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Front Desk vs. Power Diary

With so many practice management systems to choose from, finding the right one for your practice can be a tricky decision.

Front Desk and Power Diary are both great systems, but there are some notable, and very costly, differences which really separate them.

What’s the difference between
Front Desk and Power Diary?

In a nutshell, Power Diary gives you more features at a much more affordable price (with no setup fees!). You’ll also get free online bookings, and the ability to accept online payments. Plus, it’s so easy to move as all your data can be imported by our data specialists.

Below we explain the exact differences, but why not start a free trial today to see for yourself…

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I’ve used a number of different practice management systems and there’s no doubt that Power Diary is best in class.

Dr. Ryan Kaplan, Clinical Psychologist
Be Psychology and Mental Health

It's been the best program to use. It makes life a whole lot easier. Especially when it comes to the...

Raymond Inkpen,
Principal Clinical Psychologist
Psi Balance Psychology

Absolutely love Power Diary! It’s simple to use and makes my life easy. Cannot recommend this enough to allied health...

Alison Wheatley,
Byford Physiotherapy

Why should you choose Power Diary?


Medicare (AU) Claims Processing

Effective March 2022, Front Desk will no longer be compliant with Medicare requirements, and will not be able to process Medicare claims after that time.

Current Front Desk users in need of Medicare claiming have been encouraged by the company to migrate to PracSuite (another platform within the same company). PracSuite is not only a more expensive option, it also uses a third party Medipass integration to process claims, which comes with additional fees.

At Power Diary, we’re ready for the essential Medicare upgrade. Plus, we provide a native integration to Medicare, which means we don’t send your client data through any third parties for claims processing. And as always, there are no extra charges for processing Medicare & DVA claims through our direct integration.

Rest assured that as a Power Diary customer, there is nothing you’ll need to do to ensure that your practice meets the new Medicare requirements.


A Smooth Transition with Free Data Import

We provide a data import service, completely free of charge (even for large data files). We are usually able to import client details, appointments (client, personal and group), notes, services, products, referrers and referrals, contacts, third parties (billers), and in some circumstances financial information. Simply upload the data file exported from your previous system, and our in-house data experts begin the conversion process. Once prepared, they’ll load your data into your account, ensuring it is formatted exactly how it should be.

Each import is a custom process, adapted for your data, and typically takes around 24-48 hours. You will receive an email once the process is complete, but our customer support team is always on hand. Learn more about our data import service here.

Although Front Desk offers data import services, all come at an additional cost. A Basic Data Transfer (patient names, address, phone numbers, date of birth and file numbers) will cost $395; opting for a Basic Data Transfer + Appointments costs $990, and finally, a Basic Data Transfer + Appointments + Transactions incurs a huge cost of $2,690.

With Power Diary, your data is continuously backed up, and safeguarded by the best technology. With Front Desk, however, they advise users to backup their data on USB flash drives (8GB or larger), an external hard drive, a NAS drive, or opt for Cloud Backup (at an additional fee).


Affordable Pricing

Affordability will always be a factor when it comes to choosing a practice management system, so it should come as no surprise that pricing appears early on in our comparison. Please note that Power Diary operates on a rolling monthly basis with no contracts. For this reason, we have focused predominantly on Front Desk’s Subscribe account, rather than their Purchase option.

When comparing the pricing of Front Desk and Power Diary, the difference is huge. Typically, a single practitioner with Front Desk will be paying more than double than a solopractitioner with Power Diary. This difference continues, with a practice with 10 practitioners paying close as 30 practitioners with Power Diary!

With Power Diary, pricing is divided into 4 plans based on the number of practitioners. Each account has the same features and functionality, and you have the freedom to add or remove practitioners whenever needed.


No Setup or One-Off Costs

As well as a more expensive subscription costs, Front Desk also charges some additional costs. One of these is a mandatory one-off ‘Setup’ fee, which includes setup and installation, 4 x 1 hour training sessions, purchase pack including manual, and some SMS credits.

Other additional charges include data import (variable – as mentioned above), Medicare/DVA Online Claiming, Patient Booking Gateway, and Off-Site (Cloud) Hosting (price on application).

To highlight how costly starting up with Front Desk is, for just the compulsory setup fee, plus online claiming, a practitioner will typically pay a fee equivalent to more than 10 months with Power Diary at full price (and more than a year’s subscription cost when our promotional offer is taken into consideration)!

With Power Diary, there are no setup or one-off fees for any of the above features or functionalities. Every account supports online bookings and Medicare claiming, and training and support is available whenever you need it, at no added cost.

See below for a full price comparison, or start your free trial today.


Accessible from Anywhere

Portability is becoming an increasingly important requirement, with practitioners needing access to their account and data while on-the-go. Power Diary is a cloud-based system, so wherever you are, you’ll have access to your data from a computer, tablet, or smartphone; all you need is an internet connection. With Front Desk, access and account types are less straightforward.

As stated in their manual, Front Desk must be installed onto a computer using a CD (provided by Smartsoft Pty Ltd) and, like any physical download, is subject to manual software updates to ensure that the system’s features and security are up to date.

With both the Subscription and Purchase options, data is only accessible via the computer on which the software is downloaded, however there are some options for remote access; WebPlus, and Off-Site Hosting. The WebPlus Appointment Book Licence, allows practitioners to access their calendar from a mobile device, with the ability to add, view and edit appointments, plus view patient contact details. There is also a free version of WebPlus, allowing appointment viewing only. An alternative option for remote access would be Off-Site (Cloud) Hosting, which incurs an additional cost for both account options (Price on Application).

With Power Diary you can access not only your calendar, but your full database, regardless of location or device type, all at no added cost, and no restricted functionality. There is no need for software to be downloaded, and all updates are automatic!


Online Bookings with Every Account

Allowing your clients to manage their own appointments provides a great time saving for the practitioner, as well as added convenience for the client. As mentioned, both systems support online bookings via the client portal, each offering similar functionalities such as enabling clients to book, cancel or reschedule their appointments, view their preferred practitioners availability, add a ‘book now’ button to a website or facebook page, apply booking rules and personalised instructions, as well as the option to apply your practices branding, and more.

With that all being said, there is one important difference to note with regards to online bookings, and that is that only with Front Desk will you incur an additional monthly fee for the Patient Booking Gateway, currently standing at $63 AUD (inc GST). This increases the monthly fee to $153 for one practitioner, almost three times the amount you would pay with Power Diary.

Power Diary’s booking portal is included with every account at no added charge.


Improve Cash Flow with Online Payments

With Power Diary, you can not only accept online bookings, but with our integration with Stripe, you can accept online payments too. This integration enables you to require prepayment at the time of booking online, which in turn improves both your cash flow, and appointment attendance rates. You will also have the ability to collect payments during home visits or Telehealth appointments, or allow clients to settle invoices directly through the client portal

Although both systems offer an integration with Tyro, a terminal is required, and this would not enable you to accept client payments at the time of booking online.


Our ‘Happy Customers Forever’ Initiative

At Power Diary, we are so confident that you’ll love our system and service, that we offer a 100% money-back guarantee to anyone wishing to cancel their account within the first 12 months. There is no catch, or any hidden deductions. You will receive 100% of your subscription fees paid, as well as any SMS messages sent. Learn more about our Happy Customers Forever Initiative here. This is not something offered by Front Desk.

We also believe that the only way to get a true feel for a new system is with a trial. Our 14 day free trial gives you full access to every Power Diary feature including SMS messaging and a data import. The only way to experience Front Desk before subscribing is with a demo of their software. There is no option of a free trial.


In-Platform Practice Operations Manual

Practice policies and procedures are essential, but they can also be time-consuming and expensive to create. With Power Diary’s in-platform Practice Operations Manual, we’ve done most of the work for you! The Practice Manual includes over 100 policies and procedures- simply make any edits you’d like (or add in your own policies!) and you’ll have everyone in your practice on the same page, in no time. Front Desk doesn’t offer this feature- you’ll only find this at Power Diary.

No risk with our Money-Back Guarantee

Yes, you read that right! Simply start your account now, and if at any point over the next 12 months you decide Power Diary isn’t right for you, just let us know. We’ll refund 100% of any subscription fees you’ve paid.

Still not sure whether to choose
Power Diary or Front Desk?

Here’s a chart where you can make a fair assessment…

Power Diary vs. Front DeskPower DiaryFront Desk
Free trial14 day free trial with access to all features including SMS messaging.No, the only option is to book a demo.
Price for 1 practitioner (per week)$12 $6*$20.77 ($90/month)
Price for 3 practitioners (per week)$20 $10*$45 ($195/month)
Price for 7 practitioners (per week)$32 $16*$67.85 ($294/month)
Price for 15 practitioners (per week)$50 $25*N/A
Price for 30 practitioners (per week)$72 $36*N/A
Data import serviceComprehensive data import service – free of charge. Data files of any size, including client details, appointments, notes, services, products, referrers/referrals, contacts, third parties (billers), and in some circumstances, financial information. Import takes around 24 hours.Yes, but all import options incur an additional fee: Basic Data at $395; Basic Data + Appointments at $990; and Basic Data + Appointments + Transactions at $2,690.
Calendar managementChoose from multiple appointment types with colour coding. Able to set appointment flags to show booking status. Can support multiple locations and flexible recurring availability patterns.Yes, but limited functionality compared with Power Diary.
SMS & email remindersSend up to 3 SMS and email reminders per appointment, with flexible sending times. Responses auto-update appointment status within the diary.Able to send SMS and email reminders. Responses auto-update the appointment status.
2-Way SMS chat
TelehealthFully integrated and simple to use. Secure and compliant with all health standards.Front Desk provides an interface to use Telehealth, but does not provide Telehealth software themselves. They suggest using 3rd parties.
Online FormsLibrary of customisable, specialist specific online forms. Responses are automatically uploaded to the client file. Set up notifications to flag when responses are received. Able to collect digital signatures and apply clinic branding.There is no mention of online forms on the Front Desk website.
Client management system
Treatment notesOver 100 specialised templates. All are fully customisable; choose multiple choice and tick boxes, note sections, image and body charting with annotation and much more. Unlimited creation and storage of templates. Easily duplicate previous notes, and view full edit history of templates.Yes, but far fewer customisation options listed on the website compared with Power Diary. Possible to include image and body charting with annotation. Preprepared templates available. Able to create new templates or duplicate previous notes.
Online bookingsOnline bookings can be made via the portal, automatically updating the diary. Apply branding to the booking portal, including colours, a logo and a header image.
A booking link can be added to a website or Facebook.
Yes, but at an additional cost of $63/month for the Patient Booking Gateway. Limited possibilities and functionality compared with Power Dairy. Able to customise Portal with branding. Clients can book through a website or Facebook.
Medicare (AU) ClaimingMedicare claims are completely free of charge, with no one-off fees.Effective March 2022, Front Desk will no longer be compliant with Medicare requirements, and will not be able to process Medicare claims after that time.
Invoices & paymentsFully integrated invoicing. Able to set calendar alerts flagging new outstanding payments, and alert practitioners of new online booking with clients with outstanding invoices. Also able to block clients from booking until fully settled. Integrates with Xero for invoicing and accounting, and Stripe for online payment processing, and Tyro for EFTPOS.Yes, but limited invoicing options compared with Power Diary. Integration possible with Xero, but no integration with Stripe (or similar) for online payment processing. Integration with Tyro for EFTPOS payments.
Credit card processingRequest and process payments at the time of booking online, during home visits or Telehealth appointments. Clients are also able to pay directly through the client portal.Unable to accept payments at time of booking, or during in-person appointments or home visits.
Reports & analyticsYes, but restricted compared with Power Diary.
Money-back guarantee
Practice Operations ManualThis industry-first feature provides a core set of policies and procedures that are ready to use and easily adapted to your practice.

*This comparison article reflects information available as of April 2020.

*Pricing with current special offer available until the end of this month.
All prices are in AUD.

You can see why Power Diary is trusted by thousands of practitioners.

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Here’s what Power Diary Clients are Saying…

"Helps me get organised and make my appointments for the week. I can easily visually see who is still owing payments and also it creates space for me to add extra things. Your help desk is amazing. Thank you!"

Sophie Egan,
Sophie EGAN Speech Pathology Clinic

"Power diary is the most intuitive, easy to use client appointment system I have used so far. By Psychologists for Psychologists! GOLD! Thanks, Guys!”

Dr. Zoe Barnett,
Clinical Psychologist

"I love Power Diary and use it everyday. It integrates well with my phone calender and has all the features I need to run my business. I have confidence my client files are safe and record keeping is easy."

Louise Croker,
The Wilga Tree

"Quick and Easy! Makes payments and Medicare rebates so simple and fast you might rethink your need for an admin assistant. I did."

Dr. Alanda Thompson,
Sunshine Psychology

"It's been the best program to use. I have a colleague in another practice who wishes they were on it, as it makes life a whole lot easier. Especially when it comes to the messaging service."

Raymond Inkpen,
Principal Clinical Psychologist
Psi Balance Psychology

"One of the things I most appreciate about Power Diary is that if I need help, I can rely on a fast, personalised response/dialogue that always solves my problem in an efficient manner."

Linda Lewis
Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

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You can contact us through email, online chat, or access our knowledge base.

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