Should I use an Accountant or Tax Software?

Allan Madan, CA
 May 14, 2014

As we advance technologically into the millennium era, we have become more and more dependent on technology as a channel to accomplish things in our life. The ever so growing trend is encouraging families and individuals to steer away from human interaction and look towards technological alternatives. This can be seen in the world of taxation where there has been an increasing shift in the usage of tax software over accountants.

Some people prefer the use of systems and their LCD computer screens, others prefer to stick to the traditional way of face to face interaction. Depending on your personal situation and preference, there are pros and cons to sticking to your trusted accountant versus the new wave of software available to help you file your taxes. Let’s compare these two ends of the spectrum.

Advantages of Hiring an Accountant

should I use a tax accountant or tax software – advantage of a tax accountant
Accountants Save Time- As work, social media, family time and our ongoing aim at keeping our fitness resolutions; time really has become scarce. Does one really have time to go through a step by step process of filing your own taxes and making sure there is no room for error? Accountants know and understand each of their client’s financial statements based on their unique case. This allows the process to be seamless and time efficient for an individual no matter how complicated the case may be.

Accountants have knowledge – Whether your situation is out of control, complicated or what you feel is a pretty clean account job; your accountant will guide you and have the knowledge of exactly what is required in order to maximize your return. Your accountant will also be up to date on all the new rules and regulations that tax filing software may not have yet incorporated. Accountants know the laws and regulations for all your claims and how to sort each accordingly. Your accountant may be able to get you the best possible return with no errors.

Human Interaction – Our current lives are so technologically and wirelessly connected that we are losing all human, face to face interaction with our friends and families. The assurance provided by a face to face interaction with your accountant allows one to have a sense of security especially when it comes to ones money. Accountants have a variety in the ways in which they approach ones files so it is very common that an accountant is able to find you deductions that the use of software may miss. This is something to consider when debating on the option between an accountant and tax software.

Advantages of Using Software

should I use a tax accountant or tax software – advantage of tax software
Cost Effective- Using software is cheaper than having to hire an accountant. Software can be cost effective as long as you are upgrading your software as required. If a software is not updated as per requirement it can create long term hurdles as you may miss a new claim or under claim and end up owing the government more money long term.

Self Controlled- As we are a generation use to accomplishing most of our tasks via internet and technology, some prefer this concept with regards to their accounting as well. This way a client is aware of exactly how everything is being processed as they have their own input and steps to follow.

Speed – If you have the right paper work, and a perhaps less complicated tax file, you are ready to go. One may be able to file their taxes using software within an hour. There are some software that complete certain steps automatically based on your inputs allowing you to save time and speed up the process of getting your taxes in. Additionally, mobile accounting apps can also simplify our entire taxation process. To find out more, please read this article on mobile accounting apps for small business owners.

Confidentiality- Often business owners have a concern with private information and security of their finances. On a personal level not everyone is comfortable sharing their income details with an individual such as an accountant. One thing that is assured with using software is confidentiality. If you’re someone not comfortable with human interaction when it comes to your finances, then software is for you. Most software put a very heavy emphasis on the security of their system and guarantees safe sharing. This is also another important point of emphasis when deciding to either consult a tax professional or a tax software.

Depending on one’s individual case and requirements, an accountant will bring you benefits that a software may not. Likewise, for simple cases and self involvement, software is the way for some with regards to their taxes. For Canadian small-business owners, there are a number of tax software’s available. To find out the top 5 tax software available, please read this article. Additionally, if you are a small business owner looking to reduce taxes, have a look at this article on how to save taxes for self-employed individuals.


The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not take into account your personal situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from accounting and financial professionals. Allan Madan and Madan Chartered Accountant will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.

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