CPA Site Solutions Review
As an accountant, bookkeeper, or financial advisor, where do you go to build a professional website? CPA Site Solutions markets itself as a provider of accounting websites, but many website builders focus on servicing professionals and small businesses.
Because it's almost entirely template-driven, CPA Site Solutions is straightforward and promises to get you online in 15 minutes or less. But of all the options out there, is CPA Site Solutions the right solution for your own accounting business?
As website building experts, we've taken a look at what CPA Site Solutions has to offer, including an exploration of its features, tools, and customizations. Based on our own experience designing websites for the financial services sector, here is what we uncovered.
What is CPA Site Solutions?
CPA Site Solutions is a website builder and service provider geared toward certified public accountants (CPAs) and other types of financial service providers. It bills itself as the all-in-one solution for accounting firms to not only find new clients but also serve those clients with a list of comprehensive features and tools, including:
- Professional custom website design
- Content and client resources
- Customer management tools
- Online payment processing
- Website hosting
- Technical support
- Additional social and online marketing solutions
The company was launched in 1999 by husband-and-wife duo Brian and Kathy O'Connell. In the early days of the internet, the company offered a way for CPAs to grow their business on the then-novel World Wide Web.
More than two decades later, CPA Site Solutions continues to evolve to incorporate modern website design, search engine optimization (SEO), and secure customer management tools into a variety of comprehensive packages.
What features does CPA Site Solutions include?
The main features covered in their services bundles fall into website design services, online business tools, and marketing categories.
CPA Site Solutions website designs
Depending on the tier you choose, you'll be able to choose from up to 250 website design templates. Website designs with additional customizations are also available under the Diamond tier.
Websites come outfitted with pre-written copy and client resources (financial calculators, newsletters, downloadable financial guides, automated client reminders) written by accounting and financial professionals.
The website builder lets you personalize certain sections to add your business details.
Customer management tools
Websites come with customer management tools like secure file exchange, document management, and online billing and credit card processing.
Experienced web admins are available to troubleshoot via email or by toll-free number.
Search engine optimization
Website templates implement many SEO best practices, including crawlability, mobile-friendly designs, and the use of relevant keywords.
Additional marketing services
On top of their standard accounting website design package, CPA Site Solutions sells additional services to help you generate new leads, which include:
- Accountant finder premium listing
- Email marketing system
- Reputation marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Social media management
- Facebook ads
- Local service marketing
- Business marketplace
How much does CPA Site Solutions cost?
CPA Site Solutions has created several tiers of services for accounting firms. Each tier progressively builds on the options of the tier below it.
They also helpfully provide a limited 60-day free trial for those who want to test the designs, service, and optimizations before committing.
Additional online marketing solutions
On top of the four website design tiers, CPA Site Solutions also advertises CPA Marketing Bundles and a-la-carte marketing services. Unfortunately, prices aren't listed for these options. It’s impossible to tell if these prices are competitive, and how much your company would save by bundling together.
Who is CPA Site Solutions best suited for?
CPA Site Solutions websites are ideally suited to professionals in the financial services sector (bookkeepers, financial planners, accountants, and CPA firms) who require an immediate basic web presence.
By offering more than 250 website templates as well as over 3000 pages of pre-written content, professionals can get set up online almost immediately — without exhaustive efforts put into branding, customization, or copywriting.
Plus, they lack many of the available tools businesses are using to streamline operations and improve client engagement.
For those who need more flexibility and a fully featured solution, B12 builds search-optimized websites that can help with client acquisition and ongoing client management.
The powerful B12 Editor gives you the control to inject personal touches and brand identity into your site. But, there is always expert assistance when you need it.
B12's AI-powered platform automatically creates your industry-specific website draft. But unlike other website builders, you're also assigned a team of copywriting, design, and launch experts to help you customize and finesse the final product. We promise you'll spend less time building a website and more time running your business.
For accounting firms, CPAs, and bookkeepers, it's the best of both worlds.
In sum, who is CPA Site Solutions good for? Those who are short on time, need a basic online presence and are working with a limited budget. If all you are worried about is checking a box and getting an online presence, CPA does get the job done.
What are the pros and cons of using CPA Site Solutions websites?
How good are CPA Site Solutions pre-built websites?
CPA Site Solutions optimizes for the financial services industry. That means their 250+ templates have a clean and classic aesthetic. Each template comes pre-loaded with the standard set of pages clients have come to expect from an accountant's site, including:
- About Us
- Tax Center
- Client Portal
- Contact Us
Some limited customizations are possible. However, most pages work best with the content and structure that has been provided.
With only so many templates and little customization, any number of accounting businesses all likely have the same basic website.
The cookie-cutter templates available within the Silver, Gold, and Platinum Packages are good basic options for anyone looking for pre-built website templates. Still, they come with limited flexibility or the opportunity to personalize.
More extensive customizations are possible by paying for the Diamond Package, which includes a responsive website design, custom color pallet, personalized homepage slideshow images, and taglines, as well as one customized page (Meet Our Team, Specialty Service, or Pricing page).
Does CPA Site Solutions offer copywriting, design, or technical support?
The best way to think about CPA Site Solutions is as an out-of-the-box website template provider. While they offer a lot of templates to choose from, the templates remain rigid, with little ability to customize.
Online marketing requires differentiation, which means developing a unique brand identity. With only cookie-cutter templates, it's hard to stand out and highlight your unique offerings and expertise.
At CPA Site Solutions' custom copywriting and design services are limited. Clients are responsible for adding any customizations, and these are quite limited to only a few small sections. Reports indicate that extensive customizations disrupt the site design.
Even with the Diamond tier, websites still begin with a template, but CPA Site Solutions lets clients choose the color scheme, home page images, and taglines. The Diamond tier also includes copywriting services for one page.
With such inflexible templates, it also means that CPA Site Solutions doesn't necessarily evolve alongside your business. Yes, launching a website with them is relatively fast, but will their features evolve with your business model and customer needs? Beyond basic maintenance, it's not clear whether or not they support you as your business grows.
CPA Site Solutions websites all come with basic technical support. Support channels include a 1-800 toll-free phone number, email, and remote access if needed. However, immediate technical support is not available outside of business hours.
What are some CPA Site Solutions alternatives for accounting firms?
CPA Site Solutions websites are hyper-specific for the financial services sector. But, as an accountant or bookkeeper, you aren't restricted to only working with companies that explicitly serve this industry to the exclusion of all others.
There are many alternative options for building accounting websites, many of which come with a similar (if not improved) suite of helpful tools and website templates. A few of the altern out-of-the-box options that cater to small businesses and professionals include: Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and GoDaddy.
A pricier option is a fully customized website through a design agency. It's the most expensive choice and often one that takes several months to launch, but it does promise a website that uniquely positions your business in a competitive marketplace.
Customized websites are also built on WordPress, which for non-technical types can prove challenging to update and can quickly develop security issues thanks to all the plugins. More often than not, you’ll require assistance from the design agency to complete even minor tweaks.
Between the cookie-cutter website builders and the total custom package sits a third solution: B12. We balance ease with personalization, all while keeping costs and buildout times low.
Our secret is using artificial intelligence (AI) to create a website draft built based on your industry's best practices. It's the solid foundation that expert designers and copywriters then build on for a more tailored final product that conveys your unique expertise and brand
CPA Site Solutions review summary
CPA Site Solutions covers all the bases for those looking for a hassle-free and nearly instant way to launch a basic accounting website. Their services include everything from the design to the content, not to mention a few of the most relevant customer management tools.
However, despite advertising the ability to improve search results, you'll find their approach is limited because of the duplicate content replicated from one client to the next. Search engines like Google and Bing favor unique, authentic, and informative content. The limited flexibility and customization options through this option may eventually hold your website back.
Before hiring a service to build your own accounting website, determine what you ultimately need from the finished product. Do you need to improve your ranking? Do you need user-friendly client tools? Do you need the ability to edit the content and design on an ongoing basis?
B12 promises to help you attract, win, and serve your clients online. From new client intake to invoicing, our power-packed website builder comes with all the tools you need to grow your business, engage with clients, and streamline business operations.