Accounting Tips and Tricks for the iPad

I’m going to start this out with a disclaimer: I love my iPad. I mean really love it.

Over the last few months, I’ve come to a definite conclusion: I would rather use it than drag my laptop around – even one of the teeny netbooks I used to use – and they were tiny.

I’m so close to being laptop free. So CLOSE.

Aside from teaching QuickBooks® courses and webinars, with my iPad, I can pretty much work from anywhere with a device that fits in my purse.

I thought I would share a typical day where I’m strictly using my iPad. First, here’s the hardware: I have a 32GB first generation iPad and the Zaggmate Bluetooth keyboard case, as well as the Apple VGA Adapter for use with a projector and a Boxwave Stylus. Second, to clarify: this isn’t a typical day for me, just a typical day that I want to avoid real work but can’t.

Ready? Let’s go!

4:45 am: I really shouldn’t be up, but I am. I have a 2 year old who loves to climb into our bed in the morning. I never break out the iPad at this point; I really just wanted to publicly complain about being awake this early. Mission accomplished!

7:00 am: Getting the kids ready for the day and I’m usually checking out Facebook with the Friendly for IPad app and posting stuff about what’s coming up on Radio Free QuickBooks.

8:30 am: By this time, I’ve dropped the kids off and school and daycare, have checked all my email and dealt with all the ones I’m able to while I was trying to get two kids ready and out the door. I’ve also checked my calendar to see where I’m supposed to be all day. If it’s not on my calendar, it means I won’t be there. I use Gmail and Google Calendar – both integrate beautifully with my iPad.

Now, I’m back home, and I’m going to try to work AND get some laundry done. First thing I do? Turn on the TV and use my Directv app to find Law & Order (hint: it’s ALWAYS on, all day).

9:00 am: First load of laundry in. I need to process payroll for eight of my payroll clients. I open up the Online Payroll app, enter hours, approve payroll, email paystubs, grab a screen shot of the totals, and then email the screen shot to the clients so they know that payroll is done and the amounts. I’ll do the export the next time I’m sitting at my computer. For the clients who use the online timeclock, I login to IOP with the iPad from the web browser and process that route.

To be perfectly honest, unless my clients are using the Intuit Online Payroll timeclock, I always process client payroll with the Online Payroll app either from my iPhone or iPad. I find it easier and quicker … and it would be one of the most perfect apps if I could email the IIF to a client for import directly from it.

9:30 am: I get an email from a payroll client asking me for a copy of a previously submitted 941 return. Since I’m still logged in to, I find the return, view the pdf and open it in Print n Share; from here, I rename it and send to client.

I also use Print n Share to access my account as well.

9:45 am: While I’m folding laundry, I get a call from a prospect. I grab my stylus and open up the Penultimate app to take notes.

10:00 am: I check my email again and see that another client has processed his payroll, and is asking for me to review and get the  liability payments ready; the client uses Enhanced payroll. I check to make sure their computer is available and login with the Teamviewer app.

10:20 am: I log in to my Unidata hosting account so that I can write a quote for the prospect that just called and do my daily update on a client’s QuickBooks Premier file. I also take a few minutes to log back into so that I can download and send the IIF files for the clients that require them (full disclosure: has been a sponsor of our online radio show/podcast for months, but I just signed up for an account and cannot believe I waited so long).

This is where I need to take a moment and say a few things about my two FAVORITE apps to use while working with my iPad. They are Teamviewer and the JumpDesktop RDP app that I use to login to my Unidata accounts.

The Teamviewer program is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made; the ability to access client computers regardless of operating system with next-to-no issues is amazing. The fact that I can do it ANYWHERE is what makes me look like a hero to my clients. All I need to do is direct them to download the program – which they can run without actually installing – and within minutes I’m logged in and helping them.

With UniData, I can access ALL of my files as if I was sitting in front of my computer: QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise as well as my engagement letters, Excel files and Powerpoint decks. If a prospect calls and I’m in the backyard playing with my kids, within minutes I can have a quote and engagement letter prepared and sent to them. I could almost leave the laptop behind ALL the time, except when teaching a QuickBooks class if I could print from it. The Jump RDP app that I use for hosting access also works very well with a projector, so I’ve been able to do short QuickBooks demos with it using only my iPad. There are many other RDP apps to choose from, I just like this one.

11:30 am: I remember that I need to bill a regular client for some support sessions I did the week before. I login to my company’s QuickBooks Online account, create the invoice and email it to my client.

11:45 am: I try to decide what I want for lunch, and am unable to do this. I am able to let UrbanSpoon for iPad make the decision for me. Shawarma Salad it is!

12:30 pm: I see an email from a company for which I present webinars; my new contract is attached and waiting for my approval and signature. I open the attachment with Sign n Send, grab my stylus, sign my name and email it back.

There are also some emails from my LinkedIn groups – I see a few discussion thread and hit the links so that I can post some comments.

1:00 pm: The same contract reminds me that I need to practice the timing on the next webinar I’m doing, so I hook up the iPad to the projector and open the deck with 2Screens. I love this because I can use my iPhone as the remote for it. Supercool!

2:00 pm: I realize that Law and Order’s Stabler and Benson were MUTED for most of the day. I sit down to tackle Mount St. Laundry and get the rest of the clothes folded while I watch them bust some perps. Oh, and I do need to take a few minutes to catch up on my Words With Friends games.

3:00 pm: Time to get the kids. Although another workday is over, I marvel over how one, small device such as the iPad can boost my efficiency tenfold by thinking smarter or differently about what I have to do. The iPad won’t entirely replace the PC or Mac (at least not quite yet), but if you don’t have an iPad – I encourage you to get one and get started. I bet you’ll have stories just like these to share. Just be careful. Once you get it, you’ll have no excuse to not work!