Tax Software

Questions To Ask

It's not unusual for businesspeople to purchase new software, only to find that:

a) it won't work on their computer system, or

b) it doesn't meet their business's needs.

Before making a purchase, there are some important questions you should ask the salesperson:

*What are the hardware requirements? Is the program designed for Macintosh or PC? Windows or DOS? How much memory is required to run the program?

*How difficult is the program to learn? Is the documentation offered with the program easy to understand? Does it have a useful index that will allow you to look up specific questions easily? Is the online help feature complete and easy to use?

*How often is the software updated, and what is the cost of those updates? You'll want to make sure that, as tax laws and schedules change, you'll have the necessary information to prepare accurate returns.

*Does the software allow you the option of filing your taxes electronically? This can save you time and money, in addition to simplifying the tax-filing process. Be sure to find out if your modem and communication software will support this option.

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This article was originally published in the April 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Tax Software.

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