From the Nov. 2008 Review of Client Write-Up Systems
Accounting Relief is the only fully web-based system in this review section and approaches the accountant-client relationship in a different manner. The professional accounting program offers the traditional full complement of write-up and trial balance functions, including full GL and journal functionality, reconciliation, financial reporting and analysis, and checkwriting.
What makes it different is that it also includes a bookkeeping module that clients use from their end. This means that data doesn’t have to be transferred or synched because both client and accountant are working with the same data, and the professional can control the functions that clients can perform. The system can also import from QuickBooks and Excel files.
AccountantsWorld also offers live and after-the-fact payroll, sales tax compliance, practice and document management systems, website development tools, and systems for financial planning and 401(k) administration. Pricing for Accounting Relief is $995 per year or $99 per month, which gives firm’s multi-user access to the full system, along with bookkeeping modules for any number of clients. Firms can alternatively pay $99 per year per client.
LEARNING CURVE & EASE OF USE - 5 Stars
Accounting Relief is designed so that practitioners can access it via a secure link on their firm’s website, which opens the Accountant’s Office Online home-page, a site that gives the user access to accounting programs, practice management tools and other available modules for which they have authorization to access. Accounting Relief sports a recently enhanced interface that starts with the Client Center, which offers a searchable and filterable spreadsheet list. This initial screen also offers links to Reminders, Resources and Help. After selecting a client, the system opens to the Activity Center, a customizable screen that can include summaries of key business components (such as AR and AP issues), cash flow, expense analyses, sales comparisons and bottom line financials.
These elements can be presented numerically or via graphical elements. Text links and icons across the top of the screen give access to customer and vendor selection lists and specific modules, such as Bank-ing, Trial Balance, Utilities, Reports and Financials. Initial setup of client companies is simple, with guides and template charts of accounts speeding the process. Data-entry screens are intuitive, with transaction screens providing selection lists and multiple view options that allow the user to quickly post disbursements and receipts, make correcting entries, and perform other tasks.
As previously noted, one of the key benefits of Accounting Relief is that it includes an integrated client bookkeeping system. This web-based system acts as their small business accounting program, but it’s actually a module of the professional system. The accountant can determine specific functions that client users can access, such as posting transactions, making journal entries, accessing the chart of accounts, checkwriting, managing receivables and payables, accessing reporting functions, etc.
Since each client has different capabilities and needs, the client bookkeeping system can be customized for each one, allowing the accountant to stay in total control of the accounting data, which helps maintain its accuracy and integrity. And since both sides are working on the same data, when it’s time for the accountant to perform write-up tasks or the client needs assistance, the work can be done in real-time and without the need to transfer data. Accounting Relief offers automated bank and credit card reconciliation functions, and a new communication tool offers instant messaging between the accountant and the clients from within the accounting package.