TaxCalc boosts practice management product with triple release
In one of the biggest product launches in its history, TaxCalc has released three new products to add to its practice management solution.
Tax and accountancy software vendor TaxCalc has launched a trio of practice efficiency tools to cater for the needs of larger practices in its customer base.
The three new products, Practice Manager Plus, TaxCalc Time and TaxCalc Document Manager, are designed to work alongside TaxCalc’s Practice Manager client and task management tool, to offer accountancy firms a modular practice management toolkit.
While many AccountingWEB readers know the Wokingham-based software house for its cost-effective tax and final accounts tools, the new additions move TaxCalc more towards accountancy’s mid-market and potentially beyond.
Introducing the new products, TaxCalc chief operating officer Simon Guest told AccountingWEB that the company wanted to serve practices of every size.
“It’s been our general direction of progress for a while,” said Guest. “We’ve been dealing with bigger and bigger firms. But we’re obviously keen to make sure we don’t leave behind the smaller practices that know and love TaxCalc. The extra layering of these facilities allows us to have the right solution for everybody.
“It’s also worth bearing in mind that this isn’t just one product. Based on our research we decided to price them separately. Individually, they are all very competitively priced. What we haven’t done is force people to buy a whole bundle of stuff, 60% of which they don’t need.”
TaxCalc’s trio of new tools
The advanced Practice Manager Plus edition is built to function in tandem with Practice Management - a rebrand of the existing Client Hub. Practice Management Plus brings more sophisticated workflows, automation and dashboards into play in an effort to save practices time and money.
The Plus module adds a new layer of sub-tasks - so workflows can be split into different components that can be tracked individually.
Tasks can be based around statutory deadlines with presets and customisable, automated workflow instructions.
The reporting Dashboards show practitioners how the firm is performing as a whole, with the option to filter down to more detail on individual client and staff activity.
According to product director Pauline Smith, integration with the other TaxCalc programs make it possible to get a “quick and easy” overview of current activities. “This prevents data being re-entered or duplicated, and assists the management of deadlines and the practice,” she said.
Smith explained how the dashboard “gives them something tangible to look at” so they can spot issues developing around particular tasks or departments and do something to fix them.
“You can see if there are going to be bottlenecks based on staff, [or] on deadlines,” said Smith. “If you have a large proportion of clients with December year-ends, for example, the last thing you want to do is wait until the last month before you are finishing off those accounts. Having this overview will at least allow you to see these types of problems that could exist in the practice.”
Practice Manager Plus is available now for £40 per user per year.
TaxCalc Time gives users automatic time tracking across TaxCalc and works with third-party products, providing in-depth reports and enabling productivity analysis.
Users can log time spent on multiple jobs, approve timesheets and then review details around the time that’s been entered. Firms can analyse the hours logged based on clients, jobs undertaken, users and staff members who’ve been doing the work.
“You can see what the cost of your time is, based on the charge-out rate that you’ve entered in the system,” Smith told AccountingWEB. Users can also input fee estimates to calculate cost comparisons.
For TaxCalc COO Simon Guest, the program brings added visibility for firm owners or managers. “Whilst many practices work on fixed fees if they are of a certain size they will want to see how much has gone into that fee.”
TaxCalc Time is available now for £20 per user per year.
TaxCalc Document Manager powered by SmartVault is a cloud-based document storage solution that allows documents to be shared with clients remotely, rather than sending them less securely via email.
To accelerate development, TaxCalc partnered with US company SmartVault to deliver a facility that has been frequently requested by customers. The module provides a secure file sharing portal that allows accountants to share documents with clients and integrates with a variety of systems. It also works in conjunction with TaxCalc’s digital client approval tool, eSign Centre.
“GDPR hit people really hard when it came out,” said Smith. “That change woke a lot of people up to the fact that we should be doing a lot more to secure the data we’re dealing with every day.”
TaxCalc Document Manager powered by SmartVault is available now for £180 per user per year.
Practice Management Plus will continue to evolve in the coming months with new features such as billing (with links to the Time tool), communication and dashboard widgets coming soon.