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Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a Web-based accounting solution suitable for small organizations. It features contact management, invoices, expenses, sales and purchase orders, project time tracking and inventory management. Zoho Books also comes with... Read More
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Multiview

For organizations seeking a solution that conforms to their existing operations, Multiview offers a suite of financial solutions. With Multiview, companies gain visibility over corporate data. The solution includes 14 modules that... Read More
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Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is an ERP system suitable for midsize to large enterprises. The solution has particular strengths in manufacturing and distribution but is also capable of serving buyers across multiple industry verticals.... Read More
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SAP Business One

SAP Business One is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed primarily to serve small to midsize businesses. SAP Business One is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing,... Read More
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Cougar Mountain DENALI

Cougar Mountain Software offers a business accounting software for manufacturing, nonprofits and public services organizations. Their flagship product Denali is a core accounting solution with applications for general ledger, accounts... Read More
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UNIT4 Financials

Unit4 Financials (formerly Coda Financials) is a suite of global accounting and broader financial management applications. These include general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, fixed assets, budgeting, project accounting and... Read More
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Flexi Software

Flexi Software is a financial accounting and process-driven workflow software solution for the banking, insurance, financial services, healthcare, and other service industries. The accounting solution is fully integrated, providing... Read More
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Unanet Project Portfolio Financials

Unanet Project Portfolio Financials consists of one software application with integrated capabilities to manage, plan and track projects, people and financials in real time. Available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering or an... Read More
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Microsoft Dynamics GP

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a financial accounting system designed to meet the requirements of small to midsize businesses. Microsoft Dynamics GP was originally developed by North Dakota-based Great Plains Software and was acquired by... Read More
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Sage Fixed Assets

Sage Fixed Assets offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to track asset depreciation (straight line, ACRS, modified straight line, declining balance, even user-defined.) It integrates with other general ledger systems. The functionality... Read More
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Unit4 Business World

Unit4 Business World is a scalable ERP solution designed to address the unique demands service organizations face. It offers multi-lingual and multi-currency capabilities, and is a fit for higher education, nonprofits and NGOs, professional... Read More
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Infor CloudSuite™ Financials & Supply Management

Infor CloudSuite Financials & Supply Management 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... Read More
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Exact Globe Next

Exact Globe Next is an end-to-end business management solution. It offers accounting, inventory management, billing and invoicing, financial reporting, and more. This ERP system can be deployed either on-premise on a local server,... Read More
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Xledger

Xledger is an automated and scalable cloud-based accounting/ERP solution for medium- to large sized companies and is designed to provide insight and analytics for decision-makers. The system is an out-of-box solution that is configurable... Read More
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Fusebill

Fusebill provides businesses with cloud-based financial and accounting processes, including core accounting, billing and invoicing, financial reporting and more. The system is suitable for small businesses, as well as midsize companies... Read More
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Infor SunSystems

Infor SunSystems is an integrated financial management, purchasing, inventory and sales management solution. It is used by more than than 9,000 customers in over 190 countries worldwide. Offered in multiple languages and currencies,... Read More
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EBizCharge

EBizCharge offers a full suite of payment processing, billing and invoicing solutions. It includes payment integrations to accounting/enterprise resource planning/customer relationship management and e-commerce platforms, mobile solutions,... Read More
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AXIO Core Financials

AXIO Core Financials from SBS Group is an Enterprise Resource Planning system that is powered by Microsoft Dynamics. The software is designed for global use and offers multi-language, multi-currency support and is compatible with companies... Read More
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SAP Anywhere

SAP Anywhere integrates sales, marketing, e-commerce, and inventory activities into one complete front-office system. With SAP Anywhere users can manage and track inventory, manage orders, manage the procurement process, and more.... Read More
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Sage Live

Sage Live is a cloud-based and mobile-ready accounting platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Key features include multi-company, multi-currency, and multi-legislation support, personalization based on user role, bank integration,... Read More
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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 accountability.   Industries... Read More
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Macola

Macola is the ERP and business software that manufacturers and wholesale distributors trust to automate, grow and streamline their business workflows. Macola meets the unique needs of growing SMBs ─ automating and managing core... Read More
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Sage X3

Sage X3 is an enterprise business management software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and business intelligence. Sage X3 is... Read More
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SAP Business ByDesign

Designed to serve all the key needs of a business--including accounting--BusinessByDesign is an ideal software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for integrating core functions in operations, sales, and accounting.
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Financial Suite by IntelliTek

Financial Suite by IntelliTek is the financial component of IntelliTek Systems’ broader ERP offering. Financial Suite by IntelliTek is an ideal accounting systems for small and mid-market companies. The platform is comprises of Accounts... Read More
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Sage 100 Standard and Advanced ERP (formerly Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200)

Sage 100 ERP (formerly branded as Sage ERP MAS 90 and 200) is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system for small and midsize businesses. The solution is typically recommended to companies with annual revenue between one... Read More
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Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP Accpac)

Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP Accpac) is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system that serves small and medium-size businesses in professional services, financial services, public sector, and other markets such as distribution... Read More
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SAP Business All-in-One

SAP Business All-in-One is a complete suite of applications to help support your CPA office, no matter the size of your operation. Features include accounting and financials, inventory management and reporting and analytics.
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CenterPoint Accounting Software

CenterPoint Accounting Software, designed primarily for service-providing companies, is a customizable financial management solution that performs core accounting, reporting, tax, and other functions. CenterPoint has a customizable... Read More
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TurningPoint for Accounting

TurningPoint Accounting is a solution best suited for companies who outgrow QuickBooks and other systems meant for smaller businesses, but aren’t yet ready for a more sophisticated system. This solution is designed primarily to... Read More
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SAP ERP Core Finance

Over 30,000 companies, spanning 120 different countries, are using SAP ERP Financials to conduct their financial management.  Noteworthy names include General Mills and Office Max. SAP ERP Financials is a part of SAP’s Business... Read More
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BizAutomation Cloud ERP

Bizautomation offers cloud-based ERP for smaller SMBs. Functionality includes accounting, order management, inventory, customer relationship management (CRM), sales commissions, e-commerce (including a business portal), purchase planning,... Read More
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Sage 50 Accounting (Formerly Peachtree)

Sage Peachtree is a good fit for many CPAs because it is a cutting-edge financial management system that still keeps in mind traditional accounting needs, like double-entry bookkeeping and accounting periods.
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BillQuick - Integrated Accounting and Project Management

BillQuick is a great solution for accountants and CPAs. It includes features that manages integration with accounting software, engagement phases, joint invoices, sub consultants, and fee schedules.
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Xero

CPAs with small to mid-sized operations can use Xero for their core accounting needs. The system supports payroll, accounts receivable and payable, and bank reconciliation. The software can also manage multiple currencies.
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Procurify

Procurify is a web-based procurement platform that allows users to make requests, approvals, and purchases from any Internet-connected device. This real-time platform helps users can create, track, and report on all requisitions,... Read More
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NolaPro

NolaPro by Noguska LLC is a fully-featured and completely customizable Accounting solution, featuring Order Tracking, Inventory POS, and more. Established in 1973, Noguska Inc. provides tailor-made accounting functionality, and has... Read More
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QuickBooks for Mac

QuickBooks for Mac is financial accounting solution from Intuit for small businesses and accounting professionals. The solution allows users to create professional invoices, track sales and expenses, and manage accounts payable. QuickBooks... Read More
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OASIS

OASIS is a customizable ERP system for small to midsize companies. This system is customized to the company’s precise specifications and is used primarily in the retail, manufacturing, and professional services verticals. OASIS’... Read More
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Multiledger

First introduced in 1986, MultiLedger by CheckMark Inc provides a fully integrated, comprehensive suite of accounting software for small to mid-size businesses. It merges billing & invoicing, inventory management, job tracking, expense... Read More
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Prophix

Prophix is a multi-user financial software application, used for financial consolidation, budgeting, analysis, planning and management reporting. The solution provides a spreadsheet type interface familiarity along with additional... Read More
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Accounting Xpert

Accounting Xpert is an on-premise accounting solution that serves businesses of all sizes. Primary features of the software include a general ledger, accounts receivables and payables, payroll, W2 and 1099 laser processing, bank reconciliation... Read More
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Infor SunSystems

Infor SunSystems is an integrated financial management, purchasing, inventory and sales management solution. It is used by more than than 9,000 customers in over 190 countries worldwide. Offered in multiple languages and currencies,... Read More
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TrackerSuite.Net

TrackerSuite.Net created by Automation Centre provides integrated accounting and expense tracking tool. Users can manage projects, programs, resources, schedules, status reports, budgets and documents in a centralized repository. Companies... Read More
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AccountEdge

AccountEdge is a small-business desktop accounting and management solution compatible with both Mac and Windows systems. This solution helps users create and track sales and purchases, run payroll, track and build inventory, bill for... Read More
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Infor CloudSuite™ Business

Infor CloudSuite Business is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution geared towards small and mid-sized businesses. This integrated solution provides deep visibility into every business facet, from financials and human resources... Read More
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Rerun

Rerun is a standalone billing and invoicing solution designed for small to midsize businesses in the United States and Canada. With Rerun, users can customize payment streams and set up recurring billing, track account activity and... Read More
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MineralTree

MineralTree is a cloud-based payment automation and invoicing system that is an ideal fit for small and midsize businesses. By integrating with NetSuite, Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics GP and QuickBooks, MineralTree allows users to maintain... Read More
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Oracle Financials ERP Cloud

Oracle Financials ERP Cloud is a cloud-based, end-to-end business management solution designed for midsized to enterprise-level customers. It offers a suite of applications including material planning, financial accounting, analytics,... Read More
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Insly

Insly is a financial and process management system designed for brokers, agents and accounting professionals. Key features include accounting and billing management (including invoice creation, automatic emailing and payment mapping)... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

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?