Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Online accounting for accountants: Benefit 2

My last post dealt with what happens if you have clients on lots of different versions of the same program.

What if you've also got clients who use lots of other programs? So as well as Sage, you've got clients on QuickBooks, TAS, Cashflow Manager, and maybe one or two on MYOB thrown in for good measure.

Then what happens if your clients get stuck and need help posting a transaction?

Do you have staff in your office who know their way round all those packages, and can provide telephone support for your clients?

Or do your clients have to sign up to additional, expensive, support cover from the software provider, because you can't help them?

And then what happens at year end, as your staff struggle to extract meaningful information from a program they're not comfortable and familiar with?

I can tell you what happens - you get an angry, frustrated team member and a lot of time to write off.

It may just be my own experience. But the online accounting packages I've seen all have support bundled in as part of their monthly fee. Nothing extra to pay.

And many of them, as well as written "help manuals", have extra, free, Help features.

FreeAgent uses a GetSatisfaction forum so that users can swap ideas and tips. KashFlow has a "send us a query" feature that's always been very quickly answered when I've used it.

But the best Help feature I've seen so far belongs to Winweb, who have 24-7, live, instant, chat support available. Jason Holden tells me that's even operational on Christmas Day.

So, for better support and help for your clients and staff, the online packages take the medal.

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