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Practice Management Software

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#1
smtcpa  
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I am on the search again for Practice Management software. I don't think I am asking for the world, but feel like it sometimes. I just want it to be cloud-based/SaaS, have a client database, integrate with QBO, provide time and billing and have due date tracking and recurring tasks. And I don't want to have to pay for 10 users when I only need 2-3, like Karbon.

I've used Practice CS, OfficeTools Pro, JetPack and now Smartsheet. There has to be something out there. Anyone?
 

#2
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I heard jetflo integrates with Qbo.others don't. I highly suggest using xcm. We have been using it for 6 years, and would not be here today without it based on our growth. It does not integrate with Qbo. We're willing to forego this. Because it's reporting and task management and budgeting forecasting tools are exceptional. Good luck.
 

#3
smtcpa  
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Companies that don't post prices online tend to turn me off. Can I ask you what pricing looks like for xcm?

wwwcpa1biz wrote:I heard jetflo integrates with Qbo.others don't. I highly suggest using xcm. We have been using it for 6 years, and would not be here today without it based on our growth. It does not integrate with Qbo. We're willing to forego this. Because it's reporting and task management and budgeting forecasting tools are exceptional. Good luck.
 

#4
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Smt, we pay 600 a month and have around 20 users. We probably started paying 300 a month when we first started. Tell them Brian Wendroff with wendroff cpa referred you and see if you can get a discount. Trust me, the software works well and in the cloud. Good luck
 

#5
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CALIFORNIA (CA)
Do you use XCM for Document Management? I am looking for a document management and work flow management (not very critical). More information on XCM functionality will be helpful.
 

#6
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Tax, we use efile cabinet for document management. They have both a cloud and server option to store the docs. We really like it. I suggest you call up XCM and ask for a demo, and look at their videos on the website.
 

#7
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My last employer used XCM this last season. We primarily used it to outsource bookkeeping to India, but we also tried to use it to track extensions etc. It is not user-friendly. Producing reports is not intuitive. Unless there is a module my former employer did not let me see, I do not see how one could use it for document management.
 

#8
BeckyG  
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29-May-2019 12:14pm
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New York
I am also researching new Practice Management software. Have you looked at Clarity or Avii? Both are new to the market. I had a demo for Clarity and seems like a great product. I have Avii on the calendar next week.
 

#9
smtcpa  
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I finally settled on ClickUp. Almost went with Aero and Asana, but Clickup seems incredibly flexible and that is before their big new version 2.0 release coming soon.
 

#10
BeckyG  
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We're opting for Doc.It suite. Impressive product, affordable and ties document management/portal with workflow.
 

#11
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We’ve been using Doc.It for many years. It’s a nice program with excellent tech support and has allowed us to become paperless.

Some partners in the firm are starting to suggest that we leave Doc.It and go all in on the Thomson Reuters suite. We already use their Practice CS for time & billing, which evidently does a lot more than we realize, and we use their ACS program. Supposedly if you get all their programs and have them properly set up, you can become very efficient via the integration.

Wondering if anyone out there has gone from a patch-work set up to the TR suite and experienced positive results.
 

#12
smtcpa  
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Tax Me Up wrote:Wondering if anyone out there has gone from a patch-work set up to the TR suite and experienced positive results.


I went the other way, from using the entire suite to just UT. Once you realize how archaic the TR technology is, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing.
 

#13
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Has anyone found something decent, especially for small firms/sole practitioners? It's sad that so far, the best one I have found for minimizing integrations is Quickbooks Online Accountant Practice Manager. Aero looks decent but a bit complicated for my tastes, and I do not need all of the time tracking crap. I just want to track projects and and tasks by due date, by client, while minimizing redundant client data entry.

Came across a few others I like, but they lack integrations so I am not having to enter the same client information in multiple areas. I would just continue using tasks in Outlook, but I want to be able to track the individual components of each project, too.
 

#14
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In the grand scheme of things, Practice CS's integrations with other CS Suite software is not particularly large or valuable, when weighed against its drawbacks.

Specifically, Practice CS integrates as follows:

1. When you log Completed & Signed in UltraTax, it auto-triggers Complete on your Practice CS task.
2. Invoice totals from UltraTax flow into Practice CS, so you can match customer payments to invoices.
3. UltraTax and Practice CS have a "data sharing" dialog pop up when phone numbers etc change. This is two-way, and works just like the W-2 or K-1 etc data sharing in UltraTax.
4. Practice CS has icons next to your task that will launch UltraTax, Accounting CS, or any other EXE and will launch a timer that you can post to your timesheet when you're done.

That's about it. What's missing:

1. UltraTax due dates integration. You'll basically have to reconcile your UltraTax client lists with Practice projects list if you want assurance that you aren't missing due dates. Yikes.
2. Accounting CS due dates and data sharing. No shared phone numbers, and no assistance with due dates. You're going to have to "code up" recurring tasks in Practice CS, because Practice CS basically has no payroll/writeup/sales tax knowledge. Ouch.
3. Decent reports. You'll have to export to excel or due some heavy customizing if you want intuitive, high-impact reports out of this system.

In summary, there is minor timekeeping assistance (timer/EXE launcher), minor data sharing on phone numbers (but these get ugly and messy easily.. it's basically crufty data duplication), useful integration with UltraTax invoices, and a big lack of due dates integration. I.e., Practice CS is not built for accountants. It's just another enterprise "solution" lazily tacked onto some other programs.

The takeaway: there isn't really a "synergy" between Practice CS and the rest of the suite, so you're pretty free to look elsewhere, IMO.
 

#15
makbo  
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txtaxati wrote:In the grand scheme of things, Practice CS's integrations with other CS Suite software is not particularly large or valuable, when weighed against its drawbacks.
Specifically, Practice CS integrates as follows:[...]
That's about it. What's missing:

I last used Practice CS over 7 years ago, but it doesn't sound from your report like it has changed much.

One big thing you did not mention is the multi-user aspect. In the office where I worked with Practice CS, we could use the status reports to track progress on each project across the entire team.

It is a hurdle to implement, and the reporting while very powerful does require some advanced software skills. If anyone pays the annual fee simply based on what the sales person told them, they are probably over-paying.

Tax Me Up wrote:We already use their Practice CS for time & billing, which evidently does a lot more than we realize

That's my point -- you've been paying for features you aren't fully using, for whatever reason.
 

#16
wel  
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Firms with a small number of timekeepers (say <5) are less likely to see much benefit from the integration and reporting features of Practice CS. The value of these features increase dramatically with the number of staff members. When implemented properly, it can be a very valuable tool for managing a firm (particularly if you have 10+ timekeepers).
 

#17
smtcpa  
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BeckyG, Clarity looks interesting. Did you decide on anything?

BeckyG wrote:I am also researching new Practice Management software. Have you looked at Clarity or Avii? Both are new to the market. I had a demo for Clarity and seems like a great product. I have Avii on the calendar next week.
 

#18
Wiles  
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We use Practice CS for time and billing, but use Lacerte for tax software. We have 6 timekeepers year round and add 2 more during tax time. I agree with wel that, in a small firm, all you need is good communication to keep track of workflow and status. Using the software requires a high level of diligence by all and continuous monitoring by one. I do not believe the cost/benefit is there compared to just talking with your folks.

I appreciate txtaxati's comments about the integration features of the CS suite. We do not use any of this, so we have no knowledge. However, I do read comments on their forums about people turning off the integration due to being overwhelmed with nonsense.

I do know that Practice CS is no longer being developed and I figure it is only a matter of time before they abandon it like they did Practice Solutions a decade ago. Fortunately, we do not use any of the integration features so we stopped paying for their annual updates a few years back.
 

#19
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txtaxati wrote:The takeaway: there isn't really a "synergy" between Practice CS and the rest of the suite, so you're pretty free to look elsewhere, IMO.


My earlier post may not have come across quite right. My bottom-line point is that Practice CS's downsides are not clearly outweighed by its integrations upsides. So, don't limit your search for practice management software simply because you think tight integration is a killer feature, because Practice CS falls rather flat on that front.
 

#20
Spiral  
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US
We are currently implementing some SurePrep technologies to help fill the gap.

However, some of those solutions mentioned, Clarity or ClickUp, for example look like they could add additional value as well.
 


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