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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
total organization running our office
We have been using the software since 2007. It runs our office. All client information is under one hood. We use it to track projects as they move thru the office,capturing time , archiving documents and processing our billing as we move thru the month. We schedule our appointments, track phone calls. We use the client portal as a secure way to deliver and receive documents. I highly recommend this software to all accounting firms. You will no longer miss project deadlines. You will capture more billable time and become more efficient in your daily operations.
Feel free to contact me for more user perspective
For the most part we are pleased with the functionality of Office Tools. The help sections needs to have a few more topics that it will help with.
It makes organizing files very easy. There are money sort options to choose from when searching for documents.
The time tracker is really useful when working on large accounts.
It does not require an account to have a designated number. It stores information by the name on the account. If there is ever a name change, (such as with a marriage or divorce) all documents assigned to the original name disappear.
Also in the billing feature, there is no report that you can run that will let you search by a specific invoice number.
Great office hub.
70-80% of the features provided are very easy to use and very intuitive. The navigation getting from task to documents to calendar etc is super easy. You feel like a power user almost right away.
Documents and the portal system are easy to use and very intuitive. Same with ToDo's, Calls, and schedules. Instant success. Billing is easy at it's basic level but as you get into options and features it can take some time. A fair trade off for the feature set. Time tracking is available for evey screen in the software so that's great.
They have an amazing base product. They need to stop shooting them selves in the foot on updates, new feature roll out and customer relations. Examples are:
1. Pacific time support hours only. If your on the east coast and you have a problem in the morning, you get to deal with it until 11am. That's a problem.
2. No user community. Facebook and linked in are not user communities. They need to have a place for users to gather, ask and answer questions, and post information about services and updates so users can be informed.
3. Being proactive when there is a system wide issues. Like every software company, things happen from time to time. I have no problem with that. But when it does there should be an e-mail alert to all users and it should be posted in the user community. I should not have to check face book on the off chance something is posted.
4. Loosen control of system variables. The report function, which is very good, hits strong limits when you can only access certain variables from the system depending on the report type. There is no reason to limit access to variables. Multiple reps from inside the company agree with this and have for years, yet no change.
5. Online helps and training. Office tools has some excellent online videos and resources for using their software. But they tend to not be updated regularly and are hit and miss on what they cover and what they don't. There is little consistency in online help.
6. Out of room!!!
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.
It taught me not to believe the features you read on websites.
The days it works without data loss or speed issues. More often than not, it is extremely slow and non-responsive. We have an amazing cloud environment with more than adequate resources for this basic application. Office Tools is the only program that is slow or non-responsive on a daily basis.
There are many many little glitches that we have not brought to supports attention because we were told by your support team: "glitches must have been previously identified to exist". Your engineers told my IT consultant that we were not using the software properly, which resulted in the DATA LOSS we were experiencing. This is complete crap, as I witnessed the issue with my own eyes and know that Office Tools has a critical engineering issue that can result in lost data. I have also experienced the data loss issue across two separate companies (and IT environments) and have experienced this issue as far back as 2014. But that's not important, right?
The ABOVE MENTIONED ISSUE IS PROJECT ASSIGNMENTS CAN REVERT TO PREVIOUSLY ASSIGNED ASSIGNMENT WITHOUT ANY PROOF THE NEW ASSIGNMENT WAS EVER CREATED.
THE PROFILE SYNC DOESN'T WORK. THE CEO ACKNOWLEDGED THIS AS A KNOWN ISSUE YET THE COMPANY IS STILL SELLING IT AS IF IT WORKS.
ACCOUNTS WITH THE SAME PRIMARY CONTACT MAY HAVE THEIR FILE NAME CHANGED BY OFFICE TOOLS WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO CHANGE IT BACK TO THE PROPER NAME.
THE SIN (CANADA) NUMBER DOESNT SHOW PERIODICALLY UNLESS YOU HIT THE EDIT BUTTON, THEN IT MAGICALLY APPEARS.
Overall the software is not reliable and the company culture is disappointing. I brought the data integrity issue to the CEO and he brushed it off as a non issue, despite it being mission critical for his customers. Never will we recommend this software to anyone. It sounds better than it is.
We are much more organized and spend much less time trying to be organized. It has saved us time which in turn saves us money.
We love that it integrates with our Office365, that we can easily upload docs to a secure portal, get esignatures for a very low price and that it keeps track of who last touched the "file". Very impressed with being able to send email templates to clients with information we are constantly repeating, which saves an enormous amount of time.
For an excellent program, you have to put a TON of time in getting it set up. Garbage in Garbage out means you need to have a plan. It would be nice if there was a planning tool to help guide you throught the set up process. The one hour video isn't terribly helpful. An excel spreadsheet would be wonderful, if you do this, you need to do thus kind of thing.
I'm a sole practitioner. I've used the product for over 8 years. I mainly use the billing, due date monitoring and portal. Office Tools makes my billing process easy. I have set up standard paragraphs and just insert to complete the invoices. Due date monitoring keeps me aware of due dates and will roll forward projects when completed. I have Thomson Reuters Practice included in a subscription package for essentially no cost, but choose to continue using Office Tools as it is a straight forward robust product.
I really don't have any "Cons" per se. On rare occasions, the software will freeze and I'll have to restart.
It greatly helps in our effort for a paper-free office!
I love the phone call section and the to-do section the most. These features make our office run smooth as silk. It is so nice to create a tax season to-do, with thirty-two items on it. I finish the thirty-two items and I am now ready for tax season. Then I change the date on the to-do and it pops up next year. This saves me so much time!
Sometimes it takes a little while to fix small problems. Large problems are fixed very quickly though. I wish they would fix the amount of characters possible on the first name line. There really hasn't been too many cons for us, as we love the software!
See my survey
The record keeping itself is worth its weight in gold. Having one software that lets you store and organize files, create and follow projects, time keeping and billing as well as schedules. I totally have become solely dependent on this one program to enable me to complete days of work into several hours. Customer support is the best. They taught me and helped me without judgement!!
Need it to be cloud based for easier use anywhere work takes me. Pricing is a bit high for smaller clients. I would like to have all of our accounting clients using this product. I also wish the big Vegas Show was on East Coast as well.
Keeps my firm organized through project workflow, keeps track our time and billing, hold all of our client information.
The software is very user friendly software, very customizable, very reasonably priced. The customer support is amazing and they are open to feature enhancements. The features I enjoy most are the syncing with QuickBooks, the excel import feature, timers and entering time with ease, activity list keep you organized, project workflow is amazing. Very excited about the web based version coming out at the end of 2017.
Needs to link to other tax software other than just Lacerte.
Number of reports could be improved but not bad.
Overall experience has beeen great! We are learning new things every day that we can accomplish with Office Tools and it’s been very beneficial to our growing accounting firm.
It does everything from scheduling, time tracking, document organization to project management. All of our clients information is together in once place and every one in our office has access to it. I can see who has worked on which projects, for how long and when they’ve been completed. It also tracks our invoicing and will sync emails to each clients document folder which is super helpful!
Access to all of the features can be modified for each employee, however changing it to allow access isn’t very clear and doesn’t give detail on what it allows them access to. Overall great software!