2012 Review of AccountantsWorld Website Relief

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AccountantsWorld — Website Relief
www.AccountantsWorld.com

From the Aug. 2012 review of Web Building Tools for accounting firms.

Best Fit:
Small accounting practices, particularly those using the AccountantsWorld Power Practice suite, who will benefit from integration with professional programs and client portals.

Strengths

  • There are hundreds of templates with an unlimited number of combinations to choose from.
  • Free unlimited support and web-based seminars.
  • Seamless integration with the AccountantsWorld online applications.
  • Online tax organizer allows clients to enter and organize their tax data, which can then be exported from Excel into tax software.
  • Tools for search engine optimization, local directories, and listing in the AccountantsWorld Directory of Accounting Professionals.
  • Firms can select from a large library of images or upload their own.


Potential Limitations

  • Unlike some competitors that allow for an unlimited number of pages, Website Relief is limited to a maximum of 40 pages and therefore may not work for a firm that plans to build a large and intricate website.
  • Free domains included in the subscription are owned by AccountantsWorld. Although a firm can transfer the domain upon cancellation for a $50 charge per domain, this may be an issue for firms that always want to maintain ownership of its domain.
  • Social media integration is limited to Facebook widgets and Twitter buttons.


AccountantsWorld offers a web-based suite of integrated applications that include accounting, payroll, and document management. Its web builder product, Website Relief, was introduced in 2002. Recent improvements include easier navigation through the site builder wizard, new template styles, better integration for PDF newsletters, and full browser compatibility.


As part of the service, AccountantsWorld offers its customers a free multi-point checkup to help them get the most out of their web presence, which includes a review of a website’s completeness and aesthetics. Free assistance is provided for search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and web directory listings. Tutorial videos are provided on the AccountantsWorld website teaching users how to create a great website, incorporate website best practices, market a website, and monitor website traffic.


Search Engines

Website Relief offers submissions to search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing, as well as local listings. Also, firms are provided a listing in the AccountantsWorld Directory of Accounting Professionals. Website statistics software is automatically included in the software, and firms may integrate their websites with Google Analytics by simply inserting a tracking code.


Domains

A unique domain is included in the Website Relief software subscription, which is owned and maintained by AccountantsWorld. If a firm cancels the service, the domain can be transferred for a $50 charge and all non-proprietary content can be exported and taken by the firm. If a firm already owns a domain, it can do its own maintenance and point the DNS record to AccountantsWorld.


Hosting

The Website Relief application is hosted by Amazon Web Services public, redundant datacenters. The data is mirrored between datacenters and backed up continuously. The Amazon datacenters are SAS 70 certified and website administration is done only over SSL. Client portals can be added with a separate application in the AccountantsWorld suite called CyberCabinet, which uses HIPAA/GLB/IRC 7216 compliant encryption.


Email

Website Relief includes five e-mail addresses with 10 GB of storage each and attachments up to 50 MB. However, firms that use Website Relief to build a website are not required to have their e-mail hosted by AccountantsWorld. Also included in the Website Relief package is an e-mail marketing system that includes preformatted “canned” e-mails and the ability to attach a website newsletter or any document to a bulk e-mail.


Newsletter Marketing & Content

AccountantsWorld supplies tax newsletters updated by tax experts that are automatically distributed to its customers’ websites. However, only a short summary appears on a firm’s site, and when a link is clicked, the full article appears in a new window under the AccountantsWorld domain. The firm can claim authorship of the articles supplied by AccountantsWorld, but not third-party content that is available for a fee. Firms can also add stock RSS feeds or custom RSS feeds to their sites.


Other Features

Website Relief includes an appointment scheduler, which website visitors can use to schedule appointments on the firm’s website. Appointments automatically integrate into the Practice Relief application. Also, this tool includes an e-mail reminder feature. Website Relief does not have a built-in blogging engine, however, firms can iframe blogs to a webpage.

Summary & Pricing

Because it offers direct access to the other AccountantsWorld online applications, Website Relief is a good fit for firms using the AccountantsWorld suite that want integrated productivity and online marketing tools.


There is no setup cost with Website Relief, and the basic recurring cost is $59 per month or $595 per year, which includes a standard listing in AccountantsWorld Directory of Accounting Professionals. Firms can upgrade to a Silver listing (enhanced listing) for $195 per year or a Gold listing (top-of-the-page preference) for $495 per year. Firms can add additional e-mail addresses in blocks of five for $50 per block.


AccountantsWorld offers Premier Website Services for firms that either want to customize a website beyond the tools that are offered by Website Relief or don’t have time to use the tools to create their own website. With this service, the designers at AccountantsWorld create a personalized template and custom pages with images and flash files for $99 per hour.

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