Skip to main content

Brian Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA


Phone: 865.684.4707

Brian Tankersley, CPA.CITP, is a technology contributor for CPA Practice Advisor, and is a frequent speaker at national continuing education courses on auditing and technology, as well as a consultant, coach and instructor for K2 Enterprises. he can be reached at

Read more


Business Management

The Key to E-Mail Marketing for Small Organizations

One of the ways successful firms are continuing to grow during the current economic downturn is by finding new and existing clients with targeted, personalized service. Large firms have used customer relationship management (CRM) and contact management systems for years to manage sales activities, track correspondence, and log contact with current and prospective customers, but these systems are frequently not used by small firms that don’t have dedicated marketing departments.

Document Management

2014 Review of Drake Document Manager

Drake Document Manager (DDM) is the document storage tool which is integrated into the Drake Tax Suite. The application is designed to provide basic document filing and retrieval capabilities from within the Drake Tax application, and has some integration with the other parts of the Drake Tax suite of solutions. Users can access the application’s data in two different ways – either the Working Cabinet mode, where DDM is embedded into the tax software, or in Archive Cabinet mode, where DDM is accessed through a separate shortcut on the Start Menu.

Document Management

2014 Review of Practice Management Workspace by Office Tools Professional

Practice Management Workspace by Office Tools Professional is an integrated application for document storage, workflow tracking, practice management, and client appointment management. The product’s user interface has been redesigned for 2013, and now offers e-mail synchronization with Microsoft Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013. Documents can be added to the application by dragging and dropping the file into the application or by printing the document using the product’s new PDF printer. PDF files can also be marked up with the product’s built in annotation tools. It also comes with a built in client portal for document transfers.

Firm Management

2014 Review of AccountantsWorld Cloud Cabinet

Cloud Cabinet is the integrated document storage service in the AccountantsWorld Power Practice System. The application is completely cloud-based, and the application is hosted from multiple secure Amazon data centers in the US. AccountantsWorld was founded by the Bhansali family, which has a long history of creating on-premises and cloud-based solutions for accounting professionals. Cloud Cabinet is designed for use by accountants and their clients to store, index, share, and archive documents in real time from anywhere. Cloud Cabinet has a new user interface which is cleaner, and seems to load and preview documents faster than the version which was reviewed in 2013. The user interface is logical, and we were able to find all major functions without having to refer to any documentation.

Firm Management

2014 Review of Thomson Reuters GoFileRoom

GoFileRoom is a web-based document management system designed to be used primarily from within the Internet Explorer web browser. The software has traditional features like version control, check-in and check-out, and supports bar-code scanning to help streamline document organization. Workflow and document routing are available using the integrated FirmFlow workflow engine, and documents can be routed to clients using the ClientFlow feature within the optional NetClient CS portals.


FreshBooks and SageOne Help Business Owners Collaborate with Customers and Subcontractors

Our review of SaaS accounting solutions has focused on tools to help manage a general ledger and create financial reports, but many self-employed individuals and micro-businesses need a more basic day-to-day solution to help them bill customers, track receivables, and manage projects. While many applications can meet the needs of this segment, including the lower tier versions of QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Kashoo, two popular applications which are designed for non-accountants who need to accumulate transaction data are FreshBooks and Sage One.

Accounting & Audit

2014 Review of Xero

Xero is a micro-business SaaS accounting platform which is well established in Australia and New Zealand, and was launched in the U.S. in 2012. The company has made significant investments in personnel to compete with other small business accounting software providers in the U.S. market, and has hired a long list of industry veterans to manage its U.S. operations, including Peter Karpas (U.S. CEO), Jamie Sutherland (U.S. President), Ian Vaicin (U.S. VP- Marketing and Product) and many more.


2014 Review of Acclivity AccountEdge Pro 2014

Acclivity’s AccountEdge Pro 2014 is a U.S. small business accounting software application for both Windows and MacOS which originated as the U.S. version of global small business management system MYOB. AccountEdge is now available in three versions (AccountEdge Basic, AccountEdge Pro, and AccountEdge Cloud) with three localizations (U.S., Canada, and a generic international version). Acclivity also offers solutions for point of sale, a free mobile version of AccountEdge (AccountEdge Mobile for iOS), a web store service, and a time tracking application

Firm Management

2014 Review of Commercial Logic APS Advance Practice Management

APS Advance Practice Management is a customizable solution which best meets the needs of large accounting firms. The solution is built on the Microsoft SQL server platform. The application is flexible enough that the firm will need to know how they want to work with the application, and should not be expecting a “standard” implementation with this very powerful and flexible tool kit. A number of stock dashboards are provided with APS Advanced Practice Management, but users will want to configure the metrics tracked to meet their firm’s specific requirements.

Account Reconciliation Software

2014 Review of Virtual CFO Platforms (aka, Cloud Write-Up)

The transition away from traditional, after-the-fact client write-up systems and to collaborative, real-time financial reporting systems has taken many years, but we are starting to see the outline of the systems of the future. Cloud-based software will be used to help practitioners and clients work together on a business, and will yield results which are more timely and less compliance-oriented than traditional write up products.


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

One of the most helpful sites for end users of Sage products is the Year End Centers for the various products, including Sage Peachtree ( and Sage Simply Accounting ( These sites have year-end checklists, detailed instructions on how to perform annual maintenance on databases, links to resources to assist with tax report preparation, and many other helpful tips and tricks that can make the year-end process go more smoothly.