2012 Review of PC Software Accounting, Inc. – Client Write-Up

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PC Software Accounting, Inc. – Client Write-Up
800-237-9234

www.pcsai.com

From the Nov. 2012 Review of Client Write-Up Systems.

Best Fit: Professionals who want an installed, specialized write-up utility and who prefer a heads-down data entry approach. Also for firms using older systems looking for conversions into a new program.

Strengths:

  • Includes full GL, AP, AR and journals management capabilities
  • Streamlined reconciliation processes
  • Batch reporting functions
  • Full functioned, flexible reporting that is easy to setup
  • Built-in after the fact payroll capabilities
  • Customer support includes online sharing
  • Optional Job Costing feature available

Potential Limitations:

  • Limited online self-support tools
  • Invoicing option is via a separate module
  • No online client collaboration/sharing tools

The Client Write-Up system (also called Client Write-Up for Windows) from PC Software Accounting Inc. (PCSAI) is designed specifically for accounting firms managing the monthly, quarterly and annual bookkeeping, reconciliation and wage reporting functions for client businesses. The system includes full GL, AR and AP, as well as fully customizable charts of accounts, journals and reporting options, plus features for account management, job costing and fixed asset management.

An optional Computer Checkbook system if available for check writing functions for the firm and as a basic client bookkeeping utility that offers data import into the professional write-up program. The latest version includes several updates to forms, enhanced e-filing capabilities and customized interfaces with professional tax systems.

Basic System Functions: 4 Stars
Client Write-Up opens into a main home screen with navigation menu options for accessing key areas of the program, including client setup functions, file management, transactions, reporting and utilities, while an additional menu lets users more quickly jump to specific tasks, including the ledger, chart of accounts maintenance and reconciliation tasks.

When setting up new clients, the program offers completely customizable charts of accounts and the ability to copy existing ones for new similar clients. The program can be used by any number of staff in the same firm, with tools for limiting access rights to specific clients or groups of clients. Likewise, Client Write-Up can handle any number of client business entities, including multi-location and structured enterprises with consolidated reporting requirements.

Client selection screens are based on the Windows Explorer structure, which provides intuitive use, but limited filtering and sorting options. Screens for managing client employees provide more of these functions, including search options. Within transaction, journal and reconciliation work screens, professionals can enter data in a heads-down keyboard-focused method with hot key shortcuts, or can use a mouse for navigation. Top-level screens provide access to company data, while detailed screens give deeper access. When viewed on-screen, reports also offer drill-down to transactions.

Core Write-Up Features: 4.5 Stars
Client Write-Up for Windows includes full GL, AP, AR and journals management capabilities, with a unique function that does not require the closing of periods. Keeping periods open makes it easier for accounting firm staff to make adjusting entries or run reports for prior periods. A full-time audit trail logs all user activities.

The Transactions menu holds most of the program’s core write-up functions, providing comprehensive listings of client transactions, journals, account reconciliation tools and the built-in trial balance utility. The program offers tools for creating recurring transactions and journal entries, while users can also split transactions, delete or process entries in batch mode. For analysis, Client Write-Up has several built-in financial ratios for benchmarking business performance.

The program’s reconciliation worksheets provide streamlined entry functions and quick identification of non-matching transactions, and a debit/credit checking tool for quick summary of GL balances. The optional Computer Checkbook System, provides check writing, payroll and payroll reporting features, and can also be used as a client-side bookkeeping system, with journal entries automatically created for transactions. Check writing features include the ability to produce both client and firm checks and deposit slips, with MICR printing.

Payroll functions enable live or after-the-fact processing and allow custom pay types and pre and post tax deductions, with all tax and withholding rates for all states included. It also offers options for processing employee Direct Deposits to multiple accounts and full reporting, with printing of W-2s, 1099s, forms 9410, 941 and 943, and state unemployment.

Also available is a fixed assets module that includes current rules, regulations, limits and excepts, helping to ease depreciation management processes and providing reports and integration with the accounting system for preparing financial statements.

Reporting & Financial Statements: 4 Stars
Client Write-Up includes full financial statement generation, with balance sheets, income statements, retained earnings, sales schedules, break evens and cash flow statements, and a built-in report writer that can be used to customize basic elements of these and the library of managerial reports. Additional customization can be achieved by exporting to these to Excel.

Other reports include tax estimates, budgeting, working capital, net sales to assets and trial balances. The program includes batch printing options that can be set individually for clients or across multiple clients, with up to five years of history. It also has options for managing consolidated reporting. Client invoicing is offered via a separate module.

Import/Export/Integration: 4 Stars
In addition to integration with the Computer Checkbook System, which offers client and firm check writing and posts transactions, Client Write-Up can import data from common file types, including QuickBooks, Excel, CSV and plain text, allowing for import of data from most payroll and time clock systems.

The system includes data review functions during import. The program can export data into Excel and plain text, as well as the proprietary format used by McDonald’s franchisees. Export is also available to formats for the Drake, TaxWise, ATX and TaxWorks systems. The vendor offers data conversions for more than 60 accounting programs, including systems that have been discontinued in years past.

Help & Support: 4 Stars
The built-in help functions in the program include a traditional indexed utility, F-1 access to field-specific help, a tutorial, practice sets, a system overview and links to online support. A printed user manual also comes with the program. Online support options include basic system updates and contact information. Live support is included with pricing.

Summary & Pricing
Client Write-Up for Windows is best suited to professionals who prefer a heads-down approach, providing options for managing clients of any size. It is a best fit for firms seeking an on-premise solution with greater functionality than off-the-shelf software, and who know the intricacies of write-up. Pricing remains unchanged at $795 for a single user version, and $895 for a version that can be used by any number of staff in an office. The Computer Checkbook module costs $295 the first year, and $145 per year thereafter.

2012 Overall Rating: 4 Stars


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