New York (April 9, 2003) - A recent survey shows CPAs are not overwhelmingly thrilled with the time and billing programs they use. At best, most are moderately satisfied.

More than 2,200 CPA firms ranked their time and billing programs in a recent survey conducted by the Management of an Accounting Practice Committee of PCPS, cpa2biz and the American Institute of CPAs. 

Respondents also ranked the importance of different functions of time and billing software on a scale of 1 to 5 as well their satisfaction with the functions. As illustrated in the table below, the top five most important functions were system stability, standard reports, direct time entry, on-screen billing and custom reports. 

Factor Importance Satisfaction
System Stability 4.67 3.93
Standard Reports 4.30 3.59
Direct Time Entry 4.10 3.97
On Screen Billing 4.10 3.51
Custom Reports 4.06 2.97

"The survey gave us insight into the program needs of CPA firms and alerted us to functions that are of greatest importance," noted Gary Adamson, chairman of the MAP task force that commissioned the survey.  "We hope this information will raise awareness among software designers and producers regarding the specific needs of CPA firms." The survey also showed that of the 84 different packages CPAs use, the top five were those from CPA Software, Unilink, CCH, Creative Solutions, and Timeslips.

However, while Timeslips has the highest percentage of firm users, it is chosen by only 8 percent of total CPA staff, indicating that it is disproportionately popular with small firms and sole practitioners. Large firms prefer CPA Software, which is used by 13 percent of surveyed firms, but 25 percent of total staff members surveyed.

To learn more about the survey or to offer feedback on the results, e-mail pcps@aicpa.org or visit the PCPS website at www.pcps.org. PCPS is the AICPA alliance for CPA Firms.

-- WebCPA staff

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