"To change is a very difficult thing to do at that time and the support of Reckon Elite and their staff was excellent. We effected the change of software and re-trained 1,200 staff in a weekend. Their product and support during the tax season has been first class. They are a Can Do Company who I would recommend to others."
Frank Brass, Regional Director, H&R Block Limited, Brunswick, VIC
"I am very impressed with your product and find it very user friendly. I have used other products in the past and this one surpasses them all."
Richard Karwacki, Shelley, WA
"The tax preparation software was first class, easy to follow and work through. Telephone support, also first class in regards to support availability and problem solving assistance. Keep up the good work."
Wallan Accounting & Taxation Services, Wallan, VIC
"After the debacle created by my previous suppliers lack of customer support to an absolute failure of a program, changing to your software was a breath of fresh air."
R.J.Williams & Associates, Morphett Vale, SA
"I am very impressed with the program. After only 2 hours of having it operational, it is running smoothly."
Judy O’Flynn, Judy O’Flynn Accounting, Mitcham, VIC
"Previously I used another tax supplier and find your product to be far more superior, being very easy to use and navigate around."
Graham Behrendorff, Warragul, VIC
"I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and user friendliness of your product. The system was easy to use, easy to navigate and with its inbuilt backup module was quite easy to manage without the necessity to attend lengthy seminars. Far superior to a competing system, which I installed but hardly used. Technical Backup was excellent, your friendly staff sparing nothing to solve my problems."
John Mason, J A Mason, Bentleigh East, VIC
Vlamis Accounting Group - Geelong, VIC
In 2006 Steve Vlamis decided to open his own accounting firm, Vlamis Accounting Group in Geelong. His accouting practice has steadily grown in that time and Steve takes pride in being able to deal direct with his clients from start to finish and not relying on junior staff which can result in time spent reviewing and adjusting the work, costing the client more in fees.
Steve’s practice, much like many local firms, works predominantly with small businesses. He also specialises in working with clients with rental properties. Steve’s clients generally have a turnover under $2 million a year and manage their own day-to-day finances. A number of Steve’s clients will see him monthly or quarterly mainly for help with preparing BAS statements, tax planning and financial reporting.
Prior to starting his own accounting practice in 2006 Steve worked with a large firm based in Geelong. After working for the firm for 17 years, he looked forward to the freedom of working on his own and having a more direct involvement with his business clients.
One of the first challenges Steve faced when opening his own firm was finding an accounting system that was appropriate for his needs. Steve had previously used Solution 6 accounting software which he found to be unstable, costly to train staff and not very user firendly.
"The system I previously used would occassionally crash and when it did we would lose data. This resulted in the accountants in the firm unable to use the software for some time whilst it was restored. I really wanted a program that was reliable and stable and suited a small accounting firm." Steve sought out a system that was easy to learn, that was regularly updated and had support readily available.
"A friend and I were both in the same position, starting our own businesses. So we went to Melbourne together met with a number of people who showed us various well known accounting and tax software products for accounting firms," says Steve.
As part of the search for the right accounting solution, Steve downloaded a free two week trial of Reckon Elite and spent time "playing around" with Practice Management, Tax and Ledger. Steve also recalls meeting with the original owner of Elite in Chirnside Park, Melbourne who explained Reckon Elite in more detail.
"I was immediately impressed with the look and feel of Reckon Elite, especially the tax functionality."
Straight away Steve could see how he could easily manage clients database, tax and ledger information in the one centralised area without having to jump to different programs. Reckon Elite Practice Management handles all the client administration and lodgement for the client. The system is intuitive and helps reduce time spent entering data.
"Everything I need is in Reckon Elite. And if I have any problems I can pay for support when I need it. While email support is free I am always keen to speak to someone over the phone."
The Vlamis Accounting Group expects to continue to grow in the years ahead. As Steve’s firm grows he can also take advantage of more Reckon Elite products and move up to Reckon Elite Enterprise edition. The Enterprise edition is designed for larger practices and by operating on an SQL database it offers faster performance, as well as enhanced stability and security.
Reckon Elite can be purchased in modules, making it easy for users to hand-pick what they need and not pay for software they don’t. Reckon Elite ‘tax packs’ also make it easy to purchase various combinations of Reckon Elite modules such as the Accoutant’s Pack which includes Practice Management, Tax Ledger, Assets and AdvanceDocs.
Pearce Accounting - Orange, NSW
James Pearce, recently started his own business, Pearce Accounting in Orange, NSW. He has built up around 30 clients, mostly in the SME sector. When Mr Pearce left an established practice, he knew it would take networking, referrals, friends, family and any other means at his disposal to build the business.
While expanding the client base takes work, he couldn’t afford the time and effort required to learn new software. However, he knew he couldn’t continue operating with the frustrations of the accounting software he had used previously.
Mr Pearce contacted Reckon and was given a presentation of Reckon Elite practice management software. "It seemed really good and easy to use," he says, "and [today] it’s an excellent software package, particularly the tax side of it."
Elite Tax ensures client returns can be prepared and lodged with minimum effort and maximum ease. The program is intuitive and reduces the time spent preparing and lodging tax returns by incorporating detailed worksheets, tax rulings, an on-screen tax calculator, Internet and dialup IP lodgement and much more.
Mr Pearce praises Elite Tax’s speed, accuracy and ease of use and echoes similar sentiments for Elite’s Ledger program. Ledger prepares comprehensive financial reports for sole traders, partnerships, trusts, companies and superannuation funds with a chart of accounts and compliant statutory financial reporting in an easy-to-use interface. "There are a hundred little things about Elite that all add up to make it great software," Mr Pearce says.
He remarks on the excellent database set up in Practice Management compared to his previous software. He said he previously had to exit the program to do a task as elementary as locating a client’s contact phone number. Now he can be half way through a tax return and simply access client details with a single click without having to restart the program.
So while much of Mr Pearce’s energy is devoted to adding clients and expanding the services he offers to each, one thing he doesn’t have to worry about is the frustration of his accounting software letting him down. "I would definitely recommend Elite," he says.
Tre Ponte Corporate Pty Ltd - Jindalee, QLD
Michael Vail FCPA, with his wife and fellow Director, Ms Loretta Seamer FCPA, operate a successful business advisory and accounting business in Jindalee, Queensland, Tre Ponte Corporate (www.treponte.com.au). The business has an estimated 760 clients on the books - not bad for someone who seemed more likely to be counting sheep and cattle on the family property near Blackall, some 950 kilometres away.
Born and raised outside the tiny outback Queensland town, Mr Vail has parlayed years of schooling and accounting industry experience into a profitable, well-respected practice. The services offered by Tre Ponte Corporate include business advisory, corporate finance, business valuations and appraisals, succession planning, estate planning, wealth creation and management, taxation advice and planning and taxation services.
Mr Vail set up his own small accounting practice in March 1996. In July 2008 he purchased the firm then known as Mollee Murdoch & Vail, from founding partners Ben Mollee and Peter Murdoch. The 40-year-old business advisory and accounting practice, offers assistance to micro-businesses and individual tax-payers, with most of their customers coming from small to medium business clients with gross revenues ranging between $500,000 and $10,000,000.
"There was a lot of software here when I first came to this firm," he said, "and not one of them spoke to each other, therefore it was enter the data once, then enter again and so on." Now, Tre Ponte Corporate utilises both Reckon Accounts and Reckon Elite software.
Mr Vail, a Reckon Professional Partner, uses Reckon Accounts for his General Ledger Accounts for clients and his own business. He says he finds Reckon Accounts offers the best flexibility and ease of use for the Chart of Accounts, which is the basis of any great accounting system.
For taxation compliance, Mr Vail and his staff use Reckon Elite’s practice management software which helps them complete returns with minimum effort and maximum accuracy. Mr Vail replaced Tre Ponte Corporate’s existing Sol 6 software with the Reckon Elite Practice Pack because it covered all aspects of the practice’s business, without the huge cost impost.
Reckon Elite’s Practice Pack includes all the necessary tools for a wide range of accounting and tax practices. Elite Practice Management is a client management system with customisable tools such as a multi-user appointment diary, document manager and a task manager/client notes utility to track the status of clients. Elite Tax ensures client returns are prepared and lodged quickly by utilising detailed worksheets, tax rulings, internet and dial-up IP lodgement.
The Practice Pack has simplified operations at Tre Ponte Corporate, and made preparing and lodging tax returns, Mr Vail says, as simple as "following the bouncing ball." "I recommend the software to any progressive accountant who requires simplicity and ease of use," Mr Vail says.