Cloud Accounting Rachel FischJust a few years ago, desktop accounting software reigned supreme. The cloud technology that is at our fingertips today had not yet been built. Today, however, Intuit® sells more QuickBooks® Online subscriptions than QuickBooks Desktop, and cloud-based financial management software has become the norm. Yet, some accountants and bookkeepers seem to have a perception that the cloud isn’t capable of handling their clients’ bookkeeping needs.

However, according to ProAdvisor® Rachel Fisch, it appears that for most, the cloud not only does a great job of handling the accounting, but also outperforms its desktop counterpart in many ways.

I spoke with Rachel, a bookkeeper with over two decades of experience, and she assured me that the notion that cloud-based FMS is not ready for primetime simply isn’t true. We spoke extensively about her experience with QBO and the ecosystem of cloud-based apps she uses to serve her clients and make her life easier. She shared some of the top challenges she’s faced, as well as which apps have made it easier for her to do her job. She explained that QBO isn’t just solving the top challenges faced in bookkeeping; it’s also saving valuable time in ways that desktop software cannot.

Inventory

Rachel told me that in the past, if an accountant or bookkeeper wanted to use QBO, they had to manage a business’s inventory by hand. Now, accountants have robust inventory modules and full integration with apps that let you handle inventory seamlessly. In instances where a business has advanced inventory, such as those in the manufacturing industry, additional work or apps may be required. But for all other instances, Rachel says that this feature in QBO is a fantastic time-saver.

Payroll

Rachel advised that QBO now offers built-in direct deposit for a business’s payroll needs, helping businesses have all their payroll and direct deposit information in one place. For those with additional needs, online payroll software apps such as Wagepoint and Payment Evolution can fill the gap. Both apps offer an easy way for businesses to manage their online payroll, along with full QBO-integration.

Time Tracking

QBO offers the ability to time track users, which is helpful for construction companies and those with contractors. For those with clients who want more in-depth features, apps such as TSheets and Corecon are options to consider, Rachel says. TSheets offers an option for GPS tracking, and Corecon is suitable for construction companies looking for a different way to manage job costing and project management. Of course, the bonus is that they integrate fully with QBO.

Use the Apps that Suit Your Business and Clients

Every accountant differs when it comes to customizing their app use to match their workflow.

“There are so many options out there that you can completely customize a solution not only for your clients, but also for yourself and how you operate your own practice,” Rachel says.

Technology is always changing and one of the best ways to stay in touch with everything is by getting out there and asking questions amongst your peers. Rachel started a Facebook group, QB-HQ, as a space for Canadian accountants to pose any questions they might have to a fellow accountant. Popular topics include upcoming conferences, conversations about conversions, different accounting software and different apps.

I closed up my conversation with Rachel with these wise words: It’s all about matching your client’s needs to your options.

“On paper, you could have a potential client that would perfectly suit a combination of apps you’re comfortable with, but until you sit down and talk with the client, that’s the wrench that could be thrown into everything,” she says.

The key is adapting, knowing when to say something isn’t a good fit and adjusting accordingly. With so many great cloud-based apps out there that integrate with QBO, you can almost always find something that fits your needs.

What are some apps you use to help you manage the books of a client?

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