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We Tested 5 Karbon HQ Alternatives: Here's what we found

We Tested 5 Karbon HQ Alternatives: Here's what we found

Are you feeling frustrated with Karbon? Trust me. You're not alone!

Many accounting professionals are on the lookout for new practice management software that better fits their needs. 

While Karbon offers a range of features designed to simplify your workflow, it can sometimes fall short in areas that matter most to your firm.

Common issues with Karbon HQ include:

  • A steep learning curve and complex setup
  • Missing key features like email deletion and task dependencies
  • Performance issues like slow search functions and email lags
  • High costs that might not justify the benefits for smaller firms
  • Limited reporting capabilities

If these problems sound familiar, you might be wondering if there’s a better alternative out there. Spoiler alert: there is!

In this blog, we’ll explore the top 5 Karbon HQ alternatives that could change how you manage your accounting practice:

  1. Xenett
  2. Canopy
  3. TaxDome
  4. Financial Cents
  5. Dext Prepare

I went through each of these tools thoroughly to give you a detailed comparison, so you can make an informed decision about which one suits your needs best. 

Let’s dive in and find the perfect software to take your firm’s productivity to the next level!

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What is Karbon? 

This image shows the Homepage of Karbon

Karbon is a comprehensive software designed specifically for accounting firms. It helps you manage client relationships, workflows, and team collaboration in one place. 

For firms with numerous clients and large teams, Karbon simplifies work by integrating everything into a single platform, offering automation features to save time and strong security to protect important data.

What features does Karbon offer?

Here are the features Karbon offer: 

Client Management

This image shows the Client Management Features of Karbon

Karbon helps you keep track of every client, ensuring you provide top-notch service by managing relationships and tracking tasks.

Centralized Knowledge

This image shows the Centralized Knowledge Features of Karbon

All important information is stored in one place, accessible to the entire team, reducing mistakes and missed deadlines.

Business Analytics

This image shows the Business Analytics Features of Karbon

Provides data and insights for better decision-making, helping you identify areas for improvement and boost firm performance.

Workflow Automation

This image shows the Workflow Automation Features of Karbon

Automates repetitive tasks, allowing you to focus on more significant work and ensuring consistency in task execution.

Project Management

This image shows the Project Management Features of Karbon

Organizes your team and projects, ensuring everyone knows their goals and tasks, keeping the team organized and on track.

Email Management

This image shows the Email Management Features of Karbon

Integrates emails into the workflow, improving communication and ensuring you don’t miss important information.

Team Collaboration

This image shows theTeam Collaboration Features of Kar

Tools for commenting, tagging colleagues, and sharing task lists improve teamwork and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Calendar Integration

Connects with Google or Outlook calendars to manage time better, helping you schedule meetings and tasks seamlessly.

Client Portal

Enables secure communication and sharing of sensitive information with clients, enhancing client satisfaction.

Karbon AI

This image shows the Karbon AI features

Uses artificial intelligence to automate tasks and improve workflow efficiency, making tasks faster and more accurate.

Karbon Practice Intelligence

Provides advanced analytics and insights specifically for managing your practice, helping you make better decisions.

These features make Karbon a valuable tool for accounting firms, streamlining operations and enhancing productivity. 

Now, after knowing what Karbon has got to offer you and all the goods, let’s move on to the reasons why you must consider Karbon HQ alternatives. 

How much does Karbon cost?

Karbon has three main pricing plans. Each plan is designed for different types of accounting firms, from small practices to large companies. 

Here’s a look at what each plan offers:

This image shows the pricing of Karbon

Team Plan

  • Cost:
    • $59 per user per month (if you pay yearly)
    • $79 per user per month (if you pay monthly)
  • Who is it for? Small accounting firms that need basic tools for managing tasks and working together.
  • Key Features:
    • Integrated Email: You can manage your emails within the workflow, which makes communication easy.
    • Team Collaboration Tools: You can comment, tag colleagues, and share task lists to improve teamwork.
    • Workflow and To-Do Lists: Basic tools to organize and manage tasks so nothing is missed.
    • Email Triage: Share, assign, and comment on emails with your team to keep communication clear.
    • Client Management: Keep track of client interactions and history with shared contact profiles and timelines.
    • Client Portal: Clients can upload files and comment on tasks, making collaboration easier.
    • Document Management: Automatically store and organize documents related to clients and jobs.
    • Basic Reporting and Insights: Get basic analytics and dashboards to monitor workflows and tasks.
    • Ecosystem Integrations: Connect with essential apps like Gmail and Office 365 to manage data and processes smoothly.

Business Plan (Most Popular)

  • Cost:
    • $89 per user per month (if you pay yearly)
    • $99 per user per month (if you pay monthly)
  • Who is it for? Growing accounting practices that need more advanced features and integrations.
  • Includes Everything in Team, Plus:
    • Automatic Client Reminders: Automatically send reminders to clients, reducing the need for manual follow-ups.
    • Task Automation: Automate routine tasks to save time and ensure consistency.
    • Industry Integrations: Connect with more industry-specific apps to enhance functionality.
    • Time Tracking & Budget Reporting: Tools to track time spent on tasks and projects and manage budgets.
    • Advanced Reporting and Insights: More detailed analytics and reporting to understand performance better.
    • Branded Client Portal: A personalized client portal with your firm’s branding for a professional look.
    • Enhanced Workflow Management: More options for managing work in progress, workflow statuses, templates, and work types.
    • Team Collaboration Enhancements: Extra features like collaboration for teams and sub-teams, and automatic task list generation.

Enterprise Plan

  • Cost: Custom Pricing
  • Who is it for? Large accounting firms that need extensive customization, security, and reporting tools.
  • Includes Everything in Team and Business, Plus:
    • Enterprise Platform: A dedicated platform for large firms with specific needs.
    • Dedicated Karbon Contact: A personal account manager to help streamline workflows and reach your goals.
    • Unlimited Usage Limits: No limits on work items, templates, or contacts, allowing unlimited growth.
    • Customization: Extensive options to customize the software to fit your firm’s processes and needs.
    • Dedicated Data Hosting: Option for hosting your data in a local Azure cloud center for better security.
    • Bulk Data Storage: 100GB of storage per user for data, documents, and reports.
    • Custom Reporting: Access to specialized reports and the ability to export data for detailed analysis.
    • Premium Support: 24/7 priority support with top-tier help and guidance, including unlimited in-app chat and on-request callbacks.
    • Ongoing Training: Regular training sessions and exclusive Q&A with Karbon experts to keep your team up-to-date.
    • Privacy and Permissions: Enhanced settings to manage user access and protect sensitive information.

Why must you consider a Karbon HQ alternatives? 

Here are the reasons why you must go for alternatives: 

This image shows the Karbon user review in G2

Complexity and Setup Time

This image shows the karbon user review in G2

Some users find Karbon difficult and time-consuming to set up. The software can be complex, especially for basic workflows.

This can be frustrating if you need to get started quickly and don’t have time to learn a complicated system.

Lack of Key Features

Karbon is missing some important features. For example, you can’t delete emails within Karbon, and it doesn’t support task dependencies like traditional project management software.

This can limit how you use the software and may make it less effective for managing certain tasks.

Performance Issues

This image shows the Karbon user review in G2

Users report that the search function is slow, and there is a lag in emails appearing in Karbon.

These performance issues can slow you down and make the software less efficient.


This image shows the karbon user review in G2

Many users think Karbon is expensive. They feel they are paying for features they don’t use.

This can make it a less cost-effective solution for some businesses.

Reporting Limitations

Karbon lacks strong reporting features. Users can’t easily generate reports to track client portfolios or task progress.

This limits how well you can manage and oversee your work.

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Here are the Top 5 Karbon HQ alternatives

Here are the top 5 Karbon HQ alternatives: 

#1. Xenett


Xenett is a financial close software that automates error detection, speeds up month-end closing, and enhances client collaboration. 

It's mainly to keep accounting books accurate and provide real-time reports, making it a strong alternative to Karbon for accounting firms aiming to simplify their bookkeeping processes.

How is Xenett compared to Karbon?

Here’s how Xenett is compared to Karbon: 

  • Automated Error Detection

Xenett uses AI to automatically detect and fix bookkeeping errors, ensuring real-time accuracy with a smart search feature for quick issue identification.

Whereas, Karbon primarily focuses on task and workflow management, with less emphasis on error detection.

  • Faster Month-End Close
This image shows the month-end closing in Xenett

Xenett organizes workflows to speed up the closing process with a close dashboard displaying the status of reconciliations and tasks.

Whereas, Karbon offers general workflow automation and tools for time tracking and budget reporting, not specifically tailored for month-end close.

  • Client Collaboration

Xenett enhances client collaboration with interactive, real-time reports and easy communication regarding missing information and transaction details.

Whereas, Karbon provides team collaboration tools and a client portal for file uploads and information viewing, but lacks the interactive reporting of Xenett.

  • Integration

Xenett easily integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero, featuring a browser extension for real-time syncing and error fixes.

Karbon, on the other hand, connects with various tools like Gmail, Office 365, Slack, and more, using API and Zapier for broader but less specialized integration.

  • Reporting and Analytics

Where Xenett offers real-time, intuitive reports with features for attaching workpapers and adding review notes, facilitating thorough reviews.

Karbon provides custom reporting and business analytics, focusing on guiding decisions rather than interactive client collaboration.

  • Task Management

Xenett includes task management features such as custom fields, recurring tasks, subtasks, checklists, and time tracking, with commenting and tagging for improved internal communication.

Whereas, Karbon helps align team goals and manage projects with workflow templates, focusing more on overall practice management.

Why is Xenett a Better Karbon HQ Alternative?

Here’s why: 

  • Error Detection and Correction

Karbon's Shortcoming: Limited error detection, more focused on task management.

Xenett's Advantage: Automated AI-driven error detection with real-time fixes.

  • Closing Process Efficiency

Karbon's Shortcoming: General workflow automation, not specialized for month-end close.

Xenett's Advantage: Streamlined month-end close with organized workflows and real-time error corrections.

  • Client Collaboration and Reporting

Karbon's Shortcoming: Basic client collaboration and static reports.

Xenett's Advantage: Interactive, real-time reports for enhanced client collaboration and seamless communication.

  • Specialization in Bookkeeping

Karbon's Shortcoming: General practice management with less focus on bookkeeping.

Xenett's Advantage: Tailored specifically for bookkeepers, featuring error detection and accurate reviews.

  • Real-Time Data Accuracy

Karbon's Shortcoming: Periodic updates and manual corrections.

Xenett's Advantage: Real-time accuracy with automatic error detection and corrections.

How much does Xenett cost? 

This image shows the pricing of Xenett

Here’s a breakdown of Xenett’s pricing: 

  • Essentials: $6/month per client – includes quality checks and task management.
  • Comprehensive Close: $9/month per client – includes reconciliation, review notes, and a client portal.
  • Add-Ons: Client portal ($1.5/month per client), bulk data management ($2.5/month per client).

In summary, Xenett offers more specialized features for bookkeeping, real-time error detection, and interactive client collaboration, making it a superior choice compared to Karbon.

#2 Canopy 

This image shows the homepage of Canopy

Canopy is an all-in-one accounting practice management software designed to simplify running an accounting firm. 

This image shows the client engagement feature in Canopy

It integrates client engagement, document management, workflow optimization, time and billing, and more, aiming to reduce stress, improve efficiency, and enhance client experiences.

How is Canopy Different from Karbon? 

While both Canopy and Karbon are practice management tools for accounting firms, they have distinct focuses:

Canopy emphasizes client engagement, document management, workflow optimization, and AI-driven insights.

Whereas, Karbon focuses on workflow automation, team collaboration, client management, and customization for improved efficiency.

Why Canopy is a Better Alternative to Karbon?

Here’s why:

1. Document Management

  • Canopy comprehensive with unlimited storage and eSignatures.
  • Karbon centralizes information but lacks extensive document management features.

2. Workflow Optimization

  • Canopy offers detailed management with templates and automation.
  • Karbon provides general workflow and task management with collaboration tools.

3. Client Collaboration

  • Canopy enhances collaboration with interactive reports and a client portal.
  • Karbon basic tools focused on task and workflow integration.

4. Pricing Flexibility

  • Canopy’s modular pricing lets firms choose specific features as needed.
  • Karbon’s structured plans with different pricing tiers.

5. AI Integration

  • Canopy uses AI for task automation and deep insights.
  • Karbon offers business analytics but lacks extensive AI integration.

How much does Canopy cost? 

Here’s a breakdown of Canopy’s pricing: 

  • Client Engagement: Free for up to 250 clients.
  • Document Management: $40 per user/month.
  • Workflow: $35 per user/month.
  • Time & Billing: $25 per user/month.

#3 Taxdome 

This image shows the homepage of Taxdome

TaxDome is an all-in-one practice management software for tax and accounting firms. 

It helps manage client relationships, automate workflows, handle documents, and improve client communication. 

The goal is to make firms more efficient and enhance client experiences.

How is TaxDome Different from Karbon? 

While both TaxDome and Karbon are designed for practice management, they have different focuses:

TaxDome emphasizes client management, workflow automation, document handling, and client communication.

Whereas, Karbon focuses on workflow automation, team collaboration, client management, and customization.

Why TaxDome is a Better Alternative to Karbon?

Here’s why: 

1. Client Management

  • TaxDome offers a comprehensive CRM, client portal, and mobile app for easy client interaction and document sharing.
  • Karbon provides tools for managing client relationships and tracking tasks but lacks extensive client engagement features.

2. Workflow Automation

  • TaxDome automates workflows, reducing manual tasks and increasing efficiency.
  • Karbon manages tasks and workflows with email integration and commenting features.

3. Document Management

  • TaxDome secure document storage, a client portal, and eSignatures for easy document handling.
  • Karbon centralizes information but lacks robust document management features.

4. Revenue Operations

  • TaxDome tools for proposals, engagement letters, and time tracking help manage revenue tasks.
  • Karbon offers time tracking and budget reporting but lacks specific revenue operation tools.

5. Client Experience

  • TaxDome enhances client collaboration with a mobile app and interactive portal.
  • Karbon basic client collaboration tools focused on task and workflow integration.

6. AI and Insights

  • TaxDome uses AI for reporting and workflow automation, providing deep insights into firm operations.
  • Karbon offers business analytics but lacks extensive AI integration.

How much does TaxDome cost? 

This image shows the pricing of Taxdome

Here’s a breakdown of TaxDome pricing: 

  • 1-Year Subscription: $800 per user per year.
  • 2-Year Subscription: $700 per user per year.
  • 3-Year Subscription: $600 per user per year.

Seasonal Staff: $85 per user per month, billed monthly.

#4 Financial Cents

This image shows the homepage of Financial Cents

Financial Cents is a practice management software for accounting firms, designed to improve productivity and collaboration through workflow automation, client management, and document management.

How is Financial Cents Different from Karbon? 

While both Financial Cents and Karbon aim to enhance practice management, they have different focuses:

Financial Cents focuses on detailed workflow automation, client management, and secure document sharing.

Whereas, Karbon emphasizes workflow automation, team collaboration, and client management with customization options.

Why is Financial Cents a Better Alternative to Karbon?

1. Pricing

  • Financial Cents more affordable plans, ideal for smaller firms.
  • Karbon: Higher pricing tiers with advanced features.

2. Workflow Automation

  • Financial Cents: Detailed automation with to-do lists, task dependencies, and triggers.
  • Karbon: General workflow and task management with integrated email features.

3. Client Portal

  • Financial Cents: Branded client portal with customizable task emails for better client communication.
  • Karbon: Basic client portal focused on task and workflow integration.

4. Integration Flexibility

  • Financial Cents: Extensive integrations through Zapier and open API.
  • Karbon: Connects with multiple tools via API and Zapier.

5. Unique Features

  • Financial Cents: Includes ReCat for managing uncategorized transactions in QuickBooks Online.
  • Karbon: Focuses on business analytics and custom reporting.

How much does Financial Cents cost? 

This image shows the pricing of Financial Cents

Here’s a breakdown of Financial Cents pricing: 

Team Plan: $39 per user per month (billed annually) or $49 per user per month (billed monthly).

Scale Plan: $59 per user per month (billed annually) or $69 per user per month (billed monthly).

Add-On (ReCat): $4 per client per month for managing uncategorized transactions in QuickBooks Online.

#5 Dext Prepare 

Dext Prepare is a data capture and processing tool designed to automate the collection, extraction, and integration of financial documents.

How is Dext Prepare Different from Karbon? 

While both Dext Prepare and Karbon are tools for accounting firms, they have different focuses:

Dext Prepare specializes in automating data capture, extraction, and processing of financial documents.

Whereas, Karbon emphasizes workflow automation, team collaboration, client management, and customization.

Why Dext Prepare is a Better Alternative to Karbon?

Here’s why: 

1. Data Capture and Extraction

  • Dext Prepare: Automates capturing and extracting financial data with high accuracy, integrating directly with accounting software.
  • Karbon: Focuses on workflow automation and task management without specializing in financial data extraction.

2. Integrations with Financial Institutions

  • Dext Prepare: Supports over 30 accounting software providers and 11,500 banks.
  • Karbon: Connects with multiple tools via API and Zapier but lacks specific support for financial institutions.

3. Pre-Accounting Automation

  • Dext Prepare: Automates pre-accounting tasks, reducing manual data entry and processing time.
  • Karbon: General workflow automation without specific pre-accounting tools.

4. Expense Management

  • Dext Prepare: Simplifies expense management by capturing and processing receipts and financial documents.
  • Karbon: Does not specialize in expense management automation.

5. Data-Driven Insights

  • Dext Prepare: Provides detailed insights and analytics on bookkeeping data.
  • Karbon: Offers business analytics and custom reporting but not specifically for bookkeeping data.

How much does Dext Prepare cost? 

This image shows the pricing of dext prepare

Monthly Subscription: $199.99/month for 10 clients and unlimited users (annual subscription, billed monthly).

Annual Subscription: $214.99/month for 10 clients and unlimited users (annual subscription, billed monthly).


Finding the perfect accounting software can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Each of the five Karbon HQ alternatives we’ve explored—Xenett, Canopy, TaxDome, Financial Cents, and Dext Prepare—offers unique features designed to meet different needs.

Whether you need better client collaboration, advanced workflow automation, superior document management, or a more budget-friendly option, there's an alternative that fits.

One standout option is Xenett, which excels in real-time error detection and interactive client collaboration. It simplifies complex bookkeeping tasks, making it an excellent choice for accuracy and efficiency.

So, don’t settle for software that doesn’t meet your expectations. 

So are you  now ready to make the switch? Then discover how these tools can help you streamline operations, improve efficiency, and provide better service to your clients.

Here’s to finding the perfect software to elevate your accounting practice! If Xenett sounds like it could be the solution you’ve been looking for, give it a closer look.

Let's move toward a better solution

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