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What You Should Never Do with Write-Up Software

Write-Up Software Roundtable

Write-up software is all about bringing together all the information. Making a mistake when selecting the software that is right for your firm can be exasperating. For this reason, CPA Magazine asked the leading minds in write-up software how to avoid these problems and provide recommendations to assure a perfect meeting of man and machine.

Chandra Bhansali Co-Founder and CEO of AccountantsWorld

Bhansali ChadraWhat is a mistake you have seen CPAs make when selecting a write-up solution?

The biggest mistake CPAs make is to run their write-up practice on desktop-based accounting systems created for small businesses. These systems introduce a tremendous amount of inefficiencies and that’s one reason why most write-up practices are low-margin services.

What is a recommendation you would give CPAs who are selecting a write-up solution?

Make sure that the system offers a simple method for clients to upload invoices using their smartphone and also has workflow capabilities to help staff perform at peak efficiencies. Bank feed is a must to reduce data entry by 70-80% for those clients who still write manual checks in their business. To help you offer virtual CFO services, the system you select should include tools like cash flow manager, alerts, dashboards, performance analysis, financial ratios, and fully customizable financial statements.

 

Ken Garen President of UBCC

Garen KenWhat is a mistake you have seen CPAs make when selecting a write-up solution?

Not finding out how performance will be as they add data and not finding out how easy it is to construct a financial statement.

What is a recommendation you would give CPAs who are selecting a write-up solution?

Talk to your peers to find out the pluses and minuses of the software that they use. Run the software on a trial basis for at least a month or two to see how it fits with their practice. Find out how easy it is to import and/ or export information. Find out if all of their data (including PDF files) can be exported and used by other software programs they may use now or in the future.

 

Louie Calvin Product Manager, Accounting & Payroll of Thomson Reuters

Calvin LouWhat is a mistake you have seen CPAs make when selecting a write-up solution?

Any top-grade professional solution will integrate with many SMB (small to medium business) products and financial institutions, and have generic importing capabilities. Fortunately, the newest software can all but eliminate manual information gathering and data entry by using a single, online platform that is accessible to both the accountant and the client through a secure, online meeting place. When the client enters data as part of day-to-day bookkeeping, that data is immediately available to the accounting firm. Many applications also offer advanced security features and the ability to tailor the software to fit each client’s business needs and level of sophistication. Accounting software must be flexible enough to handle diverse client needs in a variety of industries. Technology should facilitate quick client setup so that you can move on to revenue-generating activities and valued deliverables. Client setup can be a lengthy process that requires a significant amount of data entry, a fact that is often surprisingly overlooked when making a major software investment. Firms should verify that there are features for automated setup and ways to maintain consistency within your firm across clients.

What is a recommendation you would give CPAs who are selecting a write-up solution?

Automated information gathering can be an immense timesaver for clients, as well as the firm, so convincing them to make the switch may not be as difficult as you think. Sophisticated accounting applications can accept source documentation from a wide variety of third-party software applications, banks and financial institutions, and even fetch credit card transactions. Here is a checklist I recommend – today’s most progressive write-up software, for professional accountants, will accept data from a wide range of small business software, including:

• QuickBooks (versions, editions, including QuickBooks Online)
• Chart of accounts, transactions, customers, vendors and more from Microsoft Excel
• Bank and credit card statement information
• Real-time financial datafeeds

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