25 posts categorized "QuickBooks in the Cloud"

What a genius idea! For Dummies book series tackles sales tax

Repost from Avalara.com

Life lessons. They’re never ending. There’s the stuff that you’d like to learn like paddle boarding, pasta rolling, conversational Spanish, and there’s the stuff that you have to learn, like web design, drywall hanging, and programming the DVR. We’re guessing sales tax falls into the latter category. Because, let’s face it, unless you’re a member of Mensa (or a masochist), sales tax is hard. And boring.

But now it doesn’t have to be. Avalara wrote the book on making sales tax easy. No seriously, we did. Okay, we had a little help on the “easy” part from the folks at For Dummies. Yes! That’s right; those massively popular bright yellow and black books that that offer useful instruction on, well, everything.

Odds are you’re familiar with For Dummies. Hard not to be, with more than 1,800 titles to choose from on everything from sushi to sewing to search engines and now (with Avalara’s help) sales tax.


The beauty of these DIY guides is that they take topics that are inherently overwhelming to most of us and condense them down into something digestible. Who doesn’t love that? Sales & Use Tax Compliance for Dummies is a 49-page powerhouse of plain speak on everything sales tax from understanding nexus (the obligation to collect sales tax based on sales activities) to product taxability to proving tax exemption to registration and returns filing. There’s helpful tips to avoid costly mistakes that could led to an audit and practical reasons to consider automated tax software to make compliance easier to manage.

It’s a simple, straightforward look at a not-so-simple problem and a primer on why getting sales tax right is so important—and so hard to do on your own. There’s counsel for businesses of all types and sizes on how to make this process easier and business cases for tax-decisioning software that works right in the financial systems you already use in your business—from QuickBooks for smaller businesses to ERP or ecommerce systems for larger companies with more complex selling structures.

It’s a quick read (and a must read)! Download your free copy of Sales & Use Tax Compliance for Dummies.

Download Now


Easily Access QuickBooks from Two Different Locations

I am seeing a common theme that runs through the various QuickBooks message boards on a regular basis.

It goes something like this...

"How do I back up my Quickbooks somewhere so my husband can retrieve it and restore our computer at the office, while I am on vacation working"

Or something similar...

"How can we both access QuickBooks when we are not in the same location?


In the old days, the solution to the above scenarios was to futz around with flash drives or trying some other solution that ended up causing more grief than benefit, and usually causing somebody to overwrite QuickBooks with an older copy of the company data.

While those old-fashioned solutions still exist, I recommend QBox as a MUCH better alternative instead.

QBox allows you to easily sync QuickBooks data across different computers, and those computers don't have to be in the same place.

One computer could be out in the field during the day and the other be in the office.

A bonus for you - QBox can be used to share not just QuickBooks files, but Excel, Word, PowerPoint and more.

Get a free trial of QBox by clicking on the red button in the upper right hand part of their home page.

See for yourself just how easy the QBox solution is...you'll never mess with a flash drive to pass around QuickBooks files again!



QuickBooks Desktop Version Outranks QuickBooks Online and Others

G2 Crowd recently released their research report to compare the best accounting software options for business. Thanks to them for making these results available!

Here is a graphic that recaps the results of the report (click the graphic for more details):


When ranked according to user satisfaction, here is how the packages stacked up:

  • Intacct - 95
  • Xero - 85
  • QuickBooks Desktop - 83
  • Freshbooks - 82
  • NetSuite - 49
  • Financial Force - 45
  • Sage 100 ERP - 44
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP - 17
  • QuickBooks Online - 10

Taking a look at the results of the direct comparison of QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, note that QuickBooks Desktop scored a 4.0 out of 5 stars, and QuickBooks Online scored a 2.1 out of 5 stars.

The survey also offers other comparisons, such as the G2 score, # of ratings and market presence. Be sure to click into the report for detailed user feedback and many other product details and insights.


It is interesting to observe that of the nine entries listed above, three of them are the traditional desktop platforms (QB Desktop, Sage 100, and Microsoft Dynamics GP). All the others are strictly cloud based solutions.

The buzz has been building for small businesses to move to the cloud for their accounting needs. If your business uses QuickBooks, maybe the results above suggest that you don't move quite so fast off the desktop version? If you have graduated from QuickBooks, maybe the cloud is the way to go.


Please share your thoughts on the QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online and cloud vs. desktop accounting debate in the comment box below and let us know how your business views this debate...




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!)


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...


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...



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.


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...


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.


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


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.


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.


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!



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.



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.


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!


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.


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


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.




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)



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...


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:



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.


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.


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



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"



"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).


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.


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


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!



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.


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...


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.


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.