As you head into tax season, there are four features about Intuit® ProConnect™ ProSeries® you should know about to help save time.
#1: Tax Return Input Guidance. One key to saving time is understanding the Forms Index, the main index for Form 1040. Scrolling up and down the Forms Bar, you can see the various forms, schedules and worksheets, categorized in a variety of ways:
- The first category is “Forms in Use,” which identifies the forms that are active for the client’s return that you have open.
- Next, you’ll see the “Common Forms” category, which consolidates and displays the most popular forms used when preparing returns.
- You will notice a section that begins with “General Info,” followed by “Income,” “Adjustments,” “Deductions” and more. These sections are designed to follow the most common order of data input that’s used when preparing income tax returns. Each section may be expanded to reveal sub-headings that further group the available forms, schedules and worksheets within ProSeries.
- Further down the Forms Bar is the All Forms section. This section begins with a series of hyperlinks and topics that are displayed in blue. The first item in the list, the “Forms Index,” provides an organized categorical listing of various sections of the return, along with QuickZooms to quickly open a desired section. QuickZooms will open to the tax form, schedule or worksheet you desire. The Form Index is a popular resource that is available to guide you through the tax return preparation and aid in quickly locating needed forms. The Form Index can also be accessed from within the Open Forms window.
The width of the Forms Bar can be customized to make it wider or narrower. Simply grab the right edge of the forms bar with your mouse and drag the edge to adjust the size.
#2: Quick Entry Sheets. The Quick Entry Sheets in ProSeries offer an alternative method of entering data, enabling you to work right on the tax form or worksheet. Quick Entry sheets include only enterable fields and, therefore, eliminate much of the scrolling required in the forms method. For example, if you have several assets to enter, the Asset Entry Worksheet in the Quick Entry view contains a table that you can use to quickly record the assets. You can use either method for an entire return, or switch back and forth between the methods to maximize your data entry productivity. To switch, click on the page icon toward the top of the screen, or use Ctrl + M. You can also go to “File” on the menu bar and select “Go to Quick Entry Mode” (or “Go to Form Mode”).
#3: Client Presentation/Client Advisor. This feature enables you to provide your federal individual clients with visually appealing charts and graphics on bottom line, income and deductions, and comparisons with prior years. You can also generate a list of up to 71 personalized tax planning suggestions on how your clients can help reduce their future taxes. To use the Client Presentation and Client Advisor features, the computer with your ProSeries program must also have Microsoft Excel 2003 or later. For best results, complete the client’s federal individual return first. Then, go to the Tools menu, select “Client Presentation” and then select “View Client Presentation in Excel.” The “next,” “previous” and “zoom” buttons near the top of the Excel Print Preview window enable you to see each of the four Client Presentation and Client Advisor pages.
#4: Tax Planner and What-If Worksheet. ProSeries has multiple options for projections, or calculating different scenarios, the most comprehensive being the Tax Planner. Please note, this feature is not available in ProSeries Basic. There are two main Tax Planner Worksheets that you’ll need to fill out: the Tax Planner Summary Information Worksheet and the Tax Planner Taxpayer Information Worksheet. When you open the Tax Planner Summary Information Worksheet, you will see four columns. The first column (Tax Return) shows the current tax return amounts. Each Tax Planner Summary Information Worksheet allows you to view up to three tax plans. If you would like more than three tax plans, you can add an additional Tax Planner Summary Information Worksheet.
There are nine other Tax Planner Worksheets that you can fill out as necessary:
- Tax Planner Investment Income Worksheet
- Tax Planner Business Income / Self-Employment Income Worksheet
- Tax Planner Rents, Royalties, Pass-through Entities and Other Income (Loss) Worksheet
- Tax Planner Passive Activity Income and Loss Worksheet
- Tax Planner Adjustments Worksheet
- Tax Planner Itemized Deductions Worksheet
- Tax Planner Taxes, Credits and Payments Worksheet
- Tax Planner Credits Worksheet
- Tax Planner Alternative Minimum Tax Worksheet
To use the Tax Planner, click the Forms menu, choose “Select Forms,” press “PL” on the keyboard and it will be entered into the Find box; highlight the Tax Planner. Click “OK,” enter a plan description and click “Create.”
The What-If Worksheet is less detailed than the Tax Planning, and it’s available in ProSeries Professional and ProSeries Basic. To use the worksheet, click the Forms menu, choose “Select Forms,” type “WH” on your keyboard and it will be entered into the Find box; highlight the “What-If” Worksheet. Click “OK” to get started.
We hope these tips and tricks save you time this tax season! Leave us a note in the comments below if you’ve come across any other time-saving tricks in ProSeries.