When it comes to keeping up with all that your accounting practice entails, having a practice management system is key. Accounting practice management is how you ensure that your work is tracked, delegated, and completed on time. It helps you track deadlines, assign tasks to the right team members, and collaborate on accounts.
It's an integral part of your business because whether you're dealing with customers, billing, or project management, you need a way to streamline your processes so you can better manage your business and serve your customers.
Enter accounting client management software — the perfect solution. According to a recent report, 56% of accountants said a key benefit of leveraging technology such as accounting software was the increase in productivity.
Identifying your team's needs and thoroughly researching your options can help you be confident in the tool you end up choosing. From tools that are primarily for billing and invoicing, to products that allow for full project management from beginning to end, to tools enhanced by app integration, there are several to choose from.
To help you save time and find a tool that truly fits your business, we've compared the best software available when it comes to your accounting practice needs. Below, see our top five suggestions and how each tool can help your accounting business.
Best for: an all-in-one approach
Accelo is an integrated platform made to cover all the bases. It’s made especially for small and medium-sized businesses in the service industry and works best for accountants who want an all-in-one approach to management software.
With multiple, seamless integrations available, such as QuickBooks and Xero, you can do more with Accelo. To keep you from wasting time opening numerous programs and losing track of information in between, Accelo keeps your important information all in one dashboard to help everyone stay on the same page.
With Accelo, you can manage your entire business from prospect to close, including sales, quotes, projects, tickets, retainers, timesheets, billing, and scheduling. You'll enjoy fewer worries about overscheduling, see the time spent on each task, know who is doing what and when, and save time overall thanks to the intuitive dashboards.
Try Accelo free for 14 days and then decide which options you need, from individual software packages at $39 a month to the most popular all-in-one option for $79 a month. Whether you're trying it out or you’re ready to commit, you'll receive impressive client support with Accelo as your partner.
Best for: sole proprietors or freelancers — unless you want all features
Xero is accounting software that allows you to work on the books with your clients. The add-on feature — an additional $39 on all plans — makes compliance simple for easy reporting at tax time via templates and storage solutions and allows you to pay employees.
Xero's primary function on all plans is to enable you to manage the bookkeeping aspect of your business. The higher-level plans also help you oversee and manage your practice effectively with one spot to manage all of your activities, including workflow, jobs, tasks, timesheets, and invoicing.
Starting at $11 per month for the Early plan and going up to $64 for the full plan, Xero also offers a 30-day free trial with access to all its features so you can determine which plan works best for you.
Best for: a comprehensive accounting system that focuses on the money
QuickBooks is a robust accounting software product that’s made for people to use on their own or with their accountant. You can keep track of finances, handle payroll, track time, track inventory, and accept payments, all through the QuickBooks platform. It allows you to track multiple clients at once and give access to who you choose, when you choose.
It can have a steep learning curve, but the training offered is helpful. QuickBooks allows you to try it free for 30 days before committing to a plan, which starts at $25 for basic bookkeeping and goes up to $150 for advanced options. For more comprehensive accounting practice management, you’ll need one of the more expensive options.
Best for: those who want to stay on top of client payments
Practice Ignition allows you to create proposals with ease, send and reconcile invoices, handle billing and payments, and consolidate your client management tools. You'll have oversight on your clients all in one place. The dashboard allows you to see where your business is and where it's headed without the need to run reports.
Enjoy a 14-day free trial, but be prepared to pay at least $65 a month for the base plan and over $300 for the top plan. There are caps on how many clients you can have.
Best for: those who need to streamline scheduling
Acuity Scheduling is a powerful scheduling tool that helps clients and businesses connect better and can be placed on your website with ease. At the moment of scheduling, which the client can do with real-time access to your calendar, they’re asked to fill out an intake form, so you'll have everything you need to know about them handy. The program adjusts to time zones, sends reminders, and allows for easy canceling and rescheduling.
You can try Acuity for free for seven days, and then plans start at $14 per month and go up to $45 per month, which is best if you have multiple locations or don't want the branding.
Accounting practice management software is meant to help you streamline your business, so looking for one that can do it all might be in your favor. If you're already using one of the above tools, check to see if it will integrate into one of the all-in-one options so that you can be even more effective with your practice management. Then, ask yourself:
These questions will help you narrow down your focus. Each answer will help you get closer to the kind of software you can afford, the kind you and your clients would benefit from the most, and the one that’s best for your business size. All-in-one options are great, but only if you genuinely need the options presented. A free trial, the ability to cancel easily, and excellent customer service all come in handy as well.
If you've decided that an all-in-one approach is best for your accounting practice, try Accelo for free today. And be sure to check out our Time is Money white paper that further shows the benefits of using Accelo as your accounting practice management software.
The bottom line? We’re passionate about helping small businesses succeed because they’re the backbone of our communities. That's why we provide the all-in-one system that your small business needs to be successful.