22 posts categorized "QuickBooks in the Cloud"

Powerfully Simple Dashboard for Your Small Business

Score some bonus points with your boss...

If you know they are frustrated trying to pull together reports and key metrics from a number of different sources, they will want to know about the Grow Dashboard (feel free to check it out yourself too!)

MEASURE WHAT MATTERS TO YOU

The Grow dashboard offers a simple way to select the metrics that are important to running your business...

  • Need information from QuickBooks? (desktop or online)
  • Want to pull information from a customized spreadsheet or database?
  • Interested in pulling together information from Salesforce, Google Analytics, MailChimp, Facebook, Twitter and a host of other places?

If so, Grow is for you...

BUILD YOUR OWN DASHBOARD

If the built-in dashboard connections mentioned above are close, but not quite good enough, the support team at Grow can help you construct the perfect dashboard - no internal IT team required.

Grow allows you to connect your data, wherever it lives, and get the key metrics needed to monitor, manage and improve your business...

Take a closer look at the Grow dashboard solution today...

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Time Tracking Software that Connects to QuickBooks

If your business is looking for mobile timekeeping, ways to streamline the time tracking and reporting process, or searching for time tracking software that connects to QuickBooks, TSheets is for you.

Having recently joined their TSheets Pro program, I wanted to share some information about this product with you.

MULTIPLE WAYS TO CAPTURE TIME

TSheets offers an impressive array of methods to capture your employees time, including:

  • Desktop or laptop computers connected to the internet (you can even work offline and upload when online)
  • Smartphones or tablets (Apple or Android)
  • Text message
  • Even call-in capabilities to record time

And did I mention that they offer GPS time-stamping too?

But that is just the beginning...

JOB TRACKING AND PTO/VACATION TRACKING IS BUILT IN

TSheets provides the ability for you to capture this essential information when it comes to your jobs and projects:

  • Where employees are working
  • What projects they are working on
  • How long they have been working on those projects

In addition, the software provides a "Who's Working" button that shows which of your employees are clocked in and working in real time.

Need Paid Time Off (PTO) and/or vacation tracking? You're covered there too.

THE REPORTS YOU NEED TO HAVE

TSheets offers you a wide variety of reports to help you manage, control, and streamline your timekeeping and payroll reporting processes.

These reports include:

  • Real time report
  • Payroll report
  • Approvals report
  • Project/job report
  • Audit trail
  • Data export report

EASILY CONNECTS TO YOUR QUICKBOOKS AND OTHER SOFTWARE

TSheets offers connections to the following:

  • QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise (QuickBooks "desktop" versions)
  • QuickBooks Online (sorry, no connection to QuickBooks for the Mac)
  • Zen Payroll
  • Zendesk
  • Other payroll solutions such as Paychex, ADP and others (one-time fee applies)

For those that want to write their own software connections, TSheets also offers an open API to make the process seamless.

14 DAY FREE TRIAL AND PROMO CODE

It is important to know that the TSheets package gets high marks in the Intuit App Center - a 5 star (highest) rating to be exact!

If you'd like to take a closer look at how TSheets can help take the pain out of the timetracking and payroll areas of your business, take advantage of their 14 day free trial

Like what you see? Use promo code: BLASACCTG and save 10% off the subscription price of TSheets.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Currently using TSheets? Feel free to share your experience with it in the comments section below (or click here to access the blog post) - thanks!

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Connecting Your Web Site (or Online Store) with QuickBooks

Trying to avoid re-keying transactions from your web site into QuickBooks each day?

Looking for ways to streamline the way QuickBooks and your web site or online store such as Amazon talk to each other?

Consider some of these ideas to help get you there...

  • Webgility - this "add-on" for QuickBooks was designed to serve as the electronic bridge between your web site shopping cart, Amazon, e-Bay or other online store, and the inner workings of QuickBooks. A 30 day free trial of Webgility is available for you to test drive. Pricing for the software is based on transaction volume making it nice and scalable. Shipping can be automated via FedEx, UPS, or the Stamps.com and Endicia.
  • Transaction Pro Importer - this "add-on" for QuickBooks is extremely well known for allowing you to move data that is in Excel (or CSV) format and seamlessly import it into QuickBooks. Easily set up templates and let the data flow. There is also a Transaction Pro Exporter if you need to move information out of QuickBooks into another location.
  • Agiliron - this application was built to be a fully functional "front-end" package that allows all of your e-commerce activities to be managed in one location. Connect to your web site, Amazon or eBay store seamlessly. Ship products automatically with ShipStation and then watch your transactions flow back and forth into QuickBooks.

Naturally, this list of potential solutions is not a comprehensive one in any way. Start-ups are spinning out new tools and technologies on a regular basis in the e-commerce space.

Rather, the options above were designed to get you thinking about ways to streamline your operations and get more done in less time. After all, who wants to spend MORE time on their accounting?

To talk further about your needs in the world of QuickBooks, e-commerce, and inventory tracking, please contact me.

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QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online - Which is Better for Your Business?

This question is coming up a lot in conversations about QuickBooks right now.

If you didn't know better, you'd think QuickBooks Online (QBO) was the only edition available these days and that the desktop versions had been retired.

Go ahead and see for yourself...

Visit the home page of the QuickBooks web site and you'll see what I mean - the references to the desktop versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, and Enterprise) are buried in the lower left hand corner and also buried in the "all products" link at the top of the page. You really have to look for them on the site.

WHAT SMALL BUSINESSES ARE SAYING...

Many of the businesses I consult with use QuickBooks Enterprise, so they are too big to use QBO.

However, I regularly talk with small businesses like yours and gather their insights on "all things QuickBooks".

When it comes to the question of which version is better, I'd like to share some feedback that I'm hearing on a regular basis...

I'm hearing these two common threads:

  • There are businesses that have previously used the desktop version of QuickBooks and decided to move to the Online edition
  • There are businesses that have had no experience with the desktop versions and have gone directly into the Online edition

First, those businesses that have had no experience with the desktop versions and went directly to QBO...

  • They enjoy the 24/7 availability of QBO
  • They enjoy the fact that there is no upgrading/updating needed
  • They appreciate the AppCenter and mobile capabilities of QBO
  • For some of them, they discover the functionality of QBO is a good fit for their needs
  • For others, they come to the conclusion that QBO is not robust enough for their needs and they begin looking at QuickBooks desktop or other alternatives

And now, for those businesses that have had some experience with QuickBooks desktop and then decided to move to QBO...

  • I am hearing that very few of them were glad they made the switch
  • By far, the majority of comments I am hearing from these folks center around the following:
    • How quickly can I convert back to QuickBooks desktop?
    • QBO just doesn't meet the needs of our business when compared to the functionality found in the desktop versions
    • Other words and comments that can't be printed in this family-friendly blog post!

THE FUTURE OF QUICKBOOKS?    

I get it. Intuit is directing a significant portion of their development resources toward QBO and the ecosystem built around that. They have publicly stated as much at various conferences.

Are they leaving the desktop users behind?

For now, Intuit says no - they are still developing the desktop products and providing support to them. And they pledge to do so in months ahead.

As I have watched the desktop vs. QBO story unfold over the last few years, it looks to me like that the desktop will indeed be left behind at some point in the future. Whether that is three years or ten years from now, the writing is on the wall.

A small sign of this pending change - Intuit is now giving priority to ProAdvisors that are certified in QBO over those that are certified with the desktop versions. Coincidence? I don't think so. Another much larger sign of this change - the fact I mentioned above that you have to look really, really hard to find a mention of the desktop versions. Coincidence? I don't think so.

WHAT TO DO?

A couple of thoughts to share with you on this topic...

AND BY ALL MEANS...

In the event you currently use the desktop version of QuickBooks and are considering a move to QBO - be absolutely certain to take a test drive of QuickBooks Online (QBO) to ensure form, fit and functionality for your needs BEFORE making any switch. You will be very glad you did.

RELATED INFORMATION/WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

Care to share your thoughts on this debate? Feel free to drop your comments in the box below (or click here to visit the live blog page)

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Stop Messing with Accountants' Copies of QuickBooks

  • Tired of messing with accountants copies of QuickBooks files?
  • Don't want to hassle with transporting flash drives with backup copies of QuickBooks between computers?
  • Trying to find a replacement for the QuickBooks remote access that has been discontinued?

QBox can be your solution...

SHARE QUICKBOOKS FILES

QBox software allows you to setup and share QuickBooks files with any number of other users (but only one person can use the file at a time - this is perfect for outside accountants!).

It deploys a locking technology so that is no file corruption or possiblity of conflicted copies. Only one person can enter data at a time. All others can read the data, but they can't make changes until the file is "unlocked".

Here is a quick overview of how QBox works:

 

EXAMPLES OF QBOX IN ACTION

Scenario 1: A small business uses QuickBooks and wants their accountant to be able to access the file to run reports, post entries, etc.

They could mess around with making an accountants' copy of their file and getting it to their accountant, or they could make a backup of their file and shuffle it to them too.

A better solution - simply set up a QBox account and share the QuickBooks file with the accountant (or anyone else as desired). Problem solved.

Scenario 2: You use QuickBooks in the office, but also use it on a laptop when out of the office.

Traditionally, many businesses copy their QuickBooks file between the computers via a flash drive, by using DropBox, or some other method that has a high risk of messing up critical accounting data.

A better solution - set up a QBox account and access the QuickBooks file from there. All updates are automatically synced and you work with the most updated information each time with no hassles.

IS QBOX EXPENSIVE?

Absolutely not. Plans start at just $9 per month, with a discount offered when you sign up for an annual plan.

If you work for an accounting firm, this cost is nothing compared to the cost of time and frustration when working with backups or accountants copies that don't work properly.

If you're a small business trying to work across multiple machines, QBox will pay for itself in short order.

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT QBOX...

If you're excited by the thought of simplifying QuickBooks, you will want to take a closer look at QBox today!

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Salesforce.com for QuickBooks Desktop Versions Being Discontinued

How quickly things are changing in the technology world!

Shortly after Intuit announced they would be dropping their mobile app for the desktop versions of QuickBooks, the following plopped into my inbox:

"Salesforce.com for QuickBooks desktop will no longer be offered"

Hmmmm....

DON'T BE CONFUSED!

"Salesforce.com for QuickBooks" is NOT the same as the longstanding Salesforce.com product. The Salesforce.com product is still going very strong and there are several companies that do offer links to connect the traditional Salesforce.com software to QuickBooks desktop.

The "Salesforce.com for QuickBooks" solution was something Intuit introduced four years ago with great fanfare. Apparently, the great din and commotion back then has been reduced to background noise and demand far below expectations for the program to be discontinued.

The "Salesforce.com for QuickBooks" web site is still active as of this writing. Note that all inquires once you get to the site are being directed to the traditional Salesforce.com folks.

There is also mention of Salesforce integration with QuickBooks Online, so it appears that program is still alive and well.

This move to drop the connection to the desktop version of QuickBooks isn't surprising, as Intuit continues their march toward getting their users into the cloud somehow (more on that in a future blog post).

CRM ALTERNATIVES

Find all of the above to be migraine inducing and want a more stable, less hassle CRM solution for your business?

The Intuit Marketplace has a listing of CRM programs that work with the desktop versions of QuickBooks. The marketplace allows you to browse the solutions, check out use feedback, and much more.

MY FAVORITES

If you were to ask me which CRM systems I like, my answer would be:

WHAT IS YOUR CRM EXPERIENCE?

Care to share insights about the CRM package your business may be considering or using? Feel free to drop your comments in the box below!

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QuickBooks Mobile App to be discontinued effective July 31, 2014

This little news nugget from Intuit landed in my in-box recently...

QuickBooks Mobile will be discontinued effective July 31, 2014

The mobile app for QuickBooks Desktop (QuickBooks for Windows Mobile Companion App) will be discontinued effective July 31, 2014

Why are we discontinuing this app?

It is always a hard decision to discontinue a service on which our customers have come to rely and we've also heard from many business owners about the importance of managing their business on the go. To better support this need, we are focusing our mobile efforts on QuickBooks Online. Our renewed focus is to make sure we grow with you into the future.

What are the options for you and your clients?

You can stay on your current QuickBooks desktop software; however, mobile service through this app will be discontinued. If you've enjoyed the ability to access books through the mobile app, you can still enjoy the same benefits of working on the go with QuickBooks Online.

WHOA! HOLD ON A MINUTE...

Before you rush and move over to QuickBooks Online (QBO) for mobile connectivity, it is essential you understand this CRITICAL point:

  • QBO and QuickBooks desktop software (QBD) are VERY different versions of QuickBooks.

To me, it is essential that you do a full evaluation of the QBO option via the free trial and then decide if it makes sense to completely move your business operations to that platform. If you don't evaluate it first, you may be sorry...

ANOTHER OPTION THEY FORGOT TO MENTION

If you want to stay on the desktop version of QuickBooks (QBD), know that you can also consider having it hosted for 24/7 access to QuickBooks from any device as well.

Hosting for QuickBooks with Cloud9 (or other providers) has a monthly fee with it of course. The good news is that it allows you avoid the disruption of moving your business to a completely new accounting application. Don't be misled - just because it says "QuickBooks" in the title, doesn't mean it is the same QuickBooks you've used for years.

CONFUSED BY IT ALL?

Maybe a consultation is in order to discuss the details of your business in more depth. I have offered these services to businesses just like yours for over fifteen years, and welcome the opportunity to help you too. Contact me today.

ALTERNATIVE OPTION FOR QUICKBOOKS MOBILE APP

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Need Anytime, Anywhere Access to Your QuickBooks?

If you're feeling restrained by having to be "in the office" to access your QuickBooks information...

You do have an alternative!

Businesses are rapidly adopting the concepts of working from home, remote access, and other tools to get more done in less time That makes the traditional idea of having to be in the office to look up important customer information or do work of any type in QuickBooks more and more obsolete.

SOLUTION: HAVE YOUR QUICKBOOKS "HOSTED"

Cloud ComputingImagine, if you will, commencing work at your desktop or notebook computer and signing into QuickBooks. It doesn’t matter where you are located, nor does it matter where your staff is located. As long as you can get to the internet, you can get to your QuickBooks.

That sums up the concept of "hosted QuickBooks".

Said another way... Access to your QuickBooks information - Anytime. Anywhere.

THE CLOUD9 SOLUTION - VOTED #1

If the initials "IT" (as in information technology) give you a headache just thinking about them, cast your worries aside.

No IT expertise is needed to get your business into a hosted QuickBooks setup. No major capital investment in expensive servers or other custom programming time required. No big checks need be written to an IT company to "configure your network".

Cloud9 is one of a handful of companies approved by Intuit that offers you the ability to get set up with anytime, anywhere access to your QuickBooks information.

Cloud9 was voted far and away the #1 QuickBooks hosting service by 4000 accountants who participated in the 2012 CPA Practice Advisor Readers’ Poll.

BE AWARE...

Hosted QuickBooks is absolutely, positively NOT the same as "QuickBooks Online" or the "online versions of QuickBooks" (as I have heard many refer to it).

Hosted QuickBooks takes your current QuickBooks desktop software and QuickBooks company data and gets it set up for anytime, anywhere access. There is no learning curve involved - you're using the same software "in the cloud" that you use each and every day now.

QuickBooks Online is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT VERSION of QuickBooks that may or may not be suitable for the needs of your business. With QuickBooks Online, there will likely be a learning curve for you and your team and it may not have the functionality you have come to know in the desktop version you currently use.

If you are evaluating all of your options, be sure to take a test drive of QuickBooks Online before making any decisions. It is essential that you understand the differences in functionality between your current desktop version of QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online.

IS HOSTING SECURE?

Based on my experiences in the small business environment over the last thirty years, I can tell you that Cloud9 is FAR more secure than the computers and internal networks of most small businesses. Far more secure by a country mile!

Outdated anti-virus, missing security software, unpatched PCs and the use of default passwords on routers are routine occurrences in a small business - all of which are no-nos when it comes to computer security.

Better for you, here is an overview of the security offered by Cloud9...

"Cloud9 technology is state of the art featuring multi-layer redundancy, an uninterrupted power supply, mirror disk imaging and RAID implementation. Login is through 256-bit encryption and our Data Centers are SOC2/SSAE16 certified; Cloud9 goes above and beyond to ensure the highest levels of security is deployed throughout the infrastructure.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CLOUD9 HOSTED QUICKBOOKS SOLUTIONS...

 

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My Nominees for the QuickBooks Hall of Shame

This month, I'm going to break from my traditional "Building Better Business Finances" post.

Instead, I'll stop for a moment to make my nominations for the top entries into the QuickBooks Hall of Shame

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS UP!

I've seen a lot (and I mean a LOT) over the last fifteen years in working with over one thousand small businesses and their QuickBooks.

Some of the things I have seen during that time have simply boggled my mind, so I thought it appropriate to share them with you in the hopes you can avoid them in your business...

THE HALL OF SHAME NOMINEES

  • QuickBooks bank balance: $3.6 million. Actual bank balance: $15,500. Guess they were using the same accounting rules the federal government does?
  • QuickBooks bank balance: ($888,000). Actual bank balance: $18,500. Can you imagine the overdraft fees on that account under the QuickBooks method?
  • QuickBooks reconciliation discrepancies account balance for 12 months: $480,000. This is enough to give every accountant in the country an irregular hearbeat.

  • QuickBooks sales tax payable account balance: $279,000. Actual sales tax balance due: $179. That state tax agency was sure bummed out not to be getting as much as they thought.
  • Doing the accounts receivable in QuickBooks and the accounts payable in Peachtree - then asking the question: "how come it takes so long to get my information ready at tax time"?
  • And of course this one - any and all businesses that either don't back up their QuickBooks database at all, or think they are covered by backing it up to an external drive that sits on top of the same computer where the QuickBooks database is located. Seriously? A $59 investment in Carbonite is the cheapest insurance policy your business can have against data loss and business interruption.

BAD BOOKS ARE KILLING SMALL BUSINESSES

Sadly, I believe the "do it yourself" accounting experiment is failing at thousands of small businesses across the country. It isn't just as easy as "writing a check" or "creating an invoice".

The hall of shame examples above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the adage "bad information = bad decisions". In fact, I've written about this problem extensively in my book "Your Bookkeeping Stinks".

Or course, these problems can be found in businesses using other accounting software as well. It's just that QuickBooks has such a huge market share (I belive in the 90+%?) that their product (and the unusual results within) is seen so often.

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THE HALL OF SHAME?

Do you have a story to share about horrors you've seen in QuickBooks? Thoughts to share on the success or failure of "do it yourself" bookkeeping? Continue the dialogue and post your comments in the box below. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Can you rake in receivables faster?

Every dollar you have sitting in your accounts receivable is a dollar NOT working elsewhere in your business. Who wants that?

Why not streamline your receivables process? Bill.com may have just the solution for you.

Over 175,000 businesses are currently enjoying the benefits of simpler accounting today with the Bill.com system...

Billcom_logos_blue_nogradient
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS - 3 EASY STEPS

  • Go paperless. Bill.com mails your invoices for you, via email or the Post Office, so no more hassles with printing, postage and mailing. As your online payments come in, Bill.com makes your deposits for you. No more filing, and no more trips to the bank.
  • Bill.com reminds your customers a few days before payment is due, and follows up when payments are overdue with an automatic series of messages you can customize and schedule.
  • Bill.com gives your customers a choice of their favorite ways to pay online, via credit card, PayPal or direct from their bank. So paying you is easier and more convenient than ever. You can even set them up with auto-pay.

OK, OK I GET IT - BUT HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Packages that integrate with QuickBooks start at just $29 per month. Getting paid electronically costs $.49 (that's correct - just 49 cents to have your deposits automated for you). Credit card payments are charged normal merchant fees (probably less than you are paying now). Having Bill.com prepare a mailed copy of your invoice for you runs $1.49 per invoice (less than the cost of your staff doing it for sure).

GET A FREE TRIAL - NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED

Want to see how Bill.com works? Use this link to get your free trial going today - no credit card is needed.

QUESTIONS?

I have been using Bill.com in my practice for over a year now, and would be happy to discuss it in more depth with you. It has really simplified and automated things for me in both the accounts receivable and accounts payable areas of my business.

Just drop me a line to get the conversation going or visit Bill.com to see if it is right for you.

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