CPA Practice Advisor

OCT 2018

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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OCTOBER 2018 ■ 15 WEBSITE BUILDERS: REVIEW DO-IT-YOURSELF Integer Accounting and Tax Websites Integer from Tenenz is a good fit for small to mid-sized accounting firms that are looking for easy website creation and good marketing options. The product has expanded its offerings in the past year, with three plans available: Essentials, Marketing Starter, and Marketing Pro. All plans offer more than 125 firm website templates and the ability to add an unlimited number of pages to any website. Pricing is as follow: Essentials, which is $32.99 a month; Marketing Starter, which is $62.95 per month; and Marketing Pro, which is $89.95 a month. Those interested in Integer can request a product demo by signing up on the Integer website. Read the full review for this product online at: 12428973 4.5 2018 OVERALL RATING Web Builder CS Web Builder CS is a good fit for firms of any size that use Thomson Reuters/CS Professional Suite applications, though the product can also be used as a stand-alone web building tool if desired. Web Builder CS is offered with both standard and enhanced template options as well as a custom design option. Standard template design is available at no cost, and is included in the $70.00 monthly subscription fee. The system integrates with Google Analytics, blogs, social media, portals and online payment acceptance systems. Additional options available include an enhanced template design, which runs $475, custom design, which is $1,500, and custom design with animation, which is $2,500. Custom logo design is also available for $825, and domain registration costs $35 per year. A free 30-day trial is available for those that wish interested in trying out Web Builder CS prior to purchasing. Read the full review for this product online at: 12428964 4.75 2018 OVERALL RATING Continued from page 8 THE CLOUD: Streamlining Workflow and Automation This eliminates the laborious task of printing and mailing invoices. Systems that provide dashboards can also give visual insight into the stages of all of the clients’ invoices. This streamlines the workflow and makes it easy to manage even a substantial CAS practice. The cloud has transformed accounting by streamlining workflow and automating tasks at unprecedented levels. The cloud enables us to achieve similar levels of productivity gains in payroll processing, turning it into a highly profitable service. When payroll is processed on a desktop system, clients fill in the time sheets and typically fax them to the accounting firm. Someone at the accounting firm enters that data into the payroll system, which calculates all tax liabilities. A third-party system is typically used for direct deposit, so the staff has to initiate that process. The frequency of tax payments is different for different clients. In fact, the tax payment frequency for the same client could be different for federal, state and local taxes. If the firm has, for example, 50 clients, then keeping track of that and initiating tax payments can become a nightmare. It also becomes highly stressful as the penalties for missing a tax payment could be very steep. Printing and mailing of paychecks, payroll reports, W-2’s and 1099’s is a labor-intensive task. All that made offering payroll processing an “all pain, little gain” in the desktop era. The cloud has also completely transformed payroll processing. Advanced professional cloud-based payroll systems automate and simplify most of the processes. For example, instead of clients faxing time sheets, the system generates a customized Excel spreadsheet with employee names. Employer staff completes the spreadsheet, and that data goes directly into the payroll system. Another option is to give client access to the system to enter data. In both cases, data entry is completely eliminated in the office. Once the data is in the system and approved by either the accounting firm or the employer, with one click of a mouse the direct deposit, all tax deposits, and e-filing of the tax forms are automatically scheduled by the system. Accountants never have to worry about any of that. They may even place paychecks and payroll reports into a client portal, from which a client can download and print those in their office, thus eliminating any printing and mailing of paychecks and reports in the office. Employees can also access their pay stubs at any time from their employee portals. Cloud computing enables the execution of processes that involve different systems located at different locations. The cloud system can seamlessly interact with accountants’ clients, all different banks, and federal, state and local agencies. This was simply not possible with the desktop. This capability has transformed payroll processing and turned the tables in accountants’ favor. The benefits of the cloud are numerous, but automation and streamlined workflow are two of the most important for accounting firms. It is essential for professional accountants to make the most of these capabilities to boost their practices. Dr. Chandra Bhansali is the co-founder and CEO of AccountantsWorld.

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