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Firm 360

Software. Marketing. Training. Running your business.
#1
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Are any of you using this platform?
I had a demo of this and was very impressed.
I'd love to hear from someone that is actually using the platform.
It does time & billing, proj/ workflow mgmt, and document mgmt...All through a browser based platform.
~Captcook
 

#2
BFStax  
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I looked at this site a few months ago but didn't end up doing a demo. I am curious about user feedback too. I got very close to signing up for TaxDome but stopped short as it just felt a little awkward for my needs.
 

#3
AlexCPA  
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BFStax wrote:I got very close to signing up for TaxDome but stopped short as it just felt a little awkward for my needs.


Not to hijack the thread, but could you please expand on what specifically about TaxDome felt awkward for you? I was evaluating the platform myself for a while but I'm not crazy about an all-in-one solution. While DocuSign, Pipedrive, OnceHub, or any other platform that I use might be "down" at some point, I can still continue to work. If something like TaxDome goes down, I feel like work would have to stop.
Even more of my antics may be found on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXDitB ... sMwfO19h7A
 

#4
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I have used TaxDome for a year now and I believe I experienced ONE outage that lasted part of a day. It was an issue they had where if you updated your payment information, it locked you out of the account. There have been times where the site slowed down a bit but never became unusable; their servers are set to automatically scale up or down resources based on load of users.
 

#5
BFStax  
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AlexCPA wrote:
BFStax wrote:I got very close to signing up for TaxDome but stopped short as it just felt a little awkward for my needs.


Not to hijack the thread, but could you please expand on what specifically about TaxDome felt awkward for you?


They classify things into Pipelines, Jobs, and Tasks. Pipelines are the big general buckets like 1040 prep, Monthly Accounting, etc... and then each client in the pipeline will have jobs and specific tasks. I did the demo and had a hard time grasping the differences between jobs and tasks and why I even needed it. Again, this is for my firm specifically. I have over 40 payroll clients on varying schedules (weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly and quarterly!) that I want to manage and it felt this was not easily done in TaxDome.

For other clients I do controllership work for, it just seemed a little tedious to have to update each and every little thing I do inside of each job.

TaxDome does offer some great automation, client questionnaires, portals, etc... but change can be hard and I didn't want to switch this year. I implemented SmartVault only three years ago and didn't want to change again so soon unless I was 100% sure.

The only way to truly find out about these software's is to do the demo yourself and see if it fits your firm. I know Cornerstone gives high praise for TaxDome so maybe he can lend more advice on it.

I am still interested in doing a demo of Firm360 maybe next Spring.
 

#6
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I did demos of Firm360 and TaxDome immediately after April 18th and went with Firm360 (I was already familiar with Karbon and OfficeTools but ruled them out immediately). Training and implementation took a bit more than a month and of course I've made some tweaks since going live. Are there any questions in particular you have?

I would describe Firm360 as analogous to the iOS/Apple ecosystem, while TaxDome is more like Android. Like iOS, Firm360 has less customization than Android/TaxDome and it pushes you to think the way they do. But, if your way of thinking is compatible with theirs, it just works for you.

It has a lot of clever integrations and tools, such as installing an "Upload to File360" button in Acrobat and it automatically uploads PDFs of tax returns I print out of UltraTax. Like all practice management solutions, it's a work-in-process, and new features come out every month. The reports are pretty basic. I'd say that its biggest strength is time tracking/billing -- it's simple yet powerful, and has a strong implementation of recurring fixed-fee invoices.


Just as an FYI, because this would be a shock/non-starter for some: Their pricing is per-user paid annually, but there is a 3 user minimum, and there is also a new client implementation fee. I personally believe that this is ultimately where the pricing models of TaxDome and other practice management software will be in a few years (maybe not the "paid annually" bit) but since you aren't at 3 users yet in your new firm, it will represent an extra cost compared to other options.
 

#7
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BFStax wrote:For other clients I do controllership work for, it just seemed a little tedious to have to update each and every little thing I do inside of each job.


No doubt TaxDome is aimed at automating tax work, but other processes can be automated. I use it for payroll filings, for example, but have not bothered implementing it for controllership functions--they too fluid and I cannot establish absolute practices or steps as required for pipelines. BUT, I can for preparing financial statements and budgets, for example.

Again, it just goes back to what is most important to you. For me, it is automation with tax and having a consolidated and simple UI for clients, including a mobile app.

I will say I also do not regret going cloud, or even moving QBD and Lacerte to a virtual server. I have access to them from any computer from anywhere with internet, so it has proven very beneficial and far more efficient than using remote connections to my own systems.

I researched options for part of 2020 and most of 2021 before deciding on TaxDome. It does not suit everyone, just as the other platforms I looked at work great for some firms but not mine. Evaluate everything, take your time, do not feel rushed.
 

#8
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CornerstoneCPA wrote:I will say I also do not regret going cloud, or even moving QBD and Lacerte to a virtual server. I have access to them from any computer from anywhere with internet, so it has proven very beneficial and far more efficient than using remote connections to my own systems.


What did you go with for virtual server? I'll need to do this myself for the same reasons.

missingdonut wrote:I did demos of Firm360 and TaxDome immediately after April 18th and went with Firm360 (I was already familiar with Karbon and OfficeTools but ruled them out immediately). Training and implementation took a bit more than a month and of course I've made some tweaks since going live. Are there any questions in particular you have?


One of their main testimonials is from the guy who wrote the program. I just wanted to hear from someone who actually went through the implementation. I think you've answered the key one I was hoping to hear about.
Other questions: Do you experience any lag? Outages? If so, what was the restoration time and communication regarding those items? I got the impression their support team is very well connected to users and their reporting has improved dramatically over what it was 18 months ago when I first did a demo.
They are kind of a young company and that was part of what dissuaded me from exploring them 18 months ago when I chose Onvio from Thomson Reuters, which was not the best choice.

Thanks again for everyone's input here. The confirmation that I'm thinking of the things I need to be thinking about is really valuable.
~Captcook
 

#9
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CaptCook wrote:One of their main testimonials is from the guy who wrote the program. I just wanted to hear from someone who actually went through the implementation. I think you've answered the key one I was hoping to hear about.
Other questions: Do you experience any lag? Outages? If so, what was the restoration time and communication regarding those items? I got the impression their support team is very well connected to users and their reporting has improved dramatically over what it was 18 months ago when I first did a demo.
They are kind of a young company and that was part of what dissuaded me from exploring them 18 months ago when I chose Onvio from Thomson Reuters, which was not the best choice.


Yikes on the Onvio part! Sorry to hear that you went into that area.

Firm360 is definitely a young company, which absolutely is both a good thing and a bad thing. They're making updates all the time, and yes reporting has been part of those improvements. Their support is pretty integrated, and I believe they're active on the Facebook user group (I can't confirm as I'm not on FB)

I haven't experienced an outage yet and it's rare to have any lag; most pages load nearly instantly. Firm360 is on AWS hosting, so if it's down, it's down with large parts of the Internet.
 

#10
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missingdonut wrote:I haven't experienced an outage yet and it's rare to have any lag; most pages load nearly instantly. Firm360 is on AWS hosting, so if it's down, it's down with large parts of the Internet.


THIS is music to my ears!
~Captcook
 

#11
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I loved our demo of Firm 360. Honestly my favorite 2 features are the email integration where the email from each client pops straight into their drawer with no action from me (I'd rather hit my head against the wall than print to FileCabinet 1 more email message) and the multiple attachment combination button when the client decides to take a single picture of each page of the broker statement and upload them individually - one click and those 10 photos are now 1 PDF.

Unfortunately I'm not the primary decision maker at this point in time and so we're limping along with a TR solution for 1 more year. Until then I'll take every chance to mention Firm 360. Hopefully more people post their experience using the platform here, I mostly just see TaxDome and Canopy.
 

#12
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The big difference I saw between TD/Canopy and Firm 360 is the document management. F360 and iChannel are the only two solutions I've encountered that provide a folderless format with filters and tags instead of, essentially, file explorer with more controls.
Maybe others can share their experiences with other Doc Mgmt solutions that allow you to efficiently store and modify working papers of multiple formats in the cloud and be able to sort them by recently modified/created before delving into a folder. These options are available in each folder in nearly all platforms, but having the unfiltered view sorted by new docs is a really powerful tool to help understand what is being worked on for a client.
The email sync is also very cool and I'm looking forward to getting started on it.

MITAXGUY, I hope you're not on Onvio. It's rather underwhelming. My understanding is that TR isn't even selling it to anyone new and hasn't for months.
~Captcook
 

#13
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CaptCook wrote:What did you go with for virtual server? I'll need to do this myself for the same reasons.


https://www.kamatera.com/

Pricing is reasonable, never had any downtime, and very responsive support. I have a firewall server utilizing pfSense that sits in front of my virtual server, and then I went with their. I also utilize their preferred antivirus/antimalware on the virtual server and have two cloud backups installed on it for Lacerte/QBD data--iDrive and CrashPlan.

I like that I can modify the server at any time and it takes immediate effect. For example, I found the initial config of the server they suggested became laggy while running Lacerte so I was able to instantly bump up the CPU and RAM and it solved the issue.
 

#14
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CaptCook wrote:Maybe others can share their experiences with other Doc Mgmt solutions that allow you to efficiently store and modify working papers of multiple formats in the cloud and be able to sort them by recently modified/created before delving into a folder. These options are available in each folder in nearly all platforms, but having the unfiltered view sorted by new docs is a really powerful tool to help understand what is being worked on for a client.


FYI, TD just rolled out a global overview of all documents. I just logged in as a client and they included it for clients, or they can use the folder format.

The Firm can search by keyword, client, last action date (or range), file type, signature and approval status, etc. Tags are not included since they are reserved for clients/contacts.

Clients can search by keyword or within folders, but otherwise the only current filters are by file type.
 

#15
LDCPA  
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CaptCook wrote:The big difference I saw between TD/Canopy and Firm 360 is the document management. F360 and iChannel are the only two solutions I've encountered that provide a folderless format with filters and tags instead of, essentially, file explorer with more controls.
Maybe others can share their experiences with other Doc Mgmt solutions that allow you to efficiently store and modify working papers of multiple formats in the cloud and be able to sort them by recently modified/created before delving into a folder. These options are available in each folder in nearly all platforms, but having the unfiltered view sorted by new docs is a really powerful tool to help understand what is being worked on for a client.
The email sync is also very cool and I'm looking forward to getting started on it.

MITAXGUY, I hope you're not on Onvio. It's rather underwhelming. My understanding is that TR isn't even selling it to anyone new and hasn't for months.


Did you end up going with Firm360? How do you like it so far?
Had a demo with them this week and was impressed. I liked the document filtering feature, but thought their folders organization was limited. I would still prefer an option where subfolders can be places inside a folder rather than all documents dumped into 1 folder that need to be filtered. So a 2022 folder can have subfolders for client documents, workpapers, tax return, etc. I loved that their client portals don't require traditional passwords.
It's coming down to Firm360 or Canopy for me. If Canopy implemented no passwords on the portals, I would probably go with Canopy.
 

#16
LDCPA  
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missingdonut wrote:
CaptCook wrote:One of their main testimonials is from the guy who wrote the program. I just wanted to hear from someone who actually went through the implementation. I think you've answered the key one I was hoping to hear about.
Other questions: Do you experience any lag? Outages? If so, what was the restoration time and communication regarding those items? I got the impression their support team is very well connected to users and their reporting has improved dramatically over what it was 18 months ago when I first did a demo.
They are kind of a young company and that was part of what dissuaded me from exploring them 18 months ago when I chose Onvio from Thomson Reuters, which was not the best choice.


Yikes on the Onvio part! Sorry to hear that you went into that area.

Firm360 is definitely a young company, which absolutely is both a good thing and a bad thing. They're making updates all the time, and yes reporting has been part of those improvements. Their support is pretty integrated, and I believe they're active on the Facebook user group (I can't confirm as I'm not on FB)

I haven't experienced an outage yet and it's rare to have any lag; most pages load nearly instantly. Firm360 is on AWS hosting, so if it's down, it's down with large parts of the Internet.


Do you print from tax software to Firm360?
On my demo the sales rep told us that we can print from tax software to Firm360 driver and it will automatically pull those documents to the right client in Firm360. I wonder if it really works like that. He didn't show us an example.
 

#17
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I'm enjoying it so far. Their support is very responsive, which is helpful.
I haven't been able to print directly to F360 yet, but I haven't tried either.
~Captcook
 

#18
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I'm pretty sure they came out with an option to have subfolders in the client portal a couple months ago. I haven't set that up yet so I can't attest to how it works.

Firm360 has a couple tools to send documents to the portal. One is an Adobe Acrobat plugin that helps you upload the PDF to the document area -- you go into the file, click a button, and it gives you a dialogue box to put it in the right place. They also have tools to automatically upload documents from Drake and UltraTax. I use UT, and the way that the UT tool works is that you print to PDF with a set naming convention to a set folder on your computer and the tool will upload the document to the client documents area. It works pretty well and if you have the wrong client ID it sends you an e-mail to let you know of your mistake.
 

#19
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CaptCook wrote:Are any of you using this platform?
I had a demo of this and was very impressed.
I'd love to hear from someone that is actually using the platform.
It does time & billing, proj/ workflow mgmt, and document mgmt...All through a browser based platform.


EDIT... sorry.
 

#20
LDCPA  
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In firm 360 when you receive an email with documents attached are they being saved in 360 automatically?
The rep mentioned they won't be saved automatically, but it's unclear to me if this only applies to emails that aren't in the system already associated with an existing client or if he meant something else.
If some emailed documents aren't being pulled to 360, does that mean you have to go into your email app and manually transfer those docs?

Wish they had a free trial to answer these questions.
 

#21
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Firm 360 uses a portal
You won't send or receive docs via email. You'll send or receive a link notifying you or your client that there are documents in their portal
~Captcook
 

#22
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LDCPA wrote:In firm 360 when you receive an email with documents attached are they being saved in 360 automatically?
The rep mentioned they won't be saved automatically, but it's unclear to me if this only applies to emails that aren't in the system already associated with an existing client or if he meant something else.
If some emailed documents aren't being pulled to 360, does that mean you have to go into your email app and manually transfer those docs?

Wish they had a free trial to answer these questions.


Support is correct. But clients should not be e-mailing you documents just as a general rule; as CaptCook says they should upload to the portal. If e-mail integration is really important for you, you might want to look at Karbon.

Also, in honesty, I don't think a trial period is really a good way to evaluate any software like this because you really need to be able to play with your own workflows, and it takes time to set those up. I think TaxDome is the one with a demo that you can play with but it's still abstract in how it might work with your own firm. IIRC, Firm360 has a period in the onboarding process where you can request your money back if the software isn't right for you.
 

#23
LDCPA  
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missingdonut wrote:
LDCPA wrote:In firm 360 when you receive an email with documents attached are they being saved in 360 automatically?
The rep mentioned they won't be saved automatically, but it's unclear to me if this only applies to emails that aren't in the system already associated with an existing client or if he meant something else.
If some emailed documents aren't being pulled to 360, does that mean you have to go into your email app and manually transfer those docs?

Wish they had a free trial to answer these questions.


Support is correct. But clients should not be e-mailing you documents just as a general rule; as CaptCook says they should upload to the portal. If e-mail integration is really important for you, you might want to look at Karbon.

Also, in honesty, I don't think a trial period is really a good way to evaluate any software like this because you really need to be able to play with your own workflows, and it takes time to set those up. I think TaxDome is the one with a demo that you can play with but it's still abstract in how it might work with your own firm. IIRC, Firm360 has a period in the onboarding process where you can request your money back if the software isn't right for you.


Thank you for your comments
 


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