By Stacie Clifford Kitts CPA

I just can’t help myself.  I need to tell you because you are not going to believe what I am doing right now.

If you are familiar with popular tax and write-up software companies, i.e. you’re a CPA or tax professional, then you might recognize the number that’s showing on my phone in this picture.

Let me break down what you are looking at.

The 800 number showing on the screen represents the “customer service” number for my tax software provider.  The bottom right hand number represents the time that has passed since I have been on the phone trying to resolve an issue with the software.

Now the first hour of time that is depicted reflects the time I spent with a technician who was trying to get my custom letterhead to work properly.  The idea of adding your letterhead to the software is to save time.  That is, when I print a tax return, the transmittal letter and filing instructions will print on my letterhead eliminating a processing step.  Yeah for everyone because the less time I spend on a return theoretically the more savings I can pass onto my clients.  Very cool – if it worked!

Anyway, the tech was very nice and told me he would call me back tomorrow when he had more time to figure out why it wasn’t working.

This is when I made my fatal mistake and asked to be transferred to a different department so I could resolve yet another problem with the software.  The person who took this call was unable to assist me and asked if she could put me on hold to research the issue.  As of the writing of this blog, I have been on hold for over 65 additional minutes (a total of 2 hours and 5 minutes of time on the phone with you know who).

What do you think?  Is my friendly customer service rep who had no idea how to answer my question heading home, or maybe she’s already home getting ready for bed spending time with her family – while I languish on hold like a spurned desperate lover hoping someone will come back to the phone and resolve my problem.

That’s right loyal readers, she forgot about me.  ***Ugh*** I feel like such a loser. 😦


  1. kstaxman says:

    Well Stacie I’ve had a few run ins with C*H myself.

    They can be a real pain but they do now own the software I use FX Pro so I’ve got to put up with them. And printing has always been their most problematic area. They always tout going to a paperless office and if you try to print most things from their software you will see why.

    Anyway good luck hope you figure out your problem this isn’t the time of year that we need to be trying to get things to work.

  2. Don’t you feel trapped with the limited selection of software? I do. I’m locked in and at their mercy. Most likely I will find out the problem was between the keyboard and the chair and then I’ll feel bad. 🙂

  3. Update. 4 hours later I realized that the customer service rep that had remote access to my computer forgot to disconnect. My software provider subsequently recorded all the activity on my laptop for the next few hours. Thank goodness I wasn’t working on sensitive client information or heads would be rolling about now!

  4. kstaxman says:

    Luckily Stacie that data is encrypted for that connection between the two computers.

    So while there are some security risks posed they are really very small using the remote access software they use. That was one of the things I checked out with them last year and it is a VPN type of encryption used with their remote access.

    Of course that begs the question of why you were left connected by a tech who just walked away. They hadn’t solved your problem and then just forgot about you.

    Their system should be set up to stop such things and prevent a forgetful tech from leaving a connection hanging.

    And as you say there is little choice so little you can do as the big software tax companies keep buying up all the rest.

    Anyway have a great tax season and I’m sure they will get if figured out eventually.

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