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which Practice software choice - small practice?

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This has probably been asked before so please accept my apologies - I am after practice software recommendations please  

Small practice - about 100 limited companies, maybe 10 partnerships. plus associated tax returns but with a largish tax compliance practice - so another 260 tax returns (or so) varying from director/rental/paye returns, quite a lot of small sole traders with direct input of figures onto the return, and then within that 260 maybe 80 that have full sole trader accounts.

Historically we've used IRIS (for decades) as part of a larger organisation but our agreement is coming to an end and we have a deadline of 31 January next year to migrate.  My memory of paying for IRIS is that they fleece the front end and upgrading to "more clients" is also painful so we are open to change.  

Husband and wife team - with a strong bias towards cloud based accounting as we work from home or remoter locations (boats etc) when we can.  

A lot of the tax returns are for (relatively) small fees so expensive tax return prep software probably is overkill for some of them - I'm not opposed to using two types of tax return programs if necessary splitting out any cheaper and cheerful (if that's a phrase that works in this context) from the ones that require more work and accounts

Thank you very much for your help

Nick

 

 

Replies (20)

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By Crouchy
14th Sep 2020 09:50

Tax filer and VT

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By tintin
14th Sep 2020 10:54

As mentioned, and I've done some more digging either tax filer or tax calc

a plan might be to pick one and start doing this year's easy tax returns on it to see how I get on

it looks a bit like pays yer money and takes your choice albeit that one of them is in the grip of the evil IRIS empire and thusly I may one day regret the decision as I don't want to be a pip ripe to be squeezed until I squeak

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boat
By SouthCoastAcc
14th Sep 2020 10:20

Out of interest, what was the IRIS fee?

I'd be looking at TF or TC.

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Replying to SouthCoastAcc:
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By tintin
14th Sep 2020 10:52

I've asked for a callback from IRIs although I am hoping that it will be timed so I can have a gin afterwards to compensate for the likely eye watering fee

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By graemeban123
14th Sep 2020 11:16

I vote for Taxfiler.

There were a few people on here recently complaining that they had put the prices up twice. It's still very cheap and would do all you are looking for, there would be no need for two separate packages.

I used to use IRIS and tried out a couple of other packages before settling on Taxfiler. Yes they are now owned by IRIS and likely there will be future price rises but the price will still be cheap.

Granted it doesn't produce the back-up schedules that IRIS does but you should have them all on file already whilst pulling together the Trial Balance for entering into the software to enable you to produce the accounts. A bit more manual work in producing the accounts but as long as you know what you are doing not a problem.

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By timothyvogel
15th Sep 2020 08:28

We are in a very similar position and have basically decided to go down the route of Taxfiler for accounts/tax, but to use Selestial's HQ as a practice management tool, can not speak highly enough of it especially its email handling. We reckon we will save about £10K this next year so even taking into account the transfer costs we will be in profit in first year and tax filer si so easy to use.

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By Donald MacKenzie
17th Sep 2020 10:36

FTax works well for me and I use VT Final accounts for accounts preparation.

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By markabacus
17th Sep 2020 11:19

We've been using Absolute Accounting suite since day 1, works well for us and support is second to none. Headed up by Tim Good and Giles Mooney.

Worth a look and there are additional tax planning tools available too

https://www.absolutetax.co.uk/

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By paulclewlow
17th Sep 2020 11:20

VT for final accounts and BTC for all the different types of tax returns.
Superb telephone support and not expensive.

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By qadri23
17th Sep 2020 12:11

I am a victim of Tax calc, it's a great product when you only have a handful of clients, where you could remember their deadlines on your figure tips and also you are on a fixed fee. Tax calc's practice management module is not good enough or us. Tax Calc does not offer Time&Fee module to raise fee notes.

therefore, for practice management and for time&Fee we use Digita practice management.

its nightmare to maintained two databases.

Again, Tax calc is a great product if you plan to have the only handful of clients, but if plans are to grow then I would not recommend at all.

IRIS/SAGE/ CCH / DIGITAL are the only products out there who provide complete integration but none of them is fully online, only their databases but works well therefore perhaps stick with IRIS!

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By AWeb72
17th Sep 2020 12:41
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By AdShawBPR
17th Sep 2020 12:45

I'm really happy with Taxcalc having switched from Digita about 3 years ago. I have about 100 limited company clients, mainly micros with a hadnfull of small companies, and process about 120 tax returns. I work by myself but have found the practice management add on to be pretty good and far better than my spreadsheet. I hate not knowing quite where I am with everything but I get a very good overview of my jobs so not expecting to miss any deadlines. I have never used Taxfiler so I can't comment on that but I have no intention to look around for another product. I would recommend it.

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Replying to AdShawBPR:
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By qadri23
17th Sep 2020 12:59

I am curious, for fee notes, do you use Excel or any other software?

I looked into add on, sadly you need to manually maintain all the deadline.

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By AdShawBPR
17th Sep 2020 14:19

Invoices and books are all done though Xero with most on a quarterly standing charge.
With the add on, you need to set up a job template (which I've done for Accounts and corporation tax) but once you've done that you just add that template for each client and the dates are all then set up automatically based on your template. It's working well for me.

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Replying to AdShawBPR:
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By qadri23
17th Sep 2020 14:56

Thank you, good to know there is a happy customer for the Tax Calc's practice management module. I will look into, they may have changed in the past 6 months!

Do you transfer Timesheets from Tax Calc to Xero to raise invoices?

We are planning to leave Tax Calc, it would be nice to know how others are coping with apparent deficiencies of Tax calc.

Thank you

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By AdShawBPR
17th Sep 2020 16:14

All fixed fee and no time sheets.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
17th Sep 2020 16:22

We are a similar size and use Taxcalc. The PM is not good and they don't want to integrate with anyone so I could see us moving to Xero Tax when it has matured a bit.

I am looking at Pixie & Onkho for improving practice management CRM.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
17th Sep 2020 16:22

We are a similar size and use Taxcalc. The PM is not good and they don't want to integrate with anyone so I could see us moving to Xero Tax when it has matured a bit.

I am looking at Pixie & Onkho for improving practice management CRM.

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By djn24
17th Sep 2020 21:34

I tried taxcalc and didn't like it at all.
We use cch and it is great. Not cheap but not IRIS prices.
The pm side isn't great so haven't bothered with it.
With all the other software that we use, our software costs are expensive now.

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By AdShawBPR
18th Sep 2020 09:15

That's funny. I went from Digita (10 years) to CCH (6 months) which I absolutely hated to TaxCalc which I really like and felt like a massive relief. Horses for courses!

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