BQE Core is a fully online product for architects and engineers, IT consultants, legal professionals, accounting firms, and other professional services businesses. Anyone who is managing projects, anyone who is tracking time and expenses, is a candidate for using this product.
BQE Core works with QuickBooks Online, but it also can be used as a complete accounting system by itself. Rather than working with a group of products from a variety of vendors, this system provides you with many of the functions that you need, all from one source. It includes workload forecasting, time and expense management, multi-level expense approvals, budget versus actual analysis, project management, and professional billing (including recurring and progress billing).
I’m particularly intrigued by their mobile app, which can be used to track your on-site visits (along with other features). I’ve used several products on my iPhone to try to capture the amount of time that I’m on site with a client. I’m not worrying about mileage tracking as much as I’m interested in how much time I’m on site. The main problem I’ve run into tracking this with standard GPS tracking in smartphones is that they quickly suck all the energy out of my phone. BQE Core has a different approach that minimizes the use of the GPS chip, preserving your battery while providing you with information about your time on site.
BillQuick has been a market leader for a very long time, and I’m excited about what I’ve seen so far in their new online BQE Core product.
HandiFox has introduced a new product, HandiFox Online, an inventory management product that works with remote devices and integrates with QuickBooks Online.
HandiFox has had an excellent inventory and sales management product that has worked with QuickBooks Desktop for many years. If you need inventory management that includes barcode scanning with mobile devices, this is an excellent product to look into. It has many more features than what Intuit recently released with their Enhanced Order Fulfillment feature.
What is new now is that they are applying their years of inventory management expertise to QuickBooks Online. Inventory management is a core feature for many businesses, and QuickBooks Online only provides the most basic features. I have never worked with a client that is inventory-centric who can use QuickBooks Online by itself, without one (or more) add-on products. HandiFox Online looks like it will be one of the inventory products that I’ll be recommending, for certain kinds of businesses.
With this online and mobile-ready product you can scan barcodes to create invoices, create and print barcode labels, track inventory at multiple locations, receive items by scanning barcodes, pick and pack items using barcodes, and much more. The ability to work with mobile devices is essential in many businesses, and this has always been the strong point for HandiFox products.
If you want sophisticated inventory management for QuickBooks Online that supports barcodes and handheld devices, HandiFox Online is worth looking into.
Zoho One: We’ve published a number of articles about Zoho and Zoho Books over the past few years. Zoho is an interesting company – instead of creating a basic accounting product and then letting many other software developers create add-on products to provide the detailed features that your business needs, Zoho is building a very broad suite of products. They have an interesting online accounting system, a CRM product that I like very much, survey tools, website development tools, payment systems, and much more. There are over 35 different applications and 40 different mobile tools, all based on the same development system, all working together. It is really nice to work with just one vendor to get all of these different business management functions.
A problem that I’ve run into with Zoho in the past has been how to decide which products to subscribe to, at what subscription level, and managing the cost of all the subscriptions for the various employees in a company. It can be confusing! It can get expensive!
To solve this problem, Zoho has introduced a new plan, Zoho One. With this plan, you get the enterprise level subscription to all Zoho products for $30.00 a month per person. Think about it – add up your monthly fee for your accounting system, your CRM system, your inventory integrator (if you are selling products online), your recurring billing system, and more. Not only is that total cost likely to be much more than $30.00/month/user, you also have to deal with different user interfaces — and separate support technicians — for each of those products. Zoho One gives you one vendor, one support point, for all of these business functions, at an extremely reasonable price.
The only catch here is that you have to pay this fee for every employee in your firm, rather than picking and choosing which employees have which application. This approach might not fit every business.
For the right kind of client, however, this is a very intriguing concept. It is worth investigating further.
I talked to every vendor that had a booth at Accountex USA 2017, and there are many great products that I’ve not listed here. It is going to take me months to go through all of the notes that I recorded at the show! In this article, I wanted to highlight several that caught my attention, that got me a bit excited, and that were new to me (either a new company or a new product line from someone I’ve known before). Again, I have not done a detailed analysis of any of these products – I hope to look at many of them in more depth in the future. And, of course, before you can recommend any of these products to your client you have to determine if they are a good fit for that client’s needs.