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Discussion:General tax prep workflow ?? - Trial Balances

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> General tax prep workflow ?? - Trial Balances


D'Nero (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
If this has been discussed, please throw me a link as I did not find this in a search.

As a preparer of small business returns 1065, 1120(s), even Sch Fs, Es & Cs, etc. what is your use of the trial balance? I find myself creating them for pretty much every small business client I prepare.

The regional firm I used worked for used ProSys Engagement, we'd dump the QB, CSA, [list accounting software here] trial balance into the Excel TB in Engagement, make necessary adjusting, and tax adjusting entries, prep the return and give it to the partner for review. When the client picked up their return they also received a copy of the firm's version of the TB and the adjusting entries for them to make in their system. Reason being, if the firm wasn't responsible for keeping the books, we weren't going to physically make the entries for the client.

The small, local firm I am helping out this year has no such "3rd party" trial balance software. If there was a TB done in the past it was scratch paper and for the purpose of figuring basis/equity. The main questions I have for those of you are: What is your use of trial balances in the tax prep process? Do you use a separate software from your client's accounting software? An Excel add-on? If so, do you have recommendations?

Currently, I am creating each small business client's TB in Excel and trying to track adjusting entries made. When the QB file comes in resembling a "shoe box" keeping track of AJEs is a lot of fun, in a not-so-fun way.

RoyDaleOne (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
I hate using spread sheets for accounting work. If, you don't know how to do the work using paper get a write-up or T/B program. There are tons of them and it is personal taste that decides with one you use.

D'Nero (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
Thought I would see how other preparers in this forum were preping these returns and what they were using. Rather not do it on paper if I can use Excel.

Thank you.

Jdugancpa (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
D, I use the export feature to export a TB from QB to Excel. The TB results in a two column format, one for debits, one for credits which I then convert to a single column with debits as positives and credits as negatives. I then post all my adjustments to that spreadsheet. Takes minutes. I doubt you can export to a TB program any faster. I then track my AJE's on the Excel TB and provide clients with a copy of the adjusted TB and AJE's for posting to their QB file.

Roy, which TB program do you recommend and what does it cost?

D'Nero (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
JD, essentially that is how I am doing it with the QB clients. Some files are quite a mess and when you adjust and readjust some JEs - it can turn into a fine mess w/out automatically updating the TB when an entry is edited. It's not that big a deal, but thought I'd ask.

Bushmaster (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
I do a combination. If the client has a QB file, and reasonably keeps it straight, I will make all the adjustments to their backup. I have also posted transactions to my TB software (Gosystem, Creative Solutions, highly recommend) and go from there.

Audits, I do all by TB software.

I will look into Accountant's Copy of Quickbooks shortly. I have heard it works good and you can move stuff to where it needs to be rather than making 100 journal entries.

I would rather stick a hot needle in my eye than use excel for any serious TB work.

Jameskoinis (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
If your clients are using Quickbooks and their books are very I just get their "live file" for a day and make the necessary changes to it. If the file is not to bad I make journal entries in their backup file all dated 12/30/XX and then run a Journal report for that date and give it to the client so that they have their necessary entries.

Rkrcpa1 (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
We live and die by the Accountants' Copy in QBooks. I get that from every client that uses it. We never give the file back for import though, we always give formal journal entries for the client to post. We work exclusively with GoAudit, all work is done there, it's where all our historical data is. Make's financial statements a snap.

RoyDaleOne (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2008
I used to TAASC for everything except Financial Statement work. I just stop using (at end of 2007) the DOS version which I had not updated since Intuit took over.

I use ATB (from AICPA) for financial statements and the related tax work.

I am trying to switch to ATX write-up...(trying).

I also use Quickbooks Accountant Edition for my QB clients.

Along time ago I used Accountants World and before that Creative Solutions.

Probably the best was Creative Solutions.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

29 February 2008
I tried the QB Accountants Copy a couple of years ago and HATED it. (Note that Accountants Copy is a type of backup whereas Accountant Edition is a type of software.) My number one complaint was that you couldn't do a bank rec. Haven't tried it since.

Lrussell (talk|edits) said:

29 February 2008
Starting with Quickbooks 2007, use can use the Quickbooks Accountants copy to do bank reconciliations and most other transactions that are needed without having to prepare journal entries for all of your adjustments. It is much better than prior year versions.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

29 February 2008
Maybe I'll give it another try.

D'Nero (talk|edits) said:

29 February 2008
Bank recs are a big thing for me now, some of these clients have never clicked on the bank rec function in their QB. With my former employer we had almost all clients trained to take care of that themselves, along with making sure their AR and AP schedules were in line. At the end of the year we'd verify their rec to the Dec Stmt. Basically performed a Comp w/out the report and extra checklists...

I still prefer the method of working off of my own TB and giving the client a list of entries for them to input, or invite me over for an hour to do it for them. Similar to RK above.

Thank you all for the feedback. Keep it coming.

Lrussell (talk|edits) said:

29 February 2008
A correction to my previous response. It is actually 2008, not 2007 where you can perform bank reconciliations with the accountants copy. Sorry!

COGS (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2012
I thought I would revisit this discussion. I use ATB and love it. Since Lacerte Trial Balance was free this year I gave it a try and for a few clients it works. But it just is not as easy to use as ATB. Inputing begining numbers if not importing from Excel is tedious. I don't like the way the tax program is locked when the trial balance is open. Yes, the linking to the tax return is slick.

But if I have to make a lot of journal entries I go back to ATB.

Anyhow, given it has been four years since this thread started, I thought I would ask what people are doing now.

Eric1032 (talk|edits) said:

30 March 2012
i use ATB as well and love it. does anyone know if they still sell ATB or upgrading it? I am due to upgrade my computer and i know for a fact that on a window 7 64 bit computer, it will not work.

thanks

COGS (talk|edits) said:

30 August 2012
Eric, I think your computer person can set your computer to have a screen run in "XP Mode" or some other option that may let you run ATB a little longer. I really don't know what I will do when I can no longer use it. I tried the Lacerte Trial balance program and it drove me crazy. ATB is about the best program ever written. So fast for data input, changing journal entries (I know I am not the only one who occassionally puts an intry in backwards by mistake), grouping schedules for aggregating a bunch of stuff, analytics, consolidating, etc. I looked at the website of the company that took over and they don't seem to have a basic program like ATB. Rather complicated programs that offer the client the ability to tap in and see real time reports.

I know that importing from Quickbooks, Excel, etc. does not work in ATB and I suppose that would be nice to have it upgraded to be an option. But really I don't mind droping in the balances manualy because I am pondering the numbers looking for things that jump out for further investigation.

Does anyone know the legal issues of taking an old abandoned program and having it re-written in current code? I imagine it would cost some coin but I do wonder if legaly it could be done.

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