CPA Site Solutions
From the Oct. 2011 Review of Website Tools & Services for tax & Accounting Firms.
Although CPA Site Solutions’ Complete Web Site service may not have the same name recognition as some software providers who offer web building solutions, it is certainly a worthy option for accountants who want just what the name implies — a complete solution.
Since premiering in January 1999, Complete Web Site is now in its eighteenth version. The most recent enhancements include client portal videos, free and discounted CPE credits, better spam protection, conversion tracking to Adwords, and custom copywriting. Complete Web Site has 5,127 current firms with sites, having added 1,180 in the past 12 months and dropped 104 in the same period.
Pages. The minimum default number of pages is 293 (any number of pages can be added or removed) with a maximum of 5,000 pages. Across all firms, the number of pages averages 290 with 339 view designs.
Supported browsers include Internet Explorer 6-9; Firefox 2-5; Chrome 2-14; and Safari 3-5. Mobile browsers supported include smartphones, BlackBerry, Android, iPad and iPhones.
Pricing. Setup is free, as are the first 60 days of service. Basic recurring cost is $49.50 per month (Silver Service Level), which covers a good selection of content and tools. Custom site design is $195 to $295.
The Gold Service Level is a $20 per month add-on to the Silver level, and includes up to two hours per month of site modification from designers. Gold clients get more storage and the ability to use complex Flash templates. The Platinum Service Level ($30 per month add-on to the Gold level) adds features such as advanced SEO, Google Pay-Per-Click campaign setup and maintenance, local search marketing, Google Analytics, and monthly search engine marketing coaching sessions.
Extra storage space is $9.95 per month per additional 2,000MB of active space plus 5,000MB backup storage. Online accounting software starts at $29.95 per month per user for a virtual desktop with any full version of QuickBooks Pro or Premier. Online tax software starts at $129 per month for a Virtual Desktop with any tax software installed. Online payroll is $14.95 to $19.95 per company per month. Exchange server hosting is $9.95 per month per user, and custom copywriting is $1 per word with a 150-word minimum.
Search engines. Search engine submissions and statistics are available, with sites submitted to every major search engine, and with content, page titles and meta tags optimized for search engines. Users can change content, titles and meta tags for each page. Traffic statistics are available for every site, including the number of hits; visits; and unique visits per month, week, day and hour. Other information includes the site addresses from which visitors entered the site, as well as the search terms used. Tools and stats services supported include Google Analytics and Google Adwords, as well as Google Webmaster Tools and Webalyzer. Analytics integration is automatic. Integration is provided for FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Hosting. Sites are hosted on dedicated servers in two data centers in Chicago and Houston. The servers are directly connected to the Internet backbone through redundant, high-speed OC3, Tier-1 connections. Connectivity is reported at 99.9% with redundant data centers/mirrored hosting. All servers are in SAS-70 Type II-certified data centers and administration is over SSL. Integrated portals are available and encrypt data at rest with HIPAA/GLB/IRC 7216-compliant transfer.
Domains. Unique domain names are owned by the user. Assistance with name acquisition, registration, renewal and transfers comes with no fee. Clients can bring their existing domain name or register a unique one. CPA Site Solutions manages and maintains DNS configurations and guides clients through DNS if they wish to manage it themselves. Custom DNS records are available, and there is no fee for exporting data or otherwise getting data/content out when a client leaves the service.
Email & marketing. Email is available but not required, and users can maintain their own Exchange server (CPA Site Solutions can help configure DNS). Complete Web Site provides customized email solutions, and 10 firm-branded email accounts are provided at no charge. All accounts are protected with hosted spam and anti-virus filtering, as well as webmail access. Outlook, Outlook Express and other email clients are supported, as are mobile devices. A Flash tutorial is available, and toll-free support and assistance is offered to help set up email in Outlook on mobile devices.
Email marketing is available at no charge. Service is COPPA/CAN SPAM Act-compliant, and users can transfer content to other marketing systems for distribution. Complete Web Site provides a built-in blog or WordPress blogs can be used, both allowing users to adjust the date of posts.
All content is syndicated, and sites come preconfigured with more than 3,000 pages of ready-to-go content. Firms may label themselves as the authors, and content is available to all.
Complete Web Site offers direct integration with Cloud 9 RealTime Online Accounting, Intuit Online Payroll (formerly PayCycle.com), PayPal, the QuickBooks Affiliate Program, Online Client Incorporation or LLC Filing Service, and the Amazon Affiliate Program. Client document management is available, and other features include a secure file cabinet, an online interactive tax organizer and even seminar promotion and registration.
CPA Site Solutions is dedicated to the evolving needs of firms. Complete Web Site has an impressive array of features, and is clearly a worthy adversary to other website builders.