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Call Now The best accounting software for SMB makes it simple and easy to keep accurate financial records for expenses, profit and purposes. Having the right package is non-negotiable if you're trying to run your own small business business, and the sooner you deploy one of the best accounting bundles the better. While there are standalone platforms for invoicing software and tax software for small businesses, generally your accounting platforms will be more comprehensive. While there are some very good paid-for accounting programs around, there are also a strong number of free accounting software solutions currently available, as well as bookkeeping software. While some of these are simply free tiers for paid software, others are freeware programs you can download and use without charge to help with budgeting. There are also time management apps that can integrate for consultants or freelancers who need to charge by hour. This can be very helpful for start-ups who want to keep their accounts organized without committing to a solution, while also reducing initial costs. Other businesses might simply prefer them because they often allow for a greater control of your data, by running on your own machines rather than on third-party clouds. The best accounting solution will also integrate with any ecommerce software you're running, regardless of the theme installed. Here we'll feature the best accounting software currently available on the market, and also include further options to consider, as you can opt for specific expense tracker apps or even customer accounts. Freshbooks is our best all round accounting software option for small businesses (Image credit: Freshbooks) Best all-rounder for small businesses Reasons to buy +User-friendly interface+Plenty of depth and features+Integrates with many popular services Reasons to avoid -Too many features for some-Complex features need time-More costs for more features FreshBooks is a popular cloud-based accounting service designed specifically for small business owners. The package has plenty of features – invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, a host of business reports, even an option to take credit card payments – and a straightforward interface aimed at non-accountants ensures you'll be up-and-running right away. Despite the simplicity, there's real depth here. You can bill in any currency, save time by setting up recurring invoices, allow customers to pay via credit card by checking a box, and even automatically bill their credit card to keep life simple for everyone. If you need more power, the system integrates with many other services, including PayPal, MailChimp, Basecamp, WordPress, Gusto, Zendesk and more. Management hassles are kept to a minimum. You're able to access and use the system from your desktop or its free iOS and Android apps, and because it's a cloud-based system there's no need to worry about backups. If this sounds appealing, you can try FreshBooks for 30 days without using a credit card. QuickBooks is perfect accounting software for all small business needs (Image credit: Intuit) Most comprehensive accounting software for small business Reasons to buy +Even basic plan is well-featured+Lots of extras available+Free trial Reasons to avoid -Several versions-Deals change frequently-Lots to learn QuickBooks is an instantly recognizable name in the world of accountancy and bookkeeping. It’s owned by Intuit, which also has other options for small business and large ones too, with a diverse portfolio that includes Turbotax, Mint and Proconnect. QuickBooks also comes in numerous different varieties, from desktop editions through to the hugely popular Online edition. Depending on your requirements, you can choose from QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-Employed, QuickBooks Online Advanced, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise. However, it is possible to create a custom package using the help of the QuickBooks team if you need a more bespoke option. Due to the sheer expanse of QuickBooks-based products it’s best to check out the website in order to get the latest update on pricing, versions available and also any deals that Intuit has on this vast range of accounting solutions. Xero is an excellent option for small businesses that need extra accounting features (Image credit: Xero) Best small business accounting software for extra features Reasons to buy +Temptingly cheap Starter plan+Excellent mobile apps+Fully expandable Reasons to avoid -Basic plan has limitations-Costs start to add up-Some limitations Xero might grab your attention with its low-cost Early plan account but look closely and limitations soon become apparent – like being restricted to sending a maximum of five invoices, entering five bills, or reconciling only 20 bank transactions. Still, if you can live with those restrictions there are some pluses here. The service offers smart expense tracking and management, optionally on your mobile with Xero's excellent app for Android and iOS. There are dozens of configurable reports, simple budgeting, and no limits at all on additional users or the accountants you might want to access the data. If the invoice, bank or billing issues are a problem then the Xero Growing plan looks like a better deal. It's a lot more money, but you can issue as many invoices and enter as many bills as you like. Xero offers plenty of functionality for any small business, including a handy "convert your QuickBooks files" service to help you get started, and it's certainly easy to use. But if you don't quite need all that power, there's better value to be had elsewhere. Sage provides the best small business accounting solution for multiple users (Image credit: Sage) Best small business accounting solution for multiple users Reasons to buy +Good value proposition+Neatly presented and easy-to-use+Impressive customer support Reasons to avoid -Basic options quite limited-Paid for means more to learn-Steepish learning curve Sage Accounting makes a good first impression with its clear and gimmick-free pricing. The top Sage Accounting plan offers decent value and there is also a 30-day free trial. For this, you get modules to manage quotes, invoices, handle and submit VAT online, smart bank feeds and reconciliation, cash flow forecasting, some detailed reports, multiple currency support, project tracking and more, all available from your desktop or via a mobile app. All this is well presented and generally easy-to-use. If you run into trouble, detailed web help and video tutorials are only a click or two away, with the offer of “free unlimited 24/7 telephone and email support” that should help make any newbie comfortable. Sage also has a more basic offering called Accounting Start. This doesn't include support for quotes, estimates or vendor bills, and has no cash flow forecasts, but it could be enough for start-ups as well as small businesses. Kashoo delivers the best hassle-free accounting software for small business users (Image credit: Kashoo) Best hassle-free accounting software for small business users Reasons to buy +Multi-currency support+Neatly designed dashboard Reasons to avoid -No Android mobile app-Basic in some areas Choosing an accounting package often involves browsing a complicated comparison table, looking for hidden catches and trying to figure out which is the best product for you. Kashoo avoids all that and delivers just about everything you're likely to need. Kashoo shines when it comes to multi-currency support, an important feature for today’s global economy. It also supports credit card transactions for all the major carriers such as Amex, Visa and Mastercard – at a competitive fee. You also benefit from unlimited invoices and connections to over 5,000 financial institutions to reconcile accounts online. We liked the uncluttered interface of this product, and the dashboard that provides a good summary of your current financial situation at a glance. Kashoo also offers customer support across the gamut of email, phone, live chat and social media – this company will even respond to an old-fashioned letter! One current shortcoming to note, however, is that there is only a mobile app for iOS, leaving Android users out in the cold for the time being. Kashoo offers a 14-day trial for those looking to test the service out. Zoho Books packs the best automated features for small business accounting (Image credit: Zoho) Best accounting software with an automated edge Reasons to buy +Easy to use+Many features and functions Reasons to avoid -Lack of payroll-Basic plan limited Zoho Books is just one small part of a much greater business concern based in India that offers all manner of solutions for anyone and everyone. With its clean and simple cloud-based interface Zoho Books makes a great cost-effective option if you’re a freelancer, sole trader or someone running a small business. While the desktop route is a solid one Zoho Books also has an impressive app presence, making it a good mobile bet too. The basic plan offers a limited number of contacts (as in the maximum amount of customers or vendors you can create transactions for), 2 users (as in yourself and your accountant) and 5 automated workflows. The most popular package is Standard, which comes with up to 500 contacts, 3 users and 10 automated workflows. Professional, meanwhile, is a full bells-and-whistles experience that offers 500 contacts, 10 users and 10 automated workflows. Incidentally, sign up for a yearly package and you get 2 months off. Zoho does offer additional add-ons, more about which you can glean from its website. There’s also a free 14-day trial available. Wave boasts some of the best small business accounting tools for little outlay (Image credit: Wave) Best value accounting software for small business use Reasons to buy +Hugely popular service+Nicely designed and put together Reasons to avoid -Will be too basic for medium-sized firms-Paid for tech support With more than two million users, Wave is one of the most successful online accounting services - and it's completely free for accounting, invoicing and receipts, although if you want personal technical support you'll need to pay for it. Payroll isn't included in the free service either, and you do get the occasional advert – just as you do with pretty much any free online service. It's a very well designed and carefully thought out application, and while it's probably a little basic for medium-sized businesses it's a good option for sole traders, freelancers and small firms. However, note that while Wave is free to use, you still pay per transaction. For start-ups and businesses with low sales volume this may not matter, but for businesses with significant sales volume they may be able to find a more competitive pricing model. KashFlow delivers the best simplified online accounting option (Image credit: KashFlow) Best simplified online accounting option TODAY'S BEST DEALS Kashflow Business & Payroll Reasons to buy +Solid VAT support in UK+Useful payroll option Reasons to avoid -Chargeable video tutorials-Complex structure KashFlow prides itself on keeping things simple, which is always good news when you’re dealing with your accounts and anything tax-related. This cloud-based software solution can be used from anywhere and at any time, just as long as you can get connected. The service comes armed with a full suite of tools, which can not only let you tackle your accounting chores, but can also be used to take on payroll and HR duties too. The Starter package is aimed at sole traders, contractors and small businesses. You can send unlimited quotes and 10 invoices, along with reconciling 25 bank transactions. Although it’s only a single user account it works with bank feeds, has a mobile app along with a customizable dashboard. The Business edition is aimed at growing businesses and limited companies. This has the benefit of allowing unlimited quotes and invoices, plus you can reconcile unlimited bank transactions. It’s multi-user and lets you manage and submit VAT returns online. Finally, KashFlow offers a Business and Payroll package, which has all of the aforementioned features along with added payroll functionality. At the time of writing KashFlow also had more competitive pricing based on an Annual payment plan, rather than the monthly costings shown above. If you’re happy to commit then that might offer savings. Best accounting software: how did we choose? Best accounting software: how did we choose? Choosing our selection of the best accounting software has involved trying out each of the packages featured here over a period of time. Our real world testing scenarios include checking how accounts software performs generally, along with scrutinising all of the features and functions. Best accounting software aimed at SMB users needs to be straightforward and efficient to use too, because not everyone has experience of accounting. Therefore, simplicity and value for money are two major factors we also look out for. Similarly, the best accounting software also has to be flexible and adaptable in order to suit the needs of business users as well as featuring compatibility with other software, apps and cloud-based backup tools. Bookkeeping vs Accounting, what's the difference? Bookkeeping vs Accounting, what's the difference? If you're in business, or even if you just want to keep on top of your financial affairs, it's likely you'll encounter both bookkeeping and accounting. However, they are slightly different in that bookkeeping is the process of keeping tabs on daily financial transactions and recording them. Accounting, on the other hand, is the process of compiling all of that information prior to filing tax returns. In both cases, you can make either task much easier by enlisting the help of bookkeeping and account software. Most packages now let you carry out both jobs and all within the framework of one interface. The other bonus with using software to manage your books and submit accounts for taxation purposes is that the package will invariably come complete with tools for making the job that much easier. In many cases you'll simply need to add in your figures, collated from things like bank statements and receipts. Thankfully that job is made much easier than it used to be because much of the information you need to record is captured digitally. Most bookkeeping and accounting software will allow you to import a lot of this digital data into your chosen program, meaning much less work is needed to stay on top of both your books and your accounts. Best free accounting software Best free accounting software ZipBooks accounting software is a great option if you've got a limited budget to play with (Image credit: ZipBooks) The best free accounting software around... Reasons to buy +Modern interface+Unlimited invoicing Reasons to avoid -Advanced features bundled into paid tiers ZipBooks offers accounting software that has a contemporary interface along with a robust feature set. It promises to make accounting easy so the user can save time, and get on with other tasks. The Starter tier is available for free. It provides unlimited invoices to an unlimited number of customers, making it less restrictive than some other free accounting offerings. It can also be used for unlimited bookkeeping, and can accept payments from credit cards and PayPal. Paid tiers include most of the features you'll ever need, including advanced ones such as smart tagging, with advanced reporting and intelligence. Money Manager Ex is a great option if you're self-employed and on a tight budget (Image credit: Money Manager Ex) Best straightforward free accounting software Reasons to buy +Impressively user-friendly+Plenty of features+Can be used straight from a USB stick Another superb open source tool, Money Manager Ex is well designed and packed with enough features to rival premium software. It's easy to understand, and you'll have your accounts and transactions set up in no time. Money Manager Ex's simplicity makes it a particularly good choice for sole traders or your own home finances. This free accounting software is a portable app, so you can save and use it straight from a USB stick without even needing to install it. There's an Android app for updating your accounts on the move, too. GnuCash offers a simplified accounting software experience (Image credit: GnuCash) Best simple approach option for accounting Reasons to buy +Hugely flexible software+Boasts some payroll features+Handles multiple currencies GnuCash is accounting software designed for individuals and small businesses, and was initially conceived as an open source alternative to apps such as Intuit's Quicken. This app has been around since the late 1990s, and is available for Linux, GNU, OpenBSD, Android, macOS and Windows. It handles invoicing and credit notes, accounts payable and receivable, employee expenses and some payroll features too, and it's quite happy with multiple currencies, cards and accounts. Its sheer flexibility makes it our top choice when it comes to accounting software for kitchen table businesses. VT Software is an accounting package that's simple but effective (Image credit: VT Software) Free bookkeeping software for accounts Reasons to buy +No-fuss accounting+Can be used to prepare VAT returns Reasons to avoid -Graphics are 'no frills' It's not going to win any awards for aesthetics, but VT Cash Book isn't there to look good: its priority is to record day to day cash transactions with the least amount of fuss. It uses Autocomplete to speed up data entry, supports multiple bank accounts and bank reconciliation, can be used to prepare VAT returns and enables you to create profit and loss, balance sheets and ledgers. The free accounting software installs alongside its companion program, the paid-for VT Transaction+, but you don't need to buy the latter to use the former. (Image credit: Adminsoft) Complete accounting software for small business owners Reasons to buy +Free with no strings attached+Handles stock control and more+Even has some HR capabilities Adminsoft Accounts is a software accounting package that's powered by advertising to generate revenue, making it free to download and use. It delivers a surprisingly thorough free accounting system (and an refreshingly honest set of terms and conditions). It can handle not just invoicing and statements but remittance advice, stock control, purchase orders, budgeting and some HR functions too. It's a UK program so the default is pounds sterling, but it works happily in other currencies too. There is a paid-for version you can buy to run the software without advertising with a slightly higher cost if you also want to include AutoManager or Shop/Cafe Manager. Also consider The best accounting software marketplace might be dominated by the big names above, but there are other options if you're a SMB with with additional needs. Alongside bookkeeping software and small business accounting software you might need to track expenses, manage inventory and carry out all of those other tasks related to running a business. Here are just a few of your additional SMB software options. Also worth a look are the likes of Connected Accounting, ZarMoney, Avanquest Bookkeeper and Finsync. Round up of today's best dealsEach year, our sister publication Computer Dealer News hosts the Channel Elite Awards to recognize IT Solution Provider for their innovation, leadership, and commitment for creating value for their customers. As Canada’s leading IT channel publication, CDN invited solution providers to submit their best work to nine different categories for 2013’s awards. Here, we present the case studies these award nominees put forward to us. Find out who the big winners are on Sept. 11 when CDN presents them at the CEA Awards Gala. Learn more about CDN’s Channel Elite Awards 2013 Nominee: Itergy from Montreal, Quebec Managed Services Solution description Itergy offered its client, a specialized industrial manufacturer, a flexible and fine-tuned Managed Services support. The main purpose was to offer an SMB adapted service with level of Managed Services normally reserved for large companies to allow the customer to focus on its own business and not on IT issues. The support offered covered daily needs as well as long term projects, change management and infrastructure high level migration and evolution. Offering a custom approach to the client, Itergy’s managed service offering included different services such as: • proactive systems maintenance, • remote and on-site operational maintenance, • controlled automation of maintenance tasks, • monitoring of service and server infrastructure equipment (including all related services) desktop, • laptop preparation and support, • users’ creation, • configuration, • rights and access in a standard and documented manner, • IT inventory of hardware, • software, licenses , warranty and support contracts, • incident, problem and infrastructure health reports, • change and project management follow ups, • high-level recommendations on equipment, • services like security, network stability and redundancy, data protection, etc. What makes your Managed Services innovative or original compared to the competition? The service provided results from a combination of Itergy’s high level expertise and geographical situation. Itergy offers a variety of services adapted to SMB, but also a 24/7 availability of internal expertise. Specific actions (remote access cards, redundant network and electrical plug strategy and virtualization) were performed to allow remote actions even in case of hardware issues. IT managed services are obviously a highly competitive industry, which is why offering original and innovative services are key to success. This is why Itergy decided to adopt a proactive approach to differentiate itself from its competitors. This proactive approach enables Itergy to monitor the client’s infrastructure and resolve and even prevent any problems before the customer knows they exist. This allows customers to be worry free about their IT, and always have up and running infrastructure. This proactive approach reduces downtime, and increases security. Another original approach to Itergy’s managed service is that these service approaches usually do not include internal application support nor optimization. Steps were done to avoid a main productivity issue with one of the client’s servers, concerning two key line-of-business applications. There were corruption issues, space issues and an overall stability and access problem that was also creating a lot of downtime for these two applications. The physical server was in bad shape, the space allocated to the applications was insufficient and not expandable, and the accounting application was very sensitive to any network or server outage. To deal with these three sources of problems, Itergy virtualized this server, expanded allocated space, optimized SQL database management and put in place a list of simple and efficient recommendations for internal people as well as to IT staff, to avoid risks with the accounting system and a procedure was set in case of a server problems. Itergy also differentiates itself by installing a server and remote monitoring management platform for each customer. This enables Itergy to have instant access to the site, and monitor and manage everything related to the entire network (severs, workstations, laptops, tablets, phones, cellphones, etc.) This platform also offers many services so the customer can have an up-to-date and online situation of his network. Some of these services include an online helpdesk, a cloud service monitoring and management, mobile device management, and network audits. Our approach also becomes innovative because Itergy exploits LPI systems to maximize fetching results from this tool by using all applications while other companies may only be using one or two services from this platform. Our technicians are both specialists and generalists at the same time allowing customers to have many different points of reference and support. Usually companies will have a limited amount of specialists and it becomes difficult if they can’t answer certain questions. This is why Itergy made sure to have a team of employees that do specialize in certain subjects but that are also strong overall. What were the benefits of your Managed Services Solution for your client and what evidence can you provide to show this? This Managed Services allows the customer to focus on its internal business by delegating its infrastructure support and mid-long-termIT projects envisioning to a single point of reference: Itergy. The fixed monthly charge allows a predictable budget to be implemented for IT. Because this particular client was in constant-growth mode, simply providing evidence based on cost reduction or revenue/improvement in sales would not be representative. They quickly doubled their environment from 40 to 80 stations within a year and also added other services that drove service costs up. This, combined with other company factors, is why it is very hard for them or Itergy to provide measurable evidence. On the other hand, the client affirms that doing business with Itergy is more cost and time effective. Being a company in full expansion, Itergy also helped the client in planning, coordinating and supervising for its growth in a more systematic and business oriented way leaving them with no worries about their infrastructure, about missing space, needing more backup solutions, other technical aspects, and therefore allowing the customer to focus only on their primary goals. As a result, the client now benefits from a more cost- and time-effective service, functions better and therefore is more productive. Overall this allows the client to deliver a faster process and service, and improve sales and revenues. Finally, by reducing downtime, Itergy definitely was able to reduce the high cost associated with this issue. It not only includes loss of productivity and data (during downtime staff productivity is at an industry average of 56%*), or overtime costs but also loss of sales and customer satisfaction. As more than 70% of businesses have had some type of operations interruption in the past 5 years of which more than 80% which is caused by power station, hardware failure or network failure**, and at a cost of 40,000$/hr (SMB average) and an average of 14 hours of downtime a year (Gartner), having a reliable but most importantly proactive Solution provider like Itergy becomes crucial, cost effective and improves overall service delivery. When Itergy first encountered this particular client, the physical server was in bad shape, creating downtime of around 1 hour every 3-4 days, which is enormous. Today Itergy has since been able to reduce the client’s downtime to between 4 and 5 hours per year, thus increasing downtime efficiency to 99.95%. This is not only a tremendous step for the client, it also places them significantly under the industry average of 14 hours per year. With less downtime, the company is better positioned to focus on reducing costs and increasing revenues. The services Itergy provided increased the client’s efficiency in many ways. 1) The downtime and corruption issues have been set under control for the two above mentioned applications (Quickbooks and Spector360) 2) In 9 months, the overall health of the IT environment went from 47% efficiency to more than 75%, and has a goal to continuously improve their overall health. 3) As mentioned above, Itergy was able to discuss with the customers about the effects of the server on downtime and convince him to change it therefore reducing overall downtime from more than 15 hours a year to 4-5h hours a year. (99.95% downtime efficiency) 4) Improve time to response for different projects and service delivery. Furthermore, when Itergy arrived at the client site, they discovered many problems and unresolved issues that needed to be addressed that were automatically reducing the efficiency of the company. Each week Itergy needed to go onsite to stabilize the site. After only 4 months, Itergy only needed to visit the client once per month, and this visit is not to resolve issues but mainly to make sure that the site is under control. With its services Itergy highly increased the efficiency of the site. By reducing system downtime and data corruption, Itergy helped the client to not only be more efficient in terms of its productivity, enabling employees to spend time on strategic projects and reduce necessity to spend time on rebuilding lost data, but also more efficient in terms of cost, not spending budget or time (even overtime) on retrieving data or even losing revenues due to downtime. Finally, when a company is facing fast growth, efficiency can be taken over by an overwhelming number of tasks, issues, goals, and too little employees and time to perform adequately. Luckily Itergy was there to significantly help the customer in planning, coordinating and supervising for its growth. Itergy greatly improved the client’s efficiency in terms of time to response and timeframe. For example, a specific time to setting up new computer and servers were given and completely respected by Itergy allowing the customer to reduce original timeframes and be more organized, consistent and efficient with its time and budget. * “http://www.Arcserve.Com/us/lpg/~/media/Files/SupportingPieces/ARCserve/avoidable-cost-of-downtime-summary-phase-2.Pdf” ** “http://i.Zdnet.Com/whitepapers/Forrester_Analyst_White_Paper_The_State_of_Enterprise.Pdf” *** “http://www.Evolven.Com/blog/downtime-outages-and-failures-understanding-their-true-costs.Html” What are the main reasons that your Managed Services are better for the customer than an on-premises solution? There are many reasons why Itergy’s managed service is better suited for customers than an on-premise solution. First, there is no need for customers to keep several technical people internally with high level expertise like Exchange, Sharepoint, Project Server, HyperV, therefore reducing staff and costs. Our rapidity and time of response, due to our proactivity and availability, and also our team allows us to surpass expectations. Itergy really differentiates itself by offering an exceptional and complete team of technicians that are specialist and generalist at the same time. This combined with a 24/7 availability allows the team to always have someone available for the customer. It also permits every issue to be dealt with efficiently and to escalate issues to the right person according to its importance. With Itergy, companies feels safe and under the hands a knowledgeable team. This allow the IT directors to concentrate on strategic project all while being assisted by Itergy. We offer simplicity and uniformity in all support requests. Because Managed service is our core business, we have to capacity to increase greatly efficiency of companies and decrease downtime. For example, the client was able to increase its efficiency in many ways as explained in question 3. On premise solutions often tend to delay projects, concentrating on more urgent problems and sometimes only patched solution leading to bigger problems and loss in productivity, efficiency, revenues, etc. With Itergy, because managed services is our core business and because we have to perform in order so stay the best, we can provide solutions and resolve problems completely from the source. We also do it faster. By reducing system downtime and data corruption, Itergy helped the client to not only be more efficient in terms of its productivity, enabling employees to spend time on strategic projects and reducing time spent rebuilding lost data, but also more efficient in terms of cost, not spending budget or time (even overtime) on retrieving data or even losing revenues due to downtime. Because we offer predictable monthly based costs to our customers, they can create a budget and not have to worry about unpredictable cost. When having an onsite service, companies have to deal with overtime costs if something out of the ordinary happens, cost of losing an employee, or hiring and training a new one, etc. On-site solutions are most of the time being reactive to issues that happen. This means that they will only see the problem once it’s happening, and at that time, productivity loss, and increased cost have already hit the company. Itergy’s proactive managed services can set us apart because we are monitoring in real-time and are always ahead of fixing and even predicting problem before they happen often without the customer ever knowing there was an issue. This definitely reduces downtime and other technical problems. Because of our high level of expertise we can see issues that onsite solutions might not be able to see or resolve. For example before Itergy came in the picture, this particular customer was facing many Internet losses due to outage because they could not understand the source of the problem. Being a region with frequent outages, this was affecting the customer’s delivery time. Itergy then realized that the reason behind the problem was that the UPS in which the equipment was plugged was too small. Itergy was able to fix this problem completely. This is one of the many issues Itergy was able to solve for its customers and that an onsite department couldn’t. How did the Managed Service improve the customer’s ability to server its internal or external clients? Being able to serve clients efficiently and in the best way possible should be one of the top priorities for a company. In today’s technological environment, many issues can hamper the time to respond and, consequently, competitiveness. Thanks to Itergy, the client was able to assure that their technologies would not interfere with this mission by stabilizing the infrastructure and therefore reducing the impact on production due to recurrent power outages. According to a study done by CA technologies, 50% of organizations revealed that IT outages can damage a company’s reputation, while 18% thought this would be ‘very damaging’. Also, 35% of company’s reported that Outages can harm customer loyalty*. Most importantly, since the client is located in a region where power outages are quite common, a more stable infrastructure is crucial. Before Itergy began working with this client, the Internet used to cut out after 10 minutes, leaving employees unable to respond to customer emails, orders, or other important tasks. The problem was that the client’s last service provider had failed to recognize that critical network equipment was plugged into an inadequately low-capacity UPS. Itergy transferred the equipment to a bigger UPS that allowed uninterrupted Internet service even during outages. By reducing downtime, Itergy definitely was able to increase productivity. Having a reliable but most importantly proactive solution provider like Itergy is crucial and improves overall service delivery. When Itergy first encountered APG-Neuro, the physical server was in bad shape creating downtime of around 1 hour every 3-4 days which is enormous. Today Itergy was able to reduce the client’s downtime to between 4 and 5 hours per year, thus increasing downtime efficiency to 99.95%. *http://i.Zdnet.Com/whitepapers/Forrester_Analyst_White_Paper_The_State_of_Enterprise.Pdf How does the solution further your client’s green or environmentally friendly plans? Today, the environment is an increasingly important subject for companies. Each company needs to align their processes to minimize environmental effects. Itergy has taken many steps to help our client become more “Green”. First, by virtualizing and optimizing existing hardware, Itergy allowed to host 3 servers on one physical server, with better power management automatically saving electricity and equipment. As well, the electrical service has some recurrent small issues. A better use of existing UPS batteries allowed to protect more equipment in a more efficient way. As a result, the impact in case of a widespread power outage is now minimize thanks to controlled power backup procedures that adapt depending on the duration of the outage. Remote access control cards have been added to servers to be able to remotely start up critical equipment remotely, avoiding the need to get someone to drive on-site. Finally, Itergy encourages the client to reuse stations and equipment that they already own instead of pushing them to buy only new equipment. This not only saves the client up-front costs, but it also reduces waste and encourages recycling.Apptivo is cloud-based software consisting of a series of apps designed to help businesses thrive, including a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. With its intuitive interface and scalable functionality, Apptivo is a good option for small- to medium-sized businesses looking to grow, with enough advanced features to appeal to larger enterprises. In this Apptivo review, we evaluate how this CRM compares with some of the best CRM software on the market. Apptivo review: Snapshot Apptivo offers a scalable CRM platform that will grow with your business, enabling you to build a CRM solution that suits your specific business needs. Apptivo’s unique app structure is its key strength, as it gives the platform a level of customization and scalability that makes it relevant to SMBs as well as enterprises. Whether you’re looking for a feature-rich CRM with project management tools, a marketing suite, or finance tools, Apptivo’s apps can cover it. Compared to competitors Insightly and Zoho, Apptivo also works out as more cost effective, although its free starter plan is weaker than those of other offerings. It also boasts excellent customer service With all of the essential CRM features you might need on a daily basis at a low price, Apptivo is certainly worth considering if you’re in the market for a versatile CRM platform to help your sales team thrive. Score: 4.5/5 Read on for the full review. Apptivo’s competitors How does Apptivo compare to its main competitors? Apptivo Insightly Zoho CRM Score 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 Pros Cost-effective price plans - Scalable and customizable app structure - Highly responsive customer support - Intuitive and customizable interface Great project management tools - 250+ third-party app integrations - Attractive interface Workflow automation - Mass emailing - Highly customizable Cons Initial setup may be challenging - Very limited free starter plan - Could have more third-party integrations No live support options included - Telephony feature costs extra Customer support is limited - Steep learning curve for beginners Verdict Apptivo is a scalable CRM solution that grows with your business, offering a customizable platform and advanced features for a low price Insightly is a versatile CRM that offers all the CRM essentials you might need. However, it falls short on customer service unless you’re willing to pay extra Zoho CRM enhances productivity with advanced customization and automation capabilities, but it may be a steep learning curve for new users View deals Visit site Visit site Visit site Apptivo: Key features Apptivo boasts an easy-to-use, intuitive interface that makes it an attractive CRM solution, giving you the option to customize the main navigation menu and page layouts to your liking. The CRM has a unique structure, consisting of a series of apps that bundle together related tools, with more expensive price plans giving you access to a larger number of apps. The apps cover everything from lead management to project management to invoicing. Apptivo's starter plan gives you access to eight CRM apps, while the enterprise plan offers access to 65 apps that go beyond standard CRM functionality to include marketing, HR, finance, and supply chain features. The main benefit of Apptivo's unique app structure is that it makes the CRM incredibly customizable and scalable for growing companies, especially those looking to coordinate different areas of the business through one system. However, the sheer breadth of customization on offer may also be overwhelming for some, as the initial setup can be challenging and time-consuming. Apptivo: Key features and highlights Image 1 of 4 Apptivo CRM has a unique structure made up of apps (Image credit: Apptivo) Image 2 of 4 Apptivo CRM supports multiple custom reports and dashboards (Image credit: Apptivo) Image 3 of 4 Apptivo boasts an intuitive, friendly interface (Image credit: Apptivo) Image 4 of 4 Apptivo enables you to use your CRM on the go with the mobile app (Image credit: Apptivo) Alongside the Apptivo apps, there are over 40 integrations with third-party apps available, including Google Workspace, Office 365, and Slack. The Google account integration is particularly useful, as it enables automatic syncing of contacts, tasks, calendar appointments, and documents between the two systems. Despite this, the range of Apptivo's third-party integrations is lacking in comparison to competitors such as Insightly, which offers over 250 third-party integrations. In terms of CRM functionality, Apptivo offers a robust CRM platform with advanced functionality in lead and opportunity management. The system supports multiple sales pipelines, custom reports and dashboards, automated workflows, product catalogs, mass emailing, and more. There are also various ways to capture new leads, from inputting them into the system manually to bulk importing contacts. You can also embed a lead capture form on your website or automatically create leads when people email to a specific object. Another key advantage of Apptivo is its mobile app, which enables you to manage your contacts, opportunities, tasks, and projects from your phone. Apptivo: What’s new? Apptivo releases new updates on a weekly basis, and publishes detailed explanations of these updates in regular blog posts. Most of these changes involve small improvements to Apptivo apps, offering additional customization options and useful new features. One of the recent features that has been added is a de-duplication function that prevents you from importing duplicate records. There's also a new automated schedule report feature that enables you to automatically send scheduled reports to recipients via email. As well as adding new features, Apptivo is continuing to grow its range of third-party integrations and extend the functionality of existing integrations. In a recent update, Apptivo announced an extension to its Quickbooks online integration to enable enhanced syncing. Apptivo: Pricing Apptivo offers a free starter plan, and four paid price plans ranging from Lite (the basic plan) to Enterprise (most advanced). Plans can be billed monthly or annually, with a 20% saving on annual billing. All prices shown in the table below are per user. Compared to key competitors such as Insightly and Zoho, Apptivo is a very cost-effective CRM solution, and is excellent value for money. However, you should be aware that the free starter plan is very limited, and does not include most essential CRM features. For a fully functional CRM, we recommend choosing a paid plan. Apptivo’s pricing plans Plan type/feature Free Lite Premium Insightly - basic plan Zoho - basic plan Cost per month 0 $10 $15 $35 $20 Cost per year 0 $96 (save 20%) $144 (save 20%) $348 $168 Lead & contact management ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Deal/opportunity management X ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Custom Dashboards X ✓ ✓ X ✓ Mass emailing X X ✓ ✓ ✓ Testing Apptivo To effectively evaluate Apptivo against its competitors, we tested some of the CRM’s key features and selling points from the perspective of a new user. An intuitive interface and responsive customer support can make a big difference when you’re considering which CRM is right for your business. Is Apptivo easy to use? Apptivo offers a user-friendly experience and a customizable interface (Image credit: Apptivo) Apptivo offers a relatively user-friendly experience, with most features categorized under two main navigation menus. Although it may take some time for beginners to learn where everything is, when you’re familiar with the interface it’s generally pleasant and easy to use. Once logged in, you start off on your agenda page, which works similarly to an Outlook calendar and shows you all of your upcoming tasks and appointments. You can switch between different views to see only upcoming tasks or only overdue tasks. Along the side navigation are several project management tabs to help you manage your workload, such as tasks, emails, notes, follow-ups, work queue, and news feed. The top navigation is where all of your apps are organized into their relevant functions: CRM, marketing, financials, etc. This menu will look different depending on which apps you’ve installed. Here, you can delve into the CRM functions and add new records with relative ease. While some functions, such as reports and dashboards, may be a little harder to find, the great thing about Apptivo is that the interface is very customizable. Although this process of customizing apps and layout may be initially challenging, it does reap rewards later on, as it means being able to personalize this CRM to suit your needs. Apptivo’s web-based CRM system also boasts fast page-load speeds. When tested on Google PageSpeed Insights, it achieved a score of 91 out of 100 for desktop, which is considered excellent. This test was conducted on a MacBook Air with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor and an internet speed of 33Mbps. How responsive is Apptivo's customer service? Apptivo offers excellent live customer support options (Image credit: Apptivo) As well as a comprehensive knowledge base, Apptivo offers 24/7 customer support on all paid plans through email and live chat. In addition, it offers live phone support on weekdays. To test the responsiveness of Apptivo's customer support, we engaged with the live chat, asking a few simple questions about the interface. We received instant replies from a knowledgeable and friendly support rep, who gave clear answers and directed us to further resources on the knowledge hub. Overall, Apptivo offers an excellent level of customer support. Alternatives to Apptivo Apptivo’s paid plans prove tough to beat in terms of value for money. While competitor Insightly offers fantastic project management tools and an impressive range of third-party integrations, it comes at a steep price, with fewer CRM features on the basic plan. That said, Apptivo boasts superior opportunity and pipeline management, and is well known for its exceptional reporting. This makes it great for larger pipelines, where advanced analytics can bring good insights. Zoho CRM is another close competitor, and is a match for Apptivo in terms of customizability. However, it offers fewer project management tools in comparison to both Insightly and Apptivo, and is more expensive than the latter. Where Zoho stands out from Apptivo is its starter plan. While Apptivo’s free offering is limited to lead and contact management, Zoho offers these features plus deal management, workflows, reporting, and more. Apptivo’s features compared to the competition Apptivo Insightly Zoho Workflow automation Yes Yes (with upgrade) Yes Custom dashboards 8 n/a 10 Support 24/7 live chat and email, 24/5 phone support Email support and knowledge base Email, phone, and chat support during office hours Basic plan $10 a month (one user) $35 a month (one user) $20 a month (one user) Apptivo: Final verdict Overall, Apptivo is a strong contender in the CRM market, both for SMBs and enterprises. Compared to its competition, it’s highly cost effective, and offers a comprehensive set of advanced features for its price, including mass emailing, workflow automation, multiple sales pipelines, and custom dashboards. It also offers a great user experience, with an intuitive and customizable interface, although the initial setup may be challenging due to the breadth of customization options. Apptivo’s unique app structure makes the platform scalable and customizable for larger organizations, enabling you to build a CRM that suits your business needs exactly. Project management tools, invoicing features, and marketing functions can all be added with an Apptivo app. Though it would be nice to see Apptivo offer more third-party integrations, it seems that the company is very proactive about updates, and these are likely in the works. Finally, compared to many of its competitors, Apptivo offers some of the best customer support we’ve encountered, with a live chat option that enable you to speak to a support rep 24/7. For all of these reasons, we recommend Apptivo as a versatile all-in-one CRM solution that will grow with your business and foster collaboration to close deals more effectively. Further reading on CRM software If you’re in the market for CRM software, check out our guides to the best free CRM software, the best CRM for real estate, and the best CRM for small business. Want to learn more about CRMs? Check out our features asking what is a CRM, and what is a CRM in real estate?
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