Estateably vs Estate-a-Base (Dye & Durham): Comparing Estate Administration and Accounting Software

Estateably vs Estate-a-Base (Dye & Durham): Comparing Estate Administration and Accounting Software

In this comparison, we will examine two software solutions: Estateably and Dye & Durham's Estate-a-Base. Both solutions are designed to solve similar problems for estate practitioners but have different features and pricing structures. In this analysis, we will compare each solution's features, cost, support, and pros and cons to help determine which is the better choice for your needs.

Feature overview:

Form automation:

Estateably automates all required probate forms, precedent letters and federal notifications to administrate an estate file. New form changes are closely monitored and instantly available in the application weeks before they come into effect to ensure no service interruption to clients.

Estate-a-base automates all probate forms necessary to go through administration in Ontario. However, form changes take longer to be uploaded and require manual updates to each computer the software is installed on. This can cause delays and interruptions in the administration of a matter.

Task management:

Estateably comes with an out of the box administration task list for easy reference throughout a file's administration. Within tasks it is possible to leave notes and create to-do lists in addition to assigning tasks to specific team members, setting deadlines and creating reminders to avoid anything slipping through the cracks. Estateably also offers the ability to manage all tasks you have assigned to yourself across all matters to better manage your or your practice's work.

Estate-a-base offers default task management with an added notes section to keep track of information relevant to a matter.

Beneficiary management:

Estateably provides input for all beneficiaries, co-executor and any relevant parties for the estate. Whenever possible Estateably auto-fills information such as address lookups for any contact. Estateably also automates all required charitable organization information (registration number, address and more) when a charity is listed as a beneficiary of the Estate.

Estate-a-base provides manual inputs for all estate beneficiaries, which flow into the required forms and letters.

Inventory automation:

Estateably provides all the inventory management functions needed to go through probate and administration with an added emphasis on automation where possible. Currency conversions are automatically calculated based on the transaction date or the date of death, as required, and integrated securities price lookups save hours of manual research and maintenance through the matter's administration.

Estate-a-base provides a comprehensive inventory management module. However, this also relies on manual updates, securities lookups and currency conversions.

Estate accounting:

Estateably provides all accounting functionality needed to perform estate accounting with additional automation to save professionals hours of manual input every month. Notably, our PDF extraction can scan client bank statements, extract transactions, and automatically upload them into the application. Take a look at DocuVision in action here.

Estate-a-base provides accounting functionality, but all inputs are entered manually. Additionally, Estate-a-Base's user interface can be complex and confusing to new users.

Reporting:

Estateably reports are available for every application section and can be generated with customized sections and date ranges with a single click. Informal reports can be customized to be generated on your firm's letterhead. Full passing of accounts reports can be generated with a single click in both Word and PDF formats.

Estate-a-base can produce formal and informal reports, but customizations can take weeks to implement. Larger reports have been known to take over 10 minutes to produce. Additionally, reports are not available as word documents, removing the ability to make changes to a report once it is generated.

Collaboration:

Estateably is a cloud-based application, meaning it can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet. Your entire firm can access files as needed and assign multiple users as collaborators on a given file.

Estate-a-base files can only be accessed on a computer with the application installed with limited to no collaboration across the practice.

Notice to creditors:

Estateably's notice-to-creditor solution provides all the same functionality of Estate-a-Base for a more cost-effective $145 for a notice and affidavit.

Estate-a-base integrates with Dye & Durham’s NoticeConnect for notice to creditor publication for a more expensive $190 for a notice and affidavit.

While both solutions offer a similar scope of features, Estateably provides greater automation across all features, saving professionals time on mundane, repetitive tasks.

Pricing:

Estateably is priced on a per-file basis, which allows professionals to pass costs back to the estate if desired. There are no setup, installation or subscription fees for the estate administration product. Basic files start at $99, and accounting can be added for $99.

Dye & Durham's Estate-a-Base is priced as a subscription for a minimum number of files which often requires firms to absorb the software cost as an operational expense. Additionally, setup and installation costs start at $450, growing with the number of computers the software needs to be manually installed onto.

Estateably's pricing is more in line with the way practitioners work and want to bill their clients.

Support:

Estateably offers a variety of support options, including a comprehensive online knowledge base and email support. Demos and guided onboarding are available for new users. Estateably also has a 4.8/5 rating on Capterra, with most feedback centred around superior support and responsiveness.

Estate-a-Base has a limited online knowledge base and offers a paid customer support hotline. It does offer email support with slower response times. It also provides on-site training but is only available in certain regions.

Overall, Estateably has a more comprehensive, available and cost-effective support plan for your firm than Estate-a-Base.

Pros and Cons:

Estateably has several pros:

  • Robust form, letter and precedent automation
  • Easy-to-use estate accounting with automated PDF transaction extraction
  • Automation of holdings calculations
  • One-click formal and informal reporting (accounting, EIR, passing of accounts)
  • Save costs with Estateably Notice to Creditors compared to NoticeConnect

However, Estateably also has a few cons:

  • Switching active files over to Estateably can be time-consuming (But the support team can help!)
  • No integration with NoticeConnect

Estate-a-Base has the following pros:

  • Robust form and letter automation
  • Comprehensive estate accounting

However, Estate-a-Base also has some cons:

  • Lack of automation of inputs
  • Reports can take significant time to generate
  • On-premise solution limits collaboration and accessibility
  • Unsatisfactory customer support

Additional Considerations:

Cloud-based vs on-premise:

Estateably provides a modern, cloud-based solution with inherent benefits for client data and application security. All Canadian customer data is stored and backed up in the cloud, with all data exclusively stored and managed in Canada.

The notable benefits of using cloud-based software include the following:

  1. Accessibility: Cloud-based software can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, allowing you to work from anywhere and on any device.
  2. Automatic updates: Cloud-based software is automatically updated by the provider, ensuring you always have access to the latest version and features.
  3. Data recovery: Cloud-based software stores data in the cloud, which means it can be easily recovered in the event of a disaster or data loss.
  4. Security: Cloud-based software is typically more secure than on-premises software, as it is managed by a team of security experts and is regularly updated to address any security vulnerabilities.

Additionally, Estateably is SOC2 Type 2 Certified, one of the highest compliance standards for software solutions. Read more about data security and privacy at Estateably here.

Estate-a-Base is an on-premise solution, which can be disadvantageous for many reasons, including:

  1. Limited accessibility: On-premises software can only be accessed from the device or location where it is installed, which can be limiting for businesses with remote workers or multiple locations.
  2. Limited updates: On-premises software is not automatically updated by the provider, meaning businesses must manually install updates and pay for new versions.
  3. Maintenance: On-premises software requires ongoing maintenance and support, which can be time-consuming and costly.
  4. Disaster recovery: On-premises software stores data on local servers, which means it is more vulnerable to data loss in the event of a disaster or data breach.
If data security, availability and reliability are primary concerns for your practice, Estateably is more aligned with your needs.

Operating system compatibility:

Estateably supports any operating system as it is available in the browser. We recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox and support Microsoft Edge.

Estate-a-Base only provides support for applications running on Microsoft Windows.®8.1 and 10.

Conclusion:

After considering the features, cost, support, and pros and cons of both Estateably and Dye & Durham's Estate-a-Base, it is clear that Estateably is the better choice for the modern firm. It has a broader range of features, a more user-friendly interface, and is more cost-effective for professionals and their clients. While Estate-a-Base has been the incumbent solution for professionals, Estateably now matches and exceeds its functionality while providing a modern, secure solution for professionals to manage all their files.

However, it is essential to carefully consider your firm's specific needs and requirements before making a decision. If you have any additional questions or concerns, it is always a good idea to consult with other professionals or book a demo to evaluate the software's value for your practice.

If you're interested in getting started with Estateably you can sign-up here, or book a demo with our team to learn more about how we can help save you time on your next estate matter.

The Estateably Team
Estateably is the modern, cloud-based software solution for estate and trust professionals. We help over 500 firms save over 5 hours per file by automating the filling of court forms and precedent letters, simplifying input of estate inventory and accounting and enabling one-click court-formatted reporting. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.
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