For accounting firms, the term "practice management" covers a range of definitions that includes virtually everything from codes of practice to the assignment of parking spaces. But when it comes to software, the term rapidly focuses on four capabilities that the management of any accounting firm needs to have available:1. The accurate collection of time, expense and billing data, with the added ability to integrate this information into the firm's internal accounting system.

2. A contact management system that provides for strong client and staff communications across the widest array of communications devices and technologies. For most software developers, the starting point for this capability has been integration with Microsoft Outlook and with various smartphone and PDA devices.

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