of Schedule D stock information from Excel. One Lacerte customer estimated that the potential time savings could range from two to five hours for a single 1040 return. Individual results may vary.
Other scheduled Lacerte improvements include a more comprehensive forms library, with additional modules for state and federal filings, improved installation and update routines to help reduce potential workflow disruptions, and improvements on how table records are created, managed, selected and viewed.
ProSeries: helping accountants acquire, retain, and engage with their customers
ProSeries 2007 is scheduled to address the workflow holdup when clients routinely forget to provide at least one document. The new Client Checklist provides a customized list of a taxpayer's necessary documents, each described in easy-to-understand language that can be edited by the accountant. The Checklist will enable accountants to move forward more quickly on a client's return by ensuring that all the required information is at hand, while saving the time spent in back-and-forth correspondence. Additionally, ProSeries professional allows the accountant to print or email the checklist to their clients, either individually or in batches.
ProSeries scheduled features, Client Presentation and Client Advisor tools, help accountants have meaningful conversations with their clients on their tax and financial situations. The Client Presentation feature includes charts and graphs that illustrate the taxpayer's tax situation, year-over-year comparisons, income and deductions. The Client Advisor Tool provides tax planning recommendations for the coming tax year.
ProSeries also plans to feature new Intuit marketing tools to create a Web presence. As a 2007 report by The Kelsey Group shows, 93 percent of consumers chose the Internet over traditional means to find local business information. Last year, Intuit and Google announced the ability use information from QuickBooks to automatically create a local listing on Google Maps. This year, ProSeries plans to expand on that idea by introducing WebListings, which allows customers to syndicate their firm's information on several leading local-listing sites for free, including Google Maps, Yahoo!, Local, YellowPages.com and Superpages.com, thereby creating an invaluable Web presence.
Other new features planned for ProSeries include K-1 input for all business federal modules and a Client Snapshot feature that quickly accesses any client's summary information without exiting the current return; new business state modules, and expanded e-filing capabilities.
Pricing, availability, Vista support
Lacerte 2007 has a base price of $2,450 for a single-person license and $2,900 for a four-user license. Additional users, forms and options are priced individually. For complete pricing information, please click here.
ProSeries 2007 pricing begins at $1,099 for the professional version and $349 for ProSeries Basic Edition with additional fees for pay-per-return, some e-filing, and other services. For complete pricing information, please click here. Prices are subject to change at anytime without notice.
Lacerte and ProSeries are scheduled to be available for download in November 2007. For ProSeries, Client Presentation and Client Advisor are scheduled to be available for download in January 2008. Both Lacerte and ProSeries 2007 work with the Vista operating system.
About Intuit Inc.
Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax® software, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit's leading tax preparation software suites for professional accountants. The company's financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help banks and credit unions serve businesses and consumers with innovative solutions.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual revenue of $2.67 billion in its fiscal year 2007. The company has approximately 8,000 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.
Intuit, the Intuit logo and QuickBooks, among others, are registered trademarks and/or registered service marks of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries.