From the Nov. 2009 Issue
At The Sleeter Group, we continually study the marketplace of QuickBooks add-ons and services that enhance QuickBooks. I’m quite impressed with the depth and breadth of solutions in the market, including solutions for everything from automotive dealership management solutions to construction, property management, document management, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution. It’s truly amazing to see how the “ecosystem” of solutions has grown and thrived over the years.
For several years now, we’ve spotlighted several special products we call “awesome add-ons.” We survey products in several vertical markets where QuickBooks may not have all the needed features, or where clients want customized solutions. Most of the winners are software, but several are hardware and software combinations.
In order to qualify for our list, the product and/or service must be developed and sold by a solid company with a reputation for outstanding customer support, and the product must have the following attributes:
- Show superior design, implementation and features;
- Integrate with QuickBooks using best practices of the QuickBooks SDK programming guidelines;
- Use appropriate transaction types and field population for recording data into QuickBooks so as to preserve and/or enhance the standard reporting features in QuickBooks; and
- Conform to good accounting principles and operating standards.
Autofy — Propelware
Pricing: $395/year – includes updates & support
Target Customers: QuickBooks users that process more than 15 transactions per week or require data to automatically be entered without manual data entry
This utility program helps automate the process of pulling data from and pushing data to various applications such as QuickBooks. It is particularly useful for QuickBooks consultants who need to help clients automate the process of synchronizing data between different applications on the desktop and on the web.
Autofy automatically synchronizes a variety of business records between desktop and enterprise software, as well as online data sources. Save valuable resources (money, time and productivity) by eliminating double data entry and data-entry mistakes. Accounting invoices, sales transactions, payroll, customer contact information and more can be easily exchanged between software platforms such as QuickBooks, Peachtree, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Office, among others.
The Autofy system is available as a shrink-wrapped application or as a customized solution where data is synchronized exactly to specification. Connections can be built to any data source available, including any relational database system, Intuit’s QuickBase, Fox Pro, Excel, and many others.
Netfira Connect Commerce — Netfira
Pricing: Free, $1 per transaction
Target Customers: Wholesalers, Distributors, Manufacturers, any buyer or seller of finished goods
Netfira Connect is the fast, simple, real-time application connecting sellers, buyers and their accounting systems, enabling small and large businesses to securely trade over the Internet.
Netfira Connect Commerce has two integrated modules — Connect Seller and Connect Buyer — which transform the traditional buying and selling process into two-way, real-time electronic commerce.
Unlike traditional e-commerce solutions where sellers list their products on an external web store, Netfira Connect allows buyers and sellers to securely link to each other in real-time via a secure peer-to-peer link over the Internet. Key features include online price checking, inventory availability and ordering. Netfira Connect links to most SMB inventory management and accounting systems, including MYOB, QuickBooks, Sage, Attaché and Fishbowl. This enables customers and vendors to electronically trade with each other securely from their desktop, regardless of their size or which backend accounting or inventory system they use.
Qvinci Business Dashboard Solution — Qvinci Software
Pricing: $9.99/month - $39.99/month
Target Customers: Small business owner and managers as well as ProAdvisors (Gurus). Gurus are able to brand Qvinci and provide the solution to end users while layering additional services on top
Qvinci is a small business management tool that aggregates data from QuickBooks and Excel and produces a dashboard view of financial information. The solution adds forward-looking tools, drilldown, early warning indicators and graphical representations in a user interface that allows the business owner/operator/staff member to instantly spot areas needing attention.
Qvinci allows ProAdvisors to brand the solution in minutes and layer additional services on top. The result is increased client “stickiness,” recurring revenue and value. Qvinci is sold on a monthly subscription basis, and multiple seats can be deployed across the enterprise.
Virtual Time+Expense — Virtual Software Inc.
Pricing: $5 per user per month per module (Time and Expense modules sold both jointly and separately)
Target Customers: Companies using QuickBooks with five or more employees that need to track time and/or expenses for billing, payroll or project accounting purposes
Virtual Software’s online platform simplifies the preparation, approval and accounting for timesheets and expense reports. Features include time tracking, class tracking, project tracking, paperless receipt management (fax and file upload), credit card transaction downloads, gross pay calculation and export to any payroll provider.
Using email no-tifications, Virtual Time+Expense provides multiple levels of approvals and accounting review. After review, Virtual Software’s robust suite of back-office tools populates QuickBooks with detailed invoices, timecards, contractor bills and employee reimbursement checks.
ExpenseWatch.com — ExpenseWatch, Inc.
Pricing: Expense Reports: $16/user/month;
Purchasing and Invoice Mgmt: $31/user/month
Target Customers: Small and mid-sized companies in any industry
This web-based time and expense reporting tool allows companies to streamline the process of time tracking and expense reporting, as well as purchasing and invoicing.
If you run a business, you have expenses. ExpenseWatch.com includes modules for Expense Reports, Purchasing and AP Invoice Management that can be subscribed to individually to control specific company spending issues, or as a fully integrated expense control suite. Because Expense Watch.com is an open expense control platform, companies have the flexibility to integrate spending data with a wide range of business solutions used — travel management tools, accounting/enterprise resource management systems and payroll providers, credit cards, budgeting applications, customer relationship management systems, ecommerce vendors, and more.
ExpenseWatch.com allows managers to control company spending by viewing purchases, bills and expense reports waiting to be approved or paid, and what has been paid. Annual subscriptions include implementation (which takes about a month), training, support for all users, and usage analysis.
XpandedReports for Fishbowl for QuickBooks / XpandedReports
for Fishbowl — XpandedReports, LLC
Pricing: $19.95 per user per month for XR for QuickBooks; $29.95 per user per month for XR for Fishbowl
Target Customers: QuickBooks ProAdvisors and managers at QuickBooks and Fishbowl installations
This is a comprehensive, flexible QuickBooks (or Fishbowl) reporting tool. It helps consultants produce and customize management reports for clients. XpandedReports fills the gaps left between QuickBooks reports and the needed management views of financial data in the enterprise. Instead of static, one-off stock reports from QuickBooks or Fishbowl, XpandedReports allows you to create a wide variety of reports that can be sliced and diced with almost no limits.
Xpanded Reports offers tools to sort, group, subtotal, create pivot tables and insert formulas directly into the report.
Method Integration — Alocet Incorporated
Target Customers: Small to medium-sized businesses that use QuickBooks and require industry-specific functions and/or custom features
Method Integration is a web-based suite of customizable, industry-specific applications that connect directly to a desktop version of QuickBooks. Method remotely accesses and synchronizes each list and transaction between QuickBooks and the web application in real-time. Method includes complete web-based CRM, third-party portals, automatic backups of your database, customization using drag-and-drop wizards (no coding!), and nearly complete QuickBooks functionality using a web-based interface.
Misys SBM Shop Floor Control v4.0 — MISys Inc
Pricing: $1,500 (as part of the MISys SBM modular system)
Target Customers: All small to medium-sized manufacturers with fewer than 100 employees
We first recognized MISys SBM in 2007, but with this major new feature, the product suddenly appeals to a whole new set of customers in the mid-market and beyond.
Manufacturers who need to compute the true cost of their production activities need the Shop Floor Control module of MISys Small Business Manufacturing. This new module, added onto the MISys SBM product allows the manufacturer to completely control and plan the activities, resources and maintenance of the entire shop floor.
It provides for tracking the use and maintenance of production tools, the establishment of work centers for all production activities, the specific rates at which each work center can process its work, the days of the week when each work center is open, the required material, labor and overhead for each work center, the routing details for bills of material and manufacturing orders, and many other critical activities that must be managed to successfully run a manufacturing operation.
ShareFile — ShareFile
Pricing: $29.95 - $499.95/month, depending on users, storage and bandwidth requirements
Target Customers: Small and mid-sized companies in any industry
ShareFile allows you to create a custom-branded, password-protected area where you can exchange business files with clients easily, securely and professionally. Whether you deal with files that are simply too large to transfer by email, need secure file transfer, or just need a collaboration space where project-related files can be posted, ShareFile can provide a solution for you.
New Products to Watch
In addition to this year’s winners, we feel there is one new product worth mentioning, and we’re keeping an eye on it to see how it matures in the marketplace.
Target Customers: Any QuickBooks user
incMagic introduces world-class search for QuickBooks. With its simple, small search box right inside QuickBooks, users simply type a few keys and any matching QuickBooks data comes back instantly. You can search for a contact’s name, the first few digits of a customer’s phone number, an invoice number, the price of an item, the amount of a bill — anything. Search results are organized inside QuickBooks, and viewing or editing a match is one click away.
incMagic has developed custom indexing technology specifically for QuickBooks, making searches fast and accurate. Search results even update in real time as QuickBooks data changes. With incMagic Search, it’s easier and faster to find anything in QuickBooks.
• Search box and results integrated directly into QuickBooks
• Searches QuickBooks transactions and lists, including custom fields
• Searches keystroke by keystroke — no need to press “enter” to search
• Results update in real-time as QuickBooks data changes
About QuickBooks Add-ons
In 2003, Intuit released its Application Programming Interface (API), which is provided to developers in a Software Developer Kit (SDK). This SDK opens up the 3 million plus small business customer base to software developers who add value to QuickBooks by creating specific add-on products that integrate with the popular financial management system. Even a casual programmer using Microsoft Office and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) can develop an application to read from and write to a QuickBooks data file.
Intuit makes extensive use of the SDK to extend the functionality of QuickBooks. For example, QuickBooks Point of Sale uses the SDK to integrate with QuickBooks. To search for QuickBooks add-ons, visit the Intuit marketplace site at http://marketplace.intuit.com. For more information about developing add-ons for QuickBooks visit http://developer.intuit.com.
Previous years' winners of the Awesome QuickBooks Add-on award include:
• Acctivate! (www.acctivate.com)
• AccuPOS - Attitude Positive (www.accupos.com)
• Adagio FX (www.softrak.com)
• AutoReporter (www.bqe.com)
• AvaTax Connect (www.avalara.com)
• BDTS (www.bdts.us)
• BigTime Time and Billing (www.Edisonsattic.com)
• BillQuick (www.bqe.com)
• Bill.com – (www.bill.com)
• CNG-Books and CNG-SAFE (www.cabinetng.com)
• Corecon 4.0 (www.corecon.com)
• Corrigo Worktrack Service Management (www.corrigo.com)
• Count Me In (www.countmeinllc.com)
• Data Flow Manager (www.atandra.com)
• DataMover (www.personable.com)
• DepositNow! (www.depositnow.com)
• Fishbowl Inventory (www.fishbowlinventory.com)
• GiftWorks (www.missionresearch.com)
• InsynQ (e-Accounting) CPAASP (www.cpaasp.com)
• Legrand CRM (www.legrandcrm.com)
• MISys SBM (www.misysinc.com)
• PayCycle (www.paycycle.com)
• PDG Commerce (www.pdgsoft.com)
• ProfitCents (www.profitcents.com)
• QODBC Driver (www.qodbc.com)
• QuickBooks Point of Sale (www.intuit.com)
• ReportWiz from DGR software (www.dgrsoftware.com)
• Results CRM (www.results-software.com)
• Right Networks ASP – (www.rightnetworks.com)
• SmartVault – (www.smartvault.com)
• SourceLink (www.personable.com)
• Sunburst Certified Payroll Solution (www.sunburstsoftwaresolutions.com)
• Data Transfer Utility by Karl Irvin (www.q2q.us)
• TrueCommerce Transaction Manager (www.truecommerce.com)
• UniResMan (www.uniresman.com)
• WorkTrack Service Management by Corrigo (www.corrigo.com)