From the 2016 Reviews of Practice Management Systems.
Best Fit: With one-screen time entry capability, CCH Axcess Practice is an excellent fit for mid-sized to larger firms that currently use other products in the CCH Axcess Suite. Strengths:
- CCH Axcess Practice offers cloud technology and mobile apps for easy remote system access
- User interface is intuitive
- Offers multiple timers which can be used simultaneously
- Integrates seamlessly with other CCH Axcess products
- The product performs best if used with other CCH Axcess modules
- Those migrating from other CCH products may face a steeper learning curve
Basic System Functions: 5 Stars
Moving to HTML 5 has allowed CCH Axcess to create a much more flexible, simplified user interface. Boasting cloud technology, users can access CCH Axcess Practice from anywhere with an Internet location. The main screen of the product offers easy access to system functions, a valuable feature if using more than one of the CCH Axcess products.
Users can quickly log into the user dashboard to access time entry features as well as access to a weekly calendar, with a list of related reports to the right of the screen. Users can launch the timer function directly from the user dashboard, or through Workstream, an add-on module. The availability of a mobile app that is compatible with iOS and Android devices offers users remote access to Axcess Practice from any location. When entering time, users can choose a client or use the search function to locate a client. Time can be assigned to a project, and even a workstep can be defined when using the timer.
Users can also enter time using the time entry screen, with users able to track banked hours and CPE as well as manage flexible billing rates depending on the job and the client. A handy reminder to log hours is provided to users when the system is shutting down. Users can set alerts and notifications in the system that will display an alert when a pre-set WIP limit has been exceeded, when clients have been billed or made a payment, when project hours have exceeded a pre-set limit, and when pre-set AR limits have been exceeded.
Client balances, payments, and invoices can be easily accessed and edited directly from the client dashboard as needed. A simplified billing process allows users to easily handle flexible billing workflows, as well as automatic billing and progress billing. Data entry screens throughout Axcess Practice are easily navigated, with excellent look up and search capability, as well as the availability of tabs that make system navigation simple.
Though users can opt to use CCH Axcess Practice as a stand-alone product, coupling it with other Axcess products such as Workstream can enhance system functionality greatly, with users able to compare budgeted time against actuals, organize and bill WIP by project, automatically populate invoices with project details, and ultimately determine which projects are profitable.
Time Management Capabilities: 4.5 Stars
Users can access the timer functionality through either the dashboard or the Workstream module. Cloud technology and the availability of a mobile app make it easy to manage time entry from any location. The time entry screen will remember previous entries and will automatically populate fields as needed. The easily navigated timer entry interface allows users to quickly start and utilize multiple times as needed, with the option to add an invoice description in the timer entry screen.
The Daily Entry screen offers users the ability to enter information such as custom rates, invoice description and notes. An expandable menu to the left of the time entry screen also provides access to other options such as unreleased transactions, ready to post, posted transactions, and posted time for all staff. A grid at the bottom of the screen provides a quick recap of all data entered including Status, Client ID, Project, WorkStep, Service Code, Hours/Units, and Amounts.
Along with tracking employee time, the product can also track employee data such as vacation and sick time, CPE, and comp time. The availability of the client dashboard offers users an easy way to access vital client data from anywhere at any time, including client balances, payments received, and invoice totals. Managers can choose to have employee time reviewed and approved prior to processing, for better quality control.
Invoicing Functions: 4.5 Stars
An enhanced interface makes it even easier to navigate through the various billing options, with users able to preview bills on screen, or edit billing data as needed. AAxcess Practice offers users a variety of billing options, including progress billing, batch billing, and the ability to process multiple invoices for a single client. Users can set up automatic billing for recurring billings, and even create multiple billing fee agreements based on either standard firm rates or custom rates.
The progress billing option provides a lot of flexibility to a firm, with the ability to send WIP invoices to clients for more complex projects. Client payments can also be distributed on user-defined criteria, or simply tracked as they are received. Users can opt to bill clients one-on-one or bill groups of clients simultaneously. Bills can be emailed to clients as a PDF, printed for mailing, or sent to an integrated document management system.
The Clock Took provides accounting firms and their employees with the option to use multiple system timers simultaneously.
Management Features: 4.5 Stars
The availability of both client and user dashboards provides product users with an easy way to navigate the system, enter required data, and access vital client data. The dashboards also provide managers with data such as staff productivity, firm growth, and profitability levels. While Axcess Practice contains all of the functionality needed to manage time and billing processes, firms can utilize greater functionality when using the product in conjunction with other Axcess products, such as Axcess Document, that provides excellent document management functionality, as well as Workstream, which provides excellent project management capability, allowing users to manage time by project.
Axcess Practice also offers solid reporting capability, with users able to process a variety of reports including Staff Billable and Non-Billable reports, WIP Activity, WIP Detail Ledger, Staff Time Analysis and a host of others. Reports can be previewed on screen printed or exported to third party applications.
Integration/Import/Export: 4.75 Stars
CCH Axcess Practice works best when coupled with other Axcess modules such as Workstream, Portal, Tax, and Document. All Axcess modules integrate, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry. Cloud-based technology provides users with the flexibility to access the product anywhere, anytime, and the addition of a mobile app that works with both iOS and Android devices enhances that flexibility tremendously.
Help/Support: 5 Stars
CCH Axcess Practice offers users excellent help functionality, along with easy access to an online knowledgebase. Technical support is included in the cost of the product and is available during regular business hours, with support hours extended during peak season. Users also have access to self-study courses and webinars, and there are a variety of training courses available as well.
Summary & Pricing
An excellent solution for firms that desire anytime system access and solid remote system access capability, CCH Axcess Practice truly shines when used as part of the suite of products offered in the Axcess line, though the product can be used as a stand-alone practice management tool as well. Axcess Practice starts at $255.00 per user per year, and firms with multiple users are eligible for product discounts.
2016 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars
See inside April 2016
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