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Invoicing Functions: 3.75 Stars
Expense entry screens are similar to time screens, with users able to bring up a spreadsheet view of items they’ve entered previously for clients. From this screen, new entries can also be made and applied to clients, with optional entry of notes, but no ability to attach scanned receipts.
Users with appropriate access rights can create client invoices by transferring in tasks and expenses that have already been entered, by adding task entries directly to a new invoice, or by billing against a client’s retainer. Limited customization options allow adding a firm logo, header and footer settings, and determining whether or not to print or cloak notes, hours, rates or tax codes. Finalized invoices can be printed or emailed from within the program.
Client reports include an accounts receivable focused aging report, as well as client realization, client rankings, tasks, and summary and detail activity. The program offers an Invoices List for basic accounts receivables overviews, but does not provide collection-focused AR functions or purchase order management. These and other related functions can be found in Accounting Relief, which integrates with Practice Relief.
Management Features: 4 Stars
In addition to the aging and client-specific reporting mentioned previously, Practice Relief offers staff and firm focused options that enable evaluation of staff productivity, profitability of specific tasks, firm performance, invoice summaries and other details, which can be set across a user-defined time frame for period comparisons.
These reports can be easily accessed by managers to use as a quick summary of firm data, but true dashboard views and graphical display of key business indicators are not available. The system’s user access setting enable access or restriction to key areas of the program, and individual clients can be made accessible to only specific users.
Integration & Data Management: 4.25 Stars
Practice Relief can be used independently, but is designed to be used in conjunction with the other systems in the Power Practice suite. These include full firm and client accounting systems, document management, website building tools, payroll and payroll reporting. Data from transactions and tasks can be transferred into these other programs.
Reports and invoices can be saved to Word, Excel and text files, and client data can be imported from Excel. The system’s appointment calendaring system synchronizes with Microsoft Outlook.
As a web-based system, Practice Relief can be accessed from anywhere that a user has connectivity, and the time tracker utility can be used even without internet access, with data synched back into the program later. A mobile app called the Time and Expense Tracker is also available for iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry users.
Help/Support: 4 Stars
The system includes task-specific help options, while the company’s website offers a blog, whitepapers, webinars and options for viewing program tutorials or contacting technical support via a web form. Both live and web-based support are included in program pricing.
Since the program is fully web-based, all program updates are automatically performed by AccountantsWorld, with no action required by firms or users.
Summary & Pricing
Practice Relief seems designed for smaller practices from one to about 10 users, but can handle more. Its time and expense tracking features are easy to use, and the web-based nature of the system makes it suited to frequently mobile professionals. Its feature set is more comprehensive when combined with other programs in the Power Practice suite.
Firms can use the system for $40 per month on a month to month basis, or for a discounted annual rate of $395. Either method supports any number of firm users and clients.