Thursday, October 22, 2015

Project based businesses - Apps for QuickBooks Online

Do you want to know more about apps for project-based businesses? Check out this article on featuring these five awesome apps that work with QuickBooks Online:


Best Use Cases: Web Design, Marketing, Consulting

Best Use Cases: Bookkeeper, Accountant, Tax Preparer, Outsourced CFO

Best Use Cases: Architects, Engineers, Attorneys

Best Use Cases: Construction Projects and Contractors

Best Use Cases: Field Service Management

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

QuickBooks Connect and the NEW QuickBooks Online Certification Exam!

QuickBooks Connect 2015 is coming up next month in San Jose, and with that comes the opportunity for diverse training in the accounting community. This is the only QuickBooks centric event that combines the accounting and ProAdvisor community with both 3rd party app developers AND small business owners! Aside from the educational opportunity, the networking possibilities are endless. Complete with courses to suit all 3 tracks (accountant, developer, and small business owner), QuickBooks Connect adds on a top-notch slate of keynote speakers and a sweet after-party!

Over the next few weeks I’ll share the things that I am most excited about, but I want to start with the new QuickBooks Online certification training that I will be presenting on Monday, November 2nd, at QuickBooks Connect.

New Training Modules
The QuickBooks Online training & exam has been updated and overhauled this year. With the changes to the ProAdvisor program and the increase in ProAdvisors who only support online clients, Intuit recognized the need to beef up and streamline the training. The current training was geared toward the ProAdvisor community that existed when the certification was debuted, which consisted of ProAdvisors who were traditionally desktop users making the move to the cloud. Our new material approaches QuickBooks Online from the perspective of a new ProAdvisor while still incorporating relevant desktop concepts like product comparisons and conversions.

A New Exam
The module topics and content have changed, therefore the exam changed along with it! Like the 2015 exam, the new exam is still 5 sections, though the topics and order of the content have changed. There are now 15 questions in each section, leaving the exam with 20 fewer questions in total. You still must receive an 80% in each section to pass, which means you can miss 3 questions in each section. By popular request, there are now FIVE possible answers on this new multiple choice exam, making it shorter, but more rigorous for the testers. Many of the questions have been beefed up to test ProAdvisors knowledge of what to do in a certain scenario’s in addition to the navigational type questions.

What about your existing certification?
The current QuickBooks Online certification training and exam will be sunset on October 25th to my knowledge (a disclaimer just in case something changes J). The QuickBooks Online certification is good for 365 days and must be renewed to maintain an active status. This means that if you’re QuickBooks Online certified and your certification is due to expire before QuickBooks Connect, you should probably just re-take the existing exam.

Why should I take the certification training at QuickBooks Connect?
Because I’m teaching it, duh! But seriously, what better place could you think of to take training besides QuickBooks Connect where you will be surrounded by over a thousand of your peers and more Intuit staff than any other event? Live training events are the BEST way to learn, no matter your learning style. The ability to ask questions of those around you, your instructors and Intuit employees all in one place is an experience unmatched my any other event.  

Plus, I just might do a hula hoop trick for you...

Do you think you already know all there is to know about QuickBooks Online? 
Check out the QuickBooks Online Advanced certification courses being taught by Laura Redmond!

More info from Intuit about the New QBO Cert HERE

Some fun pictures from QuickBooks Connect 2014:

See you there!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

We're in the paper!

I do a lot of things with the accounting community all over the globe, but having this lovely article featured in the local newspaper has to be one of the most exciting things to happen yet! It has been tons of fun to get calls and emails from my clients and family congratulating me on the article.

The questions for this weekly column are pretty standard, so we had to get a little creative to fit some things in about myself that I thought were important...

It took a long time for me to be comfortable sharing that I am a high school and college dropout. I like to get that out to let everyone see that you can't let past decisions hold you back in life. Everything that has happened to you, and everything that you have happened to, has made you in to the awesome person you are today.

My passion for my work stems from watching my single dad work his @$$ off to support me and my sisters. Being a single parent now myself, it is way easier to appreciate how crazy that life is. We all have our own struggles in life, it's easy to think everyone else has it all together.

I am very thankful to the local paper for reaching out to me and taking some time to learn a little bit about me and my business, hopefully the information I shared can help inspire business owners all over SW Washington!

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Artful Engagement - Close More Business with Practice Ignition

If you've been taking advantage of live education over the last 12 months, you have probably seen the adorable astronauts passing out Tam Tam's in the expo halls of many accounting conferences across the globe...

But what do they do?

If you are not familiar with or already using Practice Ignition (PI), let me give you the scoop:

PI is an amazing app that creates and manages proposals/engagements letters and their approvals on a web based platform. Using this app streamlines the time it takes to prep an engagement letter, send it to a client, make potential revisions, get it approved and get paid. 

We started using PI about 6 months ago. Prior to using PI we had word templates that we would have to comb and revise, making sure that the client company names were changed everywhere and that dates and services were accurate. We would cut out irrelevant portions depending on the project and add more stuff in where needed. Once an engagement letter was accepted we would collect project deposits and relay the information to team member assigned to the project. IT SUCKED. On top of all that, we had to store the signed engagement letter in client files either in a drawer (yes, those do still exist) or in their folder on the drive.

Since moving over to PI, we simply enter the client, choose our template, assign services and hit SEND. I am able to assign the managing team member so that once the engagement is approved, they can invoice for the deposit through QBO (or we can send an invoice for deposit simultaneously with the engagement, OR we can insert our own custom deposit hyperlinks!). 

The potential client received a beautiful, professional engagement proposal that allows them to provide an electronic signature. They love this because it cuts out the step of them printing, signing, and returning. It's so fast! We can even insert hyperlinks to our client portal so that they can begin uploading the documents required from them in the client contributions sections.

Deets on the US Platform:

  • Full disclosure - payment processing within PI is not yet available in the US - but they are expecting to have it rolled out in about 90 days. Use my method of inserting payment hyperlinks or sending an invoice with the proposal 
  • PI can push invoices over to Xero or QuickBooks Online upon engagement acceptance
  • Pricing plans are based on the number of engagements and can fluctuate each month as your proposals scale up and down
  • The trial period does not require you to enter your credit card info! SWEET.
  • The have an AWESOME website plug in that allows your clients to get real time quotes and submit an engagement request!
  • If you're using Xero Practice Manager, a whole new world features opens up to you!
  • Available in US, UK, Austraila, Canada and New Zealand. Word on the street is that also have clients in South Africa (where I also hear Sage is about to roll out some cool stuff....)

Want it? Of course you do. Sign up to get started for free, and if you are ready to sign on before August 9th you can enter the discount code MAKEACCOUNTINGFUN for an additional 10% discount on an annual plan, which is already discounted at 20% below the monthly plan! It doesn't get much better than that ;-)

Monday, June 8, 2015

App Consultants and Field Service Management - A New Approach with ServiceM8

The new realm of 'app consultants' can vary drastically depending on the firm. Some niche firms are specializing in multiple apps for one vertical, whereas others may be focusing on workflow or a specific need within many niches (keep your eye out for blog on this specific topic coming soon). Today I want to discuss how a specific Field Service Management (FSM) app is taking a different (and my favorite) approach to working with accounting professionals - ServiceM8.

I heard of this app a couple of months ago when I had the pleasure of constructing an FSM webinar for and Intuit Academy. The course covered a description of FSM, who needs FSM and compared 3 FSM apps (Jobber, ServiceM8 and Intuit Field Service Management). (Watch a recorded version of the webinar here if you are interested, but wait until you finish reading this!)

So what is so special about this app? Why am I in love with it? 

The recorded course will tell you about the features and the best use case, so I am not going to spend much time laying that out here. What I really want to focus on is their pricing structure, because it is an insane opportunity for app consultants.

End-user pricing for the platform is FIFTY CENTS per job (from quote to payment - basically 50 cents per job number), with your first 20 jobs free EVERY MONTH. The job count restarts each month as well, which is where 2 way scale comes in for growing companies.  ServiceM8 has REAL TIME text notifications for field techs to provide clients with ETA’s. Text messages are EIGHT CENTS per transaction. There are NO USER FEES.

Let’s look at this in a real scenario. I have a small plumbing contractor with three techs who did 30 jobs last month. Their bill was $5.

Their bill was $5.


Enjoy that thought for a moment… now join me as I change the subject:

ServiceM8 also has partner platform (duh, Kaydee. EVERY app has a partner platform now days). I’m not going in to all the revenue share and referral crap because my firm doesn’t participate in those programs with our app partners. The most awesomely unique part of this program is that ServiceM8 only provides email support to their end users, but they provide email AND PHONE support to their Partners. They REFER end user sign ups TO PARTNERS. This is something we all love right?


Some of you are going straight to website to join and see the $99 annual program fee as both a marketing and education expense – you are my people. A portion of you just shut your brains off because you feel like apps exist to be your free resource and can't imagine having to pay them to support (which, in turn, you will bill your client for the time anyway and make it back 10 fold...)

A question I have been asking myself is ‘why do I give a sh*t if other people join? The less partners there are, the more referrals I can get!’

Let me answer that for you… I do what I do because I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS. I love this product because it allows the ‘man and a van’ clients to have a top tier solution for next to nothing that can they fully scale with their business. The only way that we can keep these end-user prices low is if we enable them as partners, and why not do that now when they are starting a name in the US? They charge us a minimal fee to be our direct resource, we reap the benefits of charging our clients for implementation/training/support, and our clients grow exponentially because of the cost savings compared to other solutions.

Not only is the growth of our clients businesses supported by this app, but the ability to grow your FSM client base will get a HUGE jumpstart. Let’s look at this from a social standpoint… If you ask your carpet cleaner if he knows an HVAC, plumber, electrician, handyman, etc., they will probably have a handful of friends that are tradespeople. You only need to know ONE tradesperson, they will do the rest of the marketing for you by word of mouth (we already have 2 more implementations slated from our first being so happy). BOOM.


That’s what you’re thinking right? Some of you may already know my story about being raised with my sisters by a single dad who is a contractor. I am ridiculously passionate about being able to provide outstanding services to small business and give them the upper hand. If he had this app back in the day, our lives would have been very different! I’ll save the life story for conference dinners with The Sleeter Group, but you probably get the point.

Many of you know me from QuickBooks Online certification training, the Intuit Virtual Conferences, Intuit Academy Webinars, or other training events. It is obvious that I love to teach, but the reason I love to teach is to enable our community of professionals to provide the best service to their clients.

Here at PBS we are designing a standard package for ServiceM8 integration/ implementation/ training for our clients, as well as the back-end workflow process for QuickBooks Online and Xero integration. I have so much faith in this apps ability to be a game changer for small FSM’s that I am willing to share this for free with any US Partners who join the partner program by the end of July, just request to be put on the list when signing up with ServiceM8*. Take the next step in enabling your community's FSM's to jump-start their businesses! You won't regret it.

If you have any questions/comments/etc please feel free to comment back to this post or reach out on other media.

*Implementation docs available July 1st 2015.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How to Add Comments to QBO Reports via Management Reports

So today I was teaching the QuickBooks Online Cert Prep Series: Module 3, Reporting... We took a moment at the end to go over the awesome new 'management reports feature', and accidentally discovered an awesome way to make commented reports and send them out!

1. Create management report packet in QBO

2. Export report packet to Word

3. Add comments with the 'review' and 'add comments' features in word

4. Send to whoever as a PDF from Word.

5. Revel in your awesomeness!

I was holding out on the info so that I could write a blog post, which is really hard to find time to do this time of year.... but my AWESOME friend and colleague Mr.Woody Adams made a sweet little video clip to demonstrate!!!

Check it out: