The beauty of cloud accounting and apps is that there are always ongoing improvements to make your lives easier. The hard part? Finding and adopting the right technology to fit your firm and your clients’ specific needs.
It’s easy to be intimidated by all the options out there. That’s exactly why we tapped Jennifer Moore, founder and Certified Bookkeeper with Moore Details Bookkeeping, to share how she chooses apps for her business. Jennifer’s business exclusively uses QuickBooks® Online (QBO), and she’s always hunting for new apps that will make bookkeeping easier for her clients and virtual team. This led her to start Adventures of a QBO Bookkeeper, a bi-weekly blog where she’s created a list of #JennieApprovedApps from apps she’s tested.
When Jennifer reviews apps, there are a number of things she looks for:
When testing, she will always go through the typical customer process to acquire an app. Sometimes, she encounters workflow issues that make it difficult to install the product.
Through a series of online demonstrations, Jennifer can spend anywhere from one to three hours testing how an app works. She always starts by looking at the faults of the app and what the company is doing to solve the issue. Her team also works hard to try “breaking” the app to ensure it works properly.
“They could have the best app in the world, but if they totally suck at customer service, users might not get feedback or have their questions answered,” Jennifer says. During her reviews, she’s always looking for a certain calibre of customer service, whether it’s a customer service person on the other line or a robust online virtual library for any apps created in other countries.
“If you think of the ecosystems, we can make it really crazy. You can put so many apps on one QBO system,” she says. “But, that’s perplexing for the users and the accounting professionals, along with all the other things you need to keep track of.”
Jennifer suggests keeping a small ecosystem of apps that have multiple functionalities. She’s also always looking for apps that are making consistent tweaks and improving their functionality, since that means that they value innovation and the app creators should be able to easily adapt to future accounting and QBO upgrades and changes.
One of the tricky decisions that always needs to be made when adopting new technology is: where to start? “If they’re really experienced with cloud accounting, it (searching for apps) just becomes second nature. It’s like slippers, wear it and go,” Jennifer says. “But, for individuals that are just getting on the scene, it can be really overwhelming looking at the graffiti wall of apps.”
Thoroughly researching the app options out there is important to finding the right one. Two good places to start are: Google for reviews from various sources and Intuit’s® QuickBooks App shopping mall for apps that integrate with Intuit products and are approved by the company, as well as reviews from other ProAdvisors. Not all Intuit integrated apps are on Intuit’s App store, so it’s also important to check other sources, she adds.
Once a certain app has caught your interest, she suggests watching an app’s webinars, or at least a brief app introduction on YouTube. These will show its interface and whether it’s the right fit.
For those of you just getting your feet wet, she has four apps she recommends as a starter kit because they cover everything from payroll to accounts receivable for all major segments in your organization. Of course, they all integrate with QBO.
- Hubdoc – An app that lets you automatically keep all your documents in one place.
- InvoiceSherpa – An app that automates your accounts receivable through QBO.
- Plooto – An easy-to-use app that easily lets you send and receive payments from businesses electronically.
- Wagepoint – A great app that helps you automate your payroll.
Have many apps to add? Let us know in the comments!