Best 5 Canopy alternatives to consider for accounting practice management

Summary

  • For specialist tax firms, Canopy is a good solution.
  • For full-service accounting and tax firms, Karbon is the top Canopy alternative.
  • For sole practitioners or CPAs, TaxDome is a great alternative.
  • For smaller firms looking for a simple solution, Financial Cents may be one to consider.
  • For small, UK-based firms with low client volume, Pixie is a good solution.
  • For firms looking for workflow management features only, Jetpack Workflow is a good alternative.

Canopy is a cloud-based practice management solution for mid-sized tax and accounting firms. Canopy users can manage emails, tasks and jobs, documents, time, billing, and payments all within the platform. 

Initially founded as a tax resolution tool, Canopy’s strengths lie in its robust tax workflow features, such as pre-built client organizers, IRS transcript auto-retrieval and notice creation, and tax resolution. For tax firms that frequently handle complex client issues, Canopy can significantly reduce the amount of client chasing and manual work in the resolution process.

Canopy also integrates with leading accounting software such as QuickBooks Online and ProConnect Tax—an advantage that’s unavailable to general project management software such as Asana or Trello.

Although Canopy is an all-in-one platform with plenty to offer, its heavy focus on tax also makes the product less desirable for full-service accounting firms.

Why you should consider Canopy alternatives for your practice management solution

1. Canopy has a complicated pricing model

Canopy charges by each feature, client, and user you add to the platform. It may seem cost-effective at first because you only ‘pay for what you need’, but in reality, accounting firms that want to operate efficiently will need almost every paid add-on, which can quickly become expensive.

Let's say your five-person accounting firm is looking into Canopy as a potential practice management tool. Right off the bat, you get up to 500 contacts for free. Trouble is, this is only for the Client Management module.

Naturally, you would need more functionalities to run your firm, so you would need to add Document Management, Workflow, and Time & Billing modules, all of which costs additional per user, per module.

For your team of five, you're now looking at $425 per user, per month.

However, the elements that make Canopy an attractive solution—the tax resolution add-on—still aren't included yet. That's an additional $50 per user, per month.

Now we're up to $675 per user, per month. This is significantly more expensive than you likely first thought.

Example of Canopy's monthly cost for 5 users and 500 contacts

2. Canopy’s workflow features can be underwhelming for non-tax work

Because Canopy is so focused on tax and compliance work, its actual project management and workflow features are not as robust as what’s required for full-service accounting firms.

For example, Canopy users can only view tasks as lists with no option to gain a high-level overview in either a Kanban board or timeline view (features that many Canopy alternatives offer).

A Kanban board view is particularly useful in visualizing your firm’s capacity because it enables you to group your work by different variables, like status, assignee, due date, etc.

Work/task view in Canopy

On top of that, the workflow module is a paid add-on. This means that if you don’t purchase it in conjunction with other modules, your user experience is disjointed and actually hinders productivity, rather than boosting it.

3. Limited native reporting and analytics capabilities

Canopy has some out-of-the-box reporting and analytics capabilities, but they are relatively basic.

Users can create Productivity, Time, Billing, and Work-in-Progress (WIP) reports and export them as Excel or CSV files for further analysis outside of the platform. Some pre-built dashboards also exist to give insights into revenue, invoice statuses, and payment methods.

However, users have limited options in building customizable dashboards and reports outside of what’s been made available. Larger firms with more sophisticated reporting needs might struggle with Canopy’s reporting capabilities.

5 best Canopy alternatives for accounting, tax, and bookkeeping firms

While overall, Canopy is a strong practice management tool, its limitations might drive you to look for competitors that better meet your needs. If you’re on the fence about Canopy, here are the 5 best alternatives to consider for your accounting, tax, or bookkeeping firm.

1. Karbon

Karbon is a robust practice management platform for accounting, tax, and bookkeeping firms. It offers similar core functionalities to Canopy’s practice management suite, but Karbon’s features are fully integrated and not packaged and sold by modules. 

As a result, you’ll benefit from a more holistic product with better ease of use. This is one of the reasons why thousands of firms across the globe choose Karbon.

A capacity dashboard view in Karbon—an accounting practice management tool—using the Kanban view functionality.
Karbon’s capacity management dashboard

Karbon's top features

Karbon pros and cons

Pros

  • Karbon is the only accounting practice management solution that allows you to @mention colleagues and comment on emails, turn emails into tasks, and assign emails to colleagues, client and project timelines

  • Constant innovation and frequent product releases

  • Karbon AI: GPT-powered artificial intelligence built into email and workflows (currently in beta)

  • Simple and comprehensive pricing

  • Holistic and powerful user experience

  • Open API so you can integrate apps, build custom solutions, and optimize workflows

  • Highly customizable to match your practice’s workflow

  • Unite your team and collaborate with a single source of truth for all communication and client information

  • CRM capabilities allow you to track your firm’s relationship with every client and deliver the service you promise

  • Reveal insights to guide critical firm decisions and improve efficiency with Karbon Practice Intelligence

  • Built by a team of accounting professionals and those with experience in the accounting space

Cons

  • Requires a more hands-on implementation and onboarding, because it is a more robust solution

  • Not the cheapest option on the market

Who is Karbon best suited for?

Karbon is most effective for full-service accounting, tax, and bookkeeping firms with teams of 5 staff members or more. Karbon is also worth considering for a sole practitioner who’s looking to rapidly grow within a short period of time.

Reviews

Here’s how Karbon and Canopy stack up against each other on popular software review sites:

G2

Capterra

Karbon pricing

Karbon has three pricing plans: Team, Business, and Enterprise. 

Annually:

  • Team: $59 USD/month, per user

  • Business: $79 USD/month, per user

  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Monthly:

  • Team: $75 USD/ month, per user

  • Business: $99 USD/month, per user

  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Firms under 50 users can choose either a Team or Business plan and the total cost is simply the number of users multiplied by the subscription per month (paid monthly or annually).

It’s hard to say which platform is cheaper due to Canopy’s complex pricing model. 

But for a 5-user firm with 2,000 free contacts:

  • Karbon’s Business Plan would cost $395 USD/month

  • Canopy would cost $727 USD/month ($302 USD/month for 1,950 contacts, $180 USD/month for document management, $135 USD/month for workflow, and $110 USD/month for time & billing).

Karbon or Canopy?

Karbon and Canopy are comparable in terms of key practice management features for accounting and tax firms. The biggest difference lies in their product design philosophy, tax workflow and project management capabilities, and the pricing model. 

Canopy’s direct integration with the IRS and its tax compliance solution are unique features that streamlines tax resolution workflows and saves time.

But Karbon is more holistically built and has some of the strongest project and workflow management capabilities in the practice management software market. It also weaves collaboration and cross-team visibility into every part of the platform. 

Evaluate Karbon and Canopy with a side-by-side comparison.

Ready to give Karbon a try? Book a demo to learn how your firm can benefit from Karbon.


2. TaxDome

TaxDome is another popular practice management solution for accounting and tax professionals. It offers a wide range of features—from a client app to a native website builder.

Task view in TaxDome

TaxDome's top features

  • Client portal and mobile app

  • CRM 

  • Unlimited clients, documents, and projects

  • Project and task management

  • Workflow automation

  • Customizable organizers

  • eSignatures and KBA (Knowledge-based Authentication)

  • Notification center

  • Time tracking

  • Invoicing and payments

  • Integrations with popular accounting software

  • Website builder

TaxDome pros and cons

Pros

  • Wide range of features give you access to more functionality than other practice management solutions

  • Highly customizable client portal

  • A client mobile app helps clients gain easy access to the portal

  • Offers a PDF editor with unlimited document storage

  • Affordable pricing (however, the primary user is required to sign up for an annual subscription on its lower-tier plan)

Cons

  • TaxDome offers many features, making it difficult to do them all well—this means many features generally feel underdeveloped

  • Steep learning curve to get used to the platform

  • No high-level visibility across your entire firm’s work (limited to each ‘pipeline’)

  • No native reporting or analytics capabilities

Who is TaxDome best suited for?

TaxDome is best suited for sole tax practitioners or startup CPA firms that are looking for functionality across a wide range of features, but don’t require depth to these features.

Reviews

Here’s how Canopy and TaxDome stack up against each other on popular software review sites:

G2

Capterra

TaxDome pricing

TaxDome offers two-tiered pricing: TaxDome Lite and TaxDome Pro.

TaxDome’s Lite plan is only available for solo practitioners and it can only be purchased as an annual contract at $300 USD.

The TaxDome Pro plan is intended for firms with more than one employee. It costs $50 USD/month per user, however, the primary user and owner of the account must sign up for an annual subscription, and then add users at either an annual or monthly subscription plan. For a 5-user firm on an annual TaxDome Pro plan, the total cost would be $250 USD/month.

TaxDome or Canopy?

TaxDome and Canopy are a close match on practice management software features. But the devil is in the details:

  • TaxDome offers many features, but because of the sheer quantity, they lack depth. 

  • Canopy has more depth and a unique tax resolution suite, but it’s also significantly more expensive.

For sole practitioners who simply need a system to consolidate their different apps and Excel project trackers, TaxDome may suffice. But if your team is larger and distributed, it’s worth considering the alternatives mentioned in this guide.


3. Financial Cents

Financial Cents is a no-frills practice management tool for accounting firms. It provides email integration, project management, client management, time tracking and a few native reports that enable firms to work with clients, manage tasks and deadlines, and report on key metrics.

A view of the work dashboard in Financial Cents
Financial Cents work dashboard view

Financial Cents’ top features

  • Email integration

  • Client portal

  • CRM

  • Project and task management

  • Workflow automation

  • Invoicing (through QuickBooks Online integration)

  • Time tracking

  • Native reports (time tracking, effective hourly rate, capacity management, client tasks, team activity)

Financial Cents pros and cons

Pros

  • Affordable pricing

  • Quick to implement (however this might be a drawback for some firms looking for a more powerful solution)

  • Responsive support

Cons

  • Basic workflow features (tasks and projects are only available in a list view or a calendar view, not as Kanban boards or customizable work dashboards)

  • No native invoicing and payment functionality

  • Very limited integrations (only QuickBooks Online, Gmail and Outlook)

Who is Financial Cents best suited for?

Financial Cents is suited to smaller accounting or bookkeeping firms that are looking for a simple and cost-effective solution to stay on top of tasks, projects, and clients.

Reviews

Here’s how Canopy and Financial Cents stack up against each other on popular software review sites:

G2

Capterra

Financial Cents pricing

Financial Cents pricing starts at $49 USD/month per team member, billed monthly ($39 USD/month on an annual plan).

Financial Cents or Canopy?

Financial Cents is a viable alternative to Canopy for smaller CPA firms that don’t handle too many complex tax clients. It’s reasonably priced and has an adequate amount of features that can help smaller teams get started relatively quickly.

But if you’re looking for a more comprehensive tax resolution suite, Canopy may be the way to go.


4. Pixie

Pixie is a user-friendly practice management solution that primarily focuses on smaller firms across the UK. They market themselves as providing ‘everything you need to manage your practice and get things done faster in one simple, flexible practice management tool’.

Work view in Pixie
Work view in Pixie

Pixie’s top features

  • CRM with custom fields

  • Workflow management

  • Email management

  • Workflow template library

  • eSignatures

  • Client reminders

Pixie pros and cons

Pros:

  • Modern, clean user interface

  • Affordable solution for small firms with 1-3 employees

  • Flexible recurring work functionality

  • Best-practice template library

Cons:

  • Limited collaboration functionality (unable to @mention colleagues in comments or notes, making teamwork difficult)

  • No time and budget tracking means that productivity and profitability insights are limited

  • No Kanban board view, which makes it difficult to get a high-level view of your firm

  • No ability to assign work subtasks to different team members

  • Limited to mostly UK-specific integrations

Who is Pixie best suited for?

Pixie is a solution to consider if your firm is small (1-3 employees), based in the UK, and you don’t have a high volume of clients or complex projects. 

Reviews

Here’s how Canopy and Pixie stack up against each other on popular software review sites:

G2

Capterra

Pixie pricing

Pixie’s pricing is based on the number of clients you have and includes an unlimited number of users:

  • Less than 50 clients: $69 USD per month

  • 51-250 clients: $129 USD per month

  • 251-500 clients: $199 USD per month

  • 501-750 clients: $249 USD per month

  • 751-1,000 clients: $329 USD per month

  • More than 1,000 clients: Custom pricing

Pixie or Canopy?

Pixie is an option to consider if you’re a small UK-based accounting firm with 1-3 staff members and you’re looking for a simple practice management tool to manage your day-to-day tasks. Its UK-specific integrations with partners like Companies House and Xama may make it even more enticing.

But if you’re based in the US, Australia and other countries—you won’t find all that you need in Pixie.

And if you’re a larger UK firm looking for a more robust practice management solution, Pixie may not offer the functionality you truly require.


5. Jetpack Workflow

As its name suggests, Jetpack Workflow is a workflow management tool for accounting firms. It’s not a practice management solution. 

But, it still makes this list as an alternative to Canopy’s workflow management offering. It’s important to note that you won’t find typical practice management features such as a client portal or invoicing in Jetpack Workflow.

Dashboard view in Jetpack Workflow
Jetpack Workflow dashboard view

Jetpack Workflow’s top features

  • Work dashboard

  • Job and task management

  • Workflow automation

  • Calendar view

  • Jobs and progress report

  • Client management

  • Time tracking and budgets

  • QuickBooks Online and Zapier integration

Jetpack Workflow pros and cons

Pros

  • Affordable pricing for simple workflow management

  • Time tracking capabilities

  • Useful dashboard with a high-level overview of work

Cons

  • Dated user interface

  • Limited collaboration features (no ability to comment on or @mention or team members on tasks or subtasks)

  • No integrated email inbox, which means you have to constantly switch between Jetpack Workflow and your email provider

  • No client portal

  • Basic CRM 

  • No invoicing or payments

Who is Jetpack Workflow best suited for?

Jetpack Workflow may be a good option for accounting, bookkeeping or tax firms that are simply looking for a tool to manage their tasks/jobs/projects. 

Because it’s not a practice management system, firms will need to use Jetpack Workflow alongside other software such as a client portal, a CRM, or a billing and payment app to fulfill their needs.

Reviews

Here’s how Canopy and Jetpack Workflow stack up against each other on popular software review sites:

G2

Capterra

Jetpack Workflow pricing

Jetpack workflow has two pricing plans: Organize and Scale.

The Organize plan costs $45 USD per month, per user on a monthly subscription ($36 USD annually).

The Scale plan costs $50 USD per month, per user on a monthly subscription ($39 USD annually).

Jetpack Workflow or Canopy?

Jetpack Workflow and Canopy are both built for the accounting industry, but they are intended for different use cases, which is reflected in their key features and prices.

Depending on your firm’s needs, budget, and tech stack configuration, Jetpack Workflow might be a good alternative to Canopy. But if you’re a larger firm or expecting to grow steadily over time, a full practice management platform will give you better return on investment in the long run.


Try Karbon for free

Now that you have a clear overview of the top alternatives to Canopy, you should have an idea about which options best-suit your practice. 

If that’s Karbon, you can learn more or book a demo.

If you need more information to help with decision-making, you can review this in-depth guide to the 11 best accounting practice management software solutions

To see how professional services firms save an average of 16.5 hours per employee each week, you can explore the Karbon Effect. Or you can use the Karbon ROI calculator to see your return on investment by implementing Karbon.

You can also hear directly from Karbon customers about what Karbon is enabling them to do at their firm (and for their clients).