December 1, 2022
LeanLaw Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives 2023
LeanLaw is cloud-based legal timekeeping and billing software with real-time two-way integration with QuickBooks Online. Its features include time and expense tracking, fixed-fee billing, and reporting, and the QuickBooks Online integration allows you to create and send invoices, manage Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA), and process electronic receipt of payments through QuickBooks Payments. Monthly prices for start at $50 per user. You can request a free two-week trial or personalized demo before buying the program. Do you need something different? If you think you’ll be better served by general-purpose accounting software, then explore our evaluation of the best accounting software for small businesses. LeanLaw Deciding Factors LeanLaw Notable New Features for 2023 Improved Expenses page: In the previous version of LeanLaw, all expenses load when you click on the Expenses page. The new version now displays this information on a page-by-page basis, which is a useful tool for businesses with many expenses. Custom fields in invoice memos: You can now insert custom fields in your memos; the old version only had three fields. Enhanced email delivery features: The new version lets you change the color of the Pay and Pay Balance buttons in emails so that you can match them to your brand. Easier Gravity Legal integration process: LeanLaw integrates with Gravity Legal, a credit and debit card and bank transfer acceptance platform designed for law firms, to automate the process of requesting and accepting trust payments. Integrating the two required several steps in the old version, so LeanLaw is making some changes to develop a deeper integration feature, which you can access from the Setting page. LeanLaw Alternatives LeanLaw Pricing LeanLaw is offered in two packages, LeanLaw Core and LeanLaw Pro, which cost $50 and $65 monthly, respectively, when billed monthly. Core includes basic features, such as timekeeping, invoicing, and QuickBooks Online integration, whereas Pro offers more functionality, such as Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) billing and advanced reporting. You can try either of the two plans for free for 14 days. You may also schedule a personalized demo so that you can check out the product before buying. QuickBooks Online Pricing All four QuickBooks Online versions integrate with LeanLaw. The best version depends on your firm’s size and operational workflows, and it’s best to involve your accountant or bookkeeper in the decision-making. You can learn more about the different versions in our Quickbooks Online comparison guide. Below is a quick breakdown of QuickBooks Online pricing: Simple Start: $30 per month for one user Essentials: $55 per month for up to three users Plus: $85 per month for up to five users Advanced: $200 per month for up to 25 users New users can choose between 50% off for three months or a 30-day free trial. Read our review of QuickBooks Online to see if you can leverage it along with your LeanLaw account. LeanLaw Features LeanLaw helps you transform QuickBooks Online to fit the needs of your legal practice. It adds timekeeping, billing, invoicing, and trust accounting features that are particularly useful for law firms and practicing attorneys. LeanLaw Customer Service & Ease of Use LeanLaw itself is easy to use and has a very simple interface. From the main page, you’ll directly access the timekeeping tool, along with other features found at the top of the screen. The main tabs include Calendar, Time Entries, Expenses, Billing, Clients, Matters, and Reports. The program features user-friendly terms and list boxes for easy navigation. Also, it supports new users in many ways. For instance, after creating a new time entry, an automated popup appears, suggesting you to try another relevant task, such as creating an invoice. The popup includes a shortcut link that leads you to the invoice creation form. You can also take advantage of the free online masterclasses that discuss specific features in detail, such as masterclass on compensation reporting. However, to fully leverage the platform, you should be familiar with QuickBooks. If you need help learning QuickBooks Online, check out our free QuickBooks Online tutorials. You can contact LeanLaw customer support through email or over the phone. You can also check out its online collection of help materials, including frequently asked questions and how-to articles. If you need help with advanced data migration, custom setup, or customized training on LeanLaw’s key features, then you can sign up for a premium onboarding training session. LeanLaw User Reviews Most of the online LeanLaw reviews are positive. Many users are happy that the platform is simple and easy to use, while others are impressed with the responsive customer support team. However, some reviewers left negative comments on billing statements not being that customizable and some reports lacking drill-down options. Overall, we believe many are impressed with LeanLaw, as manifested by its ratings on different review websites. Capterra: 4.7 out of 5 based on around 100 reviews Trustpilot: 4.3 out of 5 based on about 20 reviews LeanLaw Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Can I use LeanLaw without QuickBooks? LeanLaw has built-in accounting features, like legal billing, time-keeping, and invoicing, so you can use it even without QuickBooks. However, we recommend the QuickBooks Online integration to make it a complete double-entry bookkeeping system. Is LeanLaw easy to learn? Yes, it is. In addition to being a cloud-based software, it has a very minimalistic design and user interface that’s easy to navigate. Does LeanLaw integrate with all QuickBooks Online plans? Yes, it integrates with any of the QuickBooks Online plans—from Simple Start to Advanced. Our QuickBooks Online comparison guide can help you select the right plan that suits your needs. Bottom Line isn’t as robust as other law accounting software like PCLaw and CosmoLex, but it can be a powerful solution for your legal time tracking and billing needs. If you can afford the additional cost, you can convert LeanLaw into terrific accounting and invoicing software by integrating it with QuickBooks Online. There are other legal practice management applications that integrate with QuickBooks, but we believe that LeanLaw and QuickBooks Online are an ideal match.
December 1, 2022
QuickBooks for Mac Review: Features & Pricing for 2023
QuickBooks Mac Plus 2023, also called QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, is a subscription-based accounting software program designed exclusively for Mac users. It offers features that are more or less similar to its Windows counterpart but with added Mac-specific features, such as the ability to connect iCloud contacts for easy access to customer or vendor contact information. It’s available on an annual subscription plan, with prices that start at $549.99 for one user. Although QuickBooks for Mac 2023 has been released to QuickBooks ProAdvisors, it cannot be purchased through the QuickBooks website or any major retailers as of the writing of this article. QuickBooks is pushing to convert Mac users to QuickBooks Online, which, in our opinion, is a better software. If you need additional information to help you decide, read our QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop comparison. Are you looking for something different? Explore other comprehensive accounting platforms for business owners in our guide to the best small business accounting software. QuickBooks for Mac Deciding Factors QuickBooks for Mac New Features for 2023 Pay bills online: QuickBooks Mac Plus 2023’s Pay Bills Online feature lets you schedule and pay bills online without leaving QuickBooks. Upload bills: You can now upload a photo of your bill using the iPhone scanner or QuickBooks Photo Sync feature. When a new bill is uploaded, QuickBooks will match the data to an existing transaction or create a new one automatically. Customer group reporting: You can now run reports on a specific customer group and create a group with certain criteria, such as high-balance customers. Additional reports: QuickBooks Mac Plus 2023 added four new reports: adjusting journal entries, profit and loss unclassified, profit and loss budget performance, and unpaid bills by job. Improved item management: You can now duplicate existing items with the ability to change information to the new item as needed. Improved condense facility: QuickBooks for Mac 2023 has added more options to condense your company file, allowing you to customize the data that you want to condense. For instance, you can choose to remove audit trail info to date or remove transactions based on date choices. You can learn more about the new Quickbooks for Mac 2023 features with a series of videos from QuickBooks. QuickBooks for Mac Alternatives QuickBooks for Mac Pricing QuickBooks Mac Plus 2023 is available on an annual subscription basis, which costs $549.99 for one user, $749.99 for two users, and $949.99 for three users. All plans include unlimited customer support. Fit Small Business Case Study We conducted an internal case study to see how QuickBooks Desktop for Mac performs against our rubrics. In this review, we examined the Mac program across several core areas that we believe are the most important to small businesses looking for an accounting solution. The table below summarizes the result of our case study. QuickBooks for Mac vs Competitors We conducted a comparative case study to see how QuickBooks for Mac stacks up against some of its competitors. We found that it has a decisive advantage over QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books in terms of project accounting and that it shares the spotlight with QuickBooks Online for banking and Zoho Books for inventory management. Meanwhile, QuickBooks for Mac’s biggest weakness is the lack of a mobile app. The chart below sums up the result of our case study. QuickBooks for Mac Features QuickBooks for Mac Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Is QuickBooks for Mac right for my business? It’s the right fit if you’re a self-employed freelancer or an owner of a very small business who does your own bookkeeping on a Mac computer. Is QuickBooks for Mac easy to learn? While the interface is clean, it may still take time to familiarize yourself with the features, especially if you are used to cloud-based accounting programs. Can I convert QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks for Windows? Yes, you can convert QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks for Windows. Read QuickBooks’ guide on how to convert files from QuickBooks Mac to QuickBooks Windows. Bottom Line offers many of the powerful features found in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop for Windows, such as job costing, class tracking, invoicing, and income and expense tracking. While it has some limitations, like the lack of a mobile app and location tracking, the added Mac-specific features make up for its weaknesses. If you use a Mac and manage your books in-house, then we don’t see any reason not to use QuickBooks for Mac.
November 29, 2022
QuickBooks Self-Employed Review: Features & Pricing in 2023
QuickBooks Self-Employed is a cloud-based accounting software specially designed for self-employed individuals such as freelancers, real estate agents, Uber drivers, and independent consultants. It lets you monitor income and expenses, track mileage to and from clients, and file your taxes with its QuickBooks Self-Employed Tax Bundle. It offers three pricing plans that range from $15 to $35 per month. You can try for free for 30 days or purchase it right away and get a 50% discount for three months. If you think QuickBooks Self-Employed isn’t suitable, check out our top recommendations for the best accounting software for small businesses. QuickBooks Self-Employed Deciding Factors QuickBooks Self-Employed New Feature for 2023 Tag setup: You can use customized tags to sort transactions based on key metrics that are important to your business. For instance, if you want to track more details about your locations, you can set up tags, such as a specific business site or region. QuickBooks Self-Employed Alternatives QuickBooks Self-Employed Pricing QuickBooks Self-Employed has three pricing plans that range from $15 to $35 per month: Self-Employed: $15 per month Self-Employed Tax Bundle: $25 per month Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle: $35 per month All subscriptions include income and expense tracking, business mileage tracking invoicing, and a mobile app. If you want to file one state and one federal tax returns and pay quarterly estimated taxes online, you need at least the Self-Employed Tax Bundle. If you need unlimited live help from TurboTax experts or to talk to a real CPA when needed, you should upgrade to the Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle. QuickBooks Self-Employed Features While QuickBooks Self-Employed doesn’t have a balance sheet and can’t track assets and liabilities, it includes many features that help you organize your income and expenses. QuickBooks Self-Employed Customer Service & Ease of Use QuickBooks Self-Employed has an intuitive dashboard that’s easy to navigate. The tabs on the left side of the dashboard make it easy to explore the other features. Overall, it’s intuitive and not cluttered with unnecessary information, making it approachable for accounting novices. When setting up your account for the first time, you can choose to connect your bank account or manually enter transactions. Meanwhile, QuickBooks offers multiple customer support options. These include QuickBooks blogs, video tutorials, a built-in live chat, a help center called Learn & Support, a community forum, and an in-software automated assistant. QuickBooks Self-Employed Integrations QuickBooks Self-Employed has limited integrations. It connects with third-party software programs like PayPal and Etsy and other Intuit products such as QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Payments, and TurboTax. QuickBooks Self-Employed Assisted Bookkeeping As a freelancer, you might not have enough time or expertise to execute all your bookkeeping tasks. While QuickBooks Self-Employed users may not deal with intensive bookkeeping, you might still need help with minor tasks like connecting bank accounts and categorizing income and expenses. If needed, you can enlist a QuickBooks ProAdvisor to help you with your bookkeeping duties. QuickBooks Self-Employed User Reviews Most of the positive QuickBooks Self-Employed reviews are about its intuitive user interface. Many users like that they can instantly add new transactions and that the software guides them when filing taxes. On the other hand, some wish that it had more features, like recurring invoices and the ability to send estimates. We agree its invoicing features are very limited and suggest if you regularly send invoices to customers. Below are QuickBooks Self-Employed’s ratings from popular review websites: Software Advice: 3.79 out of 5 based on more than 70 reviews TrustRadius: 6.8 out of 10 based on about 50 reviews Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Is QuickBooks Self-Employed scalable? No, it isn’t, as it lacks multiple tiers that you can scale with. When your business and accounting needs grow, you need to switch to a different solution, like QuickBooks Online. Is QuickBooks Self-Employed easy to use? Yes, it is. The cloud-based software has a streamlined interface that’s easy to navigate. It uses simple language and doesn’t have unnecessary features, so it takes very little time to get acquainted with it. What are the top QuickBooks Self-Employed alternatives? If you want a more scalable and sophisticated accounting solution, you can choose from our top-recommended small business accounting software, including QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, and Xero. Bottom Line isn’t a true double-entry accounting program like QuickBooks Online, but its lack of features makes it very easy to use. It has an excellent mobile app that can serve modern freelancers in terms of invoicing their clients, tracking business mileage, and monitoring business expenses. It’s a good choice to monitor your deductions and uses that information to complete your tax return. If you’re a freelancer needing a solid solution for tracking income and expenses, sign up and receive 50% off the first three months. However, if you anticipate outgrowing QuickBooks Self-Employed, we suggest that you go straight to .
November 29, 2022
CosmoLex Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives 2023
CosmoLex is cloud-based legal practice management software with built-in legal accounting, billing, email, and document management. Its most notable features include trust accounting, LEDES (Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard) billing, matter management, and a client portal. costs $99 per user, per month, when billed monthly. You can try it for free for 10 days before purchasing the program. Do you need something else? If general-purpose accounting software will fit your needs, then see our evaluation of the best accounting software for small businesses. CosmoLex Deciding Factors CosmoLex Notable New Features for 2023 Cleared Later Tab (Bank Details Screen): The Reconciliation Details screen is reorganized into three main tabs: Deposit, Payment, and Other. In addition to the Additional Uncleared Deposits and Voided Transactions tabs, the Other tab includes Cleared Later, which displays all uncleared transactions dated this month but cleared in a future month. Integrated customer relationship management (CRM): CosmoLex now offers an integrated CRM tool, CosmoLex CRM, which allows you to build custom client intake forms, automate communication, create email drip campaigns, and more. New invoice template fields: The updated version of CosmoLex has new invoice fields, including total invoice payments, total amount billed, total trust deposits, and total trust withdrawals. CosmoLex Alternatives CosmoLex Pricing CosmoLex offers a single plan at $99 per user, per month, when billed monthly or $89 per user, per month, when billed annually. With every account, you’ll get a free login for your accountant, unlimited file storage, unlimited training, free data migration, integrated credit card processing for no monthly fee, and an unconditional 90-day money-back guarantee. If your firm has more than 10 users, you can get tiered pricing to save some money. The free 10-day trial gives you access to all of CosmoLex’s features, but you can only connect one bank account. If you need CRM features, you need to purchase with prices that start at $177 per month for up to three users. CosmoLex Features CosmoLex combines legal-specific accounting and practice management in a single platform. It provides lawyers with a wide range of features and tools to help them manage different aspects of their firm, such as time and expense tracking, trust accounting, task management, and reporting. Below is a quick overview of some of its new and core features. CosmoLex Customer Service & Ease of Use One of CosmoLex’s strongest features is its simple user interface. Even beginners can find their way around the program easily. From the dashboard, you can access all the essential modules instantly, including Matters, Activities, Accounting, Contacts, Setup, and Reports. All functions can be completed through pop-up screens, so you don’t have to exit or leave the main matter page. One of the best features is its Global Add shortcut button, which allows you to create entries instantly, such as time and expenses. You can seek help from CosmoLex’s support staff through phone or live chat support or by submitting a support ticket request through its website. You can also browse its online knowledge base of how-to articles, instructional videos, and GIFs. If you have complex needs, you can enlist the help of a CosmoLex-certified consultant. CosmoLex User Reviews CosmoLex is praised for its ease of use and responsive customer support. Many users like that it’s easy to get around the program, that most of the features are self-explanatory, and that they usually receive immediate responses to their questions and concerns. Meanwhile, some reviewers complained that the document management feature isn’t comprehensive, explaining that they often have difficulty locating files especially if they have high-volume documents. CosmoLex garnered the following ratings from several review websites: Capterra: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 300 reviews G2: 4.2 out of 5 based on around 300 reviews CosmoLex Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Is CosmoLex easy to use? Yes, it is, and it’s one of the easiest-to-use legal accounting software we’ve reviewed. It has a very simple and intuitive user interface that’s easy to navigate, even for beginners. When is CosmoLex right for me? CosmoLex is a good fit if you want a single solution to manage legal matters and legal bookkeeping in one place—instead of having to use separate accounting software. What are the top CosmoLex alternatives? If CosmoLex isn’t right for you, try PCLaw or LeanLaw, depending on your needs. Check our guide to the best law firm accounting software to explore more options. Bottom Line If your firm has been tracking legal matters and doing bookkeeping using two different programs, it might be time to switch to . It combines practice management and accounting in a single solution that’s moderately priced compared to similar programs. It seems to listen to user feedback and requests as the software is regularly updated with new features, such as the addition of CRM integration in the new version.
November 29, 2022
10 Expert-approved Construction Accounting Best Practices
Construction accounting is a unique form of bookkeeping and financial management with many distinctive features, such as job costing and change orders. This can leave many contractors and construction companies struggling to find the right accounting methods to keep up with their different projects, decentralized work, and irregular costs. To help simplify the construction accounting processes, we present construction accounting tips and best practices. These include using time tracking solutions with geofencing, classifying workers correctly, selecting the right payroll provider, and backing up records digitally. 1. Use Job Costing Because a construction company can work on many projects at the same time, it’s critical to attribute expenses to each job to control costs accurately and measure a project’s profitability. All direct and indirect expenses must be allocated to the proper job to ensure that the company’s financial records are accurate. This must occur during the project―not after―and expenses must be submitted daily. Expenses should be categorized the same way as in the estimate you provided for project managers to determine whether the job is proceeding as planned. The construction company should also have a standard formula for allocating indirect expenses, such as administrative overhead, to each project. You can use job costing features in the software, such as QuickBooks Contractor. 2. Consider Completed Contract Accounting for Taxes The completed contract method (CCM) involves reporting all project revenue, expenses, and profit only once a contract is completed in full, although payments may be received during the duration of a project. While this approach is often the most preferred method in the construction industry, it’s best suited for short-term contracts under two years. Contractors will often use this method if it’s impossible to calculate the percentage of completion for a project or if they want to defer revenue to a future period—but it also has particular restrictions by the IRS. To be eligible, contractors can’t exceed a certain average annual revenue and their contracts must be completed within a set timeframe. It’s also important to note that because revenue isn’t properly matched with costs, completed contract accounting doesn’t comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). 3. Use Time Tracking Software With Geofencing A construction company’s labor force can include a combination of salaried employees, union and non-union workers, and independent contractors. Tracking the labor hours and costs on multiple projects can become challenging, so to automate the process and reduce human error and oversight, it’s important to take advantage of web-based tools and mobile apps. Not only is it essential to use some form of time tracking software, but it’s also a good idea to invest in an app with geofencing. This reminds your employees to clock in and out and allows you to monitor your employees’ locations as they travel while at work. 4. Manage Change Orders Construction projects can often undergo changes from the original plan for which a quote, estimate, or bid was provided to the customer. These adjustments can cut into or eliminate project profits if the original bid isn’t adjusted for the additional cost. The use of Change Orders to document changes to the original bid can avoid disputes with customers—and the original contract or bid should spell out exactly how to handle change orders. Contractors should also establish a standard change order process with full documentation of the work and cost required for each requested change. 5. Use Construction-Specific Accounting Software Construction accounting software helps automate standard processes like job costing and estimate comparisons and also enables contractors to better track a project’s profitability. is one of our best construction accounting software, specifically because of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) features, which include project management, remote time tracking by employees, and equipment management. It’s a full accounting software package, with a job costing capability that allows you to generate cost reports and check job cost journals, labor journals, and billing summaries. You can review other great options in our guide to the best small business accounting software. 6. Correctly Classify Workers as Employees or Independent Contractors There are rules you must follow in making the classification of an independent contractor vs employee, and the courts have provided a list of factors that must be considered in determining if a worker is classified as a 1099 or W-2. The focus of the factors is to determine the amount of control the company has over the worker—the more control the company has over the worker, the more likely they’re an employee. The IRS groups the factors into three categories: behavioral control, financial control, and the relationship of the parties. Also, there’s a big difference between how independent contractors and employees are treated for tax purposes. Your construction company must pay social security tax, workers’ compensation, federal unemployment tax, and perhaps other local tax on the wages of employees. However, when you pay independent contractors, you don’t have to worry about those expenses. 7. Choose the Right Payroll Provider With the rigorous reporting requirements in the construction industry, companies may find that payroll can be a complex process. This can apply in instances such as prevailing wage requirements, certified payroll reporting, multiple pay rates, multiple states, and multiple localities. Construction companies can also face many payroll reporting requirements, even if they don’t have to file certified payroll. These can include union reports, workers’ compensation, new hire reporting, and equal employment opportunity (EEO) minority compliance. Because there are so many variables that factor into processing payroll for a construction company, it’s important to select the right construction payroll provider. The ability to manage multiple pay rates is key for processing payroll as are multistate, union-specific, and job costing tools. 8. Track Business Expenses Tracking business expenses can be tricky, as it includes tracking materials and labor too. If you’re paying for these expenses with a credit card, it’s imperative that you use one that’s only for business. You’ll need to track payroll, subcontractor fees, equipment, and material purchases, ensuring that the date, description, and payment made are indicated for each transaction. It’s also important to categorize these expenses by service and individual job so that you can track how much money came in as well as how much you spent on expenses easily. You may want to use a digital expense tracker app to automate this process for you. 9. Reconcile Bank & Supplier Statements Each month, your bank and suppliers will send a statement for each of your accounts, which you’ll need to reconcile to ensure that it matches up with your own accounting system, invoices, and payments. After checking for any discrepancies, you may need to contact your bank to discuss any issues that come up. While reconciling your accounts, you may also want to review whether you’ve had any unexpected expenses, which will impact a project’s profit forecast by raising the predicted job costing. You’ll want to ensure that this is accounted for and that you have a plan in place so that you don’t lose profitability and compromise your profit margin. 10. Improve Inventory Tracking Keeping an accurate inventory of materials makes it easier to see where your resources are being used so that you can budget accordingly. It isn’t unusual for a job to require more labor or materials than originally anticipated, and if you’re constantly taking materials from inventory, you can quickly go over budget on a project and find yourself in short supply on others. Automating inventory management is the key to increased efficiency and eliminating time-consuming manual tasks. Since contractors deal with an array of construction materials―from raw materials and consumables to prefabricated products―and are often managing multiple construction sites at any given time, the need to streamline storage locations, work orders, and purchase orders (POs) using an inventory management system is crucial. How Construction Accounting Is Unique Construction accounting differs from regular business accounting in several ways. In addition to the standard accounts receivable (A/R), accounts payable (A/P), and payroll transactions, construction companies deal with job costing, change orders, progress billings, and customer deposits. Here’s a summary of its three most distinct traits: Project-based: Whether related to production, billing, or labor, construction companies operate their business primarily around projects. Therefore, contractors must treat every construction project as a unique, short-term profit center. To control costs and bid successfully, it’s crucial to track accurate costs for each project individually. Decentralized production: Construction projects primarily happen on different job sites as opposed to a fixed location. Both equipment use and labor frequently move from site to site, which can result in mobilization costs. It also means that equipment and labor costs must always be tracked to each job site along with the correct wage rate. Long-term contracts: In construction, production contracts can last years and have multiple, extended payments over that time. Contract terms frequently allow 30, 60, or 90 days or more to pay invoices. As a result, revenue recognition and cash management carry special considerations in construction. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) How do you account for construction projects? Revenue from construction projects can be recognized using either the completed contract or percentage completion methods. Completed contract is usually favorable for tax purposes, but there are limitations on when it can be used. What is an Employee vs Independent Contractor? Employees (W-2 workers) are usually paid salaries or hourly rates by companies, which pay payroll taxes on their workers’ earnings. Meanwhile, independent contractors (1099 workers) are paid hourly or flat rates and are responsible for paying their payroll taxes. Our guide to W-2 vs 1099 workers discusses the differences between classifications in detail. Bottom Line Accounting for construction companies comes with its challenges and requires a unique approach and a comprehensive understanding of all the factors that go into the process. By following our suggested construction accounting best practices, you’ll ensure that your company will maintain accurate records and have a better handle on your financial situation.
November 29, 2022
IconCMO Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives 2023
IconCMO is a cloud-based church management software that helps you organize your members, track donations, and create dedicated fund reports. Its features include banking, checkbook management, and accounts payable (A/P) and accounts receivable (A/R) tracking. Prices for its base package start at $35 per month or $385 per year, and you can try for free for 30 days with no credit card required. Is this not what you’re looking for? See additional recommendations in our guide to the best church accounting software. IconCMO Deciding Factors IconCMO Accounting Features Video IconCMO New Features 2023 Smart Search Grid: This is the biggest new feature. It allows users to search multiple transactions based on specific filters and gives users the ability to modify how IconCMO presents certain features in the way they like. Overhauled Donation Module: The new donation module enables users to enter donations by batches, duplicate similar donations, create customer reports, and edit batch transactions by batch instead of editing each transaction individually. Audit logs: When users edit transactions entered individually or by batch, IconCMO’s audit logs will document the changes. IconCMO Alternatives IconCMO vs Competitors Comparison Our IconCMO review compares this software to two of its toughest competitors in church accounting, Aplos and PowerChurch Plus. IconCMO and Aplos are both online church accounting software, and they didn’t disappoint in church features. They’re also similar in accounting features as both are capable of performing church accounting, but we recommend IconCMO for tracking large funds and pledges. IconCMO has FASB-compliant reports that apply the accounting standard for nonprofit entities and religious organizations. Meanwhile, you should choose Aplos if you need website building features. We included PowerChurch Plus as a desktop alternative. It leads at a price advantage because users need only to pay once, and they can install it on multiple computers. However, ease of use is a concern for PowerChurch Plus as using the software can be complicated for some users, especially those without a background in accounting. IconCMO’s prices depend on the number of families your organization has. Its base package costs $35 per month or $385 per year for up to 50 families. You can also choose from several add-ons to your package, such as check-in, payroll, event management, and short message service (SMS) messaging. IconCMO has a wide array of features that make it easy for churches to simplify and manage their financial information. You can read our in-depth analysis of IconCMO’s accounting features to learn about the interface and flow of the program. Aside from accounting, IconCMO showcases church management features that can help you grow your ministry and keep your congregation organized. IconCMO received a perfect score in this area because it contains the vital church management features we want to see in church accounting software. Getting started with IconCMO isn’t too difficult because there are support videos and articles available from within the software. We like that users can learn directly within the software and not have to visit another web page to access the tutorial videos. There are also setup guides to read under “Getting Started” for additional information about IconCMO’s functions. While using IconCMO, we noticed some lag time when opening modules. When you click a module, it takes two to three seconds before it loads. We aren’t aware if this is a browser-related or software-related issue—but during testing, we used the latest Google Chrome version. Otherwise, we like IconCMO’s interface. It’s clean and manageable. You can also choose if you’d prefer viewing entire screens one at a time or viewing multiple screens that overlap. IconCMO has a technical support line in case you need assistance with using the app. You can also send an email to their support team if that’s what you prefer. Assisted Bookkeeping Options IconCMO offers an assisted bookkeeping option at $250 per month with IconCMO software included. With this option, an Icon Systems Bookkeeper will be assigned to your organization to handle bookkeeping, income and expense classification, bank reconciliation, and FASB 958-compliant financial reports. IconCMO User Reviews IconCMO reviews are mostly positive—users find its features to be extensive and comprehensive for church accounting. However, some left a negative review because they found it to be too much for their needs and said that they would prefer a simpler solution with fewer features. GetApp: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on around 360 reviews Capterra: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on around 80 reviews Frequently Asked Questions How does the pricing by families work in IconCMO? In IconCMO, a family can be an individual or group of individuals. Regardless of the number of individuals per family, IconCMO will still charge based on the number of families. Families need not be actual families—you can set up a family for a group of individuals so that it’ll be organized in the membership records. Is there paid support in IconCMO? No, there’s no paid technical support. All users can contact technical support within office hours. There’s a paid option for bookkeeping assistance with IconCMO. Bottom Line works great for medium-sized churches needing to support unlimited users. It has a useful child check-in system, so parents will feel confident that their kids are safe in your care. It offers an extensive list of handy features and uses modern data transmission and storage methods to protect personal and financial information better. Sign up for the free 30-day trial to see if IconCMO is a good fit for you.
November 29, 2022
PCLaw Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives 2023
PCLaw by LexisNexis is desktop-based legal practice management software with integrated billing and legal trust accounting, and you can take it to the cloud through private hosting. It helps lawyers manage legal matters, track time spent on clients and cases, and reconcile trust accounts. Some of its key features include time and expense tracking, client and contact management, and mobile timekeeping through the PCLaw Go app. Prices are unavailable on the website, so you have to contact the provider to request a custom quote. Do you need something different? If you think you’ll be better served by general-purpose accounting software, then explore our list of the best accounting software for small businesses. PCLaw Deciding Factors PCLaw Alternatives PCLaw Pricing PCLaw’s pricing information isn’t disclosed publicly. You will need to contact LexisNexis directly to request prices or a customized quote. Factors that may affect prices include your practice area and the size of your business. You may request a free demo before buying the program. PCLaw Features PCLaw is a comprehensive platform with a rich set of features, such as time and expense tracking, matter management, and client and contact management. Other Features Batch Email Past Due Notices PCLaw has an Invoice E-mail Queue feature that allows users to create and email client invoices easily. LexisNexis improves this feature by adding the ability to create and email past-due notices to urge clients to settle their late payments. When past-due emails are sent successfully, you’ll receive a notification that they have been delivered to your email client. If the emails fail to send, they’re moved to the top of the queue list on the Past Due Current/Unsent tab. You can then resend these unsuccessful emails. Improved Visual Analytics (Charts) Reports on accounts payable (A/P) and accounts receivable (A/R) can be viewed in graphs and charts to make large amounts of data easy to understand. You can create graphs and charts to show reports, like billing, payments received, and time spent on specific areas of your law practice. Charts are more flexible, as they can be resized on the screen for better viewing. Product Updates Users will receive regular updates directly within the platform from the PCLaw team about new features, training, and other important information. Additional Payment Types To help you create more detailed A/P reports, you can now label payments as debit, automated clearing house (ACH), e-check, e-transfer, or PayPal. Ease of Use & Customer Support PCLaw uses a tab-based navigation that generally is easy to follow. However, since it’s complex software, there are many features that can be confusing for beginners, so you may need some time and practice to become comfortable using the platform. You may check out PCLaw’s to familiarize yourself with the program. If you need help, you can contact the LexisNexis customer support team by phone and email. You can also sign up for local training with certified independent consultants through its Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP) Membership program. When you’re an AMP member, you’ll receive a variety of benefits, including access to a centralized customer support portal, where you can live chat with PCLaw’s support team, seek help through online support tickets, receive product information, and access videos. You’ll also get access to PCLaw’s in case you need help with implementation and workflow customization. User Reviews We found from online PCLaw reviews that many users aren’t impressed with the platform. Some complained that invoices aren’t that customizable and that the Annual Maintenance Plan is expensive. Others commented that the program is a bit glitchy, explaining that it constantly crashes. Meanwhile, those who left positive reviews like that the program is easy to navigate and that it contains all the tools that a lawyer needs—from calendar management to trust account reconciliation. PCLaw earned the following ratings on several review websites: G2: 3.5 out of 5 based on around 50 reviews Capterra: 2.7 out of 5 based on about 70 reviews PCLaw Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Is PCLaw better in the cloud? If you want the mobility and accessibility of a cloud accounting solution, then PCLaw is better when hosted in the cloud. With private cloud hosting, you can access and work on your books wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection. Is PCLaw easy to use? PCLaw is generally easy to use, but it uses special legal-specific accounting terms, which can be overwhelming for new users or those who don’t have a background in accounting. However, with a little practice, you’ll find PCLaw a delight. Who should use PCLaw? PCLaw is great for solo practitioners and law firms that need an all-in-one solution and are willing to pay more for quality software to manage cases, clients, billing processes, and financial reports. Bottom Line is the most comprehensive legal-specific accounting software we’ve reviewed. It allows you to manage the different aspects of your legal practice, from matter management to trust accounting and billing. If your firm is currently using separate platforms to juggle these processes, you can cut costs and streamline your workflows with PCLaw.
November 29, 2022
QuickBooks Enterprise Review: Pricing & Features 2023
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, also called QuickBooks Enterprise, is a desktop-based accounting software that offers advanced tools for managing complicated pricing and inventory tracking. It has all the features of QuickBooks Pro and Premier, plus advanced features, like multilocation inventory tracking and fixed asset management. Also, just like Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise comes in five industry-specific editions: retail, nonprofit, contractors, manufacturing and wholesaling, and professional services. Prices for start at $1,740 per year. If you need online access to your files, then you need to purchase a hosted version, which is available as a monthly subscription with prices starting at $199 for one user (license fee included). Are you looking for something different? If QuickBooks Enterprise is too much for your business and you need a scaled-down alternative, check out our guide to the best small business accounting software. QuickBooks Enterprise Deciding Factors QuickBooks Enterprise New Features for 2023 Inter-company transactions: QuickBooks Enterprise 23.0 now allows you to consolidate financial reports that merge data from multiple companies. Inventory categorization: This allows you to classify inventory items by group or category so that you can find what you need easily. Expiration dates: Enterprise 23.0 now lets you add a separate field for expiration dates, giving you the option to create reports around expiration dates. Automatic mileage tracking: This enables you to record your business trips automatically using the mobile app instead of calculating your odometer readings manually. Cash flow hub: This provides a single place to track all your incoming and outgoing cash flow. QuickBooks Enterprise Alternatives QuickBooks Enterprise is available in three plans with prices that start at $1,740 per year for one user. Gold, the entry-level plan, includes advanced reporting, QuickBooks Priority Circle, and QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll. The higher versions, Platinum and Diamond, offer enhanced features, like advanced inventory, advanced pricing, and bill workflow approvals. The table below shows the detailed pricing information of QuickBooks Enterprise. If you want to take Enterprise to the cloud, you can purchase a hosted QuickBooks Enterprise version with the following price ranges per plan: Gold: From $199 per month for one user to $1,049 for 10 users; customized pricing for 11 to 30 users Platinum: From $232 per month for one user to $1,082 per month for 10 users; customized pricing for 11 to 30 users Diamond: From $404 per month for one user to $1,273 per month for 10 users; customized pricing for 11 to 40 users Fit Small Business Case Study We assessed QuickBooks Enterprise using an internal case study to find its biggest strengths and weaknesses. On a scale from 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest score), we rated Enterprise across several categories, such as pricing, general features, and ease of use. The individual scores are shown below, and you can read the detailed explanations for each category in the Features section that follows. QuickBooks Enterprise vs Competitors We compared QuickBooks Enterprise with some of its competitors in our comparative case study, and we discovered that it’s as powerful as QuickBooks Online in terms of banking, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. It goes head to head against QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books in terms of inventory, but Enterprise has a decisive advantage due to its advanced inventory accounting features. Meanwhile, it needs to improve on mobile accounting. Here’s the summary of our comparative case study. QuickBooks Enterprise Features QuickBooks Enterprise is the top-of-the-line software in the QuickBooks Desktop product line, offering a wide array of features for different industries. The following discussions explain the results of our case study. QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise offers all the general features that good accounting software should have, such as the ability to set up a company profile, record entity type, and modify and import a chart of accounts from your previous accounting software. However, just like the other QuickBooks Desktop products, Enterprise took a hit in its score as you have to purchase a separate license fee for each additional user, which can be expensive for small businesses. Its cloud-based counterpart, , does it better since you can choose a plan based on your number of users without paying an additional fee. QuickBooks Enterprise would have garnered a perfect score if its A/P module was easier to use. Nevertheless, it has robust A/P management features, including the ability to enter and pay bills and track outstanding bills until they’re paid. You can also record purchase orders (POs) and convert them to bills when you receive the items you ordered. To simplify the payment process, you can set up online bill pay and make partial bill payments. Enterprise also allows you to create an audit trail for bills and POs to help you simplify the A/P management process. Invoicing with QuickBooks Enterprise is similar to other QuickBooks products—you can create and customize invoices and send them out as PDFs or emails. However, Enterprise takes it one step further by allowing you to create and send invoices in batches—as opposed to entering information for each individual invoice manually. Batch invoicing allows you to create invoices in bulk from a single-entry input, saving you time and effort. If you have multiple clients who are billed on a monthly basis for similar ongoing services, then you can create all of their invoices at once. To reconcile your bank statements, you can choose to connect your bank account (bank feeds) or upload your files of statements manually, which gives you more flexibility. To make reconciliation faster, QuickBooks has a streamlined Undeposited Funds account that holds separate invoice payments and sales receipts you want to consolidate to match the single deposit in your bank statement. Some accounting programs also have an Undeposited Funds account, but they aren’t as comprehensive as that in QuickBooks Desktop. QuickBooks Enterprise is ideal for project-based businesses like construction companies. You can create an estimate, and when that estimate is approved, you can convert it to an invoice instantly. You can also split estimates into as many invoices as needed (progress invoicing) instead of asking for a full upfront payment. As you complete the service needed, you can simply add items from the original estimate to progress invoices. When creating a progress invoice out of an estimate, you need to specify how much you want to charge on the invoice for the selected items. If changes are needed to the scheduled construction work, you can create change orders by editing the original estimate. QuickBooks will create a change order automatically based on the information you entered. QuickBooks Enterprise isn’t the best tax management solution as it doesn’t help you file sales tax returns. However, if you only need help with tracking your taxes, then the platform can still provide a good value. You can determine how much you owe in taxes easily using the Sales Tax Liability Report. Sales taxes can be added to your invoice, and the program will apply the appropriate sales tax rate automatically based on the type of product or service, customer, and location you indicate in your sales form. QuickBooks Enterprise is the strongest inventory management software we’ve reviewed. It has an Advanced Inventory module that provides enhanced features not found in the lower QuickBooks Desktop versions, including the ability to track inventory across locations. Multi-inventory tracking in Enterprise lets you set specific reorder points, so you’ll be alerted when to replenish stocks, create assemblies using parts from different locations or warehouses, and transfer items between locations. You can use mobile barcode scanning to automate data entry, track inventory by bin numbers, and create customized inventory reports, such as inventory stock by item, inventory valuation summary, and assembly shortage by item. With Enterprise, you also have the option to choose between first-in, first-out (FIFO) and the average cost method to track inventory cost. Another notable feature we want to emphasize is the ability to create pricing rules to adjust pricing automatically based on the rules you specify. For instance, you can set up a rule where your top 10 customers will receive a discount of 20% automatically if they purchase 10 items or more. The platform allows you to run all the important reports you need to track your business performance, whether these are standard reports, such as profit and loss (P&L) statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, or customized reports like job costing, sales by customer reports, and purchases by vendor reports. The only reason it didn’t get perfect points is that it can track inventory by location but not income and expenses, which is something you can do in QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier users will find QuickBooks Enterprise familiar. However, if you’re transitioning from QuickBooks Online to Enterprise, expect a high learning curve. The features can be overwhelming and difficult if you don’t have bookkeeping experience. QuickBooks Enterprise Gold, Platinum, and Diamond users get access to 24/7 unlimited customer support through QuickBooks Priority Circle. You can also ask for on-demand training as a QuickBooks Enterprise account user. QuickBooks Enterprise’s biggest weakness is mobile accounting. The mobile app lets you scan, track, and convert receipts into expenses, as well as tracks business mileage automatically. You can’t send invoices, accept payments online, and record time worked, which are usually possible with other similar accounting software. , our overall best mobile accounting app, offers many features, such as the ability to send invoices, enter bills, capture receipts, and record billable time from your mobile device. Users who left QuickBooks Enterprise reviews like that the platform provides many useful features, such as its advanced reporting module, customized financial reports, order management, and customer and vendor tracking. Those who aren’t pleased complained that adding multiple users makes it too expensive and that advanced tasks like bank reconciliations are too complicated for beginners. Here are QuickBooks Enterprise’s ratings from popular review websites: Software Advice: 4.50 out of 5 based on about 20,000 reviews GetApp: 4.5 out of 5 based on more than 19,000 reviews G2: 4.2 out of 5 based on around 800 reviews Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Is QuickBooks Enterprise available in a cloud-based version? While QuickBooks Enterprise is a locally installed software, you can take your files online through cloud hosting (for an additional fee). Hosted QuickBooks Enterprise allows you to access all of its features from a cloud server, giving you online access to your accounting files. Is QuickBooks Enterprise fit for small businesses? No, it’s not—and it’s expensive for small businesses. If you need a scaled-down and more affordable solution, we recommend you check our evaluation of the best small business accounting software. Who should use QuickBooks Enterprise? QuickBooks Enterprise is great for midsize enterprises dealing with complex inventory management and businesses needing more flexibility in their pricing structure. Bottom Line doesn’t skimp on features, and most of them are labeled “Advanced” for good reason. If you need reliable tools for managing complex inventory, pricing, and financial reports, QuickBooks Enterprise won’t fail you. However, it may not be the best fit for your business if you have minimal inventory or are on a budget.