We are a public accounting firm that concentrates on the tax and compliance needs of small businesses. Our firm was never right on the leading edge of technology, but always eager to implement new technologies and processes that make office life easier, more efficient, and flat-out more fun. Manual processes just are not fun. Previously, all of our office work was the manual entry and processing of our client’s work. Even clients that used Quicken or QuickBooks to write their checks were manually input to our system. Clients made so many errors that we found it more efficient to re-enter data than to try to clean up the messes clients would send us.
After the 2005 tax season, I did a lot of research on what new and improved products and systems were out there. My software provider at the time, Creative Solutions, offered their Client Bookkeeping Solution in an online version. I jumped right in. Unfortunately, I was not too happy with what I found. I found a cumbersome process to export/import data and then usually having to update the client’s online system to coordinate with my office system. This left me still looking for that true collaboration.
I also note that the payroll processing module of Creative Solutions, even though it was robust, left almost all of the steps in running the payroll as a manual process. Manually create and print the checks, manually create and transmit EFTPS files and direct deposit files, manually enter this data to the client’s online portal. Too much work and too much room to make mistakes. Overall, I was so disappointed with the entire situation that I knew I had to make a change.
Sometime after the 2010 tax season, I took time out to review the IT systems, software and resources our firm was using to process client work. I found AccountantsWorld and their Power Practice System. Knowing that changing software platforms is never a pleasant thing, I did the most due diligence that I could, researching AccountantsWorld and its products. I finally made the purchase after the 2010 tax season. I primarily concentrated on moving over payroll clients and live bookkeeping clients. By the end of 2011, we have moved over 100 clients to AccountantsWorld products with still more to migrate.
I can confidently say that it has been worth the work. Payroll is running effortlessly, no more manual processes. Everything is automated and like Apple Computer products, it just works. It does what it says it is going to do. Sure, there are some things I would like to see changed, but I see my suggestions being received with open ears and implemented.
I am now proud to show clients what "My Software" looks and feels like. I bring them to the dashboard and watch their eyes light up. In 2012 we moved 100% of our clients to AW products.
One of the major advantages is AccountantsWorld’s concept of cloud computing. In-house IT is just becoming more and more complicated, and our former software used a lot of processing and disk space, making software updates difficult and confusing. Even though most of our work is done in our office, we do at times have to work remotely at clients resulting in the duplication of other software on office laptops. The concept of always having your software updated and having 24-7 availability to it wherever you have internet access is priceless.
Cloud Cabinet allows clients access to their tax returns, financials and payroll reports and saves us time from manually sending them files. The combination of Cloud Cabinet and the ability for Payroll Relief to securely email paycheck images to clients finally provides a true paperless option for us. Many clients are far from paperless and their employees do not use direct deposit. Payroll Relief allows us to provide paperless delivery of checks to clients who still need paper checks for their employees.
We use After-the-fact Payroll for our clients who have small self-written payroll.
We have also turned our website over to AccountantsWorld for set up, hosting and content management. Everything now integrates and flows through our website.
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