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AccountantsWorld – Accounting Relief
From the Nov. 2012 Review of Client Write-Up Systems.
Best Fit: Professionals wanting to take both their firm and their clients to a cloud-based, always-accessible accounting system with which there is no need for data transfer, since both sides are always working with the same live data.
- Newly redesigned interfaces support all web and mobile browsers
- Integrated web-based professional and client-side bookkeeping
- No data transfer, or accidental overwriting of data
- Client portals and collaboration features
- Customizable client letters, templates and financial reporting
- Batch processing functions are limited
AccountantsWorld has been developing technologies for professional firms for almost 30 years, and was one of the first vendors to adopt cloud technologies. The company currently offers a completely web-based suite of programs for firms, ranging from Accounting Relief, the professional accounting and client write-up system reviewed here, to practice management, document management, payroll, payroll compliance, website building tools and other systems.
Basic System Functions: 4.75 Stars
While there are now several web-based client accounting systems on the market, Accounting Relief was the first to tie in a client-side bookkeeping program with the professional’s system. In the past, I’ve likened it to a bicycle tire, with the center being the professional program, and spokes extending out to each individual client. This gives each client access to a small amount of the overall capabilities of the program that are designed for their use, with the firm having control over what clients and their individual employees can access and perform.
With this method, the live data for every client is always accessible to the accounting firm and the individual staff members who manage those clients. No data ever has to be transferred or synched, so the firm is always working with the most up-do-date real data. This also helps when troubleshooting client transactions and entry errors in real time.
After initially logging into the program, the navigation screen offers text-based menus for moving to areas for adding clients, client overviews, firm options, document management or opening clients from a list. For 2012, the web-based interface for Accounting Relief has been redesigned to allow for greater usability on all major browsers and mobile devices. Screens have been enhanced and now include information buttons for quick access to pop-up help.
A new app, Accounting Relief Mobile, also provides access to many of the program’s features, including running exception and GL reports, viewing registers and transactions, managing payables, customer balances and income expense summaries.
The system offers full GL, AR, AP, client management and financial reporting tools, and also offers alerts that can remind users of pending tasks. The system can be used to manage any number of clients, including full customization of charts of accounts, managing general journals, write-up and reconciliation functions, processing live and after-the-fact payroll (with an optional module), and customizable client invoicing.
Core Write-Up Features: 4.5 Stars
As noted previously, a key advantage of the integrated client bookkeeping systems is that firm staff are always working with and have full access to live client data. It includes fully customizable charts of accounts, as well as more than 30 industry-type templates and the option to duplicate charts of accounts that have been created for existing clients when creating a new similar client.
Transaction templates can also be customized, and firm staff can create recurring journal entries and invoices, with tools for quickly performing adjusting entries and reclassifications. The program includes MICR check printing functions that allow for printing checks to plain or preformatted paper. Direct deposit options are included in the payroll module. For client check printing, business logos can be included, and available this year are pressure-sealed checks to eliminate the need for separate envelopes.