Saturday, November 8, 2014


I am SO EXCITED to finally be getting this blog post together! The QuickBooks Connect Hackathon was the highlight of the event for me. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the ideas that the developers came up with, and it was great to be able to offer some extended feedback to those who I was able to meet up with later in the event. I was sooo tired afterwards, but when I got back to my room to lay down I was suddenly wide awake trying to process all of the information that I has just taken in! I literally had dreams about apps that night.... which is when I realized I may have an accounting technology addiction (that may be why I had to take a break before diving back in to write this!).

I have notes from the Hackathon and wanted to share my thoughts about some of the contestants. I have more to say about some than others, but everything had potential in its own right. Let's also remember that each team only had 3 minutes to present and up to 2 minutes for judges questions, so there could be much more detail about these apps that I know nothing about.

This app is for pre-paid tabs with gift marketing. I LOVED IT. It enables shop owners to offer rewards to frequent customers as well as letting customers pre-pay for their tabs from their phones. SUPER COOL. My only concerns were the security of someone else not being able to use your tab, along with how that information is going to sync into the accounting platform. You would have to have the tabs sync in as a liability (like a gift card) and have the sales deplete from that. For this to be super successful I would recommend adding it on to a POS that syncs up with QB by posting a daily sales summary via sales receipt.

Pay Deal
Rewards/loyalty program app with a cool beacon thingy for customers to check in via Bluetooth on their phones. Allows for customer activity monitoring and discount/rewards offers to be sent out via mobile device. Unique part was the beacon and monitoring.

Linqto ProAdvice
This one was an emergency button from your phone that hooks you up with a ProAdvisor. I had many thoughts and ideas about this... My first thought was any PA who can answer a Facetime call at will was probably not busy for a reason... and my second thought was this would be so badass if it were specific to me and all of my clients could download it! In my opinion, this whole concept would be way more successful if it were targeted toward contacting a single ProAdvisor, then we as PA's could have our clients download the apps and they would connect to us from the button. It could even have availability settings for call/text/email. Run with that and let me know how it goes!

MonthEnd Apps
This was an awesome tool to consolidate QBO company data for reporting. Awesome for creating personal financial statements or consolidated reports for clients who own multiple companies. They said it would pull from different international versions of QBO as well, it would be cool if it synced up DT and imported data too.

Tree Ledger
Hole, Ee. Crap. This thing was cray cray! I had data overload. It looked like a REALLY awesome way to pull and manipulate data. I was disappointed that we only had 3 minutes for this one, I probably could have looked at it for an hour. The 'judge' in me was asking what does this do that I cannot already do in Excel? It was much better looking than Excel, but realistically I wasn't sure if it was just taking the spreadsheet and making it prettier and easier to manipulate.

OpStarts / Big2Small
Looked like a comparable solution to Finagraph, Essential CFO, etc. My notes say 'projections and forecasting'... The biggest problem I see with SMB's is lack of cash flow forecasting and projections. OpStarts should take the best of LivePlan and Finagraph to make an awesome white label solution that we as accountants can roll out to all of our clients.

I really enjoyed the time that I was able to spend chatting with the Hubdoc guys on Wednesday! If you are a developer who has a hard time figuring out your target demographic, these guys know how to ask the right questions and take in answers. I loved their solution - it is a super clean interface and I foresee them being a potential competitor. Their new feature was 1-Click Bill Pay which I believe allowed you to upload/pay bills in Hubdoc and have that info sync back in to QBO. Hubdoc with bill pay looks like a great solution for small team clients that so not require an approval process for A/P. LOVED IT!

I had the pleasure of already knowing about these guys prior to the Hackathon. The bottom line is that if you make international payments via wire, you should be using TransferMate. There is no better solution for wires, just do it.

Debbie/Voice/AllConnect for QuickBooks
There were a handful of 'Siri for QBO' apps at the Hackathon. They were all fairly equal in my eyes, only one (Voice) had pulled in the 'filters' field to make it more valuable and malleable once you do a voice search. I liked 'Debbie', but I think it would be cooler if you marketed to accountants to push the product and white labeled it with their name... Actually you could hook up with Linqto ProAdvice and make a nice custom app for PA's to use with their clients!

Social InsightInsights CentralAutofy
The surplus of apps that were trying to make a KPI out of social media posts in relation to sales was a turn off. They were all great in theory, but the fact that there were so many took away from the 'originality' of the whole idea. I'm not sure how these comparisons even really ring true, unless you have a link from the post to the purchasing site that can directly link a sale to a social media post. This is not really a key indicator for brick and mortar as you cannot really correlate the date of the post to the date of the transaction (unless of course you are offering a discount code that can be cross references with the post). Good idea- needs some work to be valuable from an accounting perspective.

NoBrainer Rev Rec
Looked AWESOME. We all know that recognizing deferred/unearned revenue SUCKS. This app supposedly fixes that! I would love to learn more than the 3 minute special about this one and share it with the world.

Easy Assets

Basically a fixed asset manager for QBO. Looked great, my notes say that it should pull in asset postings from QBO so that you can map them in Easy Assets (this would prevent the client from making a manual posting and not enter the asset details in the asset manager). You're welcome for the free advice ;-)

Clariti by SalesPad
This was basically a process outlining app that (from my understanding) would enable you to structure workflows with notifications, rules, etc. Basically you setup the workflow so that when 'x' happens the system notifies 'whoever' then 'z' happens after that... It would be awesome if you could structure these workflows between different apps, but that would probably take a lot of work and collaboration with way too many people ;-). I'm excited to see where this one goes.

This one was basically a client stalker app so that you can get leads based off of your existing customer list. My understanding is that is syncs your customer list, finds them online, then combs through their networks to report back with more potential clients. Could be great for the right company - only QBO integration is pulling the customer list, so no room for accounting errors.

I had the pleasure of meeting with this developer the next day to share my insights. This is a great app with many potential applications, so my advice to him was to widen the branding or have multiple branding options to apply his measurement calculation tool to more industries (like flooring, paint, etc). I suggested that he take a hint from Jobber and their industry specific advertising on their website (which really all goes to the same product).

This app is crazy for automated hiring. It is pretty awesome, though it could 'robustified' by integrating/adding on with some competency screening and aptitude testing systems. This would broaden the application and make it usable for many more industries than just the restaurant industry that it was aiming at.

Landed cost calculator. My thought was that a company who needs to calculate landed freight probably has inventory that is too complex for the current QBO. It does look like an awesome app to use with Enterprise or other inventory management solutions.

Labels for QBO
I am just going to start this one by saying that the gal that presented this seemed like a pretty awesome person! Great attitude and presentation, and great concept. That being said, my first thought was holy crap you have to carry that stuff around with you to print and scan??? No thanks. My advice here would be to stick with your awesome label printer, but have some sort of integrated IPad POS scanner so that all you need to do is hook the label printer up to the Ipad (preferably via bluetooth). I feel like there is more to this app then I was able to hear about in 3 minutes, hopefully I can see more of it in the future!

This was a great little app with one big problem, but luckily I was able to meet with the developer and offer them my suggestion after the hackathon. It was basically a loyalty app that allowed for rewards, digital punch-cards, points, etc. The app would allow you to assign a reward points value to specific goods you were selling, which was awesome, but the tracking was by CLASS. I told them to throw that out the window right away and map by item. That was really the only thing they needed as far as I was concerned :-). The team was nice too!

App for posting info from your POS into QBO. Great in theory for those who are still using POS's that do not offer a sync. I have one piece of advice for Dataraunt and every other POS that does a daily summary posing in QBO: USE A FLIPPIN' SALES RECEIPT. No one wants 365 journal entries a year in their file along with adjustments and other necessary journal entries. Use a zero sales receipt, number it with a date code, let people map their own items/accounts. That is all.

Payments Cloud/SalesForce Invoicing & Payments for QBO/Babblework

To me, all of these Sales Force apps looked the same. I'm sure they were all unique, but to me it didn't seem like anything really unique or way different from other things on the market. Payments Cloud was a winner (yay!)

Service Titan
Another winner! YAY! I love Service Titan and I think that it is a very robust and powerful solution for service management. This app was in the 'Existing Application' bracket, for which the perimeter was to make a significant change in the app. The significant change here was that the QBO integration was built (which is awesome). Personally, I did not see significant value in the QBO integration as Service Titan is focused more on franchises, most of which depend on hosted QB Desktop files that the franchise can tap in to. There are many comparable solutions for service management that have a much lower price point for independents that have the freedom to move to QBO. HOWEVER: This could potentially  be an influencer, allowing franchises to be master admins for QBO companies in their franchises and eliminating the need to cloud host the desktop files... Lets see where this goes!

SafetyNet by Jobber
Yes, you may recall this is the app that received a standing ovation from me (and I'm sure many more would have stood if the room had been full of accountants...). Many people were looking at me crazy with this one, wondering why my favorite app would be something so simple. The simplicity of this app is the beauty of it. One of the biggest hurdles that I encounter in persuading clients and peers to move to QuickBooks Online is the inability to make a period copy or backup of their data. This app meets a need not being fulfilled, has no competition on the market, and is a simple solution to a huge problem. YAY!

Method: Donations

The winner of the grand prize! I love you guys and I am VERY pleased that you have developed a solution that opens QBO up to the Non-Profit sector. This app allows you to track donors and donations and syncs the info back to QuickBooks Online. I am very confident that this app is going to be the best NP solution on the market, mostly because they are consulting with Gregg Bossen of QuickBooks Made Easy who is the non-profit king and won't let them screw it up! Method is truly a blessing in the QuickBooks ecosystem and I cannot wait for this app to go live on This app did everything it needed to do: solved a big problem with no existing solution, works well with QBO, and different/better than existing apps.

For contestants that I did not mention specifically, it is just because I have no valuable commentary or I feel that it was covered in the commentary already written out above. If you want specific feedback, feel free to contact me directly. If you have a link to your app that I was unable to find and include in this article, please post it in the comments! Thank you all for participating and for being so open to my opinions!

See you at #Solutions14 in Vegas!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Skyline by Uni-Data - Why We 'Cloud Hopped'

We use a variety of cloud hosting solutions for our clients, but I had a hard time selecting one that was a great fit for our office as an accounting firm. We loved our old hoster (at first), but it turned in to the one transaction that I would glare at on my bank statement each month.

The decision to make the change was a fluke - my business debit card was replaced and I was changing the card number with my vendors as the notices of cancellation were coming in. When I received the email from the old hoster, I took it as a forced opportunity to find someone else.

I had a variety of problems that needed a better solution...

User Experience
You may already know that I am absolutely in love with all things Citrix... Skyline by UniData uses the XenApp platform, which is user friendly and fast. The platform shows you all of your versions of QuickBooks and allows you to view your Q Drive with your files, all from one central location. LOVELY!

Multiple Versions of QuickBooks Software
Skyline allows me to have all six versions of QuickBooks that I need to host - 3 years each of Premier Accountant and Enterprise Accountant. All of the icons that I need are available at my fingertips as soon as I log in. YAY!

Accountants Copy
This is the biggest obstacle that I encountered with my previous hoster, which was a total deal killer and cut in to the value and purpose of hosting my QuickBooks files. If a client sent me an Accountants Copy Transfer file, I would have to convert the file locally then upload it to the platform. This defeated the value of the cloud, as I had to be on a computer with the software that I was trying to avoid hosting locally. Skyline by Uni-Data is program driven instead of file driven, so I can just save the transfer file to the Q Drive and convert it in the cloud. SWEET!

Customer Service
I will be the first to tell you that I am semi-demanding with my vendors... If you make a product and advertise its purpose, I get irritated when it doesn't live up to it's name. I have heard this time and again about my industry - that accounting folk don't like to be 'sold' - but when you do sell us you better follow through! I'm sure many of you calculate out the cost of an obstacle once its complete, figuring out how much time and money you just lost while solving a preventable issue. The nice thing about the support at Skyline was that when I did have a problem and was too busy to do a remote session, they figured it out on their end and just kept emailing me to have me do my side. A rep stayed until 8:30 pm to make sure that my problem was fixed! AWESOME SAUCE.

Ho. Lee. Cow. I was sold with the user interface features of Skyline, but when the price came in so much lower than the 'other guys', I was absolutely amazed. You want to give me a better product, with better service, for a better price? SOLD! 

And to top it all off, my dear friend and lovely peer Joanie Mann of Cooper Mann Consulting Group is now working with Uni-Data, which gets them another gold start sticker in my book. Go check them out, you'll be glad you did!

See you at QuickBooks Connect in San Jose!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Preparing Taxes vs. Preparing Businesses for Success

Do you pride yourself in being old school? We all know that there are many clients who are still old school, so the aging firm shouldn't have a problem, right?


Sorry to say, but the progressive firms will soon be taking over the old school clients one by one. We work with many awesome CPA's and great tax firms. Despite their awesomeness, many resounding issues not only prevent the client from reaching their maximum potential, but even prevent us from providing outstanding service as a non-tax firm.

Are You the Expert?

Your client should not have more resources in your industry than you do. If your client comes to you looking for an answer, you better have it or know the person that does. We are lucky to have strong relationships with many other firms in our area so that we are able to call on each other when we get stuck. It is hard to keep up to date with all of the evolving technology in the world today - different versions, different years, different industries. All of us know the saying "be a specialist - not a generalist", but the truth about a tax firm is that you need to "be a generalist - know a specialist". 

Is Your Clients Best Interest in Mind?

We are all in it to make money, and the easier we can do that the better. I have seen recommendations given to clients that are in the best interest of the CPA, but have a drastic negative affect on the businesses ability to reach their maximum potential. One example of this is advising clients to use whatever system works best with your tax software instead of helping them select the right system for their business. I had a call a few weeks ago from a potential client looking for QuickBooks setup at the recommendation of their CPA. After consulting with the client, they really needed an ERP system. A good accountant can construct a tax return from well kept records - but great accountants lead businesses to success by utilizing the tools that make the most sense for that particular industry.

Are you Progressive or Stagnant?

Maybe you are not so motivated to learn new things or build new relationships because you are nearing the end of your career. This is where you need to decide if you are going to leave a legacy or just 'fall off'. I have heard some people talk about succession planning and selling their contracts so that they can retire. The real question is, would someone want your practice? If they did, would your name be carried out gracefully or would your successor prove that you were behind in the times?

Can You Get on Board?

Of course you can! There are all kinds of things you can do to expand your list of referral partners and specialists. You can look online, locally and nationally for industry specific groups where a variety of folks may gather - like NAN (National Advisor Network), BKN (Bookkeepers Network), Sleeter Consultants Network, and Meetup groups. There's always the classic old school way of looking up your peers online and reaching out with a phone call or email (we recommend checking out the Intuit Find-a-ProAdvisor page). We also recommend that you look at attending at least one industry conference per year, whether it's a local training or a national conference like the upcoming QuickBooks Connect. This gives you an opportunity to mind-share with peers, connect with specialists, and meet product vendors.

Then What?

Keep in touch with your core group. Ask questions and find out what kind of businesses they can best serve and enjoy serving. Tell people what you enjoy and what you are best at. Don't be afraid to send an existing, new, or potential client to one of your specialist resources to get the assistance they require. Once you start building these reciprocal relationships you will find new enjoyment in your client base. You are more likely to be the hero by referring to the right person who can be quick and effective rather than trying to tackle something out of your realm of expertise and potentially being unsuccessful. If you are a tax firm, do taxes. If you are a tech firm, do tech. Your success is measured only by the success of your clients.

Good luck!

Do you have more ideas on this subject? 
Feel free to share in the comments below or reach out on Twitter.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Your Platform Should Be More than just a POS Point of Sale System

And you know what we mean by POS.

Multi-channel sales is the way of the world today. 
Traditional brick and mortar stores are looking at shopping cart add-ins. Paypal is raking in the dollars with processing fees for businesses who know no other way. Most retail companies sell online or wish that they could, but the industry is not making it easy for them to start, grow and remain compliant.

As a firm that specializes in accounting technology and business processes, we absolutely dread the process of revising systems for clients with multi-channel sales. 
We love to help our clients, which is why it so frustrating when you cannot find the right tool to lead your client to growth and success. Many of these businesses need multiple features like an in house POS, a mobile POS, a webstore, and inventory management. Some limitations that we see in many of the current options are:
  • Scalability - platforms with all of the features are out of the price range for growing businesses or they are 'overkill'
  • Customer Tax Rates - taxibility is a simple yes/no or a stagnant, pre-assigned rate that does not auto-adjust by shipping address
  • Sales Tax Reports - reports are too narrow, have to dissect income numbers to categorize the taxable income amounts
  • Offline Availability - we are huge advocates of the cloud, but business cannot stop if the internet is down

Your 'industry specificity' could be holding you back. It is awesome to have solutions that are the perfect solution for an industry. But what about everybody else? What about that group of features that don't cater to a specific industry, but cater to almost everyone else? For example, Lettuce is a beautiful system that is great for wholesale and inventory - but they are missing retail customer management. Vend is a lovely solution that we use for brick and mortar stores with multiple locations, but they are limited in shipping and tax management. Lightspeed is a great solution for most everything multi-channel, but their limitations in sales tax are the one thing that prevents me from being able to implement them as the perfect solution.

The biggest problem with today's multi-channel sales systems is that they do not support complex sales tax situations.
Even if you are in one of the 4 states with no local or state sales taxes, it is still very likely that you should be remitting sales tax to somebody, somewhere. Some may say that complex sales tax situations are rare and that those companies should just shell out for an overkill solution to handle their own problem. Anyone who lives in a state with multiple sales tax rates by jurisdiction knows that it is very easy to find yourself in a 'complex' sales tax situation...

There is a very simple answer to improving your multi-channel POS system, and it's called Avalara. Aside from providing an awesome platform that links up with shopping carts, inventory and a local register (preferably iPad with offline availability), you must offer a solution to handle the sales tax complexities that come with multi-channel sales. The financial repercussions of a sales tax audit with a poor tracking system far outweigh any benefits that your solution can offer operationally. I don't care how many bells and whistles your system has, if it cannot survive the most rigid sales tax audit then it has no value to my multi-channel sales clients. 

Do you have the perfect solution? 
Tell us about it below to tweet to the world @PetersonBizSvcs

Friday, June 20, 2014

Does this App Belong in my Ecosystem?




All of the above.
But how do we know? We encounter too many scenarios with our clients where they are looking for a cut and dry response that we cannot provide for them. Just like nearly every other question when it comes to apps, accounting and taxation - it depends.

What does the app do?
We all know the phrase - there's an app for that! But what, exactly, is that? Is your app a time tracker, a payroll add-on with time tracking, a POS, a POS with time tracking, an inventory manager, an inventory manger with POS, an inventory manager with POS and time tracking, blah blah blah? There are a million different things that your app could be capable of, and the first thing that you need to know is exactly what the capabilities and limitations are. Once you know what your app can and cannot do, you can decide on the next question.

What is the app's role in the Ecosystem?
Many of us have taken the term 'Appify' and ran with it. Some of us ran the course, and some have gone off-roading... The biggest problem I see are app stacks instead of app systems (no relation to AppStack mobile site builder). Piling one app on top of another on top of another and so one just creates a huge mess. Many times an app will be integrated and later you find out that it is missing a feature, so you get another add on to fill that need and you end up with a million apps that no one can keep track of. There are plenty of awesome ecosystems that involve a strand of apps working together, and knowing each role and result in depth will help you decide which ones qualify as a system and which ones just make a crap pile. 

Stack vs. System
When we are designing an ecosystem for a client, we look at multiple options for each process that requires a solution. A good saying here would be 'if you fail to plan you are planning to fail'. Let's compare two examples of a landscaping company:

A: Implements When I Work with GPS for time, Zen Payroll for processing, and SalesForce for appointments while using QBO for back-end accounting. 

When I Work > Zen Payroll > QB Online < Sales Force

B: Implements Jobber for time/appointments/field management and QBO with payroll for back-end accounting.

Jobber > < QBO/QBOP

(If you are not sure which of these is a stack and which is a system, please send me a private email for a consulting session...)

The moral of the story is that both of these examples fill the need, but they are not created equally. You need to know your end goal and choose the apps that work together effectively to make the most streamlined system.

How much control do you need/want over the data?
I have overheard waaaay to much whining that all app data needs to 'sync seamlessly into QuickBooks' to be perfect. I say NO WAY!!! One of the BIGGEST benefits I see to appification is that you can choose an app based on its ability to feed information into your back-end accounting system. We all have 'that client' that no matter how much we train them, they will always mess up their books. I love that I have platform options so that I can put 'that guy' on the POS that allows me to look at their beautiful reports and post them as journal entries (rather than automatically sending every erroneous transaction into QB for me to clean out). I believe that the best apps are those that give you options on how you retrieve your data.

What does your data look like once it is in the back-end system?
My answer to this: who cares? As long as it is accurate and not redundant, I prefer ONE posting from the app to summarize the information. Most people ask my why I would not want every transaction to come through... Well, if I wanted every transaction spelled out in QuickBooks then why the heck did I buy the app??? Of course the expectations for import will vary depending the goal you are trying to achieve, and if you have completed the proper ecosystem engineering process then you should be able to assess the part quite simply. Just remember that you are looking for a streamlined system, not a redundant stack.

Would you be interested in a course on this subject? 
Tell us on Twitter @PetersonBizSvcs

The Pro-Apptive Approach to Working with Developers.

I have been hearing a lot of talk and questions from my peers about apps. What they love and what they hate, but mostly what they wonder... There is always a question of why... Why don't you have this, why does this do that, why does this import, why doesn't that export... In my opinion, many of these whys aren't really whys at all, they are When's. What we really want to know is when will it do this, when will that fixed, when can I use this app the way I want too? Basically, we suck at explaining ourselves to developers. I was given some great opportunities to speak with developers at multiple companies this week. Aside from being able to communicate my ideas to them, I was able to learn how they need to receive information I order for it to have any value to their teams.

They don't know what you're saying because it doesn't make sense.
Draw a picture, compare a competitor, remind them that you don't speak their language. I am constantly reminding developers that I have no idea what they have to do on the back end to make my dream come true, and encourage them to re-direct my thoughts according to technical feasibility. Most of the time when we are trying to explain something we are looking at it from a 1-client view or an 'I want' perspective. The most effective way to validate your suggestion is to prove that your 'want' adds value not just to you, but to the platform as a whole. Paint them a picture not just of the what, but also of the why. The how is up to them.

We give input without implementation experience.
Many times we turn away from a product due to the 'feature lack' that we see in a demo. We may not implement that product because of one little thing that is missing, therefore our only experience is the demo. Once we have made the decision NOT to try a product, we need to accept that since we have absolutely no working experience with the program, we have no place discrediting it's application. For example I wanted to integrate Lettuce for a client but I needed a more robust sales tax module, so I only demoed it. I know of some other industries it would be great in and I would apply it in a heart beat. The fact that I implemented Vend instead of Lettuce does not make Vend a better app, it makes it a better app for that client. We need to quit pretending like every industry should have a shoe box solution and work on becoming educated ecosystem engineers.

When you divorce a vendor, forget the no contact order.
I'm sure ALL of us have had bad experiences with apps... Spending hours fixing things that we can't bill for because it was our dumb@$$ that suggested the implementation. I have divorced many an app (I even took a year off from QBO once), but we need to remember to be civil. You are much better off leaving amicably so that you can keep yourself educated on any new things that may put that app ahead. We need to forgive developers of their past mistakes so that we can take advantage of their future triumphs.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
When I demo a product I usually go in super excited about where I want to use it and the clients that I'll put on it. By the end of the demo I generally have a huge paradigm shift and realize that it is not what I thought it was at all. If they fool you once with their sales rep, email, or misleading advertisement, then shame on them for not being clear. I always look at this thankfully with a 'crisis-averted' attitude and throw the app in my toolbox for future use. Now if you choose to implement the product anyway because it's pretty or cheap or whatever, and it turns out not be the right fit, that is YOUR OWN fault. If you have demoed a product thoroughly and asked  all of the right questions then there should be nothing that they told you that you did not verify before implementation. Test Test Test!! It is up to you to be the expert.

What's your opinion? Feel free to post, tweet or email your thoughts on the matter.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Citrix Citrix it's our brand!

If you have followed us on Twitter or liked us on Facebook, then you probably already know all about our love for our Citrix. We thought it would be nice to share some real life examples about the awesomeness that lies within our top 3 Citrix products: Sharefile, GoToMyPC, and GoToMeeting.


  • Beautifully branded web portal (and they will do it for you - for free!)
  • User permissions controlled by user and folder
  • Request Files feature (gives your client a link to upload files without having to log in)
  • Send Files feature (allows you to send files securely directly from the portal - can password protect too)
  • Ability to transfer large back up files that would have to be zipped for emailing
  • User friendly interface makes it easy for the less tech-oriented clients to use
  • Scale-able solution depending on your business size
  • Enhanced security available depending on your needs

One of my favorite things about this product is being able to setup a new client folder the moment they are signed on. Even if I am meeting them at their location, I can pull out my iPad and set up their file so that they can get rolling on sending me documentation. We have drastically increased efficiency by cutting out the time needed to sort emails, papers and remind clients of what we need from them. As soon as we shake hands we are able to put the ball back in their court. 

Room for Improvement: Mobile app could be 'robustified' a little for my purposes. This is the only place where the navigation is slightly lacking for quick and easy new folder setup and requesting files. It gets done, you just have to know where to look.

Read more about how we use Sharefile and GoToMyPc to survive our busy seasons.


  • Easy access from mobile devices
  • Dual monitors will display in the window when accessing from a single monitor or mobile device
  • Access to all computers on your account through one portal
  • Customize access credentials per remote computer
  • Remote printing (can use the connected printer at your remote access point - AWESOME)
  • Super simple file transfer from remote desktop to local desktop - can even transfer multiple files at once!

Do you like to go out of town without packing a laptop? Me too! Gone are the days of loading up half the office to go visit the in-laws for a week. No more dragging yourself into work sick to do a few things that have to get done. Knowing that you can walk away from your office at the drop of a hat and pick it back up at home is the best feeling ever - especially if you have kids!

Room for Improvement: I would like to see remote printing from my iPad!

Read more on how we use GoToMyPC to achieve work/life balance!


  • Remotely access client computers quickly 'on the fly' or scheduled ahead of time
  • Show your screen or the client screen to train or complete tasks
  • AWESOME iPad app allows me to log in remotely from anywhere
  • Can have multiple attendees for group training/meetings
  • Easy for a call-in client to be walked through 'joining a meeting' over the phone

Do you ever get that client who calls with a 'right now' problem? The problem that has to be solved right now, when you are driving down the road 30 miles away? I have started LOVING those phone calls! It is so awesome to be able to pull over, whip out the iPad, join a GoToMeeting and solve their problem on the fly. Not only are you the hero, but you just scored some rush-rate billable time on your leisurely drive home! (Disclaimer: Please don't Meet and Drive!)

Room for Improvement: Honestly I love this product so much that I don't even have a suggestion!

We would love to know what you are using and why you love it, so please feel free to comment below or tell us more at:

Monday, March 10, 2014

QBD to QBO: Workaround for Importing Large Lists

The way that we convert data to QBO is changing. If you have tried to import customer names and accounts, you may have been bogged down with addresses and account types not matching up with the new formatting in QBO. I have discovered that since you cannot import an IIF, sometimes it is quicker to make a new desktop file and convert that to QBO instead (yay!).
Example: Client is wanting to begin in QBO, but wants to leave the old transactional data behind. Rather than exporting the lists to CSV and having to separate address portions and add in account types, you can export the lists to IIF and create a new desktop file from the existing file.

  • Open the file that you want to convert
  • File > Utilities > Export > Lists to IIF Files (choose the lists you would like to keep)
  • File > New Company File from Existing Company File
  • Enter a new name for the file copy
  • Once the new copy is open, File> Utilities > Import > IIF Files

Now you have a beautiful empty file that mirrors the way you want your QBO file to be setup. You can clear out any inactive names or items that you want removed and revise any account structuring. This is where you would make changes to the COA or Customer:Job hierarchy that you may not have been able to modify in the original file because or links to historical transactions.

Follow the import instructions in QBO to import the QBD file. Importing your file this way will save you time formatting CSV's to match the address and account formatting requirements for importing new lists in QBO.

Please note that our walkthroughs assume QuickBooks knowledge on an advisor level and are not intended to be a step-by-step for new users.
Contact us with any questions that you may have 
about how you can get running in the cloud!