FINDING ADD-ONS: THE IDN MARKETPLACE
The IDN was created to encourage the development of third-party add-on products to enhance QuickBooks. This resulted in the creation of the QuickBooks “Marketplace” — the first place to go to find dependable, tested software that integrates with QuickBooks.
Useful websites for consultants interested in third-party add-ons include the following:
- http://developer.intuit.com for more information on the IDN and the SDK
- http://marketplace.intuit.com for more information on add-ons in the virtual “Marketplace” or to find a developer to create a custom or new application
- http://community.intuit.com/categories/contents/53 for community discussions about “3rd Party Apps that work with QuickBooks”
ADD-ON EVALUATION PROCESS
The Marketplace can be searched by industry or by business need, and both search parameters can be further refined by QuickBooks Product Compatibility (for example, Pro 2009, Enterprise v7, Online Edition, or the Canadian or UK versions of QuickBooks). If a country is not mentioned in the name of a particular product on the version list, then it is a U.S. version of QuickBooks. Only non-U.S. versions specify the country in the version name.
An add-on product’s listing on the Marketplace provides information regarding the product’s functionality, links to the developer’s website, a trial download, QuickBooks version compatibility, as well as other information.
Since each client has unique needs, there is no guarantee that a product listed on the Marketplace will be the appropriate choice for your client’s situation. Therefore, as a consultant, you must research each add-on product to make sure it’s a match for your client. Research the developer’s website and the product by arranging for a trial version, aproduct download and a demonstration. Look at product ratings, case studies and ProAdvisor testimonials published on the Marketplace and any information from the developer’s website or elsewhere. Speak to the developer, as well. Find out what the return policy is. Test out the product and competing products. Compare products on features, user-friendliness, documentation, technical support, price and customer ratings.
Check out the community response to queries about this developer and product on http://community.intuit.com/categories/contents/53. The Sleeter Group Consultants Network also has a members-only forum where you can seek guidance from over 600 QuickBooks consultants on nearly every solution in the market.
Each November in this column, I recognize some of the top QuickBooks add-ons with my annual Awesome QuickBooks Add-on Awards. For the list of the 2009 winners, see www.CPATechAdvisor.com/go/2165.
Keep in mind that these add-ons are developed by members of the IDN, who are independent developers not affiliated with Intuit in any other way. This means that Intuit does not recommend, guarantee, troubleshoot or provide any support whatsoever with regards to these applications. For issues regarding installation, use and integration, the user must deal solely with the developer.
The gold and silver logos indicate that an independent company has put a particular
package through a “QuickBooks Technical Review” to ensure that it
integrates and exchanges data with QuickBooks and is compatible with a particular
QuickBooks version. If a package is listed on the Marketplace, it must have
passed this review process. Gold developers’ products have passed a customer
survey conducted by a third party, as well. Some gold packages have been reviewed
by ProAdvisors at Intuit’s request.
However, having a gold or silver logo does not necessarily mean that the product will perform exactly as expected, or that it works with all versions of QuickBooks. If the product does not work as desired, or is not to your satisfaction, there is no recourse through Intuit; all communications must be with the third-party software developer.