CPA Software

Since Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) manage the finances for dozens, or even hundreds of corporations and individuals, they need software that can keep up. CPA-specific accounting programs will be designed for payroll, expense and reporting for multiple companies, and will also include useful tools like auditing, tax preparation and time-based billing.

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Competitive advantages of CPA Software

Tracks time spent on projects and bills clients accordingly.

Stores and categorizes large amounts of client data.

Provides updated tax tables and automated calculations.

Top features that help you

Multi-company accounting

Unlike other industries, professional accountants need to manage the accounting for multiple companies, so the software should allow you to categorize access all their data to keep it separated but easy to recall. Non-accountant-specific programs can sometimes become overloaded by all the records, so it’s critical that your software can handle large volumes of data.

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Showing 1 - 20 of 147 products
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Showing 1 - 20 of 147 products

NetSuite

NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive rang...Read more

41 recommendations

Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based financial management and accounting software. Sage Intacct's software solution is suitable for small to midsize accounting firms and can provide financial reporting and operational i...Read more

25 recommendations

Multiview ERP

Multiview Financials is the flagship ERP system developed, sold, implemented, and supported by Multiview Financial Software. Multiview is designed for organizations ranging in size from rapidly growing small businesses to large en...Read more

4.40 (10 reviews)

25 recommendations

Striven

Striven is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for many industries and organizations of all sizes. It offers features for accounting, inventory management, human resources, customer relationship mana...Read more

4.84 (19 reviews)

22 recommendations

BQE Core Suite

BQE Core Legal is a cloud-based solution that offers integrated accounting, time tracking, and billing and invoicing. It can support the operations of a variety of law firms including litigation, corporate, family, tax, immigratio...Read more

14 recommendations

AccuFund Accounting Suite

AccuFund is an online accounting and financial reporting solution designed specifically for the nonprofit industry. Integrated into one, AccuFund's Accounting suite helps nonprofit organizations and government agencies report fund...Read more

4.33 (43 reviews)

13 recommendations

Canopy

Canopy is a cloud-based practice management and tax resolution platform for accounting firms, tax professionals, tax attorneys, and enrolled agents. It provides an integrated suite with various tools to help enhance efficiency whi...Read more

7 recommendations

Infor CloudSuite Financials

Infor CloudSuite Financials is a solution suite that provides financial functionality coupled with a source-to-settle supply management offering. The solution is role-based, mobile responsive and delivered in the cloud. It deliver...Read more

3.08 (6 reviews)

4 recommendations

Flexi Software

Flexi is an on-premise as well as a cloud-based accounting solution for the banking, insurance, healthcare and service industries. The Flexi accounting solution features automation of accounting process and completion of audit tra...Read more

4.40 (5 reviews)

4 recommendations

Denali Business

Cougar Mountain Software’s Denali Business is an accounting solution with the ability to customize 10 integrated modules. It is for small to midsize businesses and can be deployed on premises or in the cloud. Key features include ...Read more

3.89 (60 reviews)

3 recommendations

Software pricing tips

Read our CPA Accounting Software Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

DataServ SaaS AP Automation

For over 26 years, DataServ has delivered cloud-based AP and AR automation solutions to mid-sized to global Fortune 500 clients in the wholesale and distribution, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and financial services industrie...Read more

4.50 (14 reviews)

1 recommendations

Beyond Software

Beyond Software is a project accounting and management software system available for small to mid-size companies. The system allows organizations to manage and execute around their projects by increasing visibility and creating ac...Read more

4.71 (7 reviews)

1 recommendations

Xledger

Xledger is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to midsize and large businesses that helps them to manage day-to-day operations by automating routines ranging from bank reconciliation to invoice en...Read more

4.67 (6 reviews)

1 recommendations

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution designed for SMBs across different industry verticals such as construction, nonprofit distribution, manufacturing, and retail. With QB Enterprise solution, any business owner can exp...Read more

Quickbooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting solution that caters to individual accountants and small businesses. The solution helps with bank reconciliation, tracking expenses, drafting invoices and monitoring financial reports, a...Read more

Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics is a customer relationship management solution designed to serve businesses of all sizes. The solution is used across various industry verticals such as government, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare,...Read more

Xero

Established in 2006, Xero is a web-based accounting system designed for small and growing businesses. Xero connects small businesses with their trusted advisors and provides business owners with instant visibility of their financi...Read more

QuickBooks Desktop Pro

QuickBooks Pro is a comprehensive accounting solution designed to cater small and midsize customers. The solution offers robust functionalities of a core accounting software application, including account payable & receivable, pro...Read more

Wave Accounting

Wave is an online accounting platform exclusively designed for small business owners, freelancers, and consultants. Wave's software provides features including accounting, invoicing, billing, payment tracking, payroll management, ...Read more

Happay

Happay is a cloud-based expense management solution that helps medium to large businesses manage and track expenses. It uses AI and machine learning technologies to automate processes related to expense claims management, reimburs...Read more

Popular CPA Accounting Software Comparisons

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: June 16, 2021

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is CPA Accounting Software?
Common Features of CPA Accounting Software
CPA Accounting Software Pricing
CPA Accounting Software Deployment
Other Considerations When Selecting a Platform
Evaluating Accounting Software for Certified Public Accountants

What Is CPA Accounting Software?

Since Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) manage the finances for dozens, or even hundreds of corporations and individuals, they need software that can keep up. CPA-specific accounting programs will be designed for payroll, expense and reporting for multiple companies, and will also include useful tools like auditing, tax preparation and time-based billing.

Screenshot of BillQuick user dashboard

Screenshot of BillQuick user dashboard

Accounting software for CPAs isn’t just regular accounting software. CPAs typically need greater functionality and more features in order to handle multiple clients or otherwise ensure regulatory compliance.

In this guide, we'll cover:

  • The functionality CPAs should be looking for when considering software solutions; and
  • Best practices for evaluating CPA-specific systems.

Common Features of CPA Accounting Software

Accounting software for banks, mortgage companies and financial services institutions will include the following industry-specific features:

Multi-company accounting Unlike other industries, professional accountants need to manage the accounting for multiple companies, so the software should allow you to categorize access all their data to keep it separated but easy to recall. Non-accountant-specific programs can sometimes become overloaded by all the records, so it’s critical that your software can handle large volumes of data.
Tax preparation The U.S. tax code is thousands of pages long, and it changes every year. Tax preparation is a major part of a CPA’s job, and CPA-specific systems will contain specialized data to support preparation for all your clients. These will include updated tax tables, automated calculations and electronic filing for individuals and corporations on a state, local and federal level.
Time & billing Time and billing refers to the ability to track the time spent on certain projects and then bill clients based on the number of hours spent. Accounting software for any service provider should include time and billing capabilities.
Regulations compliance The system needs to comply with federal, state and local regulations and statutes like FASB, GASB 34, IFRS and DCAA. Ensure the software you select complies with these regulations and updates it for any changes.
Financial reports Reporting is a critical component for freelance accountants. In addition to standard executive reports, charts and summary statements, the software should be able to build customized reports using an intuitive interface.

CPA Accounting Software Pricing

Accounting software used by CPAs is generally priced one of two ways: subscription and perpetual licensing.

Subscription. The software is priced as a monthly fee, typically based on the number of users. While no upfront fee is paid, an organization might have to pay annual fees for support and maintenance.

Perpetual license. With a perpetual license, an organization pays an upfront fee and then in turn owns the software in perpetuity. The upfront fee is also typically based on the number of users or the relative size of the organization based on its annual revenue. However, organizations will still generally have to pay annual fees for support, maintenance and updates. A general rule of thumb is that an organization can expect to pay 20 percent of the perpetual license fee annually on those other associated fees.

CPA Accounting Software Deployment

CPA Accounting software can be deployed one of several ways: cloud-based, on-premise and hybrid.

Cloud-based. Cloud-based software is hosted on the vendor’s servers and is accessed through a web browser. Cloud-based deployment has become increasingly popular in recent years. Typically, cloud-based software is most associated with subscription pricing.

On-premise. The organization installs and hosts the software on their own computers and servers. Typically, on-premise software is most associated with perpetual licensing.

Hybrid. There are several hybrid approaches out there, but the most common is when an organization licenses a cloud-based platform to have it run on the organization’s own internal servers. This is done so the organization can have the flexibility of using cloud-based software while also having more control over how its data is stored.

One consideration to keep in mind is indeed data security. While cloud-based platforms can be just as secure as on-premise platforms, some organizations will nevertheless prefer to store their own data internally. CPAs might have certain clients who would prefer that their data never leave the CPA’s office, so at any rate it is critical for CPAs to understand where their clients’ data is being stored and how secure it is.

Other Considerations When Selecting a Platform

The strength of vendors offering CPA accounting software can often be determined by how agile they are when it comes to ensuring that their platform is continuously updated to reflect new regulations and laws pertaining to tax compliance. When selecting a platform, be sure to vet vendors’ commitment to updating their platform.

Also consider a vendor’s long term viability. The major players in this space can generally be seen as safe bets, while there can be less certainty smaller vendors. Smaller vendors may more adequately serve a particular niche, and may have more competitive pricing, but there is less of a guarantee as to how long that vendor will be around. As such, it’s important to note that every vendor has its own unique advantages and disadvantages in this regard.

Evaluating Accounting Software for Certified Public Accountants

When evaluating CPA-specific systems, the most important criteria to consider are the nature of your business and the number of clients. Do you primarily deal with tax preparation for individuals, or general ledger and payroll for corporations? Do you have two or three clients or 100?

In particular, CPAs seeking software should ask the following questions:

  • How many individual records will you need access to at a given time? Is the software designed for that level of usage?
  • Do you primarily serve individuals or corporations?
  • Will you need support on regulatory compliance?
  • Do you need to keep track of billable hours?
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