Every year, The Sleeter Group – a firm that helps business owners and accountants work together – conducts a competition to identify the best tech and software solutions for small business accounting and finance. Some are add-ons to QuickBooks, while others are stand-alone products that can make your life easier, and help improve profits.
In order to qualify for what Sleeter calls its “Awesome Add-On” awards, the product or service must come from a solid company with a reputation for outstanding customer support. The product must also show superior design, implementation and features, integrate effectively with QuickBooks and other software solutions, and conform to good accounting principles.
These six recent winners are worth considering for a small business:
1. Bill.com Receivables: This service, which is an upgrade ($5/month) to a Bill.com Payable account, is great for any business that sends invoices to customers and wants to offer the option to pay electronically, online. According to Sleeter, it’s “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 big leap forward. In addition to sending electronic invoices and reminders, you can receive payments online and by credit card, and customers can access their own portal (for free) to see their invoicing and payment history.
2. Bill & Pay, from Skyhill Software, is great for small businesses that want to streamline their receivables process online. Bill & Pay automatically uploads invoices from QuickBooks, Peachtree, Great Plains and other accounting software into a web portal where they can be tracked and managed. There’s also an “Easy Invoice” feature that lets you create your own invoices without using any accounting software.
Bill & Pay integrates with several merchant accounts (including Intuit Merchant Solutions) so it doesn’t require extra steps for batching deposits into your bank account. Cost is $16.95 per month, plus 55 cents per payment transaction.
3. QQube, from Clearify, is for business owners who want more powerful or complex reports and dashboards than QuickBooks can create by itself. This can be especially helpful in developing data analytics. Says Sleeter, “Although there’s a learning curve, once you get the hang of it you’ll be amazed at how much you can do with this tool. This is a game changer.” Cost is $425 for the single user version.
4. If your business ships 20 or more packages daily via UPS or FedEx, ShipGear provides a simple way to manage those packages, update QuickBooks invoices to include freight charges and eliminate double data entry in the two systems. As each package ships, ShipGear generates a personalized email notification to the customer. Cost is $225 for QuickBooks Pro version, from V-Technologies. Also integrates with Peachtree and others.
5. ViewMyPaycheck, from Intuit, lets QuickBooks payroll users upload paycheck information to the cloud where employees can securely access pay stubs, vacation/sick time balances and W-2 forms. Employees can view, print or download copies of their payroll information anytime, from anywhere. This is free for QuickBooks Payroll subscribers at all levels, including Basic.
6. ExpenseWatch.com is a web-based time and expense reporting tool that helps you streamline the process of time tracking, expense reporting, as well as purchasing and invoicing. ExpenseWatch includes modules for expense reports, purchasing and AP invoice management that you can subscribe to individually, or as a fully integrated expense control suite. Costs ranged between $16 and $35 per month, per user.
7. AvaTax Certs, from Avalara, is a life-saver for businesses with customers who are sales tax exempt. This typically includes industries such as manufacturing, tech, education, wholesalers and some types of retail. AvaTax Certs limits your audit exposure on non-taxed transactions by helping you manage customer exemption certificates end-to-end. The online wizard automates paperless certificate collection and ensures you only collect valid certificates. Starts at $375, plus $249/year.
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