It All Adds Up for Holly DeVito: Streamlining Workflows in QuickBooks Online Accountant
Are you familiar with the Practice Management features in QuickBooks® Online Accountant (QBOA)? When these were introduced at QuickBooks Connect in 2017, there was quite a bit of buzz about the feature and how it would help practitioners streamline their practices.
Recently, we sat down with Holly DeVito, CEO of Sum of All Numbers, a firm based in Fremont, Calif., that offers accounting, bookkeeping, consulting, outsourcing, payroll and other services to its clients. In this interview, Holly explains why she uses Practice Management and how it benefits her firm.
Scott Cytron: Tell us about your firm.
Holly DeVito: We are currently a firm of 18 – and growing. I started as an independent bookkeeper in 2006, and in seven years, grew the firm to be in the top 1 percent of women- owned businesses in the United States. We provide full outsourced accounting solutions to businesses with $1 million to $5 million in revenue, including day-to-day functions of an accounting department because they can’t quite afford an in-house team. We’ve been a virtual company since day one – when nobody had heard of “the cloud.” We have a goal to grow 25 percent year over year, and as the data entry and lower level accounting becomes more automated, we are moving into a more consultative role with our clients.
SC: What appealed to you about QBOA Practice Management?
HD: We had been limping along with Basecamp for about seven years, we kept looking for new alternatives to project management, but couldn’t find anything that was worth making the move. They all were missing something. Some managed emails, tasks and scheduling, but nothing acted as an all-in-one solution and they were too expensive to use together. QBOA Practice Management was turnkey: we can email the client, request documents, schedule recurring tasks, assign tasks and see the progress on projects, all in one place – the QBOA Work tab.
SC: What kind of efficiencies have you and your staff gained since using QBOA Practice Management?
HD: We were able to eliminate about four different pieces of software by switching to QBOA. Not only is it more efficient to not switch back and forth, but QBOA also syncs with other software and applications, including Hubdoc, Slack, Google Drive and TSheets by QuickBooks. On top of all these benefits, QBOA also saves us about $400 a month in subscription fees!
SC: What are the benefits of having your Practice Management tools directly in QBOA?
HD: I now only have one software to log into rather than managing four different programs. We can switch seamlessly from a task to a client’s QuickBooks Online file with just one click.
SC: How does QBOA Practice Management enable you and your team to scale and enable your firm to grow?
HD: There a a lot of ways, but one thing in particular comes to mind. We were able to set up some triggers with Zapier, so when a new client signs a contract, it automatically sets up a new project in Slack, a new client and corresponding project in QBOA. We used to have to do all of these things manually; and, as you can imagine, some details would fall through the cracks. Now, we can set up a client in just minutes instead of hours.
SC: What excites you about the future of Practice Management in QBOA?
HD: There are so many things that can be automated by having it all in one place. Intuit is working hard and listens to us about what we really want and need it to do. It doesn’t benefit our clients to have us spending time on the admin work to run our businesses. QBOA Practice Management has freed up countless hours for my team and I know it will give us even more time in the future.
SC: What advice do you have for a firm that is considering giving QBOA Practice Management a try?
HD: Don’t be afraid of change. The Intuit® team is quickly making changes and upgrading features in the product – and it’s getting better and better every day. Start with one or two clients and try the features out with your team.
Editor’s note: The Firm of the Future blog has several more articles to check out about the Practice Management feature in QBOA: