5 apps to keep your eye on for firm and client productivity

5 apps to keep your eye on for firm and client productivity

Conference season is in full swing, and that means walking jam-packed halls lined with every kind of app promising to solve your most frustrating problems or push your practice to the next level.

In the whirlwind, choose-your-own adventure of presentations, training sessions, and meetups, I found 5 apps that I think are up and coming stars of the accounting ecosystem, making everyday tasks easier and changing the way accountants work with their clients. Here are the apps I’ll be keeping an eye on this year. These apps stood out from the pack:

xtraCHEF is for restaurant management looking to overhaul their back-of-house admin tasks. xtraCHEF crunches your food cost numbers for you and helps you manage orders, budgets, and revenue. A great feature is the ability to digitize paper receipts and invoices using your phone so you can run up-to-the-minute analytics. If you had the chance to hear Kristen Nies Ciraldo’s talk at Scaling New Heights this year, you’ll know exactly how crucial this is for the food and beverage industry.

A2X had lots of people talking – and with good reason. Whether you’re a vendor or an accountant, this is an easy-to-use app that guarantees you’ll save a ton of time getting accurate numbers from your Amazon marketplace sales invoices. The system automatically sorts any volume of transaction data across multiple currencies (and international tax requirements) and posts summaries to QBO.

SnapDsk was a finalist in 2018’s Intuit Small Business App Showdown, but what grabbed my attention was their unique communications solution. If customer service is at the heart of your business (spoiler, it definitely should be) SnapDsk lets you text your clients’ phone numbers within the app and save those conversations to a profile that syncs up with your QuickBooks Online customer info. You can also add customer-specific fields for any details you need to keep track of. All of this customized data is completely searchable, and easily organized. Accessing is pretty much like a Google search.

Intuit’s Reseller Shark Tank Challenge champion, Solution Connection, is a consultant’s new BFF. This app is a directory of the Intuit Ecosystem’s ever-expanding roster of products and services, including online and desktop offerings. It’s easy to search for and dynamically compare features so you can find the best fit for your client without having to research each and every version individually. The app is built on the experience of three Certified ProAdvisors® who are all also QuickBooks Solution Providers. They clearly knew how labor-intensive it is when comparing products feature for feature. It’s also a great training tool for newly hired team members.

This conference season, I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with my friends at chata.ai. They use AI-driven tech that lets you slice and dice QuickBooks Online data any way you can imagine – a little like texting and a little like a Google search – yet powerful and can handle questions such as “What product sold the most on rainy days this month?” with its weather integration. Automated reporting, detailed drill-downs, and easy-to-understand visualizations to help you with deeper client conversations.

Many of the new tools here will make great additions to your advisory toolbox

Seamless customer relationships? Yes. Stress-free invoice and receipt organization? Yes. Walking off into the sunset knowing you’ve given your clients the advice that drove profits sky-high this quarter? Yes.

There is a lot of great new tech in the ecosystem. All it takes is a little curiosity.