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The Holy Grail?

1st Jul 2022
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Hello folks. Over the week, I parted company with Accountancy Manager and Adobe Sign. As you may know, my key objective was to cut costs.

It is early days, but indications are and to put it into self-help gurus' language, I have turned my lemons into lemonade. It is working well.

Practice Manager Plus

We have been using TaxCalc for many many years. It just made sense to have our practice engine, run from the same machine and NOT have two independent engines.

I made the mistake of not making this decision earlier to move to TaxCalc’s Practice Manager Plus (PM Plus). It hugely cuts down the time of managing two separate databases that do not talk to each other.

It does not make any logical sense to use a practice engine that is independent of the work that it drives.

Early days Feedback   

It is important that I point out, that early days' feedback should be taken with utmost caution. True reflection, is best after a year or so of use in real life. I may be reviewing with my shiny object syndrome eyes.

To date, my view is I think we have found the Holy Grail of the practice engine. It works and it works well. It is not too much for a micro practice.

Deadlines are clear and automatically updated when tax and accounts returns are filed. The same does not apply for returns that are not filed through TC eg VAT returns and Payroll. However, it is so easy to update manually and it results in an automated deadline for the next period.

It is not perfect, no PM software is. However, it is more perfect for us, as compared to other independent PM software options.


I had to force myself to spend the time to learn PM Plus and set up what we need out of it. At times, I felt like giving up. In the end, I got there.

If you decide on PM Plus, please do not expect it to work out of the box. You will make mistakes. You will need to make calls to their support line.

More importantly, you will need to make the time for the setup.


Again, it is early days feedback, Panda Doc is better for us on cost savings and ease of use compared to Adobe Sign.

Your Feedback

It would help to hear about your feedback (good and bad) on your practice management software - your practice engine.

Replies (2)

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By mumpin
01st Jul 2022 13:31

I use TaxCalc.
But I don’t use any PM Software
I do about 130 companies, 70 Vats, 300 SA returns

I have one spreadsheet for the limited companies
I take 2 different print outs from it for the year ahead
One is just Confirmation Statements in to be filed in date order
The other has 3 columns: accounts completed, CT600 filed, Filed at CH

I have another spreadsheet for Vats which groups them in customer by vat quarter order.

I probably update both spreadsheets every 3 months to add noobies and delete leavers.

This works OK for me and my 1.5 staff. I would resent the time taken to learn PM software. Probably if I was multi-partner it would be important.

I’m pretty positive about Tax Calc and have used them for 15 years. I don’t know if you use Tax Calc Accounts Production but I find it fairly exhausting preparing a set of accounts. Even using export TB to csv, then updating csv to this year’s numbers, then re-importing, its still seems pretty clunky. They have designed this product which can be exported to Excel and can import from Excel. But then they designate the most important nominal code (sales) as 0000. I don’t understand why they would do that.

Thanks (1)
Replying to mumpin:
By FirstTab
01st Jul 2022 14:09

Hello mumpin

Thanks for the feedback.

Reading your response and what I have learnt about PM plus, it would be ideal for your needs. After the setup, it would save you time. It is just getting over the hurdle of learning and implementing.

I was reluctant to do it. I am pleased I did. Of course, your decision.

As regards TC products we use, it is the same as you plus Accounts Production (AP) and Companies House forms.

Feedback from my employee is positive on AP. I am sorry, I have left the AP side to my employee so I cannot give feedback on using AP.

Thanks (1)