In the last few years – and especially during Covid – many accounting firms have gone paperless. The transition has been natural, especially with CRM systems that help CPAs and accountants manage the tremendous amount of client information. The demand for an effective CRM solution allows accountants to scale their business, increasing the number of client accounts they handle, centralize data for easy access to information anywhere at any time, and grow their business by keeping up with lead flows. Accounting CRM software makes everything convenient, and this is why so many of them exist.
Understanding CRM for accountants
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software refers to programs designed to help businesses (in this case, accounting firms, bookkeepers and tax professionals) handle client information and relationships better.
They are tools that bring order to the many elements of customer relationships in your organization, such as contact list-building, information updates, task tracking, automation, communication and email marketing, and many more.
The goal of CRM software is to make it easier for your business to better attend to your customers’ needs. To make it easier to choose the optimal CRM for accountants and tax preparers, here is our selection of eight platforms that we believe make strong contenders for the best CRM for tax professionals on the market.
TOP 8 accounting CRM platforms
Let’s delve into the benefits, key features and pricing options of each of the eight CRM tools.
HubSpot CRM describes itself as a platform dedicated to supporting the growth of organizations. It helps your firm achieve this with an easy-to-use CRM system that allows you to monitor both your team and clients on a clear, simple dashboard.
- Pipeline management, which lets you create and oversee the client journey
- Task and lead automation, which saves time and frees up the staff to focus on client work instead of admin tasks
- Customization tools and objects, which let you create a platform that is just the right fit for your business
- Tracking and progress reporting, which let you stay on top of firm performance
- Easy appointment and meeting scheduling capabilities for both clients and staff
- Unlimited users, data and up to 1 million contacts
HubSpot CRM offers free use of limited but effective tools, along with monthly plans ranging from $50 to $1,781 for individuals and small teams, depending on whether yours is the starter or the professional package.
Pros and cons
HubSpot is one of the most popular CRMs on the market, but no tool is perfect. Let’s explore some of the key pros and cons of HubSpot CRM.
|👍 Pros||👎 Cons|
|Free version||Free version is insufficient for larger businesses|
|Seamless integration with other HubSpot tools||Paid versions are relatively expensive — especially when coupled with other HubSpot tools|
|Robust analytics and reporting|
|HubSpot App Marketplace, with 1500+ integrations|
Many HubSpot customers praise its all-round ability to enhance and automate the sales process, as well as its user-friendly interface:
HubSpot provides all you need at the tip of your fingers. Your contacts and leads can be easily organized in stages/cycles. You can easily keep track of newly started deals and deals that are just seconds away from closing. You have all the tools for automation and generation in just a few clicks of a button.
On the flip side, some teams struggle with HubSpot’s complexity:
Both my team and I find that it is not very intuitive. We paid at the recommendation of HubSpot for three months of training via Webstack, and despite the training, we still have trouble understanding and/or remembering where to go to get things done.
TaxDome CRM software is tailor-made to meet the unique demands of accounting firms, providing accountants and bookkeepers with an all-encompassing solution for managing clients, teams and projects. The software integrates various features that allow for more automated client interactions and productive team management practices.
- A centralized hub with an intuitive interface that allows you to see where your attention is needed
- A custom-branded client portal for accountants for secure client communications, document management, e-signatures, invoicing and more
- A streamlined interface from which you can manage staff workload
- Bulk email sending, allowing accountants to reach out to many clients at a time. Other bulk actions are also available.
- Tax Organizers that allow firms to set up digital questionnaires for collecting customer data
- Data import for easy migration of data from prior CRM systems and documents such as spreadsheets and integrations with other software like QuickBooks, Zapier, Calendly, Outlook and more
- Custom fields and templates for centralization and management of client and staff data
- Unlimited e-signatures and automatic reminders
- Unlimited secure storage for both customer and staff data
- A dashboard that is shared across the entire team and provides real-time updates
- Email syncing, which automatically links all client emails to their account for your firm, saving you the hassle of manually finding them all
- Unlimited contacts, allowing your firm to grow without more spending on CRM
You can enjoy a live demo to see how TaxDome CRM software for accounting firms works. Alternatively, TaxDome has a 14-day free trial, which lets you experience the platform personally, and configure your processes, be they tax prep, bookkeeping, payroll or accounting.
Customers can opt for the $50 per month plan for all features and extra services: free support and training sessions, website hosting, unlimited contacts and document storage and more.
See how Cassandra Centeno from Total Tax Services has used TaxDome and its built-in CRM system to grow her client base:
Pros and cons
So, is TaxDome the right choice for you? Let’s highlight the pros and cons — and see what some of our customers have to say.
|👍 Pros||👎 Cons|
|Email sync, with personalized bulk emails||Not for those looking for lead generation and sales tools|
|Secure, custom-branded client portal||Not ideal if you want a standalone CRM|
|Unlimited file storage, contacts and e-signatures|
|Custom fields that allow you to store all your data in one place|
|Designed for accountants, bookkeepers and tax professionals|
|Part of a comprehensive practice management system|
Users not only appreciate TaxDome’s powerful CRM, but also the fact that you get a range of tools designed to streamline accounting processes — from document and task management to e-signatures, process automation, client communication and more:
I love that TaxDome not only provides the experience of a robust CRM, but also the convenience and functionality to provide a top service to accounting and bookkeeping clients. It allows you to simultaneously keep things confidential and efficient.
Because TaxDome is such a comprehensive platform that combines multiple tools and processes in one system, some customers mention the need for proper training and implementation:
As TaxDome is a pretty robust offering, it does take time to learn the ins and outs of using it effectively, set it up and implement it within your practice in the best way possible.
But fear not! Through a combination of hands-on support, regular webinars and the TaxDome Academy, we provide our users with all the expertise and guidance they need to get up and running fast.
Liscio is a CRM for accountants; its main goal is to facilitate file sharing and communication between firms and their clients. Always waiting for clients to send documents or spending hours searching for documents across various platforms is an ineffective hassle. Liscio aims to avoid this.
- Document management, allowing for easy access and sharing
- Easy tracking for client-facing tasks with reminders and alerts for overdue actions from clients
- Secure file sharing to Liscio from most existing platforms
- Real-time communication directly with clients in a simple messaging format
- Integrated e-signature
- A teamwide shared dashboard with real-time activity feeds
Liscio offers a free demo for those who are interested, with $50 a month pricing per user. The company also provides additional services like an Adobe Sign integration with a cost at $1,00 per signature.
Pros and cons
So what makes Liscio stand out from the crowd, and what are its drawbacks? Let’s take a look.
|👍 Pros||👎 Cons|
|Designed specifically for accountants||No free version|
|User-friendly||Only one pricing tier|
|Email, SMS and secure messaging||Fewer integrations than some competitors|
|Client tasks and auto-reminders|
Liscio users seem particularly happy with its messaging options, which help simplify client communications:
What I like the most is the feature of sending notifications by text. It helps in getting responses faster. We can also draft standard emails to be sent to clients, and it picks the contact details automatically, which reduces the chances of sending emails to the wrong recipients.
Meanwhile, other users state that it has been difficult to motivate clients to adopt Liscio, with many preferring the relative comfort of legacy tools.
It is difficult to get our clients who are less tech-savvy to use the program, not because it isn’t user-friendly. Instead, they are accustomed to using email. Also, we have not started using Liscio in place of email because we haven’t figured out how to get all of our clients on board.
PipeDrive prides itself on being a CRM platform designed to improve the sales process for salespeople and their clients.
- Lead management for easy client tracking of different stages of the sales journey
- Automation of repetitive tasks, so salespeople are free to focus on more demanding work
- Communications tracking of messages and calls with clients for transparency and open information availability
- Privacy and security features such as alerts and tips to keep company and client information secure
PipeDrive offers a 14-day free trial, and users can sign up for monthly subscriptions starting at $11.90 for the Essential plan, $24.90 for the Advanced plan and $74.90 for the Enterprise plan.
Pros and cons
Let’s take a look at the standout features of Pipedrive and where it could be improved.
|👍 Pros||👎 Cons|
|A range of pricing tiers to suit all needs||Very sales-focused, which may not suit accounting firms|
|Lead generation chatbot that engages web visitors 24/7||Steep learning curve|
|Sales automation||Limited customization and branding options|
|Insights, reporting and forecasting|
Because Pipedrive is aimed at salespeople, not accountants, it naturally gets rave reviews for its comprehensive sales pipeline features:
Pipedrive is an exceptional CRM platform for establishing an effective sales process for your company.
Other users, however, were quick to point out that while it’s sales-focused approach may be great for salespeople, other users might find it confusing:
Users may find the software complex and difficult to learn, especially if they are not familiar with sales management software.
Insightly CRM for bookkeepers and accountants is a platform designed to assist businesses in effectively handling clients at each step of their customer journey. Its interface allows for the effortless collection and viewing of customer data, as well as effective management of workflow.
- Convenient lead routing, sending the right content to the right client while allowing for timely follow-ups by your staff
- Time and resource-saving through automation of tasks
- Integration with other platforms such as Gmail, Outlook, and more
- Bulk email creation and sending, with stats for tracking on engagement
- Relationship tracking – link contacts to organizations
- Progress tracking for milestones and processes to keep you updated on the effectiveness of your projects
You can try Insightly CRM using the 14-day free trial or opt-in for one of three monthly subscription plans: Plus for $29, Professional for $49, and Enterprise for $99.
Pros and cons
Let’s take a quick look at Insightly’s key advantages and disadvantages — and what users have to say about it.
|👍 Pros||👎 Cons|
|2000+ integrations||Not the best choice for enterprises|
|Real-time performance insights||No native form builder|
|Scales with your organization||Lacks flexibility and customization|
|Intuitive user interface|
Insightly users seem satisfied with how user-friendly and intuitive the platform is:
Insightly is quick and easy to use. I can record call details in under a minute. It is easy to search and group information that I may need to look at, and it is easy to filter info so that I see just what I want to see.
But there are also some gripes about its lack of customization options and flexibility:
There are limited options for tailoring the platform to our specific needs. It would be beneficial if Insightly offered more flexibility in terms of custom fields, workflows and reporting templates. This would allow us to adapt the system to our unique business requirements and improve overall efficiency.
Zoho CRM aims to help businesses increase the effectiveness of their sales and customer relationship.
- Automation of marketing, sales journey and workflow
- Lead and deal management that helps identify deals that can close
- Contact management that puts all your client contact information in one, easy-to-access place
- Platform customization to suit your firm’s needs concerning the accounting workflow
- Reporting on various aspects of progress, with viewable analytics that help you gauge firm performance
- Email integration from any platform and management of email content that you send to clients
Zoho CRM offers a free edition of its program with tools that you can enjoy without making a payment. More features are available in its four paid monthly plans: $20 for standard, $35 for professional, $50 for enterprise, and $65 for ultimate. You can try Zoho CRM in action and its main features with a 15-day free trial before making a purchase.
Pros and cons
So how does this popular CRM stack up? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
|👍 Pros||👎 Cons|
|Free version||Takes a while to customize and set up|
|Paid plans are affordable||Not the most user-friendly|
|Seamless integration with other Zoho tools||The broad range of features leads to a steep learning curve|
|Solid email marketing and automation features|
One of the most common plus points among user reviews is Zoho CRM’s seamless integration with other tools under the Zoho One umbrella:
One of the standout features of Zoho One is the seamless integration among its applications. It allows me to easily share data and information between different apps, eliminating the need for manual data entry or importing/exporting data between systems.
Other users flag up Zoho CRM’s steep learning curve. Due to the breadth of its offering, there’s a lot to get to grips with:
The thing I dislike with this application is that the learning curve for first time individuals can be high, especially for those who’re unfamiliar with CRM programs. Even though the user interface is easy-to-use, quite a few users may need extra coaching or support to completely control the platform’s features.
Nimble markets itself as the CRM platform that is the best suited for teams that prioritize using office 365 and G Suite. However, it is just as effective as a CRM even if your firm doesn’t utilize those platforms.
- Contact unification automatically combines contact information from over 160 different apps into an easy-to-access portal for you
- Contact segmentation helps you group your clients according to their needs and interests
- Team and client management on dashboards that provide customer relationship insights and staff progress on given tasks
- Easy access from anywhere, at any time on platforms such as web browsers, email and socials
- Analytics to help you track your progress on both sales and team performance
- Visual sales pipeline to keep track of clients at different points of the sale process
You can try Nimble for free for 14 days, or opt into their $29.90 per month plan to enjoy these and other features for longer.
Pros and cons
Let’s take a quick look at Nimble’s key plus points and drawbacks.
|👍 Pros||👎 Cons|
|Browser and email extensions help you find and connect with leads faster||Only one pricing tier|
|Social profile matching||No desktop app|
|Microsoft and Google integrations|
|Easy to set up and use|
Many user reviews mention Nimble’s ability to connect with their email and social accounts, making contact management and lead nurturing easier than ever:
Everything links, whether socials, Mailchimp, emails or calendar.
On the downside, a few reviewers have flagged persistent technical issues that hamper productivity:
We find it quite problematic that sometimes not all information reaches the cloud, causing us to lose information that may be critical to us, resulting in a loss of time and opportunities.
Method CRM is a perfect match for tax professionals already using CPA CRM software QuickBooks. It is a platform that offers integration with QuickBooks, creating an effective accounting practice management software for any accounting firm.
- Online portal creation for clients, allowing them to make their payments completely on their own
- Lead management with an automated lead collection system. Sync leads to QuickBooks upon becoming paying clients.
- Customer management with a complete overview of all clients and their information, so you can craft targeted sales campaigns for the right contacts
- Customization tools such as fields, tables and templates that allow you to create a platform that is specific to your firm’s needs
You get a 30-day free trial with Method, and either a monthly $28 Contact Management plan or a $49 CRM Pro subscription if you decide to continue. The difference is in the integration of QuickBooks on the CRM Pro plan.
Pros and cons
Let’s look at where Method CRM excels — and where it falls short.
|👍 Pros||👎 Cons|
|Designed for accounting firms||Steep learning curve|
|Real-time sync with QuickBooks||Limited native integrations beyond QuickBooks and Xero|
One of the most popular features among users seems to be its ability to sync with both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online:
Very easy to sync with Quickbooks Desktop — the best in class in this regard.
That said, other users discuss that when it comes to native integrations beyond QuickBooks and Xero, Method CRM is behind some of its competitors:
There are not many other productivity applications it can integrate with other than QuickBooks.
Comparison of CRMs
Still unsure which CRM is the best choice for your accounting or tax firm? To help you decide, the table below provides an at-a-glance comparison of key points relating to customer satisfaction, pricing and support.
|G2 rating||Free trial||Free version||Price per user/month||Designed for accountants||24/7 support|
Key factors in selecting an accounting CRM
We’ve just finished reviewing some of the best CRM platforms for accountants, bookkeepers and tax professionals. And now, it’s decision time! But wait, before you get too overwhelmed, we have a solution to simplify the process. Just ask yourself these three questions to narrow down your choices and find the perfect fit.
What is my budget for a CRM platform?
Before diving headfirst into the world of CRM platforms for tax and accounting professionals, it’s necessary to keep your budget in mind. While some free options are out there, they often come with limited functionality. So, consider your needs carefully and ask yourself: are you willing to invest in a more robust platform that offers more features?
Also, think about whether you want to pay monthly or annually. Choosing the latter can result in some serious cost savings over time.
What is the limit on the number of contacts I can add to CRM?
Not all CRMs are created equal, and some may have limitations that could hinder your ability to boost your business. One crucial factor to consider is the number of contacts you can add. Some CRMs, such as TaxDome or Pipedrive, offer unlimited contact capacity. On the other hand, some popular CRMs like HubSpot may have limitations when it comes to adding users.
Do I need to integrate CRM with any other software systems?
When choosing a good CRM accounting platform, it’s not just about the features that come with it—it’s also about the integrations. Make sure that the software you choose has connections with your favorite tax programs and payment providers. For example, TaxDome has integrations with QuickBooks, Zapier, and various schedulers like Calendly, to name a few. Method also offers integration with QuickBooks. Nimble is best suited for teams using Office 365 and G Suite.
Are you currently using another CRM platform? When selecting a new software, be sure to choose one that allows for smooth data transfer. This will save you time and ensure that no client data is lost.
Case study: transformed client relationships with TaxDome’s CRM
To see how a CRM can transform client relationships for an accounting firm, here’s an example from Tax Man To You, LLC.
Tax Man To You, an accounting firm focused on e-commerce sellers and sales taxes, experienced rapid growth over the last few years. To better manage client relationships during this period, the company implemented TaxDome.
TaxDome provided Tax Man To You with a comprehensive CRM platform to manage the entire client lifecycle:
- Create organizers and gather client data
- Store documents and client information
- Facilitate communications
As Brittany Pullin, manager and sales tax associate, explains: “With TaxDome, we’ve been able to gather client and task management in one place.”
Since adopting TaxDome’s CRM, organizing and managing client information is no longer chaotic across multiple systems and spreadsheets. With better visibility into client data and interactions, Tax Man To You can deliver an improved client experience.
Hear directly from Brittany on the transformative impact of TaxDome’s CRM:
Rev up your accounting processes with the power of CRM integration
When looking for good CRM accounting software, go for a platform that lets you streamline both your staff and client relationships, like TaxDome. The practice management platform can help you build an environment that is easy to navigate for all parties, which makes your accounting work infinitely easier. Therefore, a dedicated tax practice CRM platform like TaxDome is the most optimal selection for firms and professionals in the accounting industry.
Whether you have concerns about CRM software features for accounting and bookkeeping or need assistance with integrations, our team is here to provide the guidance you need. Join us for a demo to discuss your specific working needs!
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