CPA Practice Management Software Review

The Technology Lab Podcast recently did a CPA Practice Management Software Review on both On-Premise Solution and TPS Cloud Axis, and we are really excited to share their feedback to you.

The podcast’s main focus was on comparing our two products, On-Premise Solution and Cloud Axis. Both products are accounting practice management software that are aimed at accounting firms of all sizes with an extremely affordable price.

The podcast also covered topics such as customer support, ease of use, cost, features, and integrations.

During the podcast, one of the main points that the hosts, Randy and Brian, made was that TPS Software has a lot of really cool features that make it a great option for accounting practices of all sizes.

TPS Software has a lot of really cool features that make it a great option for accounting practices of all sizes.

Brain mentioned that “what sets the cloud version apart (from our On-Premise product) is its ability to handle the multi-office and consolidation, and the office-level reporting.

That’s something that you really don’t see in a lot of the entry-level packages”

If you want to learn more about what they had to say, then you can play the video or, if you prefer reading, you can go over the podcast transcript in the rest of the article.

CPA Practice Management Software Review Transcript

– Welcome to the Technology Lab, presented by CPA practice advisor with your hosts, Randy Johnston and Brian Tankersley.

– I’m Randy Johnston, along with Brian Tankersley. Brian, would you like to introduce yourself?

– Sure, my name is Brian Tankersley. I’ve been in the profession since the early ’90s.

Have been doing accounting technology since the late ’90s on a professional basis.

I’ve written a few hundred product reviews and I’ve spoken in 48 states, talking about accounting technology to CPAs.

– And I am from Hutchinson, Kansas. I am so pleased to spend time with you today. I have been on the top 100 list since 2004, the top 25 list since 2011.

I love to spend time in technology and with my family as well. I’m fortunate enough to have founded Network Management Group, which is a managed service provider, providing services from Boston, Honolulu.

CPA Practice Management Software Review

And my K2 business is how I met Brian. And it is how we’ve probably met many of you, producing CPE and PD in the US and Canada.

We’re so pleased to spend time with you on today’s Technology Lab. Good day, welcome to Technology Lab.

I’m Randy Johnston, along with Brian Tankersley, co-host. We are so pleased to talk to you about the practice management product, TPS today in this Accounting Practice Management Software Review

Blog: How to Create the Best Workflow for a CPA Firm

Now it turns out TPS has two different versions of their products with cloud access, their cloud-based product and an on-premise product. So, Brian, what is helpful for our listeners to know about TPS?

– Well, again, the thing I like about it is you can run it ‘”on prem”’ or in the cloud. The thing I like about the traditional product is it is more of a traditional time and billing application.

So, if you’re somebody that is, maybe you’re one of the people that were on, maybe you were on a bill quick back in the day, and you still are using it even though they’ve transitioned over to their cloud application.

And you wanna run something ‘”on prem”’, this is one that you can absolutely run ”on prem” all time, all day, every day. The cloud access product also is out there very robust.

Again, I like the product, and it’s very reasonably priced.

– Yeah, so although it doesn’t sound very complimentary in this case, I consider TPS to be a workhorse rather than a show horse.

You have a lot of the products in the marketplace today that look good. They’ve got a lot of sizzle, but not a lot of steak. This particular product has some real depth to it. It’s powerful, go ahead.

– You don’t have to ask where the beef is. There’s beef in this one.

CPA Practice Management Software Review

– There’s beef in this one, and you’re actually right. And it’s really powerful as a product. It’s able to handle the needs of small firms, stepping away, five to 10 people on a firm, wow, easy. Even mid-size firms, 30 to 60, I have no qualms at recommending this product.

The workflow in TPS is very straightforward, and it’s built on the premise that firms really want to know four basic things. And those things I believe are what work or jobs are coming up or do? Is the job in and has the client provided the right information?

Who’s currently working on it and what stage is the job asked? And the only real task that your employee or team member has to do is advance the job by simply changing the status.

It’s very straightforward on that light. Again, almost any reporting that you would typically look at realization, utilization, WIP reports, very strong inside this product. And the feature set, basically, is focused on firms that are 100 employees or less.

So Brian, what else might be a key thing for listeners to know? I guess one thing before I hand it back to you, is the traditional mid-market products like CCH practice management or the old PACs or VPN products, or Thomson’s Practice CS and so forth, those traditional mid-market products.

I pretty much stand this product up against them from a feature set almost any day. So again, the cloud version and the premise versions, there’s a little divergence in the feature set. We’ll talk about that more in a moment, but what do you think are important for firms to know about this product?

– You know, I like both the cloud and the ‘on-prem’ version. I really liked the templates that you have accessible to you in the cloud product, where you can have report templates, and collection letters, and custom letters.

And there are all kinds of templates that are directly created, again, that you can go through and work with directly.

You’ve got forums where you can get your problems solved within the application. Again, as we look at this, you also have an inbox where you can deal with work requests and just drill down.

So you have notifications you can see, you have jobs in progress. And again, it’s a very well-thought-out. I mean, it has everything you need and nothing you don’t is the way I would think about it.

– Yeah, that is a pretty good way to say that.

– I think it’s actually their strategy, so I have to give props to them for coming up with that phrase.

– Yeah, that is actually is a brilliant way to think about it. Well, I’m gonna talk about the pricing on this product for just a minute, because the cloud-based version of the product, the cloud access product, comes in three different varieties.

They named them Entrepreneur Pro and Ultimate, and the pricing of each is $10, $15, or $20 per user per month.

Now, as it turns out, the base product at $10 is a very robust and complete product by itself. Full time in billing, full WIP, A/R, and history, the ability to markup and markdown.

The billing, can do quick bills, detailed bills, and progress bills. The client inquiries for time, WIP, and A/R, and history, all in there, the reports are all good, same way with productivity and others.

Payments, adjustments, finance, charges, batch client statements, all that in the core product at $10 per user per month.

Beyond that then, you get all of what’s in the Entrepreneur version, in the Pro version, and you add from calendar, and scheduling, and workflow by client, both one-time and repetitive.

You get the client mass mailing, client collection mailings if you need that, some workflow alerts and reports along the line there. Then finally, if you go to the Ultimate version, the $20 version, you add multi-office and consolidation.

And that might be the tipping point that gets you to the higher end of the product sooner. You also have integrations with the number of products out there. These guys have done Lacerte for a long time, for example.

But QuickBooks Online is coming soon, and there’s some other integrations along the line. Now, at the risk of taking too much of our time together, Brian, the on-premise version is even more affordable, than the cloud version of the product.

So if you’re looking for the lowest cost entry to get to TPS, the premise version may be less money to you.

CPA Practice Management Software Review

– Again, the most expensive thing you ever bought was cheap software, okay? You know, if you just need to get around, buy a scooter instead of a car. See how well that works out for you when it rains.

– Well, you know, you’re probably right on that. But you know, the on-premise pricing basically is $460 for the base, it’s $215 for each additional user.

So you can do the math on that pretty quickly and see that a 10 user environment, maybe I’ll do 11, so I can do the math in my head a little easier.

You’re talking $2,500. The annual support on that is $120 for the first user and 85 for each additional. So we’re not talking tons of money on that. Making it one of the lower cost, strong products in the marketplace.

– And it is a strong product. I realized just a second ago when I said the thing, idea about the scooter. I don’t want you to think that this is an inferior product, but price is something you should consider.

But it should be considered well down the road, well, after this will solve my problem.

This works with my workflows. This will work for my people and I can get them to organize around this, and I can handle the amount of change in here, and I can get converted okay.

Now the thing that I would throw out to you here also is that one of the things that sets the cloud version apart is this ability to handle the multi-office and consolidation, and the office-level reporting.

That’s something that you really don’t see in a lot of the entry-level packages. And so, you do have to pay for it, but 20 bucks a month, compared to where a lot of the others are 50 a month. I think they provide an outstanding value for the price charged.

– Yeah, and you know the amount of support required on this product is minimal. We do listen to reports from all sorts of publishers about the amount of support calls that they take and so forth. These guys just don’t have that many support calls required.

And it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re in the on-premise version or in the cloud version. Again, pretty straightforward product that doesn’t fail often on you.

CPA Practice Management Software Review

– Now, they do want to help you set it up. And there is a charge for them helping you set it up, and it’s well worth it.

– Yes, in fact, their insight into practices is good because they’ve been a long-term player, and they’ve done a lot of structuring of practices in their setup services, so you want to listen to them.

And it’s not like some of the vendors who are in the marketplace are charging what I would consider excessive amounts for implementation, and aren’t providing great value.

They’re providing okay, but, these guys provide great value at relatively low cost for the implementation services.

– Yeah, you’re getting a lot more than a YouTube channel out of these folks when they implement.

– Yeah, in fact, Brian, you’ve said it a few times. One advantage of being experienced gray haired, if you will, is you just know some stuff.

And this management team and installation team knows some stuff because of their experience, as opposed to novices that are breaking into that new wall.

Have some other sessions where we talked about some novice level or amateur level that we see in these products.

– Yeah, you’re not gonna have to say 1040 or 1122, I’m gonna explain what the heck that is.

– Exactly right. Now, there are some downsides to this product. One of the things that we prefer is we prefer practice management that covers the time and billing function, the workflow function, and the document management function.

That doesn’t really play here with this product. You’re going to have some sort of document management system or do a do-it-yourself or whatever.

And we will talk about document management products in other Technology Lab sessions with you.

But in the big picture of support to close that up for years, without exaggeration, TPS has received outstanding client feedback on its support for being responsive, knowledgeable, and courteous.

And if my clients only said that about my support, I’d be pretty happy with that rating. Those features are all pretty good.

– And Randy, most of the principals in this are Canadian, aren’t they? So, I mean, aren’t there federal laws in Canada that say you have to be polite?

– You know, that’s probably an attribute that’s true with every Canadian I know. Well, Brian, our time together is coming to a close.

Are there other key things that our listeners need to learn about TPS, the company, or either of their on-premise or access cloud products? You know, I think, this in particular, the cloud product is a great solution for somebody that is starting up a firm and that it’s going to scale. And you can scale very quickly with this.

You can also manage the work, if you’re in a situation where you’ve had more traditional workflows inside your firm, and you need to have something to manage the workflow and you don’t wanna break the bank doing it, this will fit very well, ’cause, again, you think about things and one of the casualties, I think of COVID is culture, where we don’t have all that face time with the people we work with anymore.

And so, getting across change and new culture is much harder than it would then it is face-to-face, because everybody will sit and smile on that Zoom meeting, and then they’ll all talk trash about it behind your back once you roll something out.

So again, it gives you a chance to get that firm culture, to get the raw feedback that you need to make everything better and make everything work better.

And again, it’s a great solution for anybody, from entry-level up to tens or scores of employees.

Again, probably wouldn’t go much past 100, but again, with that multi-office, multi-department structure that they have in the higher end versions, you can take this and scale it to where you need to go.

– Sounds great, Brian. Well, TPS continues to be a low-cost option in the world of high cost practice management alternatives. I think it’s a sensible choice. We appreciate your time on today’s Technology Lab. We’ll see you in another session soon. Good day.

CPA Practice Management Software Review

– Thanks, Randy.

– Thank you for sharing your time with us. We’ll be back next week with a new edition of the Technology Lab, brought to you by CPA Practice Advisor.

This CPA Practice Management Software Review by The Technology Lab Podcast on our products has led to a lot of questions from our clients and accounting firms thinking about making a switch before the next tax season starts.

If you’re one of them, simply book a Free Consultation Call with Darnell, and as Brian and Ryan mentioned, by federal laws in Canada  we are required to be polite as well as responsive, knowledgeable, and courteous? We’ll treat you right!

Need more details? Schedule a 15-min FREE CONSULTATION CALL!

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