“From remote access tools and mobile apps that extend a professional’s reach to virtually anywhere they are, to programs for payroll, tax, accounting or other tasks that are designed specifically for web-based use, these technologies are increasingly being adapted in forward thinking firms who see the advantages they offer for increasing productivity and maintaining a positive work-life balance,” said Root, who is also Managing Partner of Root & Associates, LLC and CEO of the technology consultancy RootWorks, LLC.
2012 Innovation Award Winners
Two years after winning an award for creating a product that streamlined how firms managed their payables, Bill.com is receiving another award for incorporating receivables into their system. Now users are able to manage invoices and incoming payments more efficiently and effectively.
“Winning an award really speaks to Bill.com’s focus on listening to customers, really innovating the product and focusing on what matters, which is ultimately the customer,” said Bill.com vice president of Strategic Partners Christy Ross upon accepting this year’s Innovation Award. “This last year we were really, really focused on this industry and targeting professions.”
Firms can choose between the SaaS or On-Premise version of CCH’s ProSystem fx Document for a completely paperless document management solution. With ProSystem fx Document, users can search for files by client name, client ID, file name, assigned classes or keywords. Tax returns can be filed electronically, stored according to each firm’s record retention policy and marked for automatic deletion upon expiration. ProSystem fx Document integrates with other ProSystem fx products, allowing for real-time collaboration with clients through the ProSystem fx Portal. The document management solution offers users data and document security with password-protected access, file encryption and automatic virus scanning.
CPA2Biz, the marketing subsidiary of the AICPA, now offers CPA.com branded email for all AICPA members for an annual fee. The email solution eliminates the need for generic email providers, such as Google, Yahoo or Hotmail, and offers members an email in that emphasizes their CPA designation.
The CPA.com email solution offers two options - a full email account with send and receive capabilities or a forward-only service. The forward-only option allows professionals to receive messages at a CPA.com email address that is forwarded to an email address of their choice. With this option, users cannot send messages from the CPA.com email address. The email solution is web-based and compatible with Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail and has 25GB of storage.
Intuit’s mobile app integrates directly with Intuit Online Payroll, allowing firms and small businesses to manage clients, employees, contractors, time and other payroll tasks from anywhere inside or outside of the office. Users can view past paychecks and create new ones. Intuit Online Payroll Mobile allows users to pay staff using direct deposit or paper check and stubs are automatically emailed to workers who signed up for Paycheck Records.
“Our mission is to make employee management as easy as possible for accountants and small businesses,” said Katherine Morris, Group Product Manager at Intuit. “We heard our customers loud and clear. They told us they want to be able to run payroll away from their office, to not be tied to an office, not be tied to a computer. In fact, we recently did a survey and 60 percent of accounting professionals and small businesses said that they believe that the future success of their business hinged on the ability to have access to mobile solutions.”
The latest version of Accounting CS features an enhanced Client Access database. Clients now have access to a full-featured, web-based program that integrates directly into the firm’s accounting systems, giving both clients and firms the ability to work together in real-time.
Features include a streamlined workflow, customizable services, check writing and automated payroll. Users can customize their clients’ experience, including controlling what data they have access to and how the client interface looks. Professionals are able to provide the most up-to-date information in a secure environment, including online bank transactions and payroll and W-2 information.