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Wednesday
Nov062013

Breaking News: Accounting Relief is now Accounting Power

AccountantsWorld is proud to announce that its award-winning cloud-based accounting solution Accounting Relief has been renamed Accounting Power.

AccountantsWorld is changing the name of its flagship accounting solution to better reflect the most important and distinctive benefits it provides to accountants. Accounting Power certainly continues to make professional accounting work faster and easier, as reflected in its previous name. But today it also accomplishes something more significant. With Accounting Power, accountants have the power to help their clients better manage their business finances and make their services more relevant to their clients’ needs.

“The primary mission of Accounting Power is to help accountants regain the prominence within client accounting that they’ve lost over the past decade,” said Chandra Bhansali, CEO of AccountantsWorld. “Almost all other accounting solutions providers focus on selling ‘do-it-yourself’ systems directly to small business clients and bypassing the accountant, which naturally undermines the accounting profession. The cloud-based Accounting Power has always been designed to support our Accountants First™ position, in which accountants and clients work in true collaboration under the accountants’ direction.”

Accounting Power includes bookkeeping, trial balance, write-up, and financial reporting, all in one integrated system. Because the system is fully integrated, after clients have entered transactions, accountants automatically have that data available to perform trial balance work and prepare fully customizable financial statements.

Accountants can also customize the system for each client, to limit access only to the functions that they are comfortable performing. By maintaining this level of control, accountants can minimize client errors - a major source of wasted time in accounting. And because client data is always accurate and up-to-date in this unified system, accountants are able to offer a much higher degree of strategic insight into their clients’ complete fiscal picture. Accountants can quickly scan their clients’ key indicators and set up alerts to signal any potential warning signs in areas such as cash flow or accounts receivable. This proactive stance allows accountants to serve as a virtual CFO for their clients’ businesses, which is a win-win for both parties. Clients benefit from expert advice and guidance, and accountants become indispensable.

 

For more information about Accounting Power, please click here.

 

About AccountantsWorld

For over 13 years, AccountantsWorld has been the leading provider of cloud-based solutions designed exclusively for accountants. AccountantsWorld offers a wide range of innovative accounting, payroll, and practice management solutions to help accountants work collaboratively with clients, foster greater client loyalty, and improve the bottom lines of their practices. AccountantsWorld is also the only leading cloud solutions provider that puts Accountants First ™ by never competing with accountants or selling services directly to their clients.

Friday
Nov012013

The Story of Sharada Bhansali, One of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting

For over two decades, Sharada Bhansali has been at the helm of product development for AccountantsWorld (and its predecessor, MicroVision Software). Now, she has been recognized for her commitment to our company - and the accounting profession in general - by being named one of the 2013 Most Powerful Women in Accounting.

This list has been put together by our colleagues at CPA Practice Advisor. It recognizes women who have transformed tax and accounting for the better - and who are continuing to shape its future.

And who could fit that profile more than Sharada?

A Trailblazer for Accountants

Sharada created MicroVision in 1984. Her initial mission was to help professional accountants complete their tax work more efficiently by using the latest technologies (at that time, the introduction of desktop PC's). With her husband and co-founder, Chandra, the result was the flagship Tax Relief product, which was used by tens of thousands of loyal accountants across the U.S. over the next two decades.

 

“My focus was never on the technology itself, but rather how it could transform the work and lives of accountants.”

 

In 2003, Sharada and Chandra sold the Tax Relief line to Thomson Creative Solutions. Their intent wasn’t to retire, but to focus on a new realm: helping accountants leverage the Web. They started with AccountantsWorld.com , a portal serving as a free online community of accountants. Six months later, it received Forbes' Best of the Web award. Today, it remains free to join and continues to serve as one of the most popular destinations on the Web for accountants.

Soon Sharada and the AccountantsWorld team realized that the Internet could have even more far-reaching consequences. It offers accountants capabilities they never had before – the ability to work from anywhere at any time, unlimited computing power at very low cost, and last but not least, the ability to work collaboratively with their clients regardless of geographic location.

AccountantsWorld’s focus became to harness the power of these remarkable capabilities to improve accountants' professional lives, especially their efficiency and the value they can provide to their clients.

 

"One of the first things I noticed about Sharada was the focus and intensity she brings to her work. What makes Sharada’s passion more impressive is that her goal has always been to use it not only to benefit AccountantsWorld, but the accounting industry as a whole. Her commitment to helping accountants thrive solidified our organization’s Accountants First™ credo, and continues to exemplify what we’re all about today."

 ~ Jeff Gramlich, President, Accountantsworld

 

AccountantsWorld’s first major undertaking was to level the playing field for payroll processing. At that time, accountants could not offer payroll services profitably, while service bureaus were making 40-45% net profit. The AccountantsWorld team created a powerful processing solution that rivals the capabilities of payroll services bureaus, but at the fraction of the cost of those bureaus. Now accountants could offer highly profitable payroll services.

Under Sharada and Chandra’s leadership, the AccountantsWorld team has also made a lasting contribution to core accounting services by creating Accounting Power (formerly Accounting Relief), a new type of solution that puts accountants back at the center of client accounting. It lets accountants work collaboratively with their clients while accountants remain in command of the entire process. This Accountant-Centric model increases the relevance of accountants by making it easier to help clients run their business efficiently and profitably.

Today AccountantsWorld offers the most comprehensive suite of cloud solutions for accountants:

  • Accounting Power, the first fully collaborative cloud accounting solution for accountants and their clients.

These solutions have garnered two Innovation Awards from CPA Practice Advisor, as well as countless other accolades. And the focus on continual innovation in the cloud has driven the accounting profession – and AccountantsWorld itself - forward. [Gary Boomer quote about AW]

 

Personal Values

In her personal life, Sharada has made an enduring commitment to helping others. For over a decade, she and Chandra have proudly supported The Jaipur Foot Foundation, an India-based organization that has provided high-quality, durable artificial limbs and aids to over 1 million disabled persons worldwide to help them regain mobility and opportunity in their lives - all free of charge.

Sharada and Chandra have two children, Divya and Punita, and one grandson, Andrew. In her free time, Sharada enjoys cooking, reading, and yoga.

 

Wednesday
Oct162013

Profitable payroll: It's not an oxymoron anymore.

More accounting firms than ever are enjoying a lucrative payroll business. If your firm isn’t one of them, you should know that the secret to profitable payroll is much more straightforward that you may think. Here are 6 simple ways to transform payroll into a more profitable service - without incurring more cost or risk.

 

1. Choose an Accountant-Centric processing system.

Solutions designed for end-users are usually very different from ones designed for accountants. Don’t settle for a generic payroll system! Systems designed exclusively for accountants offer a host of features not available in other systems, including:

  • A powerful management console that gives you an overview of payroll statuses and upcoming due dates for all clients. This type of console lets you easily stay on top of all client payrolls at any time.
  • Ability to configure your services for each client. When you can give each client full or limited access to the system, based on their comfort level with payrolls and technology, you maintain control over who does the work.
  • Not competing with you for your clients! (What a concept!)

 

2. Automate, automate, automate.

Find a system that takes advantage of the latest technology to make payroll processing less work-intensive for you. Ideally, your system should perform all of these tasks automatically, without you having to remember to do them:

  • Complete computation for federal, all states and all localities
  • Direct deposits
  • E-payment of federal and state taxes and child support
  • E-filing of quarterly and yearly tax forms

 

Ready to learn more about how to make payroll service more profitable? Attend our free Expert Webinar on "Profitable Payroll". It's on October 23, and will be presented by Bob Torella from AccountantsWorld. One free CPE offered. Register today!


3. Be flexible – and make sure your system is, too.

The more different types of client scenarios you and your system can handle, the easier it becomes to attract new clients and grow your payroll practice. Make sure you’re ready to handle:

  • Multiple pay schedules
  • Multiple checks for an employee per pay period
  • Multiple withholding states per employee
  • Multiple locations where your staff or your clients can enter payroll data remotely – including away from their offices
  • Contractor (1099-MISC) payrolls
  • Employee bonuses and commissions in various structures

 

4. Focus on Total Processing Cost.

When comparing different systems, make sure you look at the Total Processing Cost - not just the sticker price. Besides the cost of your payroll software, the most important consideration is staff time and cost. In-house PC-based systems are very inexpensive, but because of the tremendous amount of work that has to be done manually by your staff, their total cost of processing is often higher than cloud-based solutions that do all these tasks automatically for you. Also watch out for add-on fees for functions like direct deposit, tax deposit, and W-2’s.

 

5. Market your payroll services aggressively - and smartly.

Don’t assume that your existing clients already know about your payroll services – or that new clients will know to ask for it. Here are four simple marketing tips to start acquiring and retaining payroll clients:

  • Focus on what makes you unique. For example, explain how your local presence lets you offer a better range of services, flexibility and client support than the service bureaus.
  • Network with local bankers. If you refer customers to them for banking, they can and should return the favor.
  • Send a direct mail piece or brochure to all of your clients and leads to announce your payroll service.
  • Create a separate Web page on your site for payroll, explaining the services you offer and their benefits to your clients. If you’re already offering payroll, include a testimonial from an existing client.

 

6. Price for success.

Many accountants have found that the best way to price their payroll offering is an all-inclusive fixed fee per month. This gives you some predictability around payroll revenue and profits, and your clients appreciate not being nickel-and-dimed for additional services or support calls.

 

Bob TorellaReady to learn more about how to make payroll service more profitable? Attend our free Expert Webinar on "Profitable Payroll".

October 23. Presented by Bob Torella from AccountantsWorld. One free CPE offered. Register today!

 

 

And check out the award-winning Payroll Relief from AccountantsWorld. Click here for details about our limited-time special offer - a full year of unlimited payrolls for just $997. Or call 888-999-1366.


Friday
Sep202013

Five Secret Benefits of the Cloud For Accountants

You already know that cloud-based solutions let you work anywhere, anytime. But the most innovative cloud solutions for accounting, payroll, and document management offer so much more. They help you boost your revenue, streamline your processes, and build greater client loyalty and retention.

 

By now you’ve already heard about some of the key benefits that cloud computing offers to accountants. You can work from anywhere at any time, easily share documents with your clients, and find the information you need quickly and easily. These benefits are proven and well-documented.

But that’s just the beginning. You can also realize a host of unexpected benefits when you start to take advantage of integration between cloud solutions and collaboration with your clients. Integration between various cloud solutions has far greater implications than integration between Windows applications. While integration between Windows applications has traditionally allowed seamless data exchange, the synergy between cloud-based solutions goes two steps further.  This new type of integration can streamline processes and create a much smoother workflow than ever before possible.

The ability to work collaboratively with your clients has completely changed the dynamics of two core services: accounting and payroll. And this capability offers truly innovative ways for your practice to boost its profits without incurring more risk or costs.

Here are some unexpected benefits of cloud computing you may not have thought of.

  1. Eliminate client bookkeeping errors
  2. Become a virtual controller/CFO for your small business clients
  3. Improve your cash flow and cash management capabilities
  4. Make money from "insourcing"
  5. Streamline your payroll service by eliminating compliance headaches, data entry and check and report printing

Naturally, the ways in which each of these benefits may apply to you practice will depend on your specific situation. But let’s delve deeper into how a new breed of cloud-based accounting, payroll and document sharing portals can offer some of these remarkable benefits by seamlessly working together.

 

Accounting

The new-breed of Accountant-Centric accounting solutions include everything you and your clients need - bookkeeping, trial balance, write-up and financial reporting - in one integrated system.  An important feature of these systems is that they let you customize the system for each client, so you can limit their access only to the functions that they’re comfortable performing. For a client who doesn’t know anything about accounting, you can limit their access so they simply write checks and enter deposits. For a client who has a professional bookkeeper, you can provide full access to accounts receivable, accounts payable and bank reconciliation. Because you maintain this level of control, you can minimize client errors - a major source of wasted time in accounting.

Best of all, because your client’s data is always accurate and up-to-date in one unified system, you’re able to offer a much higher degree of strategic insight into their complete fiscal picture. Simply take a few minutes each morning to scan their key indicators, and set up alerts to signal to you and your clients any potential warning signs in their cash flow or accounts receivable. This proactive stance allows you to serve as a virtual CFO for your clients’ businesses, which is a clear win-win. They benefit from your advice and guidance, and you become indispensable.

 

Document Management and Integration

Document sharing portals let you share your documents with your clients, and also have the ability to store scanned documents. Now let’s see what happens when document sharing portals are integrated with the type of cloud-based accounting system described above. This union changes the landscape for accounting services. Now accounting firms can offer complete end-to-end accounting services at high profit margins for service industries. Here’s how it works.

  • Your client scans her invoices and all source documents.
  • These documents automatically go into the appropriate folder in your document management system.
  • When your staff logs in, all the unpaid invoices are displayed. Your staff enters the amount and the invoice is attached to the data field.
  • Your client scans their credit card statements (or better yet, you electronically download those so the credit card transaction can be entered painlessly).
  • A clerical staff prints the self-adhesive checks and mails them.
  • To make cash receipt entries, you just need your client to scan the checks received from customers and bank deposit slips.
  • You download bank statements to quickly perform bank reconciliation.

This is how the cloud makes insourcing easy and profitable. It can be your firm’s next big growth area.

 

Payroll Processing

The cloud has also revolutionized another core small business service - payroll processing. Ever wonder how payroll service bureaus have made payroll processing so highly profitable? Their secret: high levels of automation. Now cloud computing has leveled the playing field. Newer cloud-based payroll solutions can eliminate all the headaches associated with payroll processing - tax payments, compliance forms, direct deposit and even printing and mailing of paycheck and reports. Innovative cloud-based payroll solutions do all of these functions for you. Here’s an example of how this can work:

  • Your client enters their payroll data right into your payroll system (or emails this data in an Excel spreadsheet).
  • The payroll system performs direct deposit, deposits all required taxes, and electronically files all compliance forms.
  • You create a PDF of the paychecks, if any, and place the files in the client portal. From the portal, your client can log in anytime to download the paychecks and print them.
  • Similarly, all reports are automatically stored in the client portal for easy access 24x7. There is no hassle of printing and mailing paycheck and reports.

Summary

The common thread in all of these scenarios is that cloud computing solutions are working to help you deliver more value in less time. By integrating previously disparate functions and solutions, you can see unexpected benefits that transform your practice.

Which "secret benefits" are most important to your practice?  Take a quick 3-question survey and tell us what you think.  As a thank-you, you'll automatically be entered in a drawing for a free Amazon Kindle Fire.

Thursday
Sep052013

AccountantsWorld Appoints Jeff Gramlich President

AccountantsWorld, a leader in cloud-based solutions for accountants, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Gramlich as President, effective August 26, 2013.

Jeff Gramlich has served the accounting profession for over 30 years in a number of capacities. Most recently, he was President of the Small Firm Services business unit at CCH, and was instrumental in creating and developing that $130 million unit via both external acquisition and organic growth. As President of AccountantsWorld, Gramlich will help advance AccountantsWorld’s leadership in cloud solutions for accountants and position it for the next phase of its growth.

“AccountantsWorld is well respected in the accounting profession for its ‘Accountants First’ stance and the pioneering work we have done to help accountants harness the power of the cloud. To position AccountantsWorld for continued and accelerated growth in the coming years, we needed an industry leader with broad experience and insight,” said Chandra Bhansali, CEO of AccountantsWorld. “Jeff brings a rare combination of leadership, exceptional industry expertise, and a strong technology background. He is an ideal fit for strengthening both our growth trajectory and our core mission – to put accountants first and help them make their practices more rewarding.”

 

Before joining CCH, Gramlich was an Executive Vice President at Thomson Reuters. He has also been a CPA since 1987, and has been recognized as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People” in Accounting Today from 2010-2013.

"I am excited to be joining AccountantsWorld,” said Jeff Gramlich. “What impressed me most about AccountantsWorld is their genuine commitment to accounting professionals. It is exciting to be a key contributor in an agile, forward-thinking organization that has turned the migration to the cloud into opportunities for accountants to boost their productivity, expand their services, create stronger bonds with their clients, and become more successful.”

The accounting profession is reacting very favorably to this development. “Jeff has a strong understanding of technology and how accounting firms operate,” said Gary Boomer, a leading expert on accounting technology and firm management and the CEO of Boomer Consulting, Inc. “As a former practitioner and a current technologist, Jeff has a unique blend of skills that will help take AccountantsWorld to the next level.”

 

About AccountantsWorld

For over 13 years, AccountantsWorld has been the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for accountants. AccountantsWorld offers a wide range of solutions for accounting, payroll, document management, client portals and practice management. Its new breed of Accountant-Centric solutions help accountants work collaboratively with clients, foster greater client loyalty, and improve the bottom lines of their practices. AccountantsWorld is also the only leading cloud solutions provider that puts Accountants First™ in two critical ways: by harnessing the cloud to create new opportunities for accountants, and by never competing with accountants or selling services directly to their clients.