Drake Tax Software Review
by UltimateTax

The Benefits of Using Drake Software.

Drake Software is an all-in-one professional tax software that gives tax professionals and accountants the tools they need to prepare personal, business, state and federal tax returns.

As a company, Drake Software was first marketed in 1977. It rapidly grew from a family tax practice into a national brand by providing tax professionals with what they need: reliability in software and support.

Drake Software is a top-tier provider of professional tax preparation software. It provides the tools and support tax professionals need to build their businesses and attract new clients.

Drake Software takes pride in being an all-inclusive tax compliance system that can work for many different businesses. It is used all across the nation, providing tools for tax planning, analysis, document management, client write-up and much more. All in a single package.

More than 50,000 tax professionals nationwide use Drake Software. Each year, more than 26 million federal and state accepted returns are processed using Drake Software.

Drake Software has received awards and recognition from the CPA Practice Advisor, the National Alliance of Tax Professionals, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and CPA Journal.


Who benefits from using Drake Software.

Small to mid-sized businesses that will process form 1040 and business returns for their clients will benefit the most from using Drake Software.

Drake Software provides the tools and the support that small to mid-sized businesses need to grow their business and serve the needs of their clients.

Drake Software is known for personal and prompt customer service. Customer support representatives are available even during the height of tax season. No matter the size of your business, it is easy to network Drake Software with a dedicated server or peer-to-peer network.

Drake Software is simple to integrate with other programs. It incorporates with other tax-related programs such as Gruntworx and SecureFilePro. This allows businesses to import documents into the returns and share files with clients fast and securely.

Drake Software offers clients three access options (web-based, Drake Hosted Desktop and Desktop). These options allow tax professionals a choice in the platform they choose that suits their offices and the needs of their clients.

Excellent Features of Drake Software.

Tax Solutions

Tax Solutions

Drake Software has many features to assist with productivity. It offers simple navigation so that users can quickly toggle between forms, schedules, and the completed return with clicks or hotkeys.

Drake Software has flexible data entry so that users can choose how to enter data, define and lock fields, and determine which screens are accessible. Users can also import and transfer data to streamline workflow by using timesaving features.

These features include: importing unlimited Form 4562 assets and Schedule D transactions from Excel into Drake Tax; entering data from Drake’s import-ready trial balance sheet; exporting parents’ tax information directly to the child’s Form 8615; and importing and exporting all K-1 information.

With the Drake PDF Printer, users can seamlessly print tax returns to a PDF file. They can encrypt tax returns with a password. Using Drake Documents, users can store tax return in the document manager.

The Drake Software document manager is a robust information hub for important tax documents, client records, and more. Produce PDF images with the integrated Drake PDF Printer; password-protect your files; watermark documents as final, review, or draft; and preset default descriptions for scanned documents.

Tax professionals can print a total of 12 different tax-preparation forms in Spanish, including Forms W-4, W-7, 2350, and 13844.

The Data Entry Toolbar is available on all data-entry screens, letting you use an integrated calculator, clear reminder flags, quickly navigate between screens, and more—all without having to leave the current screen.

Analyze current- and next-year scenarios using Compare Report and the Tax Planner.

Choose from three different organizers—summary organizers, comprehensive organizers, and new client/blank organizers—that can be generated as a fillable PDF and securely delivered to a client using SecureFilePro.

Browse a library of tax resource websites with Drake Software’s custom Internet search tool.

Integrated Billing allows users to bill by time or form and customize the format of the client’s billing statement.

Use an electronic signature pad to digitally sign forms associated with an e-filed return, including the 8879, consent forms, and bank documents. The fully integrated e-signature process is authentic, tamper proof, and securely bound to the document.

Tax Diagnostic Tools

Tax Diagnostic Tools

Drake Software offers several data entry tools.

With LookBack, users can toggle the data-entry view to show fields that had data in them last year. A simple keystroke toggles the LookBack views, so you can verify prior-year data in even less time.

LinkBacks is another feature that will save time. This new diagnostic tool tracks calculated results on the tax return back to the source data.

With DoubleCheck, users can mark items in any text box, check box, or amount on a tax form as “verified,” “flagged for review,” or “noted for review,” leaving a green check, red flag, or yellow box, respectively. If information pertaining to a verified item changes, DoubleCheck will automatically flip the green check to a red flag.

Drake Software offers several features for analysis. For data analysis, use the Report Manager or Multi-Office Manager (MOM) to track workflow and analyze data and statistics on demographics, return status, payments, billing information, and more.

With Calculation Notes, tips and alerts are generated with each return, helping users make sound decisions for each client based on their specific tax situation.

Multi-Year Comparison allows a user to review a current-year summary side by side with the prior two years to help verify accuracy and identify possible omissions.

4Tax Planning helps clients plan for the future by comparing their current tax situation to different scenarios that could occur: marriage, the birth of a child, buying or selling a house, or a change of income.

With the Fixed Asset Manager, you can choose from more than 40 column headers to organize and customize client reports.

Different Software Options to fit your need.

Drake Software offers three software types to suit the needs and preferences of each tax professional and their clients.
Small to mid-sized businesses can choose from Web-based Solution, Drake Hosted Desktop and Desktop.

Web-Based Solution

Web-Based Solution

The Web-Based Solution option is fast and efficient. It offers full online access and allows users to file returns from any location including smart phones and tablets.

Users can prepare 1040 returns online with Drake’s web tax software, offering flexible plans for standalone sites, multi-sites, and even pay-as-you-go purchasing.

Drake Software offers two versions for preparing 1040 returns online: Drake Zero is for standalone sites and Web1040 is for multi-sites (20 or more physical locations). Other than the features specifically related to managing multiple sites, all other features are the same.

Drake Zero and Web1040 are web apps, so all users need is Internet access and a recent version of their preferred browser.

Because it is web-based, there is nothing to install, update, or backups. That also means no more software expenses or maintenance chores.

With the Web-Based Solution, users have access from anywhere. Users can take their laptop and work anywhere that has Internet access: office, home, coffee shop, client’s location, etc.

The Web-Based Solution is also mobile friendly, so it also works on tablets or smartphones.

The Web-Based Solution is all-inclusive. Each return includes as many state returns as users need, as well as e-filing, printing, and long-term online storage.

Powerful reports lets users always know what’s going on with their clients and business. Users can keep track of which returns are ready to e-file, which have been accepted, which need follow-up, fees, and more.

Drake Hosted Desktop

Drake Hosted Desktop

The Drake Hosted Desktop has all the features and power of Drake Software, but is running in the cloud. This option is flexible, secure, reliable.

The Drake Hosted Desktop is highly convenient and requires no zero installation and maintenance.

The hosted applications include: Drake Tax, DrakeCWU, and Drake Documents. Optional applications (additional fee applies): Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook, OneNote.

The Drake Hosted Desktop is simple to access from any platform, smartphones, tablets, and computers.

The Drake Hosted Desktop supports dual monitors, and works seamlessly with your local printers, scanners and other peripherals.

The Drake Hosted Desktop runs in a Citrix XenApp cloud environment, providing time-tested and robust functionality. It uses load-balanced super-fast Intel Xeon processors, so you get consistent, maximum performance.

The Drake Hosted Desktop runs in the cloud, is secured by a firewall, antivirus and has its data stored in encrypted form. It offers SSL encryption for all connections to makes sure that your client’s sensitive data and documents are always secure.

When using this Drake Software option, there is no need for the manual backup of uploaded documents as it is done automatically.

The Drake Hosted Desktop allows for storage space expansion so users can cater to the additional storage needs whenever their client base expands.

Also, the Drake Hosted Desktop makes it possible for the local and cloud applications to run side by side seamlessly. The enterprise firewall and antivirus protection allow the software to keep all user data secure.

As such, users can have peace of mind knowing that their client’s data cannot be compromised.

Drake Desktop

Drake Desktop

This Drake Desktop install option comes with a multitude of features including tax planning, tax comparison from year to year, speed, easy backup and auto data flow that makes the preparation and filing of returns quick and straightforward.

Notable in Drake Desktop is the easy and fast update. Users can either choose automatic updates or wait to receive a notification to update the software.

Drake Desktop Software System Requirements

Supported Operating Systems

Windows® 7

Windows® 8

Windows® 10

Windows® Server 2008

Windows® Server 2012

Windows® Server 2016

All operating systems are expected to be running the latest service pack.

Minimum System Requirements

1 GHz processor

1 GB of RAM for 32-bit and 2 GB of RAM for 64-bit

Monitor capable of 1024 x 768 screen resolution

CD drive (unless choosing download option)

1 GB of available hard drive space

HP-compatible laser printer

Internet Explorer 11

Internet access (required for regular updates and PPR software)

These are the minimum requirements to run Drake Software on most systems. For superior performance, it is recommended to have system upgrades above the stated minimums. Actual requirements will vary based on the system configuration and the features and other programs users wish to install.

Recommended System Requirements

Windows® 7, 8 or 10 Professional 64-bit

2.8 GHz processor

4 GB Memory (RAM)

Monitor capable of 1280 x 1024 screen resolution

High-speed internet access (recommended for GruntWorx, SecureFilePro, Google and Outlook Calendar integration)

TWAIN-compliant scanner (recommended for Drake Documents)

Why UltimateTax recommends Drake package.

  • Data Conversion
    Drake Software includes free data conversion services that allows users to bring their client’s prior year tax returns. Easy data conversion enhances professionalism and makes it possible to have the client data in its rightful state and place. That way, users can work with clients without making any assumptions or guesses about their previous year tax returns.
  • Multi-State Returns
    Drake Software allows the preparation and returning of files for all states. In fact, the software supports over 6000 federal and state forms. Included are 1120-S, 1040, 1041, 1120, 1120-H, 4720, 1118, 3115, 706, 1040NR, 709, 990, 990-PF, 5471, 1065 and more.
  • Ease of Use
    Drake Software has an intuitive, easy to learn and navigate interface that gets users up and running within a short duration. Users can easily and conveniently track their clients with either an SSN or EIN. The web-hosted version is not only easy to use but also allows the users to access from anywhere when connected to the internet.
  • Easy Back Ups
    Drake Software makes it simple to restore data together with the custom settings to the same or even a different computer when the need arises. An added SecureFilePro account (additional cost) makes it easy to back-up to the cloud for easy access.
  • Speed
    Drake Software speed is commendable. It requires just a few clicks to move around the program, and in a short time, user can view the calculation results and full returns. The speed comes with use, the more users use it the faster it seems. Combine the speed with the shortcut keys and the macros, and that eliminates the possibility of making errors. Add that to the automatic data flow and the overall performance of the office improves markedly.
  • Shortcut Keys and Macros
    This feature makes data entry simple and quicker by lowering the number of keystrokes when preparing and filing returns. The use of macros can save time to focus attention on other tasks at hand.
  • Tax Comparison
    Drake Software allows professionals to conduct analysis and compare clients’ tax, year by year. Also, the software carries forward the return from the previous year to the current year, all of these done on a convenient worksheet.
  • Automatic Data Flow
    Drake Software comes with override options for state, federal and city returns. Credit for taxes paid to other agencies is also done automatically. Additionally, the tax software offers data auto-fill upon entering the ZIP code and the EIN entries saving a lot of time.
  • Integration with Other Tax Programs
    Drake Software integrates seamlessly with several other popular tax programs. Providing users the best tax return experience. It integrates with the Client Write–Up product. Making it possible for the professionals to handle accounting, payroll needs and more for the clients. Drake Software’s integration with GruntWorx makes it possible to import scanned documents when filing returns rendering data entry easy and reduces paperwork. This feature is crucial since it also eliminates the data entry errors that may occur when keying in the data manually. Drake Software features Secure File Pro, a web portal that allows for the secure sharing of files and documents between tax professionals and their clients. Something interesting about the web portal is that it allows for customization to feature the logo name and the URL of the company.
  • Tax planner
    Drake Software Planner allows professional users to analyze the various parameters impacting the taxes. By focusing on aspects such as income, marital status, and dependents.

Why UltimateTax recommends UltimateDR package.

The UltimateDR package is a great alternative for tax professionals that are looking for a complete package for individual, corporate with client write up and document management.

UltimateTax Service Inc. sells tax software to fit all needs. We understand that not every office needs the same software and we don’t try to sell you something you don’t need or want. Many customers use the same software every year, but we provide a few other great choices.

If you are interested in our UltimateDR Tax Software product, you can purchase directly through UltimateTax.

Click here to view the UltimateDR package.

Let us help you find the right solution for your business! Call 866-686-7211 today or request an evaluation.

Drake Software vs. UltimateTax

Drake Software

Stand Out

  • Well known for top-notch customer support
  • More than 50,000 tax professionals use Drake
  • Data entry software that many experienced professionals use (CPAs and EAs)
  • Tax program comes with the Client Write Up, Document Manager and Tax Planner all for one price
  • A desktop version, hosted version and a web-based solution are available.

Why They Stay

  • Drake dollars available (bank products)
  • Integrated products (Gruntworx, Secure File Pro, E-sign)
  • Great Support
  • Product if you like it, hard to get to switch after a few years with the product
  • CPAs and EAs like Drake (experienced professionals)

Stand Out

  • Launch Pad – The custom launch screen puts the most common items front and center on the dashboard. This speeds up the workflow and reduces learning curve.
  • 365 Service – We have in-house, next level support. With many options to serve you. We are here when you need us, 365 days a year.
  • UltimateCash – Rewards paid directly to the tax office based on volume.
  • Fee Collect™ – Your preparation fees go straight to your account. Get away from the credit card fee and make additional income.
  • Context-Sensitive Help – The built in help is a comprehensive, context-sensitive, mega-source of knowledge at your fingertips.
  • Interview Mode – The interview mode is like having an extra trained professional in your office.
  • State Modules – All states included – ProCollect and Premium.
  • Detailed Reports – In real time access all the reports you will ever need. You will know how many returns each preparer has done, how many fees collected and which forms are most popular. Even check to see if a return is accepted or waiting.
  • Free Conversions – Convert your data your current tax program to UltimateTax.

Reasons To Consider UltimateTax
Expert Support. Unbeatable Price

  • Every Support Tool Available – Phone, Chat, Email and Show My Screen™
  • Professionally trained and very experienced Support Staff.
  • Hundreds of Available Questions and Answers in our Knowledgebase.
  • Software Specialists That Are Knowledgeable In The Industry.
  • A 95% Customer Satisfaction Rating For the 2016 Filing Season.
  • Bank Partnerships to Get You All The Leading Offerings.
  • Bank Products
  • Rebates
  • Comprehensive E-filing Diagnostics
  • Networkable
  • E-filing Options
  • 1040 Individual
  • Form-Linking
  • Online Check Printing