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Recommend these 7 QuickBooks industry apps to your clients

Help your clients transform their businesses with some easy recommendations. As an accounting professional and business consultant, I have seen my clients become more organized and eliminate hours of redundant and often boring office work every week by connecting the right app to QuickBooks® Online. There are so many great apps, and sometimes it can be challenging to figure out where to start.

In this article and videos, I outline my favorite apps for specific industries. These apps address common industry pain points with solutions that were honed over time. Connecting apps is easier than ever and won’t mess up your clients’ books. In fact, it will make your work life simpler, too.

There are three basic categories of businesses covered by these time-saving apps:

  1. Field Services: These businesses mostly serve clients “on-site,” with people, materials and/or equipment performing key tasks and services in the field. This includes landscapers, home appliance contractors, construction companies and others.
  2. Retail (Wholesale/eCommerce): These businesses mostly buy, maintain and sell inventory. Examples include retail stores, e-commerce businesses, light manufacturers and wholesale distributors.
  3. Professional Services: These businesses offer employee or contractor time, knowledge and expertise as their primary service. Examples include accountants, bookkeepers, lawyers and business consultants.

Apps for field service industry

Common pain points within the Field Service industry include:

  • Scheduling jobs based on optimal routing and capacity planning.
  • Dispatching, fleet management and GPS location tracking.
  • Choosing the right crew, truck, material and/or equipment to take to the job.
  • Tracking materials consumed during the job.
  • Scheduling additional service visits or time required to complete jobs outside allocated time.
  • Tracking change orders – changes to work being performed or materials needed to be used based on customer requests, in the middle of the job.
  • Completing job costing, and understanding the amount of labor and materials needed to be consumed to stay within budget.
  • Tracking customer communications and warranty/service requests.
  • Collecting payments, deposits or partial payments on site.
  • Remote time tracking.

Two apps that address these pain points are Knowify and Jobber, although there are other apps that offer similar functionality:

Knowify: Designed for residential contractors and commercial subcontractors with easy-to-read job costing reports. Other similar apps are CoConstruct, Corecon, RedTeam and BuilderTrend.

JobberDesigned for small- and medium-sized field service companies performing mostly home services. Other similar apps are Housecall ProServiceTrade, Field Promax, Service M8 and mHelpDesk.

Both Knowify and Jobber play a very big role in the day-to-day operations, which means they can make a huge impact on how your clients run their businesses. Here is a video that explains how these two apps work in more detail:

Apps for retail (wholesale/e-commerce) industry

Inventory and e-commerce are the two biggest pain points for product-based businesses in the retail industry. Tracking inventory in-stock, including open purchase orders and open sales orders, can often mean the difference between making a profit or taking a loss.

There are three specific apps that address these pain points:

Dear Inventory: A complete inventory management system for QuickBooks Online with accessibility via smartphones, tablets, computers and the company’s own POS system. I recommend Dear Inventory for companies that have complex inventory needs or multiple e-commerce channels such as Amazon, AmazonFBAEbayShopifyWooCommerce, Etsy and Shipstation.

SOS Inventory: Recommended for companies that perform light manufacturing and have more complex inventory needs, such as lot number tracking and multiple locations. SOS Inventory currently connects only with QuickBooks Online, Shopify, ShipStation and PayPal.

It is important to note that Dear Inventory and SOS Inventory take complete control over every aspect of a company’s inventory management. For example, every transaction that affects inventory will need to be done within those apps instead of in QuickBooks Online.

There are other apps in the inventory management space, similar to the ones listed that can be found on Apps.com. These include: Locate Inventory, Cin7 Inventory, All OrdersTrade Gecko, and Stitch Labs.

ShopifyA complete e-commerce platform with a QuickBooks Online integrator that can download a company’s Shopify sales transactions into QuickBooks as sales receipts. It is important to note that Shopify is not considered an app for QuickBooks; rather the connector is the app since it downloads the sales receipts into QuickBooks.

Others apps similar to Shopify include: WooCommerce and BigCommerce. If a business sells on multiple channels beyond the one e-commerce solution such as Shopify, there are “middleware” apps that can connect to multiple e-commerce platforms such as: Webgility Unify, Cloud Cart Connector, T-Hub Online and Agiliron.

Here is a video that explains how Dear Inventory, SOS Inventory and Shopify work:

Apps for professional services industry

There are three common pain points within the professional services industry: tracking time by job remotely and at the office, managing and delegating tasks, and creating project status reports.

The apps that address these pain points include:

Aero Workflow: A workflow management application designed with accountants and QuickBooks ProAdvisors in mind, but also works great for law firms or a business consultants.

Others you can find on Apps.com that are similar to Aero Workflow include KarbonHQ and Jetpack Workflow. If you are working with a law firm, Clio might be a good fit. Practice Ignition is an estimate/proposal management system for any professional services practice, although it was designed with the accountant in mind.

Method:CRMUseful for businesses that want to keep track of their customer interactions within a single system. Method:CRM integrates data into QuickBooks to avoid double entry of common information such as customer contact information. Other customer relationship management (CRM) apps that you can find on Apps.com include: Insightly CRMResults CRM, Batchbook and Legrand CRM.

To learn more, here is a video that explains how Aero Workflow and Method:CRM work:

Understanding the industries your clients work in can help you make an app recommendation that could potentially transform their businesses. To get started, understand the key pain points businesses face and the apps that provide solutions for these needs. After you discover the best app for a client, develop a plan to introduce the app and its potential benefits.

Creating mutual business success with your clients means you will have long and happy customer relationships. Happy clients refer business, helping to grow your business as well!

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