Lacerte and PTO use the same data set and format. You shouldn't have to worry about conversion. In case you are not aware, PTO uses the Lacerte engine and tax logic - even the input screens look almost identical because of that.
There are many considerations:
PTO runs in the cloud. This means you have less to worry in terms of system maintenance, data backup, and data security. On the flip side, you must have internet connection to be able to prepare and access returns in PTO; there is no offline access. There is a risk, however remote that may be, that PTO will not be operational if Intuit's servers go down for whatever reason - recall what happened to users of Axcess recently.
PTO has exactly the same issues as Lacerte, which should not be a major concern. More importantly, it lacks features and flexibility you are accustomed to having in Lacerte. This is most evident in productivity workflow, presentation (such as client letters), and reports you could produce. If you haven't yet tried PTO, you should try that out for free and see for yourself whether you can live with those differences.
PTO does not officially support data export for conversion if you ever switch to another tax product, whether from Intuit or another service provider. Unofficially, Intuit confirmed that they could convert PTO data to Lacerte through an offline process, which, according to them, is quite time consuming. This could be a major drawback for switching to PTO.
The cost of PTO for 2019 is no longer cheap. While many were happy to live with these shortcomings in the past, some are finding these new rates not worth the compromise.
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