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AccountantsWorld — Accountant’s Office Online

the Dec. 2006 Review of Website Tools for Accountants

The Accountant’s Office Online suite from AccountantsWorld is the central
component of the vendor’s collection of online services, combining a website
building tool for professional firms, as well as a portal for firm staff to
access online accounting programs. It also offers secure access for clients
to access records that the firm has made available to them. As such, Accountant’s
Office Online is much more than just a website building and maintenance tool.
Through this system, accountants and their staffs can utilize their AccountantsWorld
programs, including Payroll Relief AC, Accounting Relief AC and other applications,
through an online interface that enables them to access the systems from any
location, whether in the office or on the road. The system costs $695 per year
for the website/portal, with no initial setup cost. A personalized domain name
( is also included in the cost, and setup is handled through
the system, including domain registration and hosting. Access to accounting
applications through the system requires user licenses for those programs. AccountantsWorld
offers an optional website setup service for a one-time fee of $99.

Once logged into Accountant’s Office Online, it is very simple to understand
the basics of creating a website, with a good selection of pre-built templates
that allows novice users to quickly get a professional-quality website up and
running. The website building interface provides buttons for choosing a template,
designing the general structure of the site, or editing content, and will soon
include a guided wizard. After selecting the general template, the Design Website
button allows the user to simply check off the boxes of features and content
(such as calendars, calculators, news and links) that will be automatically
included in the website. From this screen, the user can also determine the ordering
of website pages, add custom pages, upload images, or edit page headers and

Accountant’s Office Online supports up to 15 total pages, including
the home page and pages for About Us, Partner Profiles, Services, Useful Resources
& Links, FAQs, Testimonials and Contact, plus custom and special feature
pages. Content can be easily edited since the system includes a Word-like interface
for controlling font, style, cutting and pasting, creating links and other options,
as well as a collection of customizable pre-written narrative content and stock
business images. Templates, images and general page content can be changed or
edited as often as desired. Initial setup of a basic firm website is exceptionally
simple and can be performed in as little as five to 10 minutes, although incorporation
of logos, graphics and customized content will take a few minutes more.

Accountant’s Office Online allows up to six additional automated content
pages. The firm can select from dozens of options, including a tax center, online
tax organizer, accounting and small business newsletters, daily tax and financial
news, calendars, dozens of financial calculators, tax refund tracking, and other
options. AccountantsWorld automatically updates the content on these pages,
and newsletters can be customized for the website or even sent to client lists
via a built-in e-mail tool. The automated content adds a dynamic component to
the firm’s website, providing continuously updated news and tools for
visitors, but unfortunately is limited by the number of pages that can be added.

From a visitor’s perspective, the websites created through Accountant’s
Office Online are crisp and professional, with options for navigation menus
on the side or across the top. Automated content, such as the newsletters, provide
excellent broad support for small businesses and individuals. The selection
of available calculators is very impressive. You can visit
for an example of a website created through Accountant’s Office Online.

In addition to providing users with a registered personalized domain name for
the firm, Accountant’s Office Online includes 10 e-mail addresses that
are also tied to that domain (, which further helps in the
branding effort of the practice. This e-mail can be managed through an external
e-mail program or through Accountant’s Office Online, which offers client
lists, newsletter distribution and other functions. The system also includes
secure client collaboration through its CyberCabinet feature, which lets the
firm allow clients to access returns, financial statements and other files and
documents, while also enabling them to securely transfer documents and files
electronically to the accounting firm. An online tax organizer is also included,
as are additional features unrelated to website management, including the vendor’s
web-based billing and practice management system Time2Money.

The vendor hosts an Accountant Directory that automatically includes the site
of its users. A submission service is included with the system, which promotes
firm websites to Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and other major search engines. The
customizability of its newsletters and other content, with the ability to send
the newsletters directly from the online system, are also beneficial to branding
a firm by providing clients with valuable content. The system maintains a basic
visitor tracking system for monitoring hits on the website, and, as noted earlier,
Accountant’s Office Online includes a personalized website domain name
and hosting.

SUPPORT — 5 Stars
AccountantsWorld includes free technical support for users, whether setting
up a page for the first time or editing/changing content. An online support
center also offers DIY resources such as webinars and tutorials. Websites, applications
and client data are stored in a secure hosting facility.

Accountant’s Office Online offers a low-cost website solution that, although
very simple to use and appealing to the pocketbook, still produces a professional
website with a strong selection of added features, including secure client collaboration,
automated content, newsletters, financial calculators and other functions. This
system would be of greatest value to a firm that is looking for a total online
solution, from website to client access to employee portals and web-based accounting
solutions. It would also provide strong value to smaller practices just looking
for an easy web building system.

2006 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars