In the market for the best workflow management software for your accounting firm? Luckily, you're in the right place. This article narrows your search by highlighting the five best options you can try out in 2023. We discuss the pros and cons, and general reception among accountants for the best workflow management software for accountants.
As an accountant for a business organization, the last thing you want is to be late filing tax returns and risk your client's litigation. Hence, you need a solution that efficiently manages your workflow for swiftly executing tasks.
A workflow management software offers a structured, streamlined, and well-planned system for performing business functions. It boosts your productivity, often handling multiple tasks simultaneously. Over time, it would be difficult to imagine life as an accountant without this tool.
What Software is Used for Workflow Management?
Workflow management software can set up, monitor, and modify a predefined set of operations sequentially. These tools empower accountants to run business processes in parallel and quickly switch between tasks. Furthermore, they provide task tracking functionalities with regular notifications.
There is a plethora of workflow management software available to you, including Karbon, Canopy, and Dext Prepare. Each one of these tools provides a unique approach to meeting your workflow needs. For example, Canopy's primary focus is task automation, while Financial Cents prefers to manage your clients.
What tasks are involved with workflow management for accounting?
Workflow management is the process of creating and optimizing the various activities needed to complete a business process. It involves finding and eliminating redundant tasks, automating repetitive tasks, and organizing the workflow to conclude transactions in the shortest time possible. Workflow management extends to clients, providing an efficient means of attending to their needs.
Workflow management isn't just oriented around time management; it also helps maximize your profits. With a proper accounting workflow, you can accurately measure the time spent on individual tasks. Consequently, you can be sure that not a single cent of your hourly rate is lost.
What workflow management software do most accountants use?
According to G2, the most popular workflow management software among accountants is Karbon. Karbon has 354 reviews and 4.8 out of 5 stars, the highest of any other software on this list. Nonetheless, this popularity doesn't necessarily make Karbon an all-purpose solution. It's best to carefully examine each option on this list so you can choose the one best suited to your needs.
What is practice management software for accountants?
A practice management software is a tool that helps accountants and bookkeepers manage front and back-office operations in an accounting firm. These operations range from workflow management to team collaboration and automation.
This tool improves accountants’ productivity and customer relations. It also helps fast-track deliveries and manage documents. A practice management software is often an amalgamation of several other solutions, including payroll software, CRM tools, client management software, and timing & billing.
Quick comparison of workflow management software for accountants:
|Software||Starting Price||Free Trial||Differentiators||Support|
|Canopy||$30||15 days||Best for task automation||Phone, email & chat|
|Taxdome||$25||14 days||Excellent time management solution||24/7 support|
|Karbon||$59||14 days||Best value for money||24/7 support||Dext Prepare||$190||14 days||Tools for digitizing paper documents||Phone, email & chat|
|Financial Cents||$23||14 days||Very affordable given the extensive features||24/7 support|
The Top 5 Best Workflow Management Software For Accountants Are:
HQ: Lehi, Utah, United States
|Key info|| Price: From $30 per user/month
Free plan: No Trial Length: 15 days
Support: Phone, email, & chat
|Best for||Accounting firms in need of advanced automation features|
|Pros||+ Ability to track clients and manage the tax funnels
+ Cloud-based and easy-to-access software
+ Convenient and secure method of communication and information transfer
|Cons||- Lack of charts showing all clients and the status of their case
- E-signature system could be improved
|Integrations||Zapier, FreshBooks, Xero, Calendly, Salesforce|
Starting our list is Canopy, a multipurpose accounting workflow software. Its primary function is client management, which can be extended with subscription-based modules that provide additional features. These modules include workflow, timing & billing, and document management.
What sets Canopy apart from its competitors is its unparalleled task automation functionality. With an advanced workflow manager, you can create tasks and group subtasks under them. Likewise, you can add highly customizable automation to tasks with complex conditions and actions. As a matter of fact, using this tool feels like programming a miniature AI.
Despite how complicated this sounds, using Canopy is surprisingly easy. The user interface is polished and ergonomic, requiring little time to get accustomed to. This is a strong point among users, with one customer reporting:
"I immediately found Canopy [Tax] to be very user-friendly. I am by no means a computer software whiz but I was able to navigate my way around Canopy with very little instruction."
Though it has faced criticism from some about its e-signature system (with several customers stating it needs improvement) most praise Canopy for the strong cohesion between its various tools.
Another of Canopy's features that draw users is the client portal. This portal creates a direct line of communication between accountants and their clients. Clients can directly pay their invoices within the portal, and can also fill out surveys and manipulate shared files. This interface saves you time and money and presents a professional outlook to your clients.
All in all, we believe Canopy is the best pick for accountants looking for affordable and comprehensive workflow management software.
Canopy scores 4.6/5 on G2 and 4.5/5 on Capterra
HQ: Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Key info|| Price: From $25 per month for one user
Free plan: No Trial length: 14 days
Support: 24/7(phone + email)
|Best for||Tax professionals looking for an automated task pipeline|
|Pros||+ Centralized client information organization
+ Very secure e-signature feature
+ Pipeline for automated tasks
|Cons||- Inability to chat with your team
- The file uploader may be difficult to use
|Integrations||Zapier, QuickBooks, Gmail, Xero, Stripe, Verito|
Next, we have Taxdome, which provides all-in-one automation, client management, and CRM solutions for accountants. With Taxdome in your arsenal, you never have to use another software for your accounting needs. It’s a fully-featured software with email sync and e-signature functionalities. Moreover, it provides an excellent client communication interface.
Taxdome presents its client portal in an extremely simple user interface. However, this simplicity does not obscure Taxdome's powerful features. Customers applaud the way the client portal organizes all their clients' information in a central location. You can import or export client information as a CSV or PDF document using the portal. Additionally, you can link your work mail with Taxdome, allowing you to easily view client messages.
According to most users on G2, Taxdome's defining feature is the automated workflow pipeline. This pipeline enables you to schedule and execute various functions without human interference. With this pipeline, you can automatically send emails, invoices, or contracts to clients periodically. What's more, you can set up team tasks with reminders or grant and revoke account access.
With an amazing document manager, client portal, and competitive pricing plan, it’s hardly surprising that Taxdome has a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating on G2. Similarly, it scores highly on ease of use and quality of support. Taxdome is well received by users, with one happy customer stating that:
“I’ve tried them all... Taxdome takes the cake.”
Taxdome scores 4.7/5 on G2 and 4.5/5 on Capterra
HQ: Sausalito, California, United States
|Key info|| Price: From $59/month per user
Free plan: No Trial length: 14 days
Support: 24/7(phone + email)
|Best for||Accounting firms looking for an industry-standard solution|
|Pros||+ Creating and managing projects is relatively easy and painless
+ Task reminder system
+ Superb customer support service
|Cons||- Limited control over to-do lists
- Inability to export task lists to CSV
- Limited options for labeling clients
|Integrations||ActiveCampaign, Agile CRM, Stripe, Paypal, and many more|
With a $59 per-user starter plan, Karbon is the most expensive software on this list. Yet, it continues to enjoy an unmatched level of popularity. Customers are evidently getting their money’s worth when using Karbon as a workflow management software.
What separates Kanopy from all other software on this list is the work planner that arranges multiple workflows in order of completion date. As such, you have a clear view of uncompleted projects and can set about finishing them with a few clicks. In addition, accountants looking to save time organizing tasks will love Karbon. With more than 300 free templates for a wide variety of business processes, you don’t need to manually create individual work tasks.
Another significant feature is the Insights tool, which shows the performance metrics of each team member. It also contains a client leaderboard that records the history of all business transactions with a particular client. What's more, Insights creates a graph of all emails and responses, helping accountants gauge their relationship with individual clients.
Many users commend the first-rate customer service the development team provides. While the software might have a steep learning curve, the support team is on hand to guide you through the setup process. To summarise, Karbon’s high ratings on G2 are well-earned. Nonetheless, several customers have indicated they’d like to see more quality-of-life features implemented.
Karbon scores 4.8/5 on G2 and 4.7/5 on Capterra
HQ: London England
|Key info|| Price: $190/month (unlimited users)
Free plan: No Trial length: 14 days
Support: Phone, email, & chat
|Best for||Bookkeepers looking to minimize the number of hardcopy documents handled|
|Pros||+ Seamless integration with your accounting system
+ Helps streamline daily activities
+ Can extract data from scanned invoices
|Cons||- Steep learning curve
- No 'paid' indicator on submissions
- OCR processing times are a bit lengthy
|Integrations||Sage, Xero, Quickbooks, ApprovalMax|
Dext has been providing accountants with workflow management and bookkeeping tools for over a decade. As a result, you can trust them to deliver a quality product when you purchase a plan. Dext Prepare is one of a three-part accounting and business management software bundle, which includes Dext Precision and Dext Commerce.
One outstanding feature of this software is the ability to scan uploaded images and PDFs and extract any business information from them. You can instruct Dext Prepare to create digital copies of bills, receipts, sales invoices, and bank statements with little effort. Furthermore, Dext Prepare can connect to your suppliers' websites and collect your bills and invoices using the Invoice Fetch tool.
Remarkably, Dext Prepare offers an exciting feature absent from most competing products; one that may prove extremely useful in today’s world. The recently unveiled Practice Insights brings data science into the world of accounting! Practice Insights presents client data and bookkeeping performance metrics in easily-understood graphs, enabling accountants to make educated business decisions.
If you're an accountant working with a team, Dext Prepare is perfect for you. The collaboration interface allows you to add any number of users and assign roles in a single operation. You can even import a CSV file containing user information and have Dext Prepare create users for you. Let’s suppose you're already using an accounting tool like Xero. Well, Dext Prepare offers seamless integration, so you don't have to abandon your existing workflow.
Dext Prepare has many great selling points. Most significantly, users mention how it has helped them create paperless offices using its invoice processing tool. There’s not much to dislike about Dext Prepare, aside from a few reports of issues with the receipt bank. With a starter plan that accommodates an unlimited number of users, we believe Dext Prepare is certainly worth its price.
Dext Prepare scores 4.6/5 on G2 and 4.2/5 on Capterra
HQ: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
|Key info|| Price: From $23/month per team member
Free plan: No Trial length: 14 days
Support: 24/7 support
|Best for||Accountants on a budget|
|Pros||+ Quick and easy setup
+ Client reminder system that syncs with local time
+ Templates for tracking tasks and time tracking per task
|Cons||- The event trigger system could use some work
- Inability to insert tables or add color to fonts
- Lacks e-signature system
|Integrations||Quickbooks, Gmail, Outlook|
Despite its young age, Financial Cents has built a stellar reputation as general-purpose accounting software. It delivers a suite of advanced features, chief among which is workflow management. It also provides email integration, client management, and invoice tracking. Basically, Financial Cents provides all the tools an upcoming bookkeeper needs to scale up their business.
If there's one thing we'd focus on, it's Financial Cent's detailed workflow view. This feature makes it possible to handle tasks individually or group them on a project basis. It also provides powerful filtering capabilities to sort tasks by the due date, completion status, assignee, and client. In no small measure, you can save time and money performing your activities.
Additionally, the workflow manager allows you to create projects from templates. These templates automatically generate task lists for tax returns, monthly bookkeeping, and several other accounting processes. Customers especially value the client task list, which contains user-defined activities their clients must complete to conclude a business transaction.
The client management dashboard is perhaps the most sophisticated of any accounting software. You can easily add clients, group them, and customize every bit of information about them. With the email integration, client emails will appear in-app, sparing you the arduous task of scouring your inbox for important emails.
All things considered, using Financial Cents gets you a very big bang for your buck. It has overwhelmingly positive reviews, with a near-perfect score of 4.8/5 stars on G2. In fact, you have to wonder why it costs so little, given the amazing features on display. Some customers have leveled complaints about missing features. However, the development team provided all the requested features in just a few months.
Financial Cents scores 4.8/5 on G2 and 4.7/5 on Capterra
Finding the right workflow management software for your accounting needs
When surveying all the workflow management software in this article, you’ll quickly discover that there are few downsides to any of them. As a result, choosing one over the other can be tricky. Knowing this, we’ve tried to highlight the strong points of each software along with the accounting operations each development team is likely to focus on.
Before choosing a software, you should always consider your specific accounting workflow needs, like whether they're oriented around task organization, or client management, or both. Furthermore, you may need to prioritize your budget when making your decision, and it’s also important to take your team’s size into account as each software scales differently depending on the number of users. Ultimately, there are many aspects to consider before opting for workflow management software, so ensure you do your due diligence before selecting one.
Our Pick - Canopy
With its wide range of great features, ease-of-use, and first-class automation, Canopy is Toksta's top workflow management software for accountants in 2023.
Meet the author - Sam Cassman
Sam is the co-founder and growth marketer at Toksta. He specialises in a diverse skill set including email marketing/CRM, content creation, SEO, PR, programmatic/search advertising, and social media. His 360 skill set allows him to confidently manage the entire customer life-cycle from generation/acquisition, through to lead nurturing, customer conversion and brand loyalty.
An analytical and creative thinker that lives and breathes data but knows thinking outside the box and going against the grain is sometimes necessary to stand out in a saturated online environment.