2013 Review of AccountantsWorld – Accounting Relief

AccountantsWorld – Accounting Relief
888-999-1366 ext 517
www.AccountantsWorld.com

Best Fit: Public accountants providing write-up services for multiple clients, who also want to take their firm and clients to a web-based solution that gives the professional anytime access to their clients’ live data, eliminating data transfer.

Strengths

  • Integrated web-based professional and client-side bookkeeping
  • Anytime access to live client data, with no data transfer necessary
  • Redesigned interfaces supports all web and mobile browsers
  • Client portals and collaboration features are core elements of system
  • Customization of reports client letters, templates and financial reporting

Potential Limitations

  • Batch processing functions are limited
  • Client-side bookkeeping best designed for small service businesses

From the February 2013 review of Client Write-Up systems.

AccountantsWorld has been around for about 30 years, and was the first to develop web-based programs specifically designed for public accountants. The company’s Accounting Relief system is two-sided: providing firms with write-up, GL, AR, AP and total management capabilities, while also providing online client accounting that is a part of the professional’s system, eliminating data transfer. AccountantsWorld also offers practice management, document management, payroll, payroll compliance, website building tools and other systems for accounting firms.

Basic System Functions: 4.75 Stars

With the client side bookkeeping actually a part of the professional’s primary accounting solution, firms have greater control and access to live client data at any time. Perhaps it’s simplest to envision it as you would online banking: You have access to your account data, as well as several tools and documents via your online portal, and so do the thousands of other people who use the same bank. But you aren’t using your own system, you’re simply using a very tailored part of the bank’s computing system, with no access to the other customer accounts or the back-end financial management systems the bank uses.

Accounting Relief is somewhat similar, with each client having access to their bookkeeping tools, which can be tailored specifically for different users at the business. But that online bookkeeping system is actually a part of the larger firm solution, so all client data is immediately available to the accountant, and is always live. And never has to be transferred or synched. This also helps when troubleshooting client transactions and entry errors in real time.

When an accountant logs into the program from their web browser, the primary screen offers text-based menus for moving to various program areas for adding clients, client overviews, firm options, document management or opening clients from a selection list. The latest enhancements to the system include a redesign of the interface so that it now works on all major browsers and mobile devices. Screens have been enhanced and now include information buttons for quick access to pop-up help.

Professionals can also utilize the Accounting Relief Mobile app, which gives access to many of the system’s features. Users can see data, run exception and GL reports, view registers and transactions, and manage payables, customer balances and income expense summaries.

Accounting Relief includes full GL, AR, AP, client management and financial reporting tools, and includes system alerts that can be used to remind firm users of pending tasks. The program can be used to manage any number of clients, and offers full customization of charts of accounts, general journals, write-up and reconciliation functions, processing live and customizable client invoicing. An optional module is available for after-the-fact payroll and compliance.

Core Write-Up Features: 4.75 Stars

One of the key advantages of integrating the firm’s professional accounting system with a bookkeeping system for clients is that firm staff always has access to live client data. The system includes fully customizable charts of accounts, or users can copy charts from existing companies or select from and customize chart templates for more than 30 industry-types.

Heads-down data entry is critical for fast and efficient data entry, and Accounting Relief uses automatic offset accounts and remembered lists of vendors, customers, and/or employees to minimize data entry while ensuring expected accuracy.

Firm users can also customize transaction templates, and create recurring journal entries and invoices, while additional tools are available for quickly performing adjusting entries and reclassifications. MICR check printing functions allow printing checks to plain or preformatted paper, as well as to pressure-sealed checks that eliminate the need for separate envelopes. Client check printing features also allow the addition of business logos. For payroll, direct deposit supports multiple employee account disbursements.

Accounting Relief’s job costing features includes tracking of costs and income by job, as well as tracking phases, sub-parts and job categories. Financial reporting and trial balance tools include options for drilling down to individual transactions for audit and review. Reconciliation functions include the ability to import transactions from client bank statements, credit card statements and other institutions, with spreadsheet work screens for performing reconciliations. The system supports consolidated entities and can produce consolidated financials.

With the optional live and after-the-fact payroll modules, users have access to full payroll processing and compliance reporting, as well as automated wage and information reporting to federal and all states that is performed, and guaranteed, by AccountantsWorld staff. Accounting Relief includes 30 financial ratios that to help identify unusual activity.

Reporting & Financial Statements: 4.75 Stars

Accounting Relief’s reporting functions include generation of full financial statements that can be completely customized, and by default include income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements, with comparative options showing current versus prior periods, variances and percentages. Financials can be customized to all clients, groups or individual entities. Separate statements of retained earnings or partner’s capital statements can also be generated.

A built-in AR system offers client billing options with full invoicing, receivables management, aging reports and support for recurring invoices. The program also includes purchase order functions that allow them to be entered for vendors, with the ability to create invoices from purchase orders. AP functions include management of recurring bills, pass-through billing, splitting payments across expense accounts and printing of form 1099-Misc.

The program also includes customizable templates for client letters, tables of contents, title pages and notes. Documents and reports can be saved to Excel or Word formats, or saved digitally to the optional document management module.

Import/Export/Integration: 5 Stars

As noted previously, Accounting Relief is built so that the bookkeeping program used by clients is actually a part of the program the firm is using. This makes it so that professional staff always have access to live client data, whether the client or firm is currently working with it. Clients and individual employees at the business, can only access the functions, reporting and data that the firm has specifically given them access to.

In-sourcing of accounting data allows clients to import credit card and bank statements to create automatic journal entries, eliminating manual data entry. As a web-based program, additional collaboration tools are also naturally included, allowing the firm and client to share documents via secure portals. Further client collaboration tools can be found in the optional document management system.

Accounting Relief also can import data from small business bookkeeping systems and from Excel and CSV formats, which allows for import from time clock and payroll systems. Data and reports can be exported to Word, Excel, PDF and CSV.

Help/Support: 4.75 Stars

The program includes task-specific help from each screen, plus a user guide, links to support documents and publications, and various training options. The AccountantsWorld support website offers multiple how-to videos, live and recorded webinars, FAQs and other options. Live phone and web support is included with overall system pricing.

Summary & Pricing

AccountantsWorld has been one of the innovators in developing web-based professional systems, and the Accounting Relief system received one of our Innovation Awards in 2010. Since then, the company has added to the program’s features and work screens, making it an increasingly valuable system for firms managing the various write-up functions for clients,

from correcting client errors, making adjusting entries, performing reconciliations and client check writing. Additional modules are available for live and after-the-fact payroll and wage reporting, as well as for practice and document management functions.

Once again, the integration of a web-based client-side bookkeeping solution into the professional program is one of the most beneficial features, ensuring that the firm and client are always working with the correct data.

Accounting Relief costs $99 per month or $990 per year, with an additional cost of $9.95 per month, per client for the client bookkeeping module. First-year pricing with unlimited client bookkeeping modules is $149 per month or $1,495 per year.

2013 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars


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