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What products does Accela offer?

We offer a suite of software solutions on a single unified and configurable platform designed to streamline government operations and improve citizen engagement. Our solutions can be used as standalone products or integrated for broader functionality. Our Accela Civic Platform is a flexible, scalable, and secure cloud-based platform that serves as the foundation for all Accela solutions. The Civic Platform is designed to automate and streamline critical tasks, and it provides a central place to manage data, workflows, and communications. Our Accela Civic Applications are pre-built applications designed for specific government functions, such as: Building, Planning, Environmental Health, Business Licensing, Occupational Licensing, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Cannabis Regulation, Service Request Management, Short-Term Rental and Fire Prevention. For more information about a specific solution or solutions, please contact us.

What is Accela’s experience and qualifications?

For more than 20 years, the world’s most forward-looking government agencies, technology partners, and service providers have worked with Accela to transform and modernize their service delivery. More than 300 million citizens worldwide benefit from Accela’s government software solutions. The company offers agile, purpose-built solutions and the power of a platform that provides users with a consumer-like experience, shares data across departments, and ensures world-class security. For more information, please visit our About page.

What types of jurisdictions use Accela? 

Accela works with hundreds of agencies throughout the United States and worldwide. This includes cities, counties and states, and special districts, including some of the largest in the nation. References are available, please contact us.

Who are Accela’s references?

Accela works with hundreds of government agencies throughout the United States and worldwide. This includes a variety of cities, counties and states, and special districts, including some of the largest in the nation. References are available, please contact us.

Who is Accela’s CEO?

Noam Reininger joined Accela in January 2024 as Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the company’s mission-driven growth, strategic direction, and long-term value for its stakeholders and customers worldwide. For more information, please visit our Leadership page.

What year was Accela founded?

Accela, Inc. was established in 1999 as a result of a merger with Sierra Computer Systems, Inc. and Open Data Systems. For more information, please visit our About page.

How to Purchase

What is Accela’s pricing structure?

The cost of our software depends on several factors across different products. The core products, including the Civic Platform and the Civic Applications, are based on users or “seats” and have built-in volume discounts. Ancillary products, such as Enhanced Reporting Database and Premium Citizen Experience, use a different pricing model as they are added to a core purchase. Implementation or Professional Services pricing is based on the size and complexity of the implementation, and other variables such as the degrees of training and integrations needed. The pricing is a subscription-based pricing model, meaning that customers pay an ongoing fee (usually annually) to use the software, which includes access to the software, all updates and upgrades, and full technical support. For more information, please contact us.

How simple is your contract?

The complexity of an Accela contract depends on the size and scope of the implementation, and other factors. Our contracts aim to be simple and straightforward and use legal terms and conditions customary for our industry. For more information, please contact us.

What state contract or purchasing vehicles are available?

Contract or purchasing vehicles available include the GSA Schedule, also known as Multiple Award Schedule (MAS). Additionally, some states have their own cooperative purchasing agreements or contracts, which can be used to procure Accela’s software, and Accela is listed on many of those.  Also, the NASPO ValuePoint (formerly WSCA) cooperative purchasing program is another source of contracts for Accela’s software. For more information, please contact us.

Technical Inquiries

Is Accela hosted in the cloud or on-prem?

Accela primarily offers its solutions as Software as a Service (SaaS), meaning they are hosted in the cloud. This is the preferred approach by most jurisdictions today because of the added efficiencies, security, and features the cloud offers. For more information, please visit our Software as a Service page.

Does the Accela platform integrate with other software?

Yes, the Accela Civic Platform is designed to integrate with other software systems. Accela provides APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow other systems to interact with the Accela Civic Platform programmatically. We also provide pre-built connectors for common integrations and have partners who specialize in providing connectors for third-party technologies. For more specific information, please contact us.

How does Accela protect my data?

As a provider of cloud-based government software solutions, Accela employs a multi-layered approach to data security and privacy. We utilize all the security technologies included in our use of the Azure cloud environment, but also employ our own layers of security on top of that. This includes ISO 27001, SOC 2 Type II, HIPAA HITECH, PCI DDS, and CCPA (within California), and compliance with these standards is verified by independent audits. We also utilize encryption both for data in transit and at rest. In addition, we utilize world class data backup and disaster recovery measures provided by Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure to protect against data loss and ensure continuity of service in the event of a disaster. For more specific information, please contact us.

Does Accela utilize Single sign-on?

Yes, Accela supports Single Sign-On (SSO) capabilities. How Accela implements SSO varies depending on the individual needs of an organization and the specific Accela solution(s) being used. Typically, our SSO implementation supports SAML 2.0 (Security Assertion Markup Language 2.0), which is a standard protocol used for SSO implementations. This allows us to integrate with Identity Providers (IdPs) for SSO, including the most popular ones such as Okta and Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services. For more specific information, please contact us.

Services and Support

What type of training and support does Accela provide?

We offer a range of training and support services to ensure customers can effectively use and maintain their Accela software. These services vary based on the specific solution being used, the size and needs of the customer, and the terms of the customer’s contract. When a new customer purchases Accela software, we provide support to help the customer implement the software which may include help with data migration, configuration or integration with other systems. We also offer training to help users understand how to use the software. This includes online tutorials, webinars, in-person training sessions and customized training programs. Customers receive ongoing technical support as needed to help resolve any issues they might experience while using their software. For more information, please contact Accela U.

Does Accela offer Managed Application Services?

Accela also offers qualifying customers Managed Application Services, where we handle the management of the solution or solutions for our customers, including testing, enhancements, and any issues. For more information, please visit our Application Managed Services page.

Does Accela provide professional services?

Yes, Accela offers professional services to support our customers. These services aim to help customers implement, customize and optimize their use of our software. When a new customer purchases Accela software, we provide support to help the customer implement the software. This can include data migration, system configuration or integration with other software systems. We can also help customers configure the software to meet their unique needs, which can involve creating custom workflows, fields, or interfaces, or it may involve more complex software development work. We offer consulting services to help customers optimize their use of the software, which includes strategic planning, process optimization, best practice advice, and more. In addition, general user training, administrator training or customized training programs are also available. For more information, please visit our Professional Services page.

How configurable is the Accela platform?

Accela’s Civic Platform is designed to be highly configurable to the specific needs of different government agencies. We offer modules for different civic functions (like permitting, licensing, etc.), and these modules can be configured to match an agency’s specific workflows, forms, fees, and more. Plus, the user interface of the Accela Civic Platform can be modified to match an agency’s branding, terminology, and usability preferences. And Accela’s platform can be integrated with other software systems used by an agency, such as GIS systems, payment processors and document management systems. Additionally, Accela provides APIs that allow developers to extend the platform’s functionality or build custom integrations. While our solutions automate various tasks and processes, the workflows can be configured to reflect the agency’s process, automatically routing tasks, sending notifications, and more. In addition, the platform allows for the configuration of data fields, record types, and reports to fit the unique data requirements of the agency. Accela also allows for granular security configuration, ensuring that access to data and functionality can be carefully controlled based on user roles and permissions. Also, our out-of-the box solutions, called Civic Applications, cover a broad set of licensing, permitting and code enforcement functions, and are also highly configurable to suit an agency’s need. For more information, please visit our Platform page.

What are Accela’s data redundancy plans (for disasters)?

Data redundancy and disaster recovery are essential aspects of Accela’s commitment to our clients, ensuring that valuable and sensitive data is protected against loss or disruption. As a trusted partner of Microsoft, Accela leverages the redundancy capabilities of Microsoft Azure to deliver high levels of data redundancy. With Azure’s robust infrastructure and advanced data replication techniques, Accela ensures the reliability and continuity of services, minimizing the risk of data loss for our customers. We continually backup data to ensure it can be restored in case of system failures or other unexpected issues. This includes daily backups or even real-time replication, depending on the specifics of the deployment. We also store backup data in more than one physical location. Moreover, we have detailed disaster recovery plans in place that outline the procedures to follow in the event of various types of disasters. This includes a clear recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO), which specify the maximum acceptable amount of data loss (in terms of time) and the maximum acceptable length of time to restore service after a disaster, respectively. In addition, we use failover systems, which are standby systems that can automatically take over if the primary system fails. Finally, our disaster recovery plans are tested regularly to ensure that they are effective and that Accela staff are prepared to implement them if needed. For more information, please contact us.

User Experiences (Back Office, Field Inspectors and the Public)

Does Accela offer a self-service public portal for citizens?

Accela offers a public-facing, self-service portal with our Civic Applications. This portal is designed to enable residents to interact with government agencies digitally and in a self-service manner. With the portal, residents can apply for permits and licenses online, pay fees related to permits, licenses, and other services, check the status of applications, permits, or service requests, schedule inspections, submit and track service requests and search for public information, such as permit details or code violation cases. For more information about a specific solution or solutions, please contact us.

What reporting capabilities does Accela have?

Accela provides robust reporting and data visualization capabilities to support data-driven decision-making. Accela comes with a suite of standard reports that cover common needs across various departments and functions. These reports can include data on permits, licenses, inspections, code enforcement, and other types of records. Users can create custom reports to meet their specific needs. This can include selecting specific data fields, filtering and sorting data, and defining the layout of the report. Dashboards provide a visual, at-a-glance view of key metrics. They can be customized to show the data that’s most relevant to each user, and they often include charts, graphs, and other visualizations. And Ad hoc reporting allows users to create one-off reports on an as-needed basis. This can be useful for answering specific questions or analyzing data from a unique perspective. Reports can be exported to various formats (like PDF or CSV), and they can be shared with others, which can be useful for presenting data to stakeholders or working with data outside of the Accela system. Accela can also integrate with external reporting and analytics tools for more advanced analysis. Finally, Accela provides an advanced analytics solution, which offers more advanced data visualization, business intelligence, and predictive analytics capabilities. For more information about the reporting capabilities of a specific solution or solutions, please contact us.

What types of devices does Accela support? 

Accela’s platform is designed to support devices to facilitate access to our services anytime, anywhere. Specifically, the Accela Civic Applications can be accessed from any standard web browser on a desktop computer. Accela provides mobile applications that are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. The platform and applications are also optimized for use on tablets, combining the mobility of a smartphone with a larger, more user-friendly screen. For more information about a specific solution or solutions, please contact us.

What types of devices can be used for inspections?

Accela’s mobile functionality allows field inspectors to access necessary information, perform tasks, and update records from iOS, Android smartphones and tablets, and Windows 11-based computers. For more information about a specific solution or solutions, please contact us.

How simple is Accela software to use for my back office and field inspectors?

For back office and field inspectors, Accela offers features such as mobile access, workflow automation, document management, GIS integration, and configurable forms and processes. This allows mobile workers to pull down relevant histories, process and result checklists, capture pictures and video, and do all of this in the field, even in remote areas without coverage. Training is offered to ensure that users can make full use of the solution’s capabilities. For more information about a specific solution or solutions, please contact us.

How do you upload and transfer all the data from my current system(s) when I move to Accela?

Before we begin the migration process, we create a data migration plan. This includes a detailed understanding of what data needs to be transferred, its current format, how it should be structured in the new system, and any necessary transformations. This is also the time to plan for any potential downtime, set a timeline for the migration, and communicate with stakeholders. Just prior to starting the migration, we create a backup of all data to be migrated which serves as a safety net in case of any issues during the migration, and determine how each data field in your current system corresponds to a data field in Accela —this “mapping” ensures that the data will be correctly placed in the new system. Then the actual migration happens, which may involve exporting data from your current system(s) into a common format (like CSV or XML), and then importing it into Accela. After the migration, we thoroughly test the new system to ensure the data was transferred correctly and is functioning as expected. This might involve checking a sample of records, verifying counts of records, or performing searches for key records. Once the data has migrated successfully, we train users on the new system and officially switch over. For more information, please contact us.

How often does Accela upgrade the software and is there a cost?

We release two major versions each year and provide Service Packs on a monthly cadence.  These updates include new features, enhancements, security improvements and many other elements to ensure our customers are always using the most modern and contemporary technology available. For Accela’s SaaS customers, the upgrades are provided at no charge with their subscriptions. For self-hosted customers, upgrades are included in their Maintenance and Support contracts. For more information, please contact us.

Can you integrate Accela with GIS systems such as Esri?

Accela has integration capabilities with Geographic Information System (GIS) platforms, including deep integration with Esri’s ArcGIS for a seamless flow of spatial data between the systems, enabling users to visualize and analyze their data geographically. With this integration, users can access GIS data and functionality within the Accela platform. For more information, please contact us.

Do Accela solutions support accessibility and ADA compliance?

Accela is committed to creating accessible software solutions. We understand the importance of ensuring that all users, regardless of their abilities, can access and use our software in adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other specific standards like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). At Accela, accessibility is an ongoing priority and pursuit, as standards and best practices continue to evolve. For more information about a specific solution or solutions, please contact us.

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