Column: Successful Small Business Consulting
From the November 2011 Issue
At The Sleeter Group, we believe that success in small business relies heavily on developing efficient business processes. Successful business owners are constantly seeking better accounting software, more efficient sales and customer tracking systems, better product fulfillment systems, and better vendor management systems. And accountants are always striving to keep up with the latest solutions in the marketplace so they can make the best recommendations. Each year, we research the marketplace of accounting software and hardware solutions to identify and recognize the companies and products who deliver “awesome” value.
This year, our seven-member committee of judges participated in evaluations of nearly 30 products in the market. This panel of experts is comprised of the most experienced accounting experts in the world who bring a broad set of skills to software and hardware product evaluations. The committee includes Bonnie Nagayama, CPA, Mario Nowogrodzki, CPA.CITP, Jennifer Katrulya, CPA, Greg LaFollette, CPA.CITP, Randy Johnston, Charlie Russell, and Doug Sleeter, founder of The Sleeter Group.
In order to qualify for an Awesome Add-on award, 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:
- Must be fully released and shipping in the United States by August 1, 2011.
- Although it is not a requirement that the product integrates directly with accounting data, if it does integrate it must use the best practices for integration in addition to using the latest integration technologies as appropriate in the view of the evaluation committee.
- Must conform to good accounting principles and operating standards.
- Should use appropriate transaction types and field population for recording data into QuickBooks and/or other accounting software packages so as to preserve and/or enhance the standard reporting features.
Awesome Add-ons for 2012
Pricing: Bill.com Receivables is a $5/month upgrade on top of a Bill.com Payable account. ePayments received are $0.49/payment. There is no charge for accepting credit card payments; however, credit card merchant fees may apply.
Target Customers: Bill.com Receivables is for any business that sends invoices to customers and wants to offer their customers the option to pay electronically, via an online portal. It is also the perfect solution for small and mid-sized accounting firms both for their own use as well as for performing client bookkeeping services.
This SaaS product is a perfect example of how the Web is revolutionizing small business. By allowing businesses to manage the entire accounts receivable process in the cloud, Bill.com has taken a giant step forward. In addition to sending electronic invoices and e-reminders, you can receive payments via ACH or credit card, and your customers can access their own portal (for free) to see their invoicing and payment history. And of course, it integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks, Sage Peachtree, Intacct and NetSuite.
Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc.
Pricing: S1100: $199; S1300: $295; S1500(M): $495
Target Customers: Consultants, CPAs and accounting professionals looking for a way to reduce paper and easily digitize documents.
Our committee was very impressed with the overall function and ease of use of the ScanSnap line of scanners. The pricing is great, the push-to-scan button is effortless, and the integration with software products such as SmartVault makes this a very well-targeted solution for the accounting profession.