Top 10 Customer Relationship Management Systems for Your Accounting Business

By |09.12.22

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Most accounting firms are comfortable using practice management (PM) software to handle time, billing and client activities. But PM software doesn’t help you with your marketing or sales, nor does it track the health of your client interactions. That’s where customer relationship management (CRM) comes in.


CRM or PM: What’s the Difference?

CRMs are like PMs in that they collect client data. But as the name implies, a CRM’s primary function is to help you manage your customer relationships — specifically in how you acquire them and add value to them over time.

A CRM acts as the center of all your prospect and client interactions. Each action you take to promote your business and win customers starts with a CRM.

You can create targeted prospect lists, build a sales process to bring new customers in the door, create email marketing campaigns that run automatically and track prospect and customer interactions with your marketing content. CRMs also help you send out personalized communications within each of those activities.

These are just some of a CRM’s features and benefits. If you’re ready to learn more, check out these CRMs that work especially well for accounting firms.

36% of accounting firms said their biggest concern was acquiring and retaining new clients.

Accounting Today


This do-it-all solution is much more than a CRM. It contains a wealth of features that leverage its comprehensive CRM capabilities to help you boost customer relationships, streamline payment processing and build out your online presence.

These range from marketing automation and social media management to estimating, appointment booking, team scheduling, billing and invoicing and more.

Also included are digital payment capabilities to create payment plans, accept ACH payments, scan cards and send receipts. You also can offer customer financing for large purchases. Plus, you can access Thryv from anywhere using a desktop, tablet or the app.


  • Integrates with a variety of third-party apps, including QuickBooks, MailChimp, Slack and others
  • Mobile app available for both iOS and Android
  • One-on-one personalized onboarding
  • 24/7 live chat and phone support


  • Because there is such a variety of features, it takes time to learn how to get the most out of it. However, Thryv offers free, unlimited 24/7 assistance, so there’s always someone to help.


This software is a traditional CRM, which is limited to sales and marketing capabilities.

Users can capture and follow up with both current clients and new leads. In addition, users can send quotes and invoices, accept payments, automate appointment booking and request reviews and referrals. Tasks such as lead capture can be automated.

The tool allows users to follow up by email, text or both, using templates to customize for marketing newsletters and broadcast emails.


  • Automates certain tasks for more efficient workflows
  • The visual sales pipeline tool provides client and prospect updates at a glance


  • Additional fees required for capabilities such as payment processing, or when you exceed messaging caps
  • No free version


This CRM software is known for its marketing automation. It also includes sales pipeline tracking and a reporting dashboard. There are no data limits and users can store up to 1 million contacts without an expiration date.

Users also can use Hubspot templates to create website pages and a blog using its basic search engine optimization (SEO) recommendations. The tool’s drag-and-drop editors help users create email templates and website pages.


  • Free version
  • Free invoice templates and multicurrency support


  • Free version has limited functionality; users still need to pay for premium features such as datasets, live chat, sales automation and analytics dashboards
  • Free version limits the number of times users contact clients or prospects
  • Includes a payment processor, but still incurs fees


This CRM can assist other business processes, such as generating invoices, automating workflows and communicating with clients using different channels. It helps users monitor their online reputations and capture social media leads.

Zoho’s reporting dashboard helps users measure sales performance. Zoho has a separate financial reporting tool for purchase that can integrate with its CRM.


  • Integrates with other products in the Zoho Finance Suite
  • Contracts don’t contain lock-in periods


  • No 24/7 customer support
  • Limited storage


This CRM platform is divided into four categories: projects, sales, retainers and services. Users can manage projects, streamline workflows for ongoing clients, and track sales contacts, appointments and notes.

Accelo’s task board helps users view, organize and update tasks. Users also can incorporate sales information into client proposals.


  • More than 1,000 integrations available
  • Option to purchase packaged services individually or as a bundled solution


  • App not as detailed as desktop version, limiting capabilities
  • Unable to include more than one user on a specific task


Insightly’s traditional CRM can integrate its workflow capabilities with other platforms and tools to automate a user’s processes.

This includes email tracking, quote generation, workflow automation, reporting and more. It offers pre-built templates and drag-and-drop functionality to create personalized content and emails.


  • Over 250 integrations available
  • Mobile app available


  • Doesn’t offer custom workflows like some CRM software
  • High-end tiers can be costly


In addition to standard accounting app integrations, this CRM also offers workflow automation, report generation and contact management. Users can create marketing email journeys, set up website chatbots and work anywhere with the mobile app.

Additional add-ons for purchase include a configure, price and quote tool that generates quotes and invoices. Freshsales also offers unlimited support.


  • Free plan
  • Workflows can be customized


  • Limited functions on free plan; scale only enabled with purchase of additional tiers
  • Limited file storage per user
  • Unable to access data offline

ZenDesk Sell

ZenDesk Sell’s traditional CRM includes email integration, sales engagement, automated workflows and other outreach tools. Users can track marketing and sales activities to measure sales effectiveness.

The tool also provides lead generation, bulk client outreach, revenue forecasting and other capabilities.


  • Integrates with MailChimp
  • Native applications for iOS, Android and Windows phones


  • Can get pricey when scaling with your business
  • Basic email and template editor


This well-known, enterprise-level CRM combines marketing, sales, commerce and service activities. Salesforce components include email marketing, workflow management, contact management and more.

New lead contacts can be automated and tracked. Reporting dashboards allow users to monitor various tool activities.


  • Customizable fields
  • Accessible from the web or app


  • Capabilities may be too unwieldy for small accounting firms
  • Pricing is significantly higher than other CRMs


My CPA provides some capabilities found in traditional PM systems. Less of a CRM and more of a PM, the tool helps users automate workflows, receive monthly client documents, generate invoices and securely collect, share and store client files.

It also has a Stripe integration for payment processing. The client portal also comes with cloud storage for all financial data backups.


  • Simple dashboard
  • Cloud storage for backups


  • Limited integrations compared to other CRMs
  • Limited capabilities compared to other CRMs

How Will a CRM Benefit Your Firm?

CRMs offer accounting firms the capabilities to collect, organize and capitalize on client data to maximize customer service while growing their businesses.

Along the way, a CRM can improve efficiency and productivity so your staff doesn’t get bogged down on manual tasks that hinder onboarding clients or client communications. The benefits include increased productivity, more transparency and increased lead conversions.

So the question isn’t whether to get a CRM; it should be, “Which one?”

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