A Comparison of QuickBooks Projects & Xero Projects

We Compared QuickBooks Projects with Xero Projects. Get a copy of the comparison table.

Summary

Both systems are very basic in their project management related features, to the extent that jobs, tasks and communications, are best managed elsewhere, with Xero/QuickBooks used for financial and time reporting elements. However, compared with other low priced project management apps, the financial reporting is significantly better, as you would expect.

Both project modules are accessible via API, meaning that it is possible to make use of the good reporting functionality whilst using other project management apps, although not all apps have integrated with these elements of the products yet so some adjustment may be required to move transactions into the projects module.

Using the projects functionality in this way for QuickBooks provides the option for 3-way filtered reporting, as the project reports can be filtered (and displayed) by class and location tracking.

Additional Feature Analysis

Reporting

Both QB and Xero allow you to add non-posting time costs (i.e. they don't sit on the P&L), so that you can get management reporting. QB presents this with a profit figure and margin on the project Dashboard, whereas Xero does neither.

Detailed project reporting is available in both systems. QuickBooks presents a shortcut to these within the module, whilst in Xero you need to go to Accounting > Reports > Project Summary/Detail.

QB allows you to create project budgets, but not within the project module. The date restrictions on these limit their usability for projects.

QuickBooks Project Overview

Xero Project Overview

Staff Scheduling & Time

Xero has a limited tasks element, including time tracking against tasks, but no task allocation. The tasks are effectively line-items for invoices.

Whereas you are able to set default hourly rates for staff in QuickBooks and use these across multiple projects, in Xero the costs are driven by task rates and you cannot use a template task (you could copy an existing invoice and then allocate line-items to the new project), making it a slightly more manual process to build quotes and invoices.

Neither deal with staff scheduling, and the timesheet approval is disjointed from the projects element for both, reducing usability.

It is possible to add time from Xero projects into the timesheets module of Xero Payroll, where they can be approved. However this is an additional £5/m +£1 per employee.

Likewise in QuickBooks the Advanced Payroll module has timesheet approval. However this requires a separate app called WorkZone and there is no integration between this and the projects' time.

User permissions

Xero's user permissions are much more granular that QuickBooks'.

Mobile

Xero Projects App

This is a fully functioning app version of the desktop product. There's no limitations compared with the desktop version.

QuickBooks App

This a less useful than Xero's equivalent. It's harder to find the projects tab and it is not possible to track time on the app. Profitability and time are not available on the app.

Notifications

Neither offer project related notifications, and although it wouldn't be impossible to work around this using Zapier to provide them, for the time and effort involved it would be better to use a purpose built app if these were required.

Tell us what you think in the comments!

Introducing our LinkedIn Member Hub

We have been working hard during the recent lockdown to improve the experience for our users both on our site and also to ensure we deliver valuable and informative content via all of our platforms.

We have a series of exciting announcements lined up over the coming weeks.The first of these is that we have launched our new and exclusive Member Hub on LinkedIn.

We are really keen to continue to grow content in our website community but recognise that right now whilst we further develop the site, it would be beneficial to take advantage of the built in features on the leading social media platforms. Of course over time we plan to migrate this, but as we build engagement we are keen to make the community easily accessible.

We know that there are a vast number of Facebook groups all providing a similar type of group, and therefore feel that LinkedIn will provide a great alternative platform for our community. We feel that it gives you and your teams a professional platform where they can make honest and open comments without crossover to their personal lives.

The new member hub is a place that you can connect with us and your fellow members to ask questions and offer or receive advice about subjects such as Cloud Accounting, Digital transformation, Apps and App Advisory to name a few.

The group is exclusively for accountants and bookkeepers that are App Advisory Plus members. The Hub is free to join for all App Advisory Plus members including those with free accounts.

We are really excited about the developments we are rolling out over the coming weeks and for now look forward to welcoming you to the new App Advisory Plus Member Hub on LinkedIn.

Rowan, Will, James and Frankie
The App Advisory Plus Team

What are App Advisory Services for accountants?

What are App Advisory Services?

If you’re offering App Advisory Services you are looking at a business’ problems, understanding the processes that are causing the problems, and then using your knowledge or research to ascertain whether apps, or integrated app stack solutions, can be used to solve those problems within the budget constraints of the business. You may then offer setup, training, and support services related to the app(s), or app stacks.

A useful way to categorise the type of App Advisory Services you offer is whether they relate to your clients’ administrative or operational problems and processes.

Administrative Processes App Advisory

You’ll almost certainly start your App Advisory journey by offering administrative related App Advisory services. This is because:

  1. These are the apps related to the financial processes you already have a good understanding of, and
  2. You’re probably already going to be, or have the skills to be, providing data processing or business advisory services that these apps help with (we covered these in our blog – What is an App Stack?).

You will either:

  1. Use apps to support you in offering services yourself, with the client not being aware of or using the app themselves, except where providing data input (i.e. data capture apps). Or:
  2. If you’re not carrying out the related services for them, you may still advise them on the apps they should use to get to the outcomes they want on their own. Alongside this you might provide setup, training, and support to them.

In either case you need good processes in place that are regularly reviewed and updated, alongside staff that are trained on how to use and improve them.

Operational Processes App Advisory

There are a number of ‘entry points’ that make it more likely clients to ask you to support them with operational processes.

  1. You may be the only professional advisor that they engage with regularly, and they trust your advice.
  2. There is often crossover between what might be considered admin processes (i.e. invoicing) that you are already supporting clients with (i.e. bookkeeping/management reporting), and what is considered operational (i.e. job management). You’ve already supported them with streamlining aspects of their admin, so they now want you to help with their operations.

This type of App Advisory less related to your existing services, so in that sense it will be more of an unknown. Offering these services is unlikely to lead to much in the way of internal efficiency for you. If you don’t have a process for delivering these service then there’s a good chance it’ll cost you more than you gain.

If you want to offer operational process app advisory then start with industries that are more relevant to your client base. Check out our Knowledge Base article on assessing your client base for App Advisory service potential.

5 Core App Advisory Service Areas

Delivering profitable App Advisory Services starts with understanding the services that you could be offering to your clients. We think there are 5 key areas of service provision:

  • Fact finding or Digital Discovery – Your lead assessment tool
  • Process mapping – Understanding your clients processes and requirements
  • Research & evaluation – Discovering and documenting apps that may fit the requirements, analysing, and recommending apps to use
  • Implementation – Planning, testing, training, and using the apps
  • Support – Helping clients with using apps

Read more about them.

What is the App Advisory Opportunity?

Head to our Knowledge Base article for a short video.

 

What is an App Stack for accountants?

What is an App Stack?

The term App Stack generally has one of two meanings for accountants:

  1. A suite of apps that you choose to use to provide services across your client base.
  2. An industry specific suite of apps that are often integrated to provide a system that supports a client’s business in carrying out one or more processes effectively and efficiently.

You could say that the first is simply the second for the accountancy industry. You provide services, you have processes for providing them, and apps help you to provide them better and more profitably.

These are some typical services that apps can support you in offering, split between data processing and business advisory services.

Data processing services:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • Other data processing (i.e. timesheets and non financial data)

Business advisory services:

  • Management reports
  • Job costing
  • Cash flow forecasts
  • KPI reports
  • Funding
  • Outsourced credit control
  • Outsourced finance function

The reason for the split is that the quality of all of these business advisory services rests on good quality (accurate/timely) information from data processing services.

In general the more time sensitive the provision of advice is, the greater the need for cloud accounting and automation of the data processing.

App Advisory Services

If you’re offering App Advisory Services you are looking at a business’ problems, understanding the processes that are causing the problems, and then using your knowledge or research, to ascertain whether apps, or integrated app stack solutions, can be used to solve those problems within the budget constraints of the business. You may then offer setup, training, and support services related to the app(s), or app stacks.

Read more about App Advisory Services.

Scenario Planning for Business Revival

Register for our webinar with Float: Scenario Planning for Business Revival

Join Will Farnell and Sam Fairbairn from Float to learn how to use cash flow scenario planning to assist your clients in planning for business revival.

Scenario planning is one of the standout features of Float and we'll be providing insight into strategies to deliver this as a profitable service line to your clients.

This webinar will be great for you if you're looking for cash flow software to support your clients, or you're already a Float partner but you want some guidance on how to develop your service offering.

CitrusHR COVID-19 Response

Subscribe to a free App Advisory Plus account and receive CitrusHR free for your firm for one year! Start your free trial and get in touch to redeem the offer.

CitrusHR Offer

This is a guest blog from David Lester Co-Founder and MD, CitrusHR.

Here’s a brief summary of what we’ve done so far to help our customers get through Coronavirus:

  1. More friendly, expert advice over the phone than ever!
  2. Our in-house legal team has published legal updates as fast as humanly possible with each new change introduced by the Government
  3. Our HR team have published great advice about how best to manage staff through these tough times
  4. New software features have been added to help you track new issues
  5. We’ve pitched the need for partial furlough support to Government and their key advisors the TUC and CBI

And our message is clear – we’re here for you and are working harder than ever to help you get through this.

We don’t just want your company to survive, we want to help you be in the best possible position to come out of this strongly in due course.

Specifics we’ve added in the last month for our HR support service include:

  • Coronavirus FAQ’s: This document answers most employment questions our customers have had, and is updated daily by our legal team as things change.
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: A detailed guide answering our customers’ FAQ’s on the Furlough scheme and how to claim money back.
  • Coronavirus workplace strategies to consider: A guide with advice on how to manage staff in these special times.
  • Coronavirus stay at home rules: This document includes all the details our customers need to know to stay safe during the Government’s lockdown.
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: A guide on the Government’s new package of support for the self-employed.
  • An Online Petition: https://www.change.org/p/partial-furlough-support-please.

We’ve also been working hard on creating new Coronavirus features within our software, like our:

  • Furlough grant report: A nifty report makes it simple to collate all the data you need to be able to claim the grant on HMRC’s new portal.
  • Self-Isolation tracker: A simple tool to track who’s self-isolating with easy export to help you claim SSP back when the Government scheme is ready.
  • Furlough tracker: We’ve added Furloughs as a new Absence type so you can track who’s where, when. We will link this to Payroll Reporting next to save you hours.
  • Furlough letters: Creating the letters you need to help with furloughing staff.
  • COVID-19 tracking: We’ve added COVID-19 as a new sickness type so you can keep your records up to date, with reports letting you calculate the direct staff cost of this to your company.

Subscribe to a free App Advisory Plus account and receive CitrusHR free for your firm for one year! Start your free trial and get in touch to redeem the offer.

Price this scenario: Bistro Cafe Stages to Price & Pricing Considerations

How to Price 3rd Party App Advisory Services

This scenario relates to the recorded session How to Price 3rd Party App Advisory Services in your accounting firm with Will Farnell and Trent Mclaren recorded for QuickBooks Connect in 2020. The scenario is presented in the thumbnail below, and you can watch the discussion from 30.18.

Our professional members have access to scenario-based help-desk support for clients/prospects. 

Sign up here

Contents

In this article we will cover the various stages of you may go through in undertaking systems and technology advisory services, with a specific focus on the scenario presented. We will look at pricing considerations for each stage in turn.

  1. Process mapping
  2. App research & evaluation
  3. Migration of accounting system from desktop to cloud
  4. AP automation setup & training + QB training
  5. EPOS setup, migration & training (including payments) 
  6. Staff scheduling & time tracking setup & training
  7. Support

At the end we have also provided 2 example App Stacks.

Fact finding

Fact finding is your lead generation tool, there is no charge for this. You’ll use this to drive the discussion with your client or prospect around what the next steps are and the services you can offer to help solve their problems.

Typically what you will provide at this stage will be a meeting where you go through a series of questions with the business owner that you record in a form, or you ask them to complete it themselves and then go through it with them.

You may already have some of the information. Here’s what we know so far from the scenario:

  • Legacy point of sale system
  • Using desktop accounting software
  • 20 staff (full time, part time and temp)
  • They want to see a full picture of their costs on wages
  • Cash and EPOS system in place
  • Open 7 days a week for brunch and lunch.
  • Retail arm of the business selling coffee beans, t-shirts and take away craft beer.

Further info that would be useful to understand as part of the fact-find would be: 

  • Business goals – i.e. Are there plans to move into online sales? This could impact the EPOS decision. 
  • Current process
  • Pain points
  • KPIs
  • Reports required

If possible it’s useful to get an understanding of the likely overall budget, letting them know they should expect to allocate budget for the various stages of the process (process mapping, research/evaluation, implementation) as well as ongoing software costs, training and support. 

Sometimes businesses would rather you present them with a cost for the solution they want to get a price point they can work from, however if possible getting a maximum for ongoing software costs can help to focus the research and quickly rule out options. 

Process mapping 

If you don’t have a good understanding of the process already, you need to do this to get an idea of:

    • Workflows
    • Problems
    • Time
      • How long is each aspect taking
    • People
      • Who does what
    • Systems
      • What the legacy system is doing
      • What the desktop accounting system is doing (features may not be available in cloud package as standalone)
      • Time/Payroll

We recommend using a specialist system such as Skore to map out processes. 

Take a look at our 3 part blog series on process advisory to help you further understand this in the context of app advisory:

  1. Process Advisory Part 1: Process Discovery for App Advisory Work
  2. Process Advisory Part 2: Delivering Process Discovery for Clients
  3. Process Advisory Part 3: Marketing Process Discovery (including pricing)

App research & evaluation

The typical categories of apps relevant here are:

  • EPOS
  • Payments
  • Purchase ordering
  • Inventory management
  • Receipt & Invoice processing
  • Staff scheduling and time tracking

Read our blog: Should you charge for App Research and Evaluation?

Migration of accounting system

Services to price and pricing considerations:

  • Scoping the work – you may not charge for this separately but factor the cost into other elements of the work. It may include a meeting for instance to agree scope, timelines, get sign off etc. 
  • Setup of cloud accounting license
  • Migration of data
    • Extent of data transfer 
      • Data fields
      • Data quantity
    • Ease of data transfer
      • Are 3rd party migration services available
      • How easy is it to get data out
      • What format is data extraction presented
      • How difficult is it to move into the upload format
  • Accounting data review
    • Balance sheet / P&L / AR / AP – 100% accuracy required in data transfer (not considering the correctness of the data itself)
  • Non-accounting data sample review (for other data – i.e. customer/supplier info, invoice descriptions, tracking data)
    • Number of review points
    • Size of sample size (5% minimum)

This is not bookkeeping cleanup work so don’t consider the correctness of the data. If incorrect data is identified, explain to the client and price cleanup work separately.

AP automation setup & training + QB training

Services to price and pricing considerations:

  • Setup of license, including integration with accounting system
  • Training of client on AP + QB
    • Number of sessions
  • Enhanced support
    • Setting up supplier rules and auto-publishing 

EPOS setup, migration & training

Services to price and pricing considerations:

Setup / Migration

  • Migration of up products (may require data import)
  • Migration of loyalty rewards
  • Customising the menu layout on the till
  • Setting up tables
  • Setup kitchen display
  • Setup cash drawer and printer

Integrations

If there are a number of integrations necessary with systems that are new to the client it can often be worth staggering these over a period of time to reduce overwhelm and increase the likelihood of staff receptiveness to the change process. 

We would recommend implementing the business critical systems first, alongside the accounting integration. Then move on to other systems once the first implementation is complete. 

For an EPOS system for a Cafe, start with the critical integrations. These would be:

  • Payments
  • QuickBooks Online

These would be the delayed integrations

  • Staff scheduling and time tracking

Actually setting up and configuring the integration is usually quite straightforward and there’s typically limited variations that could impact a price, so we’d recommend a fixed price for each integration. 

Testing – non live – pricing considerations

  • Number of integrations

Testing – live – practical considerations

  • Choose the correct day (quiet day)
  • On-hand support (recommended) / enhanced remote support

Training – Practical considerations

  • Ensure all staff required to use the system are trained
  • Training may need to take place across multiple days/times if the business is continually operational
  • The time between training and testing live should be minimal

Staff scheduling & time tracking setup & training

Services to price and pricing considerations:

Setup

  • Number of staff

Training

  • Number of sessions
  • Delivery method

Support

Services to price and pricing considerations:

  • QuickBooks Online support
    • Method – i.e. email / phone
    • Hours – this raises the difficulty of tracking time against the job if you don’t already track time
    • Fixed price recommended

Example app stacks

App Category Example 1 Example 2
EPOS Goodtill Vend
Payments Integrated solutions Integrated solutions
Staff scheduling Tanda Deputy
Accounting QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Online
Accounts payable AutoEntry / Receipt Bank / Lightyear AutoEntry / Receipt Bank / Lightyear
Payroll Citrus HR QB Advanced Payroll

Automate your Lead Management & Onboarding with Apps and Zapier

Do you struggle to keep on top of your pipeline, with too many manual steps to keep things up to date and progressing? You’re not alone.

  • You want visibility over your pipeline, across your team and offices, without having to manually update the stage of a lead after every activity.
  • You want a timeline history of everything that has happened so far, with all notes available in one place.
  • You want to use customised, but automated email marketing to prime your prospect to join as a client.
  • You want to automate as much of the onboarding process as possible, whilst enhancing the customer experience.

Using a combination of apps linked through Zapier you can enjoy the benefits of automated lead management and onboarding with greatly reduced or eliminated manual input for all of the boring bits.

Any combination of apps from these categories will work, and there are lots more we haven’t included here.

  • Form - Typeform / Gravity Forms / Jotform / Wufoo / Cognito forms
  • Meeting scheduler - Calendly / Acuity Scheduling / 10to8 Booking
  • Email marketing - Mailchimp
  • Sales CRM (inc above 3 categories) - Pipedrive / HubSpot / ActiveCampaign
  • Proposal and payments - Practice Ignition / GoProposal (no Zapier integration but workaround is possible)
  • Zapier - Task automation
  • Practice management - Senta / Karbon
  • Accounting platform - Xero / QuickBooks
  • Document storage - Google Drive/OneDrive
  • Data capture - Receipt Bank

We offer full service scoping, system design, implementation, and training, for a system using any combination of the above apps.

Book in a free consultation

An example of what could happen is as shown below, activities are not rigid so if things happen in a different order for you then the system can be designed to cater for that.

  1. New form submission
    a) Adds a lead into sales CRM with relevant lead source information (i.e. social media / referral)
    b) Adds a prospect into Mailchimp audience (optionally with service interest/business type etc for customised automation email campaign)
    c) Send automated Mailchimp campaign to your new lead (optionally)
  2. Prospect books a meeting using meeting link displayed at the end of the form
    a) Stage is updated to ‘Meeting Booked’ in sales CRM
    b) Optionally add event to sales CRM
  3. Proposal is made in proposal app
    a) Value and stage are updated in sales CRM
  4. Automated follow up
  5. Proposal changed after negotiation
    a) Value is updated in sales CRM
  6. Automated follow up
  7. Proposal won/lost
    a) Status is updated sales CRM
    b) MailChimp is updated to convert prospect to client, optionally tagging services that have been accepted
    c) Jobs are populated in Senta/Karbon based on services chosen in proposal app
    d) Customer details and invoice is populated into Xero / QuickBooks
    e) Google Drive/OneDrive folders are created
    f) Receipt Bank account is created (optional based on services in proposal)

Book in a free consultation

Rowan is a Zapier specialist with experience implementing lead management and onboarding solutions in accountancy practices. 

Covid-19 App Offers, Webinars & Resources, & Great Free Versions of Apps

We know it’s a challenging time right now so as part of our partnership with the ACCA we’ve put together some useful resources to help you help your clients. You can count on us to support you in understanding the right technology to get you through this.

Covid-19 Special Offers

AccountancyManager are offering 3 months free use to new customers, plus existing customers can add unlimited new users, again at no cost for 3 months.

Capitalise are offering accelerated digital training & nothing to pay until June to help you better support your SME’s with access to finance during these times.

Chaser have lifted the limits on their accountant and bookkeeper price plans so you can introduce Chaser to any clients. They’ve also launched a cash flow recovery initiative where the Chaser team (with decades of combined experience in best practise credit control) are being redeployed to provide essential support to you – taking over your invoice chasing in order to get cash in the bank as quickly as possible, without demanding customer relationships.

Clarity have introduced a COVID19 Care Call System, a simple, easy to follow step-by-step guide for your team to use to start valuable and efficient conversations with all your clients, plus 50% off for 3 months on any of our partner programmes for new customers, and the same for existing customers who upgrade.

Expend our offering free access for 6 months for teams of up to 20 users to all new customers.

Figured are offering their business planning tool ‘Scenarios’ for £5 per month, reduced from the usual £20 per month, to help accountants supporting agricultural clients.

Float are offering extended free trials & full access to their cash flow forecasting tools until 31/5/2020. In addition they’re offering a free upgrade to all existing Float partners to the next tier of pricinguntil the 31st of May this can be accessed via [email protected]

Futrli are offering 3 months Free Flow Pro, giving access to invoice protection insuring up to 90% of your invoice value. This can be accessed using the discount code: COVID_AAD. Alongside this they are providing simple, clear tactics for all accountants to advise their small business clients through COVID-19. In addition they are increasing all of their existing account subscriptions to unlimited organisations free of charge to ensure accountants can help every one of their clients. To access this email [email protected].

GoProposal have extended their free trial period to 60 days rather than the standard 30.

Karbon are offering a free COVID-19 Rapid Response kit to all accounting firms using Karbon. This includes a detailed set of templates tailored to the UK.

Lightyear are offering all new customers who sign up a complimentary consultation, and free unlimited use of Lightyear until 31st May 2020.

Pleo are offering 3 months free, with the offer ending on April 30th.

Practice Ignition are offering 50% off for the first 3 months on all plans for new customers who are members of App Advisory Plus

Receipt Bank have made their communications feature free to partners for 3 months. They are also offering complimentary 90 minute product training sessions with a product specialist.

Satago are offering free use of the product for 3 months with no commitment or tie in to a long term contract, cancellation at any time. To redeem this offer go to their website, create an account and enter the code:

  • NextThreeFreeACCT (for accountants), or
  • NextThreeFreeSME (for businesses)

Scoro have added Task Matrix as a free add-on feature for all existing customers. The aim is to help our customers maintain control and productivity as they adjust to working in changed conditions

Xavier Analytics are offering 50% off for 3 months as part of their Turn the Tide program. Over the next 12 weeks the Xavier team are also going to be introducing a number of “Turn the Tide” strategies, tips and techniques to help our accounting partners effectively assist their clients. Check out Turn the Tide to get the discount or email [email protected]com.

Zapier are offering a 3-month credit for starter plans for qualifying businesses.

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Covid-19 App Webinars and Educational Resources

On Demand | Confidence in times of Uncertainty

Watch our webinar recording to hear Will Farnell and Phil Hobden discuss how you can use Capitalise to help your clients through these challenging times.

  • What should you be doing to support your SME clients?
  • What are lenders doing to support SMEs?
  • What does the post Covid-19 world look like for accountants?

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Confidence in times of Uncertainty by Capitalise. This ‘live’ resource highlights the latest financial support available to businesses.

17 (and growing) resources to help accounting teams for working remotely by Karbon.

Support for businesses and their cash flow during Covid-19 by Chaser includes 8 best-practise email templates to empathetically but effectively chase customer payments during Covid-19.

Float have created a Covid-19 Cash Flow Resource Hub.

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Great Free Versions of Apps

10to8 Booking – Appointment scheduling. The free plan includes:

  • Client self scheduling
  • SMS included
  • 100 appointments/month
  • 2-way calendar sync with Google, iCal, Office 365, Outlook, and Exchange
  • 2 staff logins

Acuity Scheduling – Appointment scheduling. The free plan includes:

  • Client self scheduling
  • No reminders
  • Unlimited services and appointments
  • No calendar sync
  • 1 staff login

Calendly – Appointment scheduling. The free plan includes:

  • Calendar integrations with Google Calendar, Office 365, Outlook and iCloud
  • Schedule unlimited events
  • 1 event type
  • Personalised Calendly link (e.g. calendly.com/janedoe)

Capsule – CRM and Basic Task Management. The free plan includes:

  • 250  contacts
  • Calendar and task management
  • Pipeline and customisable sales mil
  • Store emails in Capsule + Gmail add-on
  • Zapier integration but no accounting integrations

Chargebee – Subscription management. The free plan includes:

  • Payment Pages
  • Full API Checkout
  • 1 Gateway per Payment Method
  • Pricing Models
  • Dunning
  • Customer Portal
  • Single Tax Region

Fergus – Field service management app. The free plan includes:

  • Unlimited users
  • 10 Jobs per month
  • 3 Invoices per mont
  • See last 14-Days of Notes & History
  • Accounting Software Integration
    (excl. supplier docs)

Fluidly – Cash flow forecasting, credit control, and funding. The free plan (Fluidly Lite) includes:

  • Insight report
  • Portfolio view for accountants
  • 3 months cash flow forecasting (for all clients)
  • Scenario planning (for all clients)
  • Credit control (for all clients)
  • Funding access (for all clients)
  • 1 user (excluding accountant)

Harvest – Time tracking and basic project management tool. The free plan includes:

  • 1 person
  • 2 projects

Zapier – Task automation software. The free plan includes:

  • 5 single-step Zaps live at any time (more can be in draft)
  • 15 minute update time

Zoom – Video conferencing. The free plan includes:

  • Host up to 100 participants
  • Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings
  • 40 mins limit on group meetings
  • Unlimited number of meetings

Turning App Confusion Into App Confidence

The AppsMap™ Feature and App Advisory Plus’ App Advisory Education: Turning App Confusion Into App Confidence

A guest blog by James Ashford, GoProposal.

The opportunity in the app space is so exciting. Apps are unlocking greater insights, efficiencies and profits for accounting businesses and their clients. 

But the challenge we’re now seeing is that accountancy firms are struggling to position themselves as THE app authority in the relationship with their clients, and in some cases, struggle to articulate the value of that app and what they charge for it.

This means that for many firms, apps become cost-centres rather than the profit-centres they should be.
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So what makes an accountant an app authority?

Though important, understanding the accounting data flows is not enough.

Put simply apps are tools to help a business carry out their processes. So to be an App Authority accountants must have a deep understanding of both the features of the app, alongside knowledge of how these can be applied to a client or prospect’s processes. 

An accountant may be the only professional advisor a business engages with on an ongoing basis and they trust your advice. So if you’ve recommended an app without really understanding their processes, problems and software requirements, the likelihood is that it will be poorly implemented, and this can erode the value the client sees in the relationship.
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App Advisory Plus’ App Advisory educational content, combined with GoProposal’s new feature, the AppsMap™, helps you to put a stop to this by helping you to understand clearly:

  • When to recommend apps
  • What apps to recommend
  • What App Advisory services you can offer
  • How you should charge for them 
  • How to create and present App Advisory service schedules
  • How to create a clear map of apps for your clients to see

Whilst using the AppsMap™ feature, accountants can DIRECTLY import all apps into the map from the App Advisory Plus App Directory. 

GoProposal’s AppsMap™ feature enables accounting businesses to show an overview of the direction of data flows between the apps they’re providing or recommending.

You can choose an icon, insert a description and service schedule and determine the price you want to charge for that app, with as much sophistication or complexity as it needs.

The whole purpose of this is to give you, the accountant, the confidence to be the app authority in the client relationship.

Build your Data Hub to drive App Advisory with Silverfin

Cameron John from Silverfin spoke to Will Farnell of App Advisory Plus about how Silverfin are facilitating more app advisory conversations through data insights. Watch the full webinar here.

“The problem a lot of firms have is that they have multiple data sets of client information, so there is not a single source of truth. Among other things this makes it difficult to do marketing activity properly.” – Will Farnell

Silverfin provides accountants with a consolidated single source of client data, and empowers accountants with preset data analytics that can be used across the whole client base. For instance being able to instantly generate a report which shows clients with decreasing cash balances against increasing debtor days, or cash balances compared to bank loans, or directors loan accounts > £10,000.

“We can only have conversations if we actually speak to our clients, so contact on a regular basis is key starting point. Taking this up to advisory conversations is only possible with good information, so insight into data enables us to have client conversations we couldn’t normally have. ” – Will Farnell

“If we have to go into every bookkeeping file and review to understand trends and triggers to have a conversation, the cost-benefit makes it more difficult to do profitably. Silverfin allows us to identify the trigger for having a conversation very quickly” – Will Farnell

Client Insights in Silverfin makes it really easy to start opening up dialogue with clients about what their problems are and that then becomes your lead generator to either:

  • Offer more services internally, such as bookkeeping or outsourced finance function,
  • Talk to them about how technology might be able to help solve some of their problems.

“By having a consolidated single source of client data in the Silverfin platform it allows Accountants to analyse across their entire portfolio. With data consolidated from clients at a transactional level, all analysis is possible in the platform, including data-meshing with non-financial data. If it can be captured in a Silverfin template the insights engine in Silverfin enables analysis and comparison in order to alert the Accountant with opportunities to present to their clients for advisory and manage risks.” – Cameron John

Silverfin have waived their setup and configuration fee for App Advisory Plus members.  Find out how Silverfin can benefit your practice by booking a demo.

AccountancyManager FreeAgent Integration

Key Integration Features

  • Associate FreeAgent clients with AccountancyManager clients
  • Per client profit & loss report including tax timeline
  • Reconcile data between FreeAgent and AccountancyManager
  • Prevent the need for data re-entry
  • Data sync every 2 hours for each client file, plus a manual sync option

The integration is between your FreeAgent account portal and AccountancyManager, so that AccountancyManager can read all of the individual client files you hold the license for.

Once integrated AccountancyManager will look to associate FreeAgent clients with AccountancyManager clients. If your FreeAgent client is not in AccountancyManager you can create them as a client. Sole Traders in FreeAgent come through as the Self Assessment client type.

Once complete you will have a FreeAgent tab in the client file within AccountancyManager.

Information changed from FreeAgent will appear in the timeline of AccountancyManager and notify the client manager.

Using the FreeAgent data AccountancyManager will suggest services that you may provide and try and relate them to services for that client, giving you the option to setup any which are not currently active.

Other data that will be mapped across include:

  • Registered address
  • Company number
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Incorporation date
  • Accounting period
  • VAT number
  • VAT scheme
  • VAT effective date

Any information changed from FreeAgent will appear on the client timeline and notify the client manager.

Also in the FreeAgent tab you will see a client profit & loss report, as well as a tax timeline:

Watch this video to see how the integration works.

Help Desk App Support Case Study

This is a case-study of our Help Desk App Support service which is available to members on our Professional plan and above. 

In this example we have assisted our members by providing an industry specific initial fact-finding form to help identify current process and problems, budget for change, and software requirements.

Typically this will guide us in determining whether further information is required to understand the processes of the business before any software research and evaluation can take place.

In this instance our member had already been through a process mapping exercise with the client and as such was able to provide sufficient detail for us to provide some useful App Research support. 

AAP Member

I have a client who makes widgets from around 3 to 4 individual costs. 

The business is extremely simple, all manufacturing is subcontracted and the director operates the business alone. 

I cannot see a way of making one composite stock item from the three individually tracked inventory items in Xero. What is the entry level inventory app you would have me look at to get around this shortcoming in Xero?

AAP Support

Firstly, we have confirmed that the feature you’re looking for is not available in Xero alone.

Before recommending anything it would be useful to understand some more information about the client. In particular, we need to understand the processes and technology that are currently being used. Here are a few questions that will help us. Could you please fill out this information form and then we can talk about the next steps.

Let me know if you have any questions.

AAP Member

Thank you, I have submitted the form and look forward to your response.

AAP Support (following a brief conversation to confirm some information)

Following on from our conversation on Friday and having reviewed the requirements you set out I think that TradeGecko would be a good app for you to investigate further.

The Lite version would seem suitable (£55).

  • This comes with 1 sales channel integration, of which the Shopify integration is one.
  • This version also integrates with Xero.
  • You can process up to 300 sales per month (3 x more than the level we discussed of 100).
  • Supports product bundling
  • Supports purchase order management. This is how it works with Xero. However if you wanted to use Receipt Bank then you would have to watch out for duplication of bills.
  • Shipping integration between TradeGecko and UPS could be facilitated by ShipStation and you’re looking at an additional £23 per month there based on the order volume discussed.

We advise that full process mapping is undertaken prior to any research and evaluation activities to ensure functional requirements are completely defined, mitigating the risk of app selections being made that do not meet functional requirements of the business concerned. 

This recommendation is based on the information we’ve been supplied with which we expect has come out of a process mapping exercise.

I would suggest the next step would be to review the information here against the process mapping that you said had been done to make sure that nothing has been missed.

Please let me know if I can be of any more help.