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As part of the Accountant's World suite of products, Practice Relief is a basic hosted Software-as-a-Service solution.  It is specifically intended for small to mid-size firms in need of an always-available application with little maintenance requirements.  While Practice Relief is an online Time and Billing application, the timer function is a desktop install.  This dual-nature requires firm timekeepers to have BOTH the installed component and an internet connection - a potential problem for some firm's workflows.  Firms can set security by timekeeper or client, allowing control over employee time entry to clients, and preventing access to reporting functions.  Regarding setup, for those already using Accountant's World products, the client list is common among the applications (such as Accounting Relief and Payroll Relief).  Client list import options also include tax applications such as Lacerte.

How easy is it to use?  Timesheets only require entry of the task, client, and amount of time.  If you are serving a client and need to generate an invoice, those can be done on the fly without having any time entered in the system.  Reporting is relatively limited, and custom reports cannot be created.  The available reports focus on basic firm metrics and billing.  The reports available are designed to show management which staff and clients are the most valuable based on productivity, billing value, and collections.  Alternatively, some firms may find staff and clients worth losing through the available reports.  When reports are run, they are saved to the Cyber Cabinet, another product in the suite.  This is a web-based file repository providing online storage of data by client.  It provides for storage across the Accountants World set of products, centralizing online access to client records.  Reports can be exported to Excel or Word for any needed customization; custom invoicing can be generated online.

Advantages:
- Online access to time-keeping, invoicing, and reporting functions.
- Generate invoices at the client's office.
- Integration to the Accountants World Suite.

Final Verdict:
Sole Practitioners or very small firms are likely to benefit most from this product.  Firms can enroll in the application for $395, making it a low cost option for secure, online access.

 

Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
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