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Time Tracking

Solid Criteria for Choosing Time & Billing Software for Accountants

September 18, 2020 By Julie Bennett


This is NOT a big list of time and billing software for accountants. If you want that, we suggest you look at a reputable software review site like Capterra.com or G2.com.

This IS a guide to the four criteria you SHOULD be thinking about before you decide to purchase time & billing software.

But first...

What exactly is time & billing software?

For accountants who charge an hourly rate, time & billing are deeply interconnected. But in other industries, time tracking and billing/invoicing are two different things.

Some “time tracking software” tools WON’T include billing. Some billing/invoicing tools WON’T include time tracking.

So, your perfect time & billing software might actually be two tools! Now back to the buyer’s guide...

4 criteria to choose the best CPA time & billing software

1) Comprehensiveness/functionality

As described, time & billing aren’t always features of the same software tool. HOWEVER, it’s definitely in your best interest for them to be joined together, because of…

  • Faster workflows
  • Less chance of error in data transfer/transcription
  • Fewer integrations to break
  • Fewer subscriptions to manage and logins to keep track of

But it goes deeper than that — Why stop at time tracking & billing? Some platforms will also include both project management and contract management.

In general for accountants, especially those with small teams, the more comprehensive the time & billing platform, the better — it means less admin work for you and a greater chance for streamlined workflows 

2) Integrations

Speaking of workflow automation, here’s a concept to get familiar with: Lead to Cash Flow. It means a streamlined workflow from the early stages of marketing through to invoice paid. And the only way to achieve this is to use time & billing software that integrates with other solutions in your tech stack, including:

  • CRM
  • Marketing automation software
  • Sales software
  • Help desk/support 

Optimizing your Lead to Cash Flow will help you simultaneously decrease admin time and increase customer retention. You may eventually need more advanced and expensive billing software, i.e. Quickbooks. If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure the time tracking portion of your software integrates with third-party billing providers. 

PRO TIP: To find integrated software, search the marketplace/integrations library of the other service provider, i.e. the HubSpot marketplace to find Hubspot-integrated time & billing apps. 

3) Industry-specific design

There are lots of time & billing solutions, but fewer that are specifically for accountants.

Specificity isn’t always a good thing — niche software companies often have smaller customer bases, less revenue and/or funding, and therefore update less frequently. The results are usually worse UX and poor customer service.

What you want is a middle-ground. A company that services multiple industries but has given thought to yours specifically. 

A good benchmark is to look for professional services-specific time and billing software aka PSA software — these will typically have hourly billing and different invoice types built in.  

4) Price

We’re not so foolish as to try and lecture an accountant about price. But it helps to familiarize yourself with SaaS subscription models...

Many are “freemium” and will charge by number of users, while others are flat rate. Sometimes there are hidden fees to look out for. Most will offer discount incentives for annual billing. 

Make sure to take all these factors into consideration while calculating price. 

Getting the most out of CPA time & billing software

Remember the four criteria when choosing your CPA time & billing software:

  1. Comprehensiveness/functionality
  2. Integrations
  3. Industry-specific
  4. Price

Want to begin your search with a platform that hits all 4?  Start with PSOhub. Especially if you use HubSpot, this could be the comprehensive, integrated, affordable, industry-specific solution you need. 

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