When it comes to tax and practice tools, the 2013 Software Satisfaction Awards continue the tradition of pitting best-of-breed tools against the integrated suites from the profession’s major suppliers.
This article presents the winners for the tax and practice software categories, which were determined by a combination of ratings for functionality, ease of use, support and value for money alongside the users’ willingness to recommend the application.
The winners are as follows:
Tax software: BTC (88%)
- Keytime (81%)
- TaxCalc (62%)
- PTP (57%)
- Digita (52%)
- IRIS Accountancy Suite (52%)
- Sage (40%)
- CCH (27%)
BTC swept past larger rivals to claim the 2013 tax software award for the best of breed tendency. But if the size of the survey sample is any indication, it has also made a significant dent on IRIS and Sage’s share of the wider market.
PTP registered the strongest ratings for the IRIS stable, but Drummohr, a previous category winner now owned by IRIS, did not post enough responses to merit inclusion.
Accounts production winner: VT Accounts (80%)
- Keytime (77%)
- Relate (75%)
- CaseWare (68%)
- IRIS (51%)
- Sage (32%)
The spreadsheet-based VT Accounts has once again proved its popularity among AccountingWEB members by claiming the Software Satisfaction Award. VT is highly rated as a convenient tool for compiling simple company accounts quickly and can work well in tandem with best of breed tax programs such as BTC or TaxCalc.
Keytime and Relate both offer strong accounts preparation tools within their wider portfolios for small firms, but for CaseWare’s more sophisticated specialist application also performed well, and includes a growing number of corporate users as well as practitioners among its users.
Practice management winner: BTC (70%)
- Relate DRIVE (68%)
- Workflow Max (60%)
- IRIS (44%)
- Logical Office (32%)
- Digita (28%)
- CCH (20%)
- Sage (17%)
BTC can no longer be seen just as a tax software contender with this victory in the practice management category.
Despite IRIS’ across-the-board pre-eminence by claiming a quarter of the sample of practice management software users, BTC has pipped them at the post.
Relate DRIVE is a previous winner and scored a highly commended 68% in overall satisfaction, retaining a good following among AccountingWEB members.
IRIS’s ranking has somewhat slipped this year, however Logical Office has emerged as another real contender in this category.
In addition, Sage, Digita and CCH appear to have fallen back somewhat in this race.
Given what is happening in small business accounts, expenses management and business intelligence, cloud applications are conspicuous by their absence from the 2013 Software Satisfaction Awards tax and practice shortlists, but the appearance of Xero’s Workflow Max add-in in this category could be a sign of things to come.
BTC and PTP are worth watching as there appears to be an opening in this market for a low-end integrated suite. And were a cloud-based suite to appear in the next 12 months, the market could witness some very dramatic shifts.
A word about the figures and shortlists
To prevent suppliers with very small market shares prevailing unfairly over those with much larger user numbers in our survey, the Software Satisfaction Award shortlists are compiled using a threshold of half the category average. These cut-off points are indicated by the “bar” figures in the shortlist category headings (eg 3.5% for tax software).
About John Stokdyk
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.