Our third annual selection of
the best new and improved
tools for accountants
In our third annual installment of recog-
nizing the best new accounting-related products, we found overall that there are more
categories and products to recognize than
ever — many of which, not surprisingly, have
a cloud or mobile theme to them.
As in previous editions, we’re recognizing
not just brand-new products from the past
year, but also older products that have seen
signi;cant improvements in the same time
period. And, again as in the past, despite the
abundance of entries, there are still areas that
were notably excluded from the list — not for
lack of innovation, but because the products
within the categories themselves were relatively on par with one another.
For example, it is apparent that most products in which documents and data are stored,
shared or exchanged with clients or within
the ;rm are likely to have a portal component to them. Several new o;erings of note
would include the Doc.It Client Portal, O;ce
Tools Pro Client Portal and Client Portal Lite,
SecureFilePro from Drake Software, UBCC
Payroll Portal, and the XCM Portal.
We are particularly proud of this year’s list,
and feel it represents the direction in which
tax and accounting products are moving. We
hope you agree.
NetSuite One World 2011
NetSuite’s OneWorld product is helping
it compete more fiercely as midsized and
large enterprises expand globally, work in
multiple tax jurisdictions and often run more
than one ERP system. ;e 2011 release boasts
increased global ;nancial consolidation ca-
pabilities, expanded support for international
taxation and audit reporting, and advanced
inventory costing capabilities, as well as over
40 formatted tax compliance reports.
;e cloud is being used for more back o;ce
and accounting-related functions than ever
before, and Bill.com has been at the center
of this trend. With its Receivables product, it
has added a crucial link in the invoicing and
payments chain by allowing users to receive
and track all payments online. ;ey can customize invoices, make e-payments, and communicate with vendors regardless of whether
or not the vendor uses Bill.com. ;e product
also supports a full range of accounts receivable processes through an invoice creation
tool and QuickBooks integration.
Honorable Mentions go to PaySimple
and FreshBooks. PaySimple allows accountants and SMBs via Web or mobile device
to accept and manage a variety of payment
types, and bill according to client preference.
FreshBooks, which is geared toward sole pro-prietors/practitioners and freelancers, has
added useful activity noti;cations and weekly
summaries to its SaaS invoicing product.
;e audit may be one of the marquee services
of the profession, but the tools available to
auditors are often restricted to what they can
come up with themselves. ;at’s changing,
and for all levels of audits, as proven by our
Top New Product in this category, Case Ware’s
Audit International. With forms based on an
auditing guide from the International Federation of Accountants, and a host of work;ow,
risk management and tracking features, it
aims to make it as easy to audit a far-;ung
global business as a local mom-and-pop.
Xero Partner Edition
While the company has been around for several years, Xero only made its foray into the
U.S. market in the summer 2011 and o;cially
hired a president of U.S. operations later in
the year. Regardless, Xero and its cloud-based
bookkeeping/client-and-accountant collaboration product are gaining a foothold here,
and its Partner Edition is a valuable weapon
in its arsenal. ;e product allows accountants
to control the level of client access and features a practice ledger to help practitioners
manage all ;nancial details of their practice.
Xero is also free to all of its partners.
An Honorable Mention goes to Outright, a
cloud-based tax, accounting and bookkeeping service focused on small businesses.
ProSystem fx Practice Intelligence
CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
A business can never accurately gauge its
performance unless it’s measured against
its competitors. Our Top New Product in the
Business Intelligence Category, ProSystem
fx Practice Intelligence, should help. Provid-
ing BI in near real-time and integrating with
CCH’s ProSystem fx Practice Management
solution to provide a true key performance
indicator dashboard, Practice Intelligence
can serve companies with as few as 20 em-
ployees to those with more than 100.
CPA.com E-Mail Service
CPA2Biz / AICPA
A Top New Product doesn’t need to be complex or complicated; it can be simple — and
enormously valuable to thousands of accountants. ;at’s the case with the CPA.com
E-Mail Service, which o;ers members of the
American Institute of CPAs the opportunity to
instantly brand themselves as professionals.
Trust us, sole practitioners and small ;rms:
Changing your e-mail su;x from Gmail, Hot-mail or whatever your local Internet service
provider offers to “@ CPA.com” will boost
your image tenfold, at a modest price.
As businesses become more mobile, there
is a higher expectation for software and services to move with them. Making expense
management and reporting easier and accessible from anywhere is what Concur’s
Concur Breeze is all about. We’re recognizing
the Web and mobile-based expense management product for its recent integrations with
Concur’s TripIt Pro travel booking service
and QuickBooks, as well as the new ability
to automatically pay employee expenses.
Concur Breeze can also automatically create
expense reports from travel itineraries — and
the company this year launched an Advisor
Program with bene;ts for accountants.
Arguably, few new product debuts within the
accounting profession have been accompanied by more fanfare than that of iShade, the
Web-based community exclusively serving
accounting and tax professionals. And the
2012 Top New Product in the Online Community Category didn’t disappoint, as its