Office Tools has streamlined our office, we now only use 1 program where we used to use three.
Everything is in one place. I can track the progress of projects that co workers are doing, so when someone calls and can tell quicker where we are on there return or other accounting service.
Can add To Do's in program for reminders to do several things.
Keep track of appointments easily.
Documents are easy to find.
Can add notes about clients.
Can track status of projects and set due dates.
Can send documents out for esignatures securely and its easy for clients to sign and return.
Wip and A/R balances don't match from end of month to beginning of next month.
When adding Wip to invoices, system writes off balance to zero instead of showing profit if billed amount is still over the amount of WIP on bill.
Documents for business clients is harder to sort, employees like to have folders.
Office Tools "was" the next best thing. Honest review: I have "loves" and "hates"
The portals are easier for my customers to use than my old portal product.
Customer service: none unless they can sell you more product or $$. Often times unresponsive.
Billing flexibility definitely better than my old product but recurring monthly or quarterly not as automated as I would like. We found the dashboard to be very confusing and counter productive as far as tasks, appointments and to-do items, my staff was still keeping spreadsheets of their projects for clarity. Too many extra steps required to completely clear something from your view of things to do. free-flow document management took a bit to get used to over windows folder structure, but very manageable. We have actually now split into two different products as we wanted beefier document management tools. Calendar connecting with exchange was a hot mess.
There are a lot of things I love about this software and it was a vast improvement 3 years ago over what I was using. Love: Project tracking, although not as complete as we would like - we have actually left for one that has a more Kan Ban style visual approach, with the ability to tag colored status tags on a project as it moves through the process. Love: Billing: select all time entries related to a project to mark up and bill, or bill all out marked up for a monthly subscription client. Love: ability to link charge card processing both to portal and to invoice. Love - time reports for easy payroll processing. My clients love the portals.
Hate: document management presentation - must specifically look for emails or notes related to a project: have since moved to a product that has a chat-style interface perfect for a remote workforce. Hate: could never get project reports to print everything I needed. Matter of filters. I will give them the benefit and say perhaps I didn't learn that part well enough. Hate: tech support used to be terrible before they were bought out, has improved but still not great. I may now be really spoiled by the product I moved to - response sometimes within minutes. Hate: BEWARE: their contract has auto renewal without positive confirmation from user. I left them because I spent countless hours with their tech support, and many many $$ in tech support, and by their own admission, it was an issue they were aware of, and nothing to be done about . Now they want to charge me for the entire year and not let me out of it, unless I spend countless more time and $$ to try to resolve the issue that they already know they could not resolve. We have been receiving an error message when logging in for months. They know about it.
Yes, you can just click through it and log in, but it is another annoyance that they are aware of yet still want to charge me for an entire year when I have limped through the last several like a dedicated customer. The ability to link my calendar in exchange to that in Office Tools was a deal maker/breaker for me.
The software has the potential to be an elite program but it is grossly underdeveloped.
It has all in one capabilities such as client management, time tracking, billing and payment, reports, scheduling, and document storage.
The platform layout is clean and user friendly.
The learning curve to its features is low to mid-range which can be credited to it's design functionality.
It does utilize some integrations well such as the Dymo label printer and Drop Folders.
Overall, calls to Customer Support have been adequate with at least 90% problem resolution. I do have to knock the Customer Support to 2 stars because they do not have any early morning east coast support hours. If I have an issue with Office Tools I have to wait 4 hours to reach anybody on the phone. Half of my day is now gone.
Communication from Office Tools to its software owners is horrible. Known disruptions in services was communicated after the fact.
Software updates are non-existent. As of this review, 10/19/17, there has only been 1 public release update to the software in all of 2017 (v2017.019) and that was in January. That is unacceptable.
The Contact Screen has a narrow scope in what it allows for user input. I believe there are only 5 open variable fields that we can alter to collect data specific to our practice. The rest of it is dead white space underneath of it.
Software only allows one taxpayer's information to be displayed on the main Contacts screen with the spouse relegated to a "More Contacts" tab. It is more efficient to have all contacts displayed on one screen.
Client portal only allows for 1 contact email address.
The portal is not a responsive web design and certainly not friendly to mobile devices. There are buttons in the portal that are only seen when scrolled over (Pay Now buttons on invoice tab).
Payments made via a portal invoice do not sync down to the billing screen.
Downloading multiple documents from the portal is inefficient. There is no "Download All" button.
E-signing process is convoluted to the signer and has bugs which have not been fixed.
Form letters do not give you access to all collected data variables.
No user community to introduce or vote on feature requests. LinkedIn or Facebook aren't the solution.
Great productivity tool but has some issues
It streamlined our business and made every step clear for each team member. The projects flow nicely from one person to next. Especially while we work remotely because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it allows us to work efficiently without missing a beat.
OfficeTools creators have thought of every aspect of the business and that's what we loved. Any questions that we had "can we do this or can we do that" the answer was yes. You can create projects, assignments, To Do and have it set-up anyway that works for your team. You can use it for marketing emails with groups, etc. Very well designed.
It has glitches and it takes some time to learn how to use it. For instance, I don't need to use Lacerte, but I had to have it installed so I could use OfficeTools, otherwise, I kept getting error messages. And then, you have to make sure you are logged in to Lacerte every morning or the program won't work properly and the only way you realize that is when you are looking for an assignment or a document and you don't see it - then you inquire from your team and they say "Oh, it's there, I can see it..." then you realize you need to log back in for the software to refresh and show you everything. It doesn't notify you that Lacerte has been logged off.
Also, the training module and how it works was a bit confusing for us.
Support - was a joke in year 1 of our contract. It took at least 3-5 days or more for someone to get back to us. One day I got lucky and [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] called me. She is the best asset your company has. She knows how to provide support. I even tracked down someone at the Abacus Next Conference to make sure they knew how valuable she was. Shortly after, [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] had to inform me that I was no longer allowed to email her directly and I had to go through the ticket system. I complied with her request and now I'm back to hating your support. I know we are just a little guy in your eyes. I am the type of person when I love something I tell everyone about it. I also tell everyone when something is not right. I could never refer your product. We will be switching to another product as soon as we can.
Firm has been using for 4-5 years. It has served us well and we use most of the functionality.
Lack of technology development. When it was announced there was a QB online integration we were very excited and converted. Our 150 clients are on QBO, however we remain on the desktop version due to Office Tools. We then learned it does not integrate with QBO Accountant. We then had to convert back to QB desktop version as it was our only option. We patiently stuck with Office Tools on the belief that the software would continue to be developed and evolve. At this point we wished we had not signed our last 3 year contract. With the signing of the 3 year contract we were given/comped 3 hours for training. When we went to use them we were told those hours had to be used in the first year - WHICH WAS NOT TOLD TO US. I had our sales rep check into it and the "board" advised the hours were expired. WOW was I shocked. I had never been given something from a company that was complimentary to then not advise me that the hours had to be used in the first year. Who ever made this decision just made our final decision for us. We will NOT be renewing our software when the contract ends. Too many disappointments.
Fine for us, for now
I can't easily get reports I feel I should be able to get. Such as all clients who came to us in 2020. If that is possible I don't know how. I find the training to be less than helpful. I've watched videos, but they frequently don't look like the product I'm using and never seem to be to the point. If I could easily switch to another product I would likely do so. But my information is captured in Office Tools and I can't get it out and don't want to lose it. So I'm stuck.
The software does a good job of keeping our database of clients and their personal data. We use the Contacts features, Notes, ToDos, Calls and Schedule features. We do not use the other features such as Projects.
I think it's expensive for the features we use. I think it is better suited to a larger organization who want communication among users who are not in the same office together. I have difficulty getting out letters and distinct lists of information. If you don't do those tasks very frequently you forget the process and it takes too long. As with every database it take constant and I mean constant updating. In the midst of a busy time we do not have the time to keep the database up to date so every few months I have to give a chunk of time to getting it back to rights.
I like OfficeTools and will continue using it. I wish they would work on some issues and make it more user friendly.
I like that it works with QuickBooks and Lacerte. I like the reports that it offers in order to track performance and efficiency.
I am not happy with customer service. We I have a problem or issue it takes days and sometimes over a week to return my call. I wish it was more user friendly. It can do a lot but it is difficult to figure it out. I would love to use the Pay Now feature but it locks the invoice and you can't add or delete time to it.
OfficeTools has solved many of the problems that we had prior to the program. Client information can be kept in one program. From the client's contact information to their documents it is all easy to access. We like being able to record their calls, take notes, and create reminders for a specific client. The activity list is a great way for each staff member to keep track of their tasks. We like that we can record almost any interaction with the client so that we always have something to reference or refer back to.
OfficeTools can be great. Our firm likes that all of our client information can be kept in one program. From the client's contact information to their documents it is all easy to access. We like being able to record their calls, take notes, and create reminders for a specific client. The activity list is a great way for each staff member to keep track of their tasks. We like that we can record almost any interaction with the client so that we always have something to reference or refer back to.
This software has a lot of bugs and glitches. We have contacted customer service several times due to a bug or glitch and we have had to wait months to get an answer because they weren't sure why the problem was happening. Most features functionality is great, but we feel the documents area is lacking as far as ease of use and functionality go. We also have completely stopped using certain features due to them continuously not working properly such as the eSigntures feature. We also have trouble with our schedule's. Each individual staff member's schedule will occasionally change on its own. Either appointments will be moved or deleted completely.
Number and Data tools for good
This tool helps me to keep my daily accounting and numbers data practice run on time with so many different features like Clients time tracking, scheduling, processing signatures, mass data sharing, and easily get control on data sharing.
In long term it helps us to show that where we are standing when seeing our tax returns at the end of year. Also have a good metrics in terms of dollars of where and how we are spending every day.
Lots of functions are not used by our company. So they should give an option to the company of what tools will be used based on that payment should be decided.
- Canon Scanners (We don't use canon scanners)
- Portal not the way we want to organize it or modify it
I love it I use it every day it keeps control of all my work that we have to do it allows me to keep tabs on my staff on their jobs and projects that need to be finished
The ability to have the information all in one place documents projects contact information is perfect
Easier connection between Quickbooks and outlook with the program back-and-forth interaction
Great all-in-one tax office tool!
Having everything needed to help/work on a client at your fingertips in one piece of software. We consolidated 4 programs into one when we moved to OfficeTools. We could FULLY consolidate 2 more if they were reliable and user friendly enough for staff and clients (AIME and the portal). But as it stands we have to have backups for both to function properly.
The best thing about OfficeTools is the integration of contact manager, schedule, time/billing tracking project management, billing, and documents. There are lots of other features that are included as well but those are the big ones. It's great going to one client and having access to everything you need.
There are some quirks that you just have to live with, but overall it is a solid piece of software. There are times when support just cannot figure out a solution to a glitch we are having and we just have to wait to see if it will be resolved in a new release. Another thing that is quirky is having to go to another client and then back into the one you are working on the get the system to update.
Mostly small little things that aren't that bad and they do seem to attempt to address issues as they go so it is by no means a dead software.
Office Tools has been great. We can't imagine running things without it.
Office Tools replaced separate document management software, a time keeping/billing software, and a project tracking software. It's streamlined our process and allowed us to save tons of time for billable work.
The integration of difference functions has been the best part. Having contact info, project tracking, document management and time tracking/billing in one package has made things so much easier and streamlined our process.
The reporting in general is limited. The inability to combine information types (Contact, Billing, Project, Staff) into a single report is difficult. Currently, we create 2 different reports, export to excel and use formulas to combine the information. Skipping these extra steps would save so much time.
Also, allowing a custom recurrence pattern for projects (i.e. every 2 years) would be great.
Finally, many clients want to be able to specify a "Billing Only" e-mail address. Right now, I have to make that change manually for those clients each billing run.
Saves me thousands of dollars and hours every year!
I used to track projects by emails in my inbox and files on the shelf, constantly putting out fires and dealing with what ever client was "on top of the stack".spending HOURS every day figuring out what I had to get done.....now the minute a project comes in (Via email,mail, or phone) I create a new Project in OfficeTools and I have an easily accessible, up to date task list of EVERYTHING I need to do. And I can assign tasks to staff, so my staff knows what to work on WITHOUT having to ask me. I cannot begin to quantify the dollars and hours this software has saved me.
The ability to quickly create and add items to a "ToDo list" and assign tasks to staff w/ documents attached (dragged straight from Outlook).
There is a learning curve - but that is to be expected with such robust software and customer support was great helping me learn features I couldn't figure out myself (since I refused to do the training and like to figure things out myself). Plus, the online tutorials were really great.
Been working with Office Tools for nearly 14 years now
We use Office Tools for our companies billing, tracking time, tracking our projects for our clients and for our scheduling appointments with clients. We have used this product for nearly 14 years and it helps our office run smoothly. We have access to each others schedules and daily tasks. Everything is right at our fingertips.
I really love that it is user friendly. It really helps keep me on track with my tasks with all the projects that have been assigned to me and when it was assigned. It really helps me not forget about projects. I love all the available reports that you can print. There are reports to help track or Work in process and reconcile our billing and many many more.
There is not any thing really in particular right now that I would say I least like about the software. I find that if I have an issue with the software I can call technical support and they are always very helpful.
The program has been great at keeping client and billing details accessible.
Ease of reports for billing, client records, staff utilization, accounts receivable which make our office run smoother and more efficiently.
The numerous reports and ways in which to cater a report to our specific needs. For example, I can create a WIP which shows work by date, or work by employeee, or work by code. These options have all been useful for different needs.
The contact lists are also versatile which helps with birthdays, phone lists, contact type lists.
Form letters is useful and we have created several this past year catered to contact type.
There have been issues with the document signature feature; months went by with giant red lettering appearing on the documents, so we could not use that feature; when the feature was fixed with a new upgrade, we were not informed of the upgrade.
The email link from Outlook is not reliable and keeps stopping on two of our computers. This feature would save time and keep records straight with our clients, however, we cannot keep it connected.
Comprehensive Practice Management Solution
Overall, I've been very satisfied with Office Tools. In the past, I was a member of the firm that developed its own computer-based time and billing system. Office Tools offers all the recording and analysis tools we strove to provide in our package and integrates nicely with document management and contact management.
Office Tools provides all the elements required to manage my small accounting practice. Contact management, document management, time, billing & collection are seamlessly interfaced. The Office Tools modules that I do not use do not interfere with the use of the elements that I do use.
it is difficult to find something to dislike about Office Tools. It is sometimes difficult to find where, in the program, adjustments to certain settings should be made. Also, occasionally, it seems that updates are promulgated, of which I do not received notice.
I just wanted to drop a quick note to let you all know about exceptional customer service.
I'm a long time Office Tools user who was MAD when I got my renewal quote. The quote included 2 more users than our small firm has, and I misunderstood it to mean that you only offered the program with a minimum of 5 users. The initial quote represented a 162% increase over the prior year and I was informed that the Office Tools user agreement, we would lose access to our data once the subscription expired.
I immediately went shopping for alternatives. Long story short, he was willing to work with me despite my very vocal displeasure. He was very professional and took the time to answer all my questions thoroughly, as result he helped you retain a long time customer.
FYI, I'm very happy to learn that under Abacus's user agreement, we'll retain read-only access after the expiration of our subscription.
I do not feel there are any cons worth mentioning at this time, or things I like the least about the software
Software was Valuable to our firm first. But then it became cost prohibitive.
Practice management in one platform.
I like the document management service. The scheduling software. And I like the notes. We also used the to dos quite a bit.
The cost. And the fact they update the software year during tax season. Because of the cost, this will be the last year that we will be using Office Tools Pro. Also, the cloud-based features are severely lacking. In order to be able to view your schedule online, you have to have Outlook and an outlook sync subscription with Office tools pro. And even that feature is very clunky and works very rarely. We had many preparers in our office miss Appointments because they did not show up on the outlook schedule on their phones. The only effective way to see appointments was to remote in to the computer to see the scheduling within the program directly.
Long term Office Tools User!
We have been using Office Tools for 12 years now. I cannot imagine how we functioned without it before and would not want to go back to those days. It is a very affordable and very comprehensive product. Also, it is very easy to implement and use. Our need to get support has been rare. Without hesitation, I recommend Office Tools!
Everything in one place! We have our scheduling, project and deadline management, phone call tracking, time-keeping and billing, and document management all in one place.
There really is nothing that I don't like about Office Tools. We did try out their client portal a few years ago, and we went to Sharefile to get some added features. But, we are going to go back to try the Office Tools client portal again before the end of the year. I am hopeful it will be a great change for us.
We've used OfficeTools for last 3 years and find it very effective in our client relations.
Client info concentrated in one area. Easy classification of documents/emails for later retrieval. Accountant info can be specific to Project.
Projects allow us to ensure that Corporate info, Bookkeeping info and Personal Tax info gets properly sorted. Our use of Outlook Sync also ensures that our Office365 Inbox and Sent folders are captured to client's communication. Many shared documents are quickly categorized allowing for a quick, specific search of information.
Invoicing module currently only links to Quickbooks desktop for bookkeeping and we've been using Quickbooks Online for past 4 years. Support Team doesn't always comprehend our "real-life" situations and how we need to operate - thus leaving us not able to use OfficeTools to its full potential.
Overall, I've had a satisfactory experience with the product. Gets the job done.
- Office 365 integration is quite helpful
- "Due date" reminders are life-savers
- The to-do section helps in personal management of tasks
- Synchronizing with Quickbooks is only supported for the desktop platform, and not the web platform, which is kind of a pain right now
- Integrations with other bookkeeping tools isn't great, like excel for example, which makes collaboration outside your immediate team quite difficult. Please help look into this.
Réponse de AbacusNext
Thank you for your thoughtful review. We're glad OfficeTools helps you work efficiently and that you find the to-do and reminder features useful!
You'll be happy to know that we're currently working on an integration with QuickBooks Online, set to release this fall. We appreciate your feedback and hope that OfficeTools will continue to be a trusted part of your practice.
The OfficeTools team
Great product; horrible experience with new owners
Originally used Cloud9 to host all applications, AbacusNext bought Cloud9 and pushed to have users move to APC Cloud. Horrible experience - see reviews for AbacusNext. Also used OfficeTools which was purchased in 2017 by AbacusNext. AbacusNext would not let me renew my OfficeTools licenses because I no longer hosted my other apps on APC Cloud, even though I moved away from AbacusNext legally and ethically. They held me hostage as Abacus gave no prior notice that they would not renew my OfficeTools license. Ended up without a practice management software for 3 months while I searched for and implemented a new one.
It's a great practice management software for small accounting firms; workflows, reminders, time & expense all good
When AbacusNext bought out OfficeTools the culture and professionalism went down the toilet.
Generally good - but concerned about the future.
Good Product. OTP good service - but only on West Coast Time - need to expand hours . Staff, particuliary Mike G and Jarred F, are great to work with.
Company bought by Abacus 5/31/17. Sales now handled by Abacus. They want a 3 yr contract!! No upgrades of any kind since Abacus - but price increase and they want a 3 yr contract. Seem to be pricing themselves out of market for small firms. First comments were that I should just pay the increase because of the buyout. I think they should improve my value before raising prices! Three year contract is not competitive!
Like the new weekly training classes, hope they will keep these archieved so we can use them for staff training
Office Tools has been a value add to our accounting and tax group. Great product for the price.
Office Tools helps our accounting and tax team stay organized and able to prioritize work without missing deadlines. We use the system to allocate resources to streamline the busy season workload and the workflow to make sure we know the status of every project along the way.
It is a great way to track project progress and make sure deadlines aren't missed. It is also a simple solution to time tracking, although our firm doesn't use the system for billing purposes, it is helpful in budgeting resources.
My biggest complaint is that reports can't be exported to Excel, and not every pre-built report has all the data required. Without having a custom report prepared by the developers at Office Tools, you are somewhat limited on reporting flexibility.
Could be a good product but no customer service to help you realize its potential.
Trying to get answers to specific questions is futile. There is no attempt to identify a problem. They are dismissive if they have never seen it before . As you show them, on your screen, what the problem is and ask for a solution you get - "you need the newest update, that will get rid of the problem" or "it is your fault" or my personal favourite - "that doesn't happen" as they watch it happening on the screen.
Love the time feature. It is easy to record the time you spend on a file. You can have multiple timers going to track clients that you have stopped working on while you answer the phone, or wait for info from them.
Our billings went up 20 % immediately because we were keeping track of our time better.
The project management is great as long as everyone is vigilant about tracking their files. It is a constant challenge to get employees to record the movement of a project but constant vigilance and discussion gets the point across to new staff quickly.
There is no follow up on queries, compliments or complaints. They only call if they want to sell you more.
It could be a great product if the customer service was there. Someone that will look at the problems and discuss possible solutions or a work around. But that doesn't happen so thank you Capterra for giving us alternatives to look into.