Case Studies. The simple, all-in-one solution to this accounting firm’s complicated problems
16Jun '14

The simple, all-in-one solution to this accounting firm’s complicated problems

This California-based accounting firm is having problems getting the entire team to get completely on board the system they are currently using as it’s “a little bit overly complicated”. Learn how WORK[etc]’s intuitive, easy-to-use cloud-based system can break down the barriers to full implementation without sacrificing its powerful suite of business management tools.

business-accountingCOMPANY BACKGROUND:

This California-based accounting firm is a five-man, full-service company that handles everything from bookkeeping and payroll to taxes and other business services. Similar to CPAs who are moving away from the traditional item- and time-based charging model, they typically bill their clients for weekly, monthly, or yearly recurring services.


The company currently uses Thomson Reuter’s Practice CS, but they’ve had problems getting everybody completely on board. The software can handle most of what they need it to do, but the team finds the app — as the company puts it — “a little bit overly complicated”.

As such, they’ve decided to shop around for a system that is easy to use. Aside from that, they needed a solution able to handle whatever project management and timekeeping tasks they throw at it as their current system is “a little bit weak” in those areas.



note-screenshotAn all-in-one system that can handle the entire customer lifecycle — and beyond — may at first seem like a daunting system to navigate. Thanks to WORK[etc]’s many usability tweaks, sheer customizability, and onboarding seminars, that statement doesn’t hold true.

In WORK[etc], you’re never more than a few clicks away from creating any kind of item. The persistent menu bar on the top of the screen stays across all modules. A drop-down menu available on every row of items complements it, letting users create and attach new contacts, projects, or anything in between.

WORK[etc] also utilizes a number of features to ensure that navigation across modules is as easy as pie for every user: 

  • Immediately access the information you feel is important using bookmark lists
  • Jump to higher page levels without having to keep pressing the back button on your browser through the breadcrumb trail
  • Get back quickly to whatever page you were on before via recent pages and activity list

Let’s say you’ve dug in really deep into a project and suddenly need to check a note from four months ago. If you’ve bookmarked the note, you can always find it on the sidebar — a mere click away.


A lot of CPAs now seem to be moving towards charging flat weekly or monthly retainer fees these days instead of the more traditional time-tracked charges.

Similarly, the company usually deals with clients on a regularly scheduled basis — weekly, monthly, or annually. They handle multiple projects per customer. An accounting client, for example, may require weekly work supplemented by monthly payroll and annual tax returns.

They’re used to working with creating project templates, something that WORK[etc] already natively supports. Using WORK[etc], a user can create a base template then use it to create a new project at any given time. That project can then be assigned to the relevant client.

The company’s projects, which are heavily skewed toward recurring services, can be handled by WORK[etc] with creative use of recurring tasks within a project. Let’s say they have to manage a client’s payroll every week. A user can create a project and use it as a container, setting the tasks — payroll work, as in the example — inside it to be recurring.

The main project — the container — can house all ongoing, regular work the company does for their clients. Whenever a client needs additional, non-recurring work, they can easily create one-off projects, tasks, or support tickets.

Although the company tends to keep their projects clean and simple with only a few or even no sub-projects, WORK[etc]’s flexibility allows users to do what they want to with their own projects. It doesn’t matter if you only have one sub-project or a hundred within any given main project. WORK[etc] is built to handle it.


WORK[etc] has built-in report generation and multiple real-time progress display features so users can keep an eye on company efficiency, performance, and profitability.

One neat trick that the company as well as most CPA users will find helpful, though, is that timesheet and finance modules can also be used to further supplement recurring services and keep an eye on company profitability.

Remember the project-as-container trick mentioned before? Every time someone works on the project, they can create an unbilled time sheet (they’re not billing for time, they’re charging a flat fee) for the work in order to track profitability.

They can also add a retainer amount to billing — like, say, $10,000 per month — so that they can then use the budget tab to track the time they’re pouring into the project. This can be done to ensure that the company doesn’t put in more than $10,000 worth of work for a specific project in any given month.

They can also create a recurring invoice in the Finances module and a subscription item in the Sales module. This lets them send a bill every month to the client and use the project item and unbilled timesheet to make sure that they stay profitable.


By using WORK[etc] as their all-in-one business management solution, the company gets an easy-to-use system that can handle project management, timekeeping, and more. Its extensive suite of management tools even lets the company use it as a profitability and performance tracker.

WORK[etc]’s sheer customizability, particularly when it comes to projects, also lets the company create their own custom projects and templates for any services that their clients may need, be it recurring or otherwise.



To find an easy-to-use and intuitive system that can handle both recurring and one-time services and projects as well as come with built-in timekeeping tools.


Leverage WORK[etc]’s customizability, particularly in the projects module, to take care of any services their clients may need while keeping an eye on profitability at the same time. Take full advantage of WORK[etc]’s user-friendly interface and onboarding seminars to get team members to fully embrace the system.


Increased efficiency, productivity, and — hopefully — profitability.

What This Means for your Accounting Firm

WORK[etc] is more than just a CRM. Much of its power comes from its flexibility and customizability, allowing it to adapt to most company CRM needs — and then someTry it out for yourself now with our free 14-day demo.

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