Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped thousands of CPAs choose the right accounting software so they can accurately bill hours and manage multiple clients.

Showing 1-20 of 129 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 range... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 54 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Multiview

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 enterprises... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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FINSYNC

FINSYNC provides multi-user cash flow management in the cloud to US-based small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses can upgrade from payments to invoicing, bill pay, payroll, project tracking, time tracking, expense reimbursement,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Striven

Your cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution. Striven is ready for your business right out of the box. With fully integrated accounting, CRM, inventory, project management, human resources features, it's the only software... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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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 funding... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

Platforms: MacWin
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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AccountMate

AccountMate is a hybrid accounting solution that caters to small and midsize businesses and offers them tools and functionalities, which help them to manage their financial procedures and routines. The solution provides multiple modules... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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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

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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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 trails... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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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 delivers... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Zhub

zHUB is a Focus Softnet implementation partner. The FOCUS9 ERP Cloud software solution includes Advanced Financial Management, Sales Management, Accounts Receivables & Payables, Inventory Management, Manufacturing & Resource Planning,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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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 entry.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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BQE Core - Integrated Accounting and Project Management

BQE Core is a cloud-based solution that offers integrated business accounting, project management, and business intelligence. It can support the operations of a variety of industries, including legal services, architecture firms, engineering,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Unanet Project Portfolio Financials

Unanet Project Portfolio Financials is a cloud-based accounting and project management solution for businesses of all sizes. It is designed for industries, including Professional Services, Government Contracting, Advertising & PR firms,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Sage X3

Sage X3 is a powerful ERP software solution designed for medium-to-large national and global manufacturers, distributors, and after-sales providers and can establish a foundation for your digital transformation. Sage X3 comes with... Read more

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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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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Averiware

Averiware offers an integrated cloud-based enterprise resource planning solution. Key features include accounting and financial management, customer relationship management, salesforce automation, , supply chain management, and human... Read more

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Deskera ERP

Deskera ERP is designed as a powerful and intuitive suite of business solutions with one goal in mind – to make digital transformation simple. This transformation has to be simple and economical. It is why Deskera has trusted users... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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QuickBooks for Mac

QuickBooks for Mac is an accounting solution from Intuit for small to midsized businesses and accounting professionals. This solution allows business owners to create custom invoices, sync bank and credit card accounts, track expenses,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a financial management solution that helps businesses track and manage operations related to accounting, costing, budgeting, analysis and more. The platform offers a rule-based chart of accounts and dimensions,... Read more

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Deployments: Cloud
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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, among... Read more

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Deployments: Cloud
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: July 2, 2020

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?