A pile of cell phones and a person holding a camera.

Apps to watch in 2023

Hey y’all!

I’m going to skip the intro and get right to it because there is a lot to keep an eye on this year. Here are the apps I recommended watching out for in 2023.

Synder for e-commerce

  • Synder lets you choose your preferred method of syncing sales from an e-commerce platform to QuickBooks Online. Synder has always been great at automating e-commerce transaction syncs, but now, you can get that same reliable connection by syncing those same sales as a daily summary.
  • In my world of serving those dealing with e-commerce accounting, this development is major.
  • Gone are the days of having one solution for clients who need transaction detail and another solution for those that need a summary. Whichever they use, Synder is great for each client. The game changer for me is that it no longer means two apps to learn, two workflows to accommodate, two protocols to game out, or alternatively a strict limit on the clients I can serve. It also means there is no longer a need to pass on or pass along a client who doesn’t need it or has outgrown the method your chosen app can accommodate.

Why keep watching? Apparently, Synder has been listening to what the accounting industry needs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they offer even more tools and improvements for us in the near future.

Collbox for A/R

  • We all have known and loved Collbox for their ability to help our clients (and sometimes us!) in our most desperate hours, aka, "Please save me from the consequences of avoiding awkwardness and see if you can’t collect this bill from my former customer!" But what often remains is how we will actually make the "Never Again" that echoes after the fact a reality, rather than just a desperate wish.
  • Collbox has solved that for us with their new offering, Assist, a full A/R service. So now, not only will Collbox collect on the past and educate on best A/R practices for the future; if it is all just still too time-consuming, high-touch, or just plain uncomfortable for you or your clients to do, they will actually just go ahead and take care of it.

Why keep watching? This is a big move, in that Collbox is essentially betting that people want an overall solution more than they want to keep getting bailed out. I love that they have listened to not only what we asked for, but also what we actually need. And provided accordingly. I look forward to them continuing this approach in the days to come!

Liscio for client communication

  • Yes, Liscio makes talking with our clients easy, accessible, and secure all at once. Their choice to incorporate email that they hope someday to replace is another example of a company not letting their prior messaging get in the way of innovation and utility.
  • That is why I think their new project is so intriguing. You may have even heard of it recently, but don't realize that yes, The Grove is actually built by Liscio. The purpose is to serve the accounting community.
  • If you haven’t visited yet, don’t worry … although there is Liscio education offered there, it’s not a “Liscio focused’ community. In fact, I would describe The Grove as “Interactive education and solutions by accountants, for accountants.” And when I say “accountants,” I mean our whole profession.
  • So what’s the big deal? Think of it this way: When was the last time you wished you could pick someone’s brain, ask a quick question about how an app actually works, or even get a tip or trick not just described, but actually demonstrated by people whose opinion you trust? Better yet, when was the last time you had an idea, workaround, or workflow you wanted to share with the community? Or maybe stress-test with those who know how to find what works and what doesn’t?
  • That’s The Grove. The opportunity to learn and share with just our people. It’s like a conference on the web … hallway conversations and off-site insights not just included, but preferred!

Why keep watching? That’s easy: This space has the potential to be a reflection of our community in all of its diverse brilliance. What is more watchable than that?

QuickBooks Online

  • Back in November on Apps Neighborhood Watch, we interviewed Ted Callahan about the roll-out of QuickBooks’ new initiative, Your Feedback In Action. It was also formally announced from the main stage at QuickBooks Connect.
  • Recently, we got to see the inaugural results of Your Feedback in Action (here's the most recent edition).
  • A main stage announcement that has materialized so quickly, pretty much as advertised, is fantastic. And frankly, I look forward to seeing these kinds of updates throughout the year.

Why Keep Watching? Like The Grove, this one is up to us! The more in-app feedback we provide, the more we are letting them know what to work on, work out, and work through. So feed this initiative folks! We might be surprised at what we can get to happen next ....

Digits for reporting

  • Last year, Digits burst onto the scene via a flashy booth at Scaling New Heights, and it hasn’t slowed down since. It seems the model they are employing is frankly reflecting something larger in the air, much like Your Feedback in Action: Listening to customers about what they actually need!
  • Digits seems very simple and very obvious, and it is. But that doesn’t mean it is easy; otherwise every app would do it.
  • Suffice it to say, new bits of functionality and innovation continue to be delivered regularly to the users of this highly automated, uniquely designed, and fairly intuitive reporting app.

Why Keep Watching? Even as they’ve begun to catch on, Digits has not slowed down encouraging users in Labs. Specific to accounting types, this is where you are able to say what you need and test what you say when they act on it. Yet another place in our profession where we are the drivers of what happens next!

Make for custom automations

  • You may have heard of Make under its old name, Integromat, or maybe those words ring exactly zero bells for you. But I think by the end of 2023, everyone interested in tech will have Make on their radar.
  • You could describe it as a Zapier alternative. It's not a bad comparison, but it does undersell it a bit.
  • I would describe Make as something in between Zapier and no-code "build-your-own" platforms. Like them, you can basically "make" your own automations. Where it’s different is in its balance—it is much more intuitive than other no-codes, but more versatile than Zapier-like choices.

Why Keep Watching? As more of our profession becomes automation comfortable, it only makes sense that we’d be more interested in building our own stuff. Make seems to have hit the sweet spot between custom and assisted automation crafting. What’s worth watching is what they, and WE, do with it!

So there they are—the apps I’ll be watching this year. What do they all have in common?

The apps to watch are the apps that are watching us.

Stay tuned ….

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