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Cone launches practice proposal and billing tools

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Cloud practice management system Cone has released proposal and billing software for accountants and bookkeepers designed to automate engagement letter, quote, billing and payment processes.

10th Jul 2024
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Cone targets small accounting or bookkeeping firms looking to use technology to become more efficient and more profitable, and was founded two years ago by Jahangir Mohammed, Bharath Kumar Reddy and Mohammad Owaiz Shaik with pre-seed funding from venture capital firm General Catalyst (which provided early backing for the likes of Airbnb, Stripe and GoCardless).

“There’s a huge gap in terms of the tools available for small firms,” founding team member Raja Balachandran told AccountingWEB. “We speak to firms just starting out and they don’t use tools like ours because they’re too costly. I’ve just come off a call today where a firm told me they’d been quoted £80 a month by another vendor, which was a no-go for them. They were left with an Excel sheet, signing software and a lot of manual work.”

What does Cone do?

While Cone offers a range of practice products, the company has launched in the UK with a focus on proposal and billing software as a keystone product to earn the trust of accountants. 

“A key element of a firm’s job is being able to price services and sell them effectively,” said Cone co-founder Jahangir Mohammed, “and we’re offering an affordable solution without sacrificing functionality.”

The Cone platform includes a pricing tool that allows accountants and bookkeepers to price their services based on various factors such as the number of transactions processed, the quality of the books or the frequency of reconciliation.

It also features a proposal editor to create service proposals based on pre-existing templates and edit them.

Cone’s proposal software has a payment feature that allows it to collect payment details and automatically charge for recurring services based on the payment details on file. The platform also offers two-way integrations with accounting software QuickBooks Online, Xero and Zoho Books, and firms can bring existing payment gateway integration from Stripe or GoCardless to streamline payments.

The system features customisable engagement letters, where firms can use Cone’s templates, edit them, or bring across their own existing engagement letters and e-signature functionality.

Firms can renew expiring proposals with a click, and users of Cone’s Growth package have access to a sales pipeline capability similar to a customer relationship management (CRM) system, which allows firms to monitor potential customers, see where they are winning or losing deals, and manage capacity.

Cone also integrates with several anti-money laundering solutions to streamline client onboarding and checking workflows.

Cone’s pricing starts at £6.41 a month per user for its Essential plan, with unlimited clients, unlimited proposals and templates. Its Growth plan is £8.83 a month and includes everything in the Essentials plan plus automated invoicing, automated payment collection, its sales pipeline and client reminder features, and the ability to remove the Cone logo from emails. For full details visit Cone’s pricing page.

A practice tool market in flux

Cone joins an accounting practice tool market that’s somewhat in flux following a period of relative stability.

Established players such as GoProposal and AccountancyManager have been acquired by Sage and Bright respectively, while we await news of Pixie following its founder’s departure this month.

Ignition continues to offer proposal and payment services for accounting firms in the US, UK and Australia, while Socket, developed by Xavier Analytics (now Dext Precision) founder Jonathan Gaunt, works through its early stages of development. 

In the wider practice management space, Client Engager and Uku continue to grow organically, while Australian developer FYI has recently expanded its document management functionality to include practice management.

Replies (4)

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Rob Swan
By Rob Swan
10th Jul 2024 12:42

Looks like these guys have got everything right.

Selling high quality/functionality at low prices can always be risky in business, but given the backers (General Catalyst) there must be substantially more to this venture than meets the eye.

With low pricing everything depends on high volume, rather than 'high value' sales. Time will tell. I'm not in practice any more; if I was I'd definitely give this a shot. The alternatives were just way too costly.

I wish these guys well and good fortune.

Thanks (2)
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By NadiaGibbs
13th Jul 2024 08:41

I’m so glad you’ve featured Cone. I’ve been using their software since I first had a demo with them at Accountex. I absolutely love it! So customisable, and the support is fantastic, unlike some other PMS providers out there. Really happy so far!

Thanks (1)
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By Mehmood Rajoka
14th Jul 2024 14:39

We’ve been using Cone Proposal Software for an year now, and it has significantly streamlined proposal process in our practice. The platform is user-friendly and has all the features we need. The team is incredibly supportive and responsive, always ready to help. Wishing them all the best.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Mehmood Rajoka:
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By FactChecker
17th Jul 2024 18:47

I'm sure that 'the team' will be happy to read your ringing endorsement ... especially since you appear to have signed-up here just to help promote them immediately.

Thanks (1)