Cloud Accounting

Cloud Accounting News: August 2015

Written by Greg Lam

Here’s another Cloud Accounting Update (see the June 2015 edition). There haven’t been any big announcements since the June update, so here’s your fill of the little things that have changed in online accounting software in July.

FreshBooks

  • FreshBooks partners with Apple to “redefine mobility.” I have “redefine mobility” in quotes because I don’t really know what that means. Xero is also working with Apple on mobile business apps, so I don’t know how special these “partnering with Apple” press releases are. One supposed result of the partnership is that the iOS app for FreshBooks now has the ability to secure the app using Touch ID (your fingerprint) or passcode (a 4-digit code). Xero and Kashoo have both had this capability for a while and even QuickBooks Online got it not so long ago.
  • FreshBooks is now a little more automated than before.
    • Online payment preferences will now be remembered. This means that when you invoice a client and choose an online payment option, FreshBooks will remember it, so that the next time you create an invoice for a client it’ll automatically select the previous online payment option.
    • FreshBooks has the ability to create multiple contacts for a single client, which lets you choose multiple contacts to send an invoice to. Now FreshBooks remembers the contacts you sent the invoice to previously and auto-selects them when you create a new client invoice.
    • FreshBooks recently added a feature that remembers your categorization of imported expenses, but it couldn’t remember vendor names. This has been updated, so now FreshBooks can automatically select the vendor name as well. If you select a vendor name and a category for an expense, when FreshBooks sees a similar imported expense it will automatically categorize the transaction and fill out the vendor name for you.
    • FreshBooks has partnered with Hours, a time-tracking app. The integration allows Hours users to send their time data to FreshBooks while FreshBooks users can send their clients, projects, and tasks into Hours.

Kashoo

  • Kashoo has added new payment features to its iOS app. Previously, Kashoo only let you receive payments for a single invoice or bill at a time and there was no dedicated payment form. Now there’s an Invoice Payment and Expense Payment form that lets users create new payments that can be used to pay multiple invoices/bills. It can also handle pre-payments and allow you to add attachments to payments and see payment transactions in list views. Lastly, you can now edit or delete payments from within the iOS app.

QuickBooks Online

  • The GoPayment Android (U.S.) and iOS app (U.S. and Canada) got a redesign. The redesign lets you enter sales more quickly, giving you the option to either key in an amount or choose from items to sell. Changing orders is also easier, as you can go to the Order Details page and add a discount, turn off tax for individual items, and add a memo to yourself. If you were previously limited by the number of items (99), the new app can handle over 1,000. You can also create longer item names and descriptions.GoPayment also works with the Apple Watch, letting you track sales and customers. You can set daily sales goals and see whether you hit them. You’re also able to pull up quick sales reports—for example, daily or week-to-date sales. You can also pull up the number of customers you sold to, or track the times of day during which you make the most sales.
  • On June 26 2015, an update was released that included:
    • A new version of registers (U.S. only). Visually, the QuickBooks Online Registers page looked and worked like QuickBooks Desktop, so it was a bit out of place. This update brings the Registers page in line with the look and functionality of the rest of QuickBooks Online. However, the new look is not turned on by default and must be enabled by going to Gear > QuickBooks Labs > New Registers.
      Old QuickBooks Online Register look

      Old Register look

      Cloud Accounting News

      New Register look

      If you’re going to try out the new look, I’d advise checking out the options in the gear icon. That will give you the option to tweak settings, like being able to see the balance (it’s off by default) and being able to compress the data into one line (the screenshot above is showing the data over two lines). I find the new register to be an improvement, as it acts like the transaction lists found in other pages (e.g., the Sales page). This means that you can now filter and sort the data. You can also add full customer, vendor, or employee details directly from the register.

    • You’re now able to import your own invoice styles using a Word .docx file. As with the new look for the Registers page, you have to turn on the feature by going to Gear > QuickBooks Labs > Import Style. You can watch Intuit’s video on Youtube about how to import custom form styles. My quick test of manipulating and importing a .docx file worked as advertised, but I did read some comments on the QuickBooks Online blog about import issues. Something that is currently missing is the ability to set the new imported style as the default invoice template. This means that for the time being you’ll have to manually choose the imported invoice style on an invoice-by-invoice basis.
    • You can now include the transaction number in an email’s subject field for sales receipts, credit memos, and estimates. Just go to Gear > Company > Settings > Messages > Estimate/Credit Memo/Sales Receipt.
    • You can now copy journal entries. Previously you could only memorize them.

Wave

  • Wave is now PCI level 1 compliant for its credit card processing.

Xero

  • Xero’s end of July Update included:
    • The ability to set tax defaults (inclusive, exclusive, no tax) to Quotes and Purchase Orders. This can be set at both a global level and on a per contact basis.
    • Currency placeholders that can be used in email templates, allowing you to choose which symbols and currency code to use (or whether to use them at all). For example, you can have it display £982.00 – GBP, £982.00, or just 982.00.
    • The ability to import manual journals for multiple dates in a single file. See this help article for more info.
  • Xero’s integration with Square is now more seamless.

Apps

There are a lot of add-on apps for online accounting software out there, so this won’t reflect updates to all of them. But, for the add-ons we have reviewed, here are some updates.

  • Neat (document management software/hardware) now has invoice parsing, which extracts the following information from scanned invoices: vendor, invoice date, invoice due date, invoice number, amount, purchase order number and terms. The extracted information can then be sent to QuickBooks Online via its integration with the software.
  • Hubdoc (document management software), which we reviewed in 2014, has undergone a revamp. You can check out the video overview of the new Hubdoc on YouTube. The revamp is more than just skin deep, as it has new workflows and provides the ability for users to modify the data extracted from documents before it’s sent out to your accounting software (like QuickBooks Online and Xero). You’re now also able to adjust the rules for what type of data is sent to your accounting software and how it’s entered. There’s quite a bit to test out with the new Hubdoc, but so far I like what I see. If you’ve looked at Hubdoc previously, or are using it now, it’s worth exploring this revamp.
  • Tallie (Expense Software that we have reviewed here and here) has a bunch of updates, which include improvements to its integration with Intacct, better credit card account management, and an improved algorithm for detecting duplicates. In a previous update, it also added an integration with Xero.

About the author

Greg Lam

Greg Lam is a passionate small business guy who loves technology and automation. He holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University, Canada. He's a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Xero Partner, and Kashoo MVP. His business interests are focused on online accounting and how it can be used to streamline and automate a company’s accounting processes. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Greg operates the Small Biz Doer website, an "Entrepreneur's Guide to Small Biz Bookkeeping." He is the author of Online Accounting Software: Finding the Right Match, published by The Sleeter Group.

Connect with Greg on Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

1 Comment

  • Hi Greg,

    Actually there is great news in the Cloud Accounting. Gravity Software is a cloud accounting solution built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform. Small to medium size businesses (SMBs) have the distinct advantage of having financials and CRM fully integrated. There’s no need to manage two separate systems.

    So when companies grow, and they will, they need to take time to research a new business system that is right for their business and growing needs. SMBs need the proper tools so they can work more efficiently to make better business decisions with real-time insight. Gravity’s cloud solution helps SMBs sell more, improve customer service, gain customer loyalty and help increase sales productivity. And, Gravity’s online business solution allows you to easily navigate from Gravity’s back office financial business solution to front office, Sales, Service and Marketing.

    There’s no one answer to how big a company must be before it outgrows the software it is using. For most companies it’s more a matter of functionality. As companies grow and become more sophisticated they need to track more than just basic financial transactions. The longer companies wait to graduate from their current solution, the more traction they lose. So, if SMBs are outgrowing QuickBooks or other entry level accounting software they need to check out Gravity Software. http://www.go-gravity.com.

Leave a Comment