From the July 2012 Issue. Practice management and time management are often viewed as similar functions within an accounting firm. On a surface level view, both will track time and run a variety of time based reports for billing and invoice purposes. On a deeper level, however, practice...
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One area that has not been widely adopted by practice management software is extensive use of cloud technology. Of the products reviewed, only one solution, Practice CS from Thomson Reuters, is available as a cloud solution. All other products reviewed are wholly available as desktop solutions. Mobility is another area that is not widely supported. With so many professionals working in nontraditional locations, staff members may find themselves outside the office for days at a time. Most professionals have also become reliant on smartphone devices for communication. Tablets have also exploded in popularity over the past year and are making their way into the business process. Most support for mobile technology is limited to synching business contact and calendar information. Although this synching is helpful, it is oftentimes dependent on Microsoft Exchange technology which many small businesses may not have implemented.
Practice management software provides a multitude of tools to manage time, projects and staff, all housed in one software solution. Each of the products reviewed may be used as a standalone product regardless of the tax and accounting solutions currently implemented. The reviewed practice management solutions also provide entry-level CRM capabilities to keep track of current and potential clients. With the summer months coming up, now may be a good time to assess some of the efficiencies within your accounting practice and potentially gain some new clients.