For more than a quarter century, QuickBooks has been a staple for small business owners and medium-sized businesses. Upwards of 80% of U.S. small and medium sized businesses use some version of QuickBooks. There’s even a good chance you’re reading this post while QuickBooks is open in the next tab over. You’re also likely aware that beyond basic bookkeeping and accounting, QuickBooks integrates with hundreds of apps to help you streamline operations and successfully and profitably run your business.
QuickBooks users can search for any number of apps that will help track expenses to employee timekeeping and integrate with QuickBooksDesktop (QBD) and QuickBooksOnline (QBO).
But one thing we’ve noticed at MISSION Accounting, in our two decades of providing accounting and consulting services for small and medium sized businesses, is that companies often miss out on utilizing some of the best apps Quickbooks has to offer.
Admittedly, it can be difficult to search through the many apps available and to know which are the best, considering there are more than 650 third-party app plugins.
Many of the apps offered provide similar services or benefits, which makes it even more difficult to know which one is the best for your business needs. That’s where a Quickbooks ProAdvisor like Mission Accounting can help.
QuickBooks can be like buying a new sports car. Sure, the standard model gets the job done well, but if you have the opportunity to add on the magnesium wheels and performance exhaust for better performance at a reasonable price, why not?
The same goes for QuickBooks. With a little research or guidance you can add useful apps that can manage inventory, organize payroll or tracking sales leads, relatively inexpensively.
The challenge is choosing the most useful apps to help your business run efficiently, and meet your unique business needs. If you’re an inventory based business, or an online ecommerce business, or run a business with several employees, here are our top 5 must-have apps business owners should be using with QuickBooks.
One drawback to QuickBooks Online is it’s limited when it comes to offering tools for managing inventory. This isn’t as much of a concern for QuickBooks Desktop, but for whatever reason, it just happens to be the case for the online edition. If you run a wholesale business or a manufacturer, you’ve probably noticed this already.
That’s why SOS Inventory is an essential app we recommend for businesses using QuickBooks Online.
SOS Inventory seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks software and helps cut down on duplicate data entry. It also offers a simple way to manage inventory, orders, and manufacturing by tracking sales, assemblies, serial inventory, and multiple locations — among other features.
On top of that, SOS Inventory helps make processing orders a cinch by integrating with Shopify, UPS, PayPal and a number of other business critical apps. If you need to automate orders and shipments, SOS Inventory is great for that, too, while also providing detailed reports on the state of your business.
The plugin starts at $39.95 per month and offers a 14-day free trial. Again, if you run a manufacturing or wholesale business, this is money well spent. And if you need assistance with implementation, we’re here to help.
For payments, there simply isn’t a better choice.
Bill.com integrates directly with Quickbooks so all of your activity syncs directly with QuickBooks and your bank account. When you’re running a small business, your time is too valuable to spend it going over every bill or trying to keep track of invoices or needing to enter them in multiple systems.
Bill.com automates the entire paper flow making managing your accounts payable and receivable much easier. Its tagline is “spend up to 50% less time paying bills” and in our experience, it’s true.
When you first use the Bill.com plugin, QuickBooks syncs your invoices, customers, vendors, book balance and accounts with the app. The plugin then can be used to set up payment schedules, streamline your approval process, and set reminders that you can access via desktop or mobile. You can also utilize a variety of payment options, too, whether it’s paying by check, electronically, or making international wire payments.
We’re big fans of the Bill.com app because we’ve seen firsthand how it safeguards against aggravation and extra work when dealing with vendors.
On its own, QuickBooks isn’t the best when it comes to time tracking your employees’ timesheets. The software offers basic functionality for tracking timesheets and allows employees to enter their hours, but it isn’t fully featured enough for most growing businesses. It also doesn’t offer the privacy you’d like for these sensitive records.
At the same time, the alternative, where small companies manually track and enter timesheets, isn’t feasible, either. This takes too much time and opens you up to making avoidable calculation errors.
What the TSheets plugin offers is precision.
Employees are able to clock in and out via their phones using the TSheets app. The app takes their information and syncs it with your QuickBooks account. Not only does this save your business hours each week managing your employee time and hours, but it also helps cut down on payroll costs.
On average, TSheets reduces payroll costs by 6%. The TSheets plugin is also a great way to track overtime and prevent time theft.
MISSION Accounting especially recommends TSheets for clients who need to track the cost of labor in the field, like contractors and architects.
When it comes to expenses, being fast is the name of the game. The faster your employees can file their expenses, the faster you can reimburse them. Thus reducing their frustration and helping you manage cash flow in support of your business.
Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. For businesses that have employees on the road frequently, tracking expenses can go from a business necessity to a nightmare quickly.
What the Expensify plugin does, though, is allow your employees to upload their receipts and expenses from the road by using their phones and get paid faster. Expensify also allows companies to centrally track their corporate cards, giving them up-to-the-minute insight on employee spending.
Perhaps the best aspect of the Expensify plugin is its ability to efficiently track expenses. Employers set a date for expense reports to be filed, they approve them, and employees are paid back the following day. This data is then automatically synced with QuickBooks. It’s the definition of fast, easy and manageable.
Webgility is an important plugin for online retailers selling their products on outside platforms like Amazon.
These platforms will show you how many sales you’ve made, but tracking that information, in the long run, can be difficult. You can look at sales via Amazon and manually enter them into QuickBooks, but this is inefficient and leaves room for error.
Webgility, on the other hand, is an excellent e-commerce bookkeeping tool.
It records each order individually and offers summaries on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. All transaction details, from buyer’s address to promo codes to sales tax to shipping and payment methods, are easily tracked and recorded in QuickBooks. By staying on top of your orders, it helps your company better manage its inventory, improve cash flow, and cut down on costs.
How MISSION Accounting Can Help
At MISSION Accounting, we’ve noticed one of two things tends to happen with QuickBooks apps.
The first is that companies will lean on the general purpose features of QuickBooks, but not really explore how app plugins can augment their software. This ends up curtailing their QuickBooks experience and leaves many business owners doing work that otherwise could be streamlined with the addition of the best app.
The second issue we see is some businesses going in the opposite direction. Instead of avoiding apps, they overcompensate and leverage too many app plugins. On paper, this doesn’t sound like a major issue, but it tends to actually hamper efficiency.
The key is finding the right apps for your business and making sure everyone is comfortable using them. This changes on a company by company basis.
MISSION Accounting’s accounting professionals, thanks to our long history with QuickBooks, know which apps work best for each industry and stay on top of new apps or changes to existing apps that may benefit our clients.
Reach out to MISSION Accounting today. We can help you choose the right QuickBooks apps and figure out the best configuration for your QuickBooks software. This allows you to focus your energy and time on where it really needs to be: on your business, and not on small bookkeeping responsibilities.
If you’re not working with a bookkeeper yet, and are curious if working with a bookkeeping professional is right for you, watch our past podcast episode on How To Work With A Bookkeeper.
Although we shared our top five recommended third party apps with QuickBooks, we merely scratched the surface of what’s available. We work closely with our clients to audit their business processes and needs and help them identify the most powerful app solutions for maximizing efficiency and reducing time spent on bookkeeping. If you want to accomplish more with QuickBooks and your business, we highly recommend you start leveraging QuickBooks Add Ons. Choosing the right payroll options with a third party payroll app is just one other example of how you can maximize business efficiencies.
Take a few moments today and consider where you could benefit from more integration of processes in your inventory, sales, and finance processes. Or, just give us a call, we’d be happy to help walk you through the best decision for your company.