CPA firms provide valuable services to businesses in all industries, including consulting in the areas of taxes, compliance to financial regulations, and audits. Business in the 21st century is conducted through the use of computers, and CPA firms must have up-to-date software to ensure that they can complete their tasks in a timely manner. There are several software products commonly used by CPA firms to facilitate their most important functions and services.
Internal Time Keeping and Billing
CPA firms make their money by selling the time of their highly educated and skilled employees. A CPA firm must accurately track the time spent per client and bill it accordingly. One such software program is called Practice CS, by Thompson Reuters. Practice CS keeps real-time rack of time and expenses per client by all staff, so that clients can be billed for all of the work hours spent on their accounts. Practice CS is appropriate for small, medium or large CPA firms. It is web-based and can be accessed from anywhere with a wireless connection.
GoSystems, by Thompson Reuters, is tax compliance software that many CPA firms use. It is generally used by larger firms and has fewer user help features than many of its smaller counterparts. GoSystems is used by several of the national and international CPA firms. For smaller CPA firms, Lacerte, by Intuit, is a software option with lots of user help topics and user guidelines. Lacerte is used by regional and local CPA firms and has been ranked near the top in software reviews for several years.
External Audit Software
External audits are conducted at a client’s place of business in most cases. Audit software is generally Microsoft Excel to track the audit, and Microsoft Word to write the audit report. Microsoft office is sufficient for this type of activity, but one auditing software package designed specifically for audits, ACL, is used in many cases. It provides an audit analytics engine that assists in fraud auditing work.
Medium and small CPA firs provide accounting services in the form of compilations and write-up bookkeeping to their clients. The most widely used software for this activity is Quickbooks, by Intuit. Quickbooks is inexpensive and scalable, and holds the largest market share of small business accounting software sales in the nation. Since most of a CPA firm's clients will be using Quickbooks, it is important for the CPA firm to offer services through Quickbooks.