Welcome to Part 2 of our two-part series, “Questions to Ask When Choosing Accounting Time and Billing Software.” If you’ve already caught Part 1, here are even more questions that will help you decide which CPA workflow management tool is the right one for you.
Does the Software Have Good Reviews?
There’s a reason word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing techniques in existence. Friends, family members, and business partners don’t have any stakes in the game, and don’t want to risk harming you with bad advice. Therefore, when looking for accounting time entry tools, ask for the advice of other accounting professionals you know, and look online for testimonials, product reviews, and awards in industry-respected publications. Bad reviews can sometimes be just as useful as good ones: they can demonstrate whether the company responds professionally to criticism; if it responds quickly; and most importantly, if it is willing or able to change in response to feedback.
Is There Reliable Customer Support?
This is the biggest must-have for a time & billing software. No matter how easy or intuitive a product is, there will always be clients who struggle with the client portal, or employees who need a bit more help than others. A company with strong, reliable customer support can provide assistance to these stakeholders so that you can devote yourself fully to running your practice. A good accounting software company will hire friendly, knowledgeable representatives who know the tool like the back of their hand, and who can be reached by phone, email, live chat, and more. Finally, the company should be able to serve as a complete resource for all your time and billing needs, via blog articles, webinars, video tutorials, and more.
Is it Updated Frequently?
Stagnant, unchanging software is not a good sign. Any growing, thriving company should be able to adapt to the needs of consumers, and that goes triple for software companies. If the software itself has not changed in the past twenty years—or even in the last couple of years—that’s a good indication that the company leadership’s focus is not in the right place. The product is the number one thing you will be using on a daily basis, so it has to be modern, and more importantly, stay modern as the years go on. To find out what recent changes a company has made to its software, search the internet for press releases and similar updates. If it’s still not clear, you can always just ask!
Is it Updated Too Frequently?
There is a flip side to this that we should mention, however—there is such a thing as software that is updated so frequently that it’s actually annoying. If a software company comes out with six new versions in a month, forcing your entire team to re-learn something they had finally gotten down, it might be more hassle than it’s worth.
In the end, this is the most important aspect of choosing new accounting deadline management software. Do you, the practitioner, actually like using it? Is it intuitively organized, aesthetically pleasing, actually kind of fun to use? If you don’t like it, you won’t use it. It’s as simple as that.
For that reason, it’s imperative to take any software you’re considering for a test drive. Nearly all companies offer a free demo you can access, or even a free 30-day trial with no strings attached. If neither is being offered, then, in the words of Arianna Grande, “thank you, next.”