Tax Compliance, Inc. (TCI) announces the release of three new PTMS modules built on a Microsoft .NET® platform: the Property Manager, Jurisdiction Manager, and Import Manager, as well as new features related to the Assessment Classification and PTMS Options areas of the software. This release represents the third phase of TCI’s migration of its market leading property tax software, PTMS, to the Microsoft .NET architecture. Significant enhancements and benefits include increased productivity through intuitive user interfaces that minimize keystrokes and errors; the ability for tax professionals to view, analyze, and work with data according to their preferences; advanced bulk editing capabilities; streamlined management of real property data; and an architecture that enhances system performance.
The Property Manager consolidates the functionality of seventeen Legacy PTMS windows into one user interface. The Property List in the new Navigation pane provides tax professionals with an easy-to-use interface to quickly isolate property relevant to specific accounts and parcels. The Property Manager displays individual property records or summarizes them based on virtually any field. It also displays all relevant information relating to classifications, costs, assessed values, and tax data all in one place.
The design of the Property Manager reduces server resources consumed by PTMS and improves system response times. The number of Property Types used in the Property Manager has been streamlined from six (Personal, Real, Inventory, Distributed, Vehicles, and Other) down to two (business personal property, real estate) without losing any functionality associated with these types of property. The Property Manager also consolidates six different Legacy PTMS databases into one. Tax professionals can control the number records displayed on each page to further improve system performance.
Legacy PTMS required users to store a large amount of data at an asset level, and was sometimes termed an “asset-based” system. The Property Manager in New PTMS allows users to choose whether to store information such as jurisdiction assignments at the site, parcel, or asset/component level based on their business requirements. Similarly, when receiving assessment notices back from a jurisdiction, tax professionals have the option of entering values at an account level without allocating those values down to assets or components. Companies with portfolios that require allocation can still elect to enter summarized values and have PTMS allocate the values at a detail level. With these flexible options, the Property Manager streamlines many property tax processes, saving customers substantial time and resources.
“Rather than worrying about something which just looks ‘slick’, we spent a lot of time streamlining user interfaces, processes, and data structures to make PTMS more responsive, less resource intensive, and easier to use.” said Scott Strauss, CEO of TCI. He added, “While process and database reengineering isn’t glamorous work, we believe it is that type of attention to detail that gives our customers every efficiency and advantage that today’s technology allows.”
New PTMS offers tools enabling users to customize and optimize the Property Manager interface as they see fit, saving both time and mouse-clicks. When displaying data, fields may be added or removed at will on the fly, rather than preselecting fields in a separate preferences area. Users can take advantage of “bands” of fields relating to specific functions (such as tax payments fields) to quickly and easily add or remove groups of fields en masse, or use Column Choosers to drag and drop individual fields into the data grid. When viewing individual sites, parcels and assets, tax professionals may also use “panels” to quickly add or remove groups of data fields en masse. Data tabs may be reorganized by each individual user to optimize their workspace according to their work responsibilities.
Parcels were reconfigured so they can be linked to multiple sites, one site, or stand alone without linkages to any site. These improvements make reconciliation processes much easier to perform for prior years in the event site codes change, or if one site or parcel splits off from another. They also eliminate the need to perform extra work to create and maintain duplicate sites and parcels.
The new Global Replace function in the Property Manager makes it easier to mass edit property records. Users can base “global replacements” on one or more PTMS fields and use built-in functions to create new data (such as concatenating two fields, or taking the first three characters from one field and the last two of another, or multiplying two numeric fields together). Such functionality greatly reduces the amount of time and effort spent manipulating and scrubbing source data.
“Improving the user’s experience remains a core principle here at TCI,” said Mike Mulinix, Director of Customer Relations. He added, “By simplifying things without sacrificing the features and benefits PTMS has always offered, these new modules save our customers substantial time managing core tax compliance activities so that they can focus on other value-added activities.”