How Apps Have Transformed Three CPA Firms

Wonder what all the Firm of the Future winners have in common? They all use apps that integrate with QuickBooks® Online to customize their clients’ experience and to help make their customers even more successful!

In the QuickBooks App Store, there are hundreds of apps that integrate with QuickBooks Online to help solve everyday business problems across a wide array of industries. Before being made available to the site, these apps go through a rigorous testing process – including a technical review, a third party security review and a marketing review.

To help you and your clients determine the best app for their unique situation, Apps.com has a rating and review system so you can see what others have experienced. Many apps have also been reviewed by the ProAdvisor® Expert Review team, and apps that are reviewed and given 4+ stars are awarded the “ProAdvisor Recommended” trophy. Most apps on Apps.com also offer free trials, with no credit card required, so that you can test them out in your practice with very little risk.

So, which apps are the Firm of the Future winners using? Across the many different industries our top 3 finalists are serving, the app they all have in common is Bill.com.

This app helps automate payables and receivables online. The clean interface allows you and your client to route bills for approval, store and share documents, send invoices via email or US mail, help you pay or get paid, charge customers via ACH or credit card, and then automatically sync the data to QuickBooks Online, dramatically reducing data entry! What’s also great is that Bill.com has an exclusive partnership with our ProAdvisors, so that many of our global partners can reap the great benefits of this app.

Chad Ridner of Two Roads, a full-service accounting firm in Tennessee, decided early on to focus on three areas: traditional bookkeeping, taxes and bill pay. All three allowed his firm to provide excellent service to their clients. When he made the move to QuickBooks Online, he also began exploring app options and settled on Bill.com to take advantage of the efficiencies handling payables / receivables in the cloud.

Rebecca Kelley, Senior Manager in the Accounting Solutions Consulting Division of EKS&H, is an enthusiastic supporter of this app: “Bill.com allowed us to stop printing and mailing checks. We needed a solution that let us make payments faster and more efficiently, and Bill.com was the answer.” Another app they are currently exploring is Tallie, which helps with expense management. Some of their clients are already using it and enjoying how it helps streamline operations.

Ingrid Edstrom from Polymath, LLC is always on the lookout for new apps that will keep their practice at the cutting edge of technology, making their operations more efficient and solving real problems for their clients. In addition to Bill.com, Polymath partners with LivePlan, TSheets, ServiceM8 and Practice Ignition. LivePlan helps small businesses with budget, forecasting and business performance dashboards TSheets is a timesheet application – great for clients or internally at the firm for managing time. A newer addition to Polymath’s app partners is ServiceM8, a small business management platform for field service businesses that helps manage estimates, schedules, invoicing, safety audits, clients and more. Ingrid is currently looking for the right service business client to begin using it with! Finally, Polymath has recently made the shift to value pricing, and are huge advocates for Practice Ignition, which helps to create proposals and streamline the service agreement and package process.

So, what advice do the winners have when it comes to apps? “Familiarize yourself with an app,” says Rebecca Kelley, and “take advantage of the unique opportunity presented at conferences to engage with vendors to see the technology in action.” Ingrid Edstrom has always been a big believer in technology, and cautions that “If you don’t go in the direction of the cloud, you’re going to get left behind.”

Rebecca summed it up well: “It can be overwhelming because they all sound so amazing. But, start with one or two and work with one of your clients who is a little more open to change. Talk to them about whether they’d be interested in trying it out because it is easier to test with a real life situation than a test account. “

About the Author

Amy Ball

Amy Ball currently works in marketing for Intuit's Developer Group. Amy currently markets third-party apps that integrate with QuickBooks Online to help small business owners and their accountants streamline their operations. She is passionate about apps and feels that every small business could benefit from using an app.

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