From the December 2005 Review Website
Solutions for Accountants
Tax-Aid, Inc. offers a low-cost web site building service called Accounting
and Financial Site Builder (AFSB). The service was introduced in August 2000
and has offered ongoing enhancements on a regular basis, such as an image uploader,
integrated client e-mailing, user-optional HTML programming, e-mail forwarding,
a setup wizard and optional digital brochures. Sample user sites include the
following: www.nelson.acct1.com, www.stevenaberblatt.com,
www.hagencpa.com, and www.puhlcpa.com.
Design Theme – 3 Stars
Upon reviewing several different live sites using this service, I think it is
fair to characterize the design theme as clean, professional and simple. The
design is suitable for creating a simple, informational web site.
Content – 4 Stars
The vendor offers 18 optional digital brochures including topics such as Itemizing
Deductions, Your Net Worth, Seniors and Tax Planning. A series of six brochures
is available for $100. All 18 brochures can be purchased for $194. The price
includes posting of the brochures on the web site. Digital Tax-Aid newsletters
are provided by AFSB and are updated three to four times per year.
Site Maintenance – 4 Stars
The Image Manager is a utility to upload personalized images, as well as images
from the AFSB image library. This utility can also be used to upload *.PDF files.
Optional HTML programming services and a web site setup Wizard are available.
The site is maintained in a secure off-site data center with redundant connectivity.
Utility Software/Applications – 4 Stars
The system offers a few useful add-in applications to enhance the content and
functionality of your web site including 10 financial calculators such as a
Household Budgeting calculator and College Savings calculator. An optional Service
Plus page is available that allows clients to enter contact information and
sign up for the firm’s mailing list. Behind the scenes, this utility creates
a client database, which can be used for mailing/marketing to designated groups
of clients. E-mail is not included in the service.
Site Marketing – 4 Stars
AFSB offers an optional search engine registration service that includes a report
that provides detailed information on how your site was registered with all
of the search engines. This service provides a free sub-domain that is the property
of AFSB. However, subscribers can purchase their own unique domain name, as
Vendor Service & Support – 3 Stars
AFSB has been offering this site building service since 2000 and has upgraded
the features and functions over time. Subscriber statistics were not provided
as the vendor does not release such statistics.
Pricing/Value – 5 Stars
AFSB carries no setup fee, and the basic recurring cost is $14 per month or
$159.80 per year (if using the promotional code TA05). User-owned domain name
registration has a $59 setup charge and includes the first-year registration
costs. User-owned annual domain name renewal costs $45. User-owned domain name
transfer has a $59 transfer charge and includes an additional year of registration.
There is a one-time fee for search engine registration of $30. The price is
very reasonable in light of what this site service offers.
If you are looking for a very simple and practical web site that will allow
you to promote your practice with a professional image, AFSB is a top contender
because of what you get relative to what you pay.
2005 Overall Rating – 4 Stars