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Special Reports

Special Reports (151)

The Progressive Accountant is the leading online communit of public tax and accounting professionals focused on using technology to better manage and grow their practice.

Imagine Time

If you are already familiar with the Imagine Time application, the just-released update is a significant improvement over the previously available version.  For those looking at it for the first time, you’ll be introduced to a product that gives a remarkably unique look to time and billing that can quickly be recognized as accountant-specific.  Retaining functionality that makes it a good fit for small businesses in need of a desktop time and billing application, Imagine integrates new navigation concepts from Microsoft while retaining the layout of the data entry screens from their previous version.   The application caters specifically to its small CPA firm client base, and would fit well in a firm with 10-15 timekeepers.

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Caseware Time

Caseware Time is the central component of Caseware's practice management product, Time & Today.  Intended for local installation (or hosted from a Terminal Server), a module called Time Web Sheets that provides web-based time entry from the client's web server is now available.   Mid-size firms and firms with branch-office locations can use the scalable back-end recently released and the Terminal Server compatibility.  Setup includes the ability to import balances, client lists, and other user-specified data through text files.

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BillQuick Software

BillQuick BQE Software has recently completed a major redevelopment and improvement project for its time and billing package.  With a more complex install, BillQuick runs certain services such as automated report generation, the SQL back-end, and Web services from a firm's servers and has a desktop component for all daily timekeeping, project management, and billing functions.

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Accountant's World - Practice Relief

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.

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Catering to a Demanding Generation of Timekeepers

Time and billing is a core administrative function for any accounting firm, where every staff member plays a vital role.  Much like an orchestra, every person must play their part at a specific point in time.  How easily that is accomplished is dependent on the difficulty of the tool.  Fundamentally, a time and billing application should support five core functions:  time entry, expense logging, billing, collections, and generating management reports.  Like our orchestra, some tools will be tuned better than others, and how they all play together can make or break a firm.  Our review criteria were kept fairly simple for this series:

1) Does the application support ease-of-use and adaptability to a firm’s workflow?
2) If integration is supported, does it provide solutions to common problems?
3) What tools are provided for reporting?

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Construction/Contractors Software– Review

Construction companies have struggled through this current mess of an economy. Whether you think this economy is a depression or a recession or a catastrophe, there are many things that CPAs can and should be doing to assist companies to improve and support their methods and procedures. The construction industry is one such group that CPAs can help with guidance and support.

CPAs have capabilities and talent to develop and implement systems that collect, categorize and analyze data from company operations. While this typically starts with the overall accounting system, the detail transactional analyses include all aspects of the company operations from historical analysis to long-range planning. Not every CPA has construction company clients and therefore may not be interested in this information. However, as the economy recovers over time, it is clear that construction of all types will recover – residential building, commercial building, highways, bridges and tunnels, transportation centers, local roads, and more. Renewable energy facilities will be undergoing major new development and building. And there are all over the remodeling and fixing of older buildings and facilities.

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SurePayroll or SureChoice

SurePayroll is a solid, mid-range web-based payroll product targeted at companies with fewer than 100 employees.  While it has a nice combination of ease of use and features for companies on the higher end of the range, 90% of SurePayroll's customers have fewer than 20 employees.   The product is marketed and sold using Direct (Retail) and Accountant/Wholesale models, and offers an impressive number of add-on services for benefit plans, human resources, etc. The retail (direct) payroll offering is called SurePayroll, and reseller and referral offerings through accountants are branded with the SureChoice name.

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Run by ADP

ADP has had numerous offerings targeted at accountants, and Run represents its latest product aimed at the self-service wholesale payroll market.  This product, which is exclusively for companies with 50 or fewer employees, can be purchased on a retail basis directly by a small business, or on a wholesale basis through a reselling accountant.  Sales and support are provided by a dedicated sales team focused on the needs of this market segment and their outside accountants.

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WebPay by Paylocity

WebPay by Paylocity is a strong system with look, feel, and functionality more like a traditional ERP system payroll module than a web-based payroll application.  Although WebPay can be used for any sized company, because of its very strong functionality and the numerous options available, WebPay is a better fit for companies with 50 to 500 employees, and will support up to 5,000 workers.

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PayCycle

PayCycle was created in 1999 to offer web-based payroll to retail and wholesale customers, and currently provides interfaces to most entry level accounting packages, including QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks for Mac, Quicken, Microsoft Money, and Peachtree by Sage.   Paycheck and tax payment data can also be exported to client write up packages like ATX Client Write-Up™, TaxWise Client Write-Up™, and CCH ProSystem fx® Write-Up.

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