Accountex News Tech Trends

New/Updated Accounting Products to Consider

My favorite part of accounting trade shows is visiting the vendor exhibition to find new products. Let’s take a look at some interesting accounting products and services that I came across at Accountex USA 2017, which took place in Boston September 6-8. These are products that are new (at least, to me) or that have recently undergone a major update.

Nothing beats getting a chance to talk face-to-face with representatives of companies, being able to see what new products are available, or what has changed in products I’m familiar with. I’ve picked a few products to highlight here, and I’m just going to give you a quick idea of why I think these products and services are interesting. These are not in-depth reviews, and I have not done a detailed evaluation of any of them (yet). I’m not listing every company that caught my eye, I’m just picking a few that intrigued me the most. I’m leaving out a lot of great companies that exhibited at the show — many that I’ve known for years — because I’m focusing on new products and features.

Below each of these products, I’ve listed other solution providers that feature similar capabilities to the solution I’m highlighting here — and that also exhibited at Accountex USA 2017. For a comprehensive list of providers in a wide range of accounting technology categories — including those featured here — download the latest version of the Accountex Accounting Technology Ecosystem, which lists over 700 vendors in 30 categories.

VeemCharlie's Accountex USA 2017 new vendor picks — Veem

Veem is used primarily to handle international transfers of funds efficiently and at a very low cost. If you are a small to medium sized business and you have international customers or vendors, this is a service to investigate.

International payments are usually handled with wire transfers. Major corporations have whole departments set up just to manage these kinds of transactions, but smaller businesses don’t have that luxury. Often when you make or receive a wire transfer, those funds will go through a series of banks, and at each stage someone is taking a fee. Those fees will add up fast, easily costing you 5% to 10% of the transaction (or more). It can be very frustrating!

If you work with Veem you don’t have to worry about all of that, they handle the transaction for you. The cost is going to be a low fee of 1.9% for international transfers! That is an amazingly low fee. How about domestic transfers? At this time, the fee is 0%!

Veem integrates with Xero and QuickBooks Online, although I have not investigated the details of those integrations yet. The user interface for their payment portal was very clean and simple, and you will know the cost of the transfer up front, rather than after the fact as you often do with bank wire transfers. Veem is authorized in all 50 states in the US as well as in 60 other countries.

If you send a payment to someone, they get an email with a link to the payment portal. One of the features of this service that I really like is that if the recipient of the email doesn’t click on the link to accept the payment, Veem will call them on the phone to follow up. Other similar systems that I’ve looked into will just send another email, and that just doesn’t work.

Other Accountex USA 2017 exhibitors that feature similar capabilities: Intercept EFT, Plooto.

ScanovAccounting Products

Scanov is a data capture “engine” for importing bills, invoices, and receipts to QuickBooks Online. You can use a high-speed scanner to upload to the online dashboard or, if you wish, take a photo with your smartphone and email it to their processing server. The Scanov OCR system will scan the document and turn it into the appropriate transaction in your accounting system.

These kind of analog OCR data capture products have been around for some time now, so that raises two questions:

  • Why would I need a “scanning” product when all of our online accounting systems are supposed to be connected, so that data flows from one system to another electronically? I have to admit, I’ve been waiting for this aspect of the “digital revolution” to arrive, and dang it, we still aren’t there. Getting disparate systems to talk with each other can still be a chore. Also, I still deal with a lot of paper these days, as do many of my clients. So, many businesses find that they still need this kind of OCR/paper scanning system to automate their data entry.
  • What is special about Scanov compared to other OCR/scanning systems I’ve seen? The main feature that catches my eye here is the speed of the system. With other systems I’ve worked with, you have to wait too long to see the results of the scan, which is inconvenient. I want to see the results right away, so that I can check it for accuracy and know that the process is complete. One of Scanov’s big advantages is that their system will show you the results very quickly, faster than any system I’ve seen before. Also, from what I understand, there is no setup fee for a new transaction template. Other systems I’ve worked with will charge you a significant fee to set up a template for a bill or invoice from a source they haven’t worked with before.

For accounting professionals, Scanov provides you with a single sign-on dashboard that lets you manage all of your client’s documents easily.

Other Accountex USA 2017 exhibitors that feature similar capabilities: Neat, TALK Accounting, InFORM Decisions, Hubdoc, Receipt Bank.

Circulus SMB at Accountex USA 2017Circulus

Circulus is an online Accounts Payable management system that shows great promise. If you have clients who need to manage their payment workflow, this is a product that you should consider. It has a very intuitive user interface. The product works with both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. Users can implement anything from a simple enter-and-pay function, to a more complicated payments workflow with role-based permissions and multiple levels of approvals.

There are several well-known systems available that handle similar tasks, but sometimes their process is complicated to understand and hard to manage. From what I’ve seen so far, the Circulus small business AP system will be easier to work with. I’m going to spend more time investigating this in detail.

There is a monthly fee based on the number of users, and then a per-transaction fee of $0.45 per ACH payment or $1.39 for payment by check. Circulus offers a 30-day free trial that includes your first 30 payments at no charge.

If you sign up as an accountant partner you can use the system to pay your payables for no monthly fee (I’m not sure about the per-transaction fee), with the idea that this gives you the ability to get to know the system and recommend it to your clients. This includes an accountant’s portal that you can use to manage your Circulus clients. The client can allow you just to view information, or you can be an integral part of the approval workflow if they wish. For the Circulus fees, you can set it up to have the client paying their fee directly to Circulus, or you can bill the client yourself. For information, click here.

Other Accountex USA 2017 exhibitors that feature similar capabilities: Mineral Tree, RelyCo, Bill.com, Yooz.

SunticoCharlie's Accountex USA 2017 new vendor picks — Suntico

Suntico is a business analytics reporting tool/dashboard that builds on Microsoft Power BI to provide insights to your Sage 50 company (and coming soon, QuickBooks Enterprise). The user interface is very clean and it provides excellent graphic and tabular reports based on your data. They have a wide range of reports built in, and you can create your own. I was very impressed with the quality of the presentation of information. This product makes sense for firms with 10 to 100 employees.

This is an online product, so you don’t have to go through a complicated desktop installation like other analytics products that work with these desktop accounting systems. Not having to deal with installing SQL Server or get into the complications of connecting your desktop data with Microsoft Power BI is a major advantage over other products.

The Accountex Report has written about the advantages — the need — for quality business analytics. It is a function that many businesses just haven’t taken the time to implement. Implementing a simple-to-use analytics system is an important service that an accounting professional can provide to his or her clients. Suntico looks like a good option for Sage 50 users, and I’ll be interested to look into it in more detail when they support QuickBooks Enterprise.

Other Accountex USA 2017 exhibitors that feature similar capabilities: ProfitSee, Finagraph.


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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. Charlie can be reached at [email protected]

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.

11 Comments

  • Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for the breakdown. How did you feel Circulus compared to Bill.com? Is that one of the systems you were obliquiely referring to as sometimes being complicated to understand and hard to manage? Did you ask Circulus if Xero integration is in the works?

    Thanks

    • David, this is a “first look” kind of article, I’ve not worked with Circulus in depth yet. It is a different product than Bill.com, although they obviously overlap quite a bit. Bill.com handles a wider range of situations, and is widely used. Circulus is a narrower focus. So you have to determine what the client needs help with before you start looking into which product works.

  • Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for the Zoho One mention. I would like to add one more point. Any new product that we launch will be available for Zoho One users at the same initial price. As an example, we launched Zoho Sign – our digital signature product – and that is included in Zoho One at no additional cost.

    Regards
    Prashant

  • Very interesting about Suntico. Did they say anything about a potential release date for QB Enterprise functionality? We currently use a third-party application to sync our QB data to an Azure SQL database and then use Power BI to display our metrics. Removing that additional synchronization and management step is very appealing!

  • Hi Charlie,

    Thank you for your article and for keeping us updated about fresh arrivals in the market. You mentioned here Scanov, I`ve never heard anything about it yet, I`ve been referred to try IQBoxy app to digitalize and collect paper receipts. They say it is the fastest with scanning and processing, do you have any information about that?

    Cheers,

    Mel

    • I hadn’t heard about that one until now. They haven’t been at the conferences that I’ve been to. There are a lot of good apps out there, too many to try them all. And, note, in THIS article, I’m just talking about things that I’ve seen at the Accountex show. I’ve not worked with all of these companies.

      If you work with IQBoxy, leave a comment here about what you think!

      • Charlie, well.. i signed up for 14 day trial and here is what i found:
        -the speed from scan to process is really fast, they even have video comparison with other similar service providers on their website;
        -they say that system has zero human interaction and the app has machine learning inside, so the more you use it the smarter it gets, tried it for my daily coffee receipts, works well.. app suggested me same category for this receipt i applied previously;
        -currency converter, important for me as my employees travel to Canada from time to time;
        -i liked the variety of ways how to collect your expense ( take picture and process right from the app, upload pic from your library or import from your cloud storage and it will also process it, they also give you personal email, so you can forward you e-receipts to the app, and my fav is you can dictate your expense on-the-go both to cell or apple watch);
        -if you are using it for your business you can invite your accountant to the app, so your accountant will have real-time access to company’s documents;
        -well.. price is ok $9,99 for one user, i think that might work for my needs.
        Basically.. simple, smart and easy to use, though i pinged customer support few times as not all of the settings were clear.. anyway i have 8 more days to go before to decide whether to sign up for my company.

        • Thanks for the feedback.

          A 14 day trial is a bit short as far as seeing how the “machine learning” aspect will work, unless you have a LOT of transactions you run through. But, it is better than nothing!

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