Selecting An App For Your QuickBooks Integration

Choosing a Quickbooks Integration to Add More Versatility

If you are a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, accountant, bookkeeper, or business owner and you are hoping to get more usability through Quickbooks integration, this article is for you.

Years ago, Intuit shared that their hope for QuickBooks Online would be that it developed into the platform for small businesses. So, that means it isn’t meant to be the single solution for every business. Instead, they want to create a platform where other apps can plug and play to help you create your own customized system that works best for your business.

Intuit opened up their API and has allowed hundreds of apps to create a product to help serve some need and integrate that with your QuickBooks Online data. This is all in an effort to help small businesses be successful, which is a pretty amazing goal.

But, you’ve come here and you just aren’t sure where to start. So, I’m going to help you with identifying the right Quickbooks integration for your business.

#1 Are You Sure QuickBooks Online Can’t Do It?

I’m a firm believer that we need to use the software to its maximum abilities. And, let me tell you, QuickBooks Online can do a ton! Sometimes it is just a matter of knowing where to find the solution to your problem. {You can even search this site if you need help.} And, if you aren’t used to QuickBooks Online, that can be hard to figure out. Here are some key places to check –

  • Company Settings

Gear > Account and Settings

Here is where you can turn on and off certain functionality in QuickBooks Online. Most of the time, there is a handy little question mark next to the options so you can get an understanding of what it does.

  • QuickBooks Labs

Gear > QuickBooks Labs

These are features that are still in development, but they might really help you out! Just be aware that sometimes they might have some kinks in them. But, if you do run across something funky, simply put in some Feedback to Intuit because they are always on top of those requests.

  • Recurring Transactions

Gear > Recurring Transactions

You can do a lot of with recurring transactions, but the biggest thing is that you can create automation in your business. Most businesses find themselves stuck in the weeds of bookkeeping and need to find ways to simplify their processes so they can get out of QuickBooks Online and get back to working on their business.

  • Check Your Subscription Level

Gear > Accounts and Settings > Billing & Subscription

QuickBooks Online now has 4 different subscription levels – simple start, essentials, plus, and advanced. If you are running into limitations of some sort, that might be because you are at a lower subscription level and it is just time to upgrade your plan. Here is an article on how to choose the right subscription for your business.

#2 If QuickBooks Online Can’t Do It, Check Out Apps.com for Quickbooks Integration Help

Apps.com is Intuit’s own website that lists the apps that integrate with QuickBooks Online and has gone through their own thorough testing process. I will warn you – Intuit will confirm security and other aspects of the app, but that doesn’t mean the app is any good. Their integration could just really suck and not provide any value to business owners.

#3 Select An App To Test For Your Small Business

Here’s what you want to do when you are first looking at apps on Apps.com.

  • Search For What You Need on Apps.com

If you want help with invoicing, search invoicing. If you want an app for restaurants, search restaurants. You’ll get a listing of Apps that “apply” to your search. I use the word apply loosely because you’ll no doubt get apps that are loosely related to your search, but they want to provide you more options just in case you might find something interesting.

  • Look At The App’s Page On Apps.com

When you are checking out the App’s Page on Apps.com, I want to point out some important areas:

  1. Overview

    This is usually the area where you can watch a quick video of what the app does and how it integrates with QuickBooks Online.

  2. Pricing

    Take some time to figure out how pricing works and what makes the price go up? More users? More activity between the App and QuickBooks Online? Consider if that will be a good match for your business.

  3. Reviews

    This is an important one. Take a look at how people really feel about using the App. What sorts of issues did they have? What do they love?

  4. Free Trial

    Most apps have some sort of free trial, but you have to look for it. Get a clear understanding of how many days and what type of access you will get for your free trial.

#4 Search The App On Google With “Reviews”

If you search Google with the app name plus the word “reviews”, this will get you yet another source of reviews to look through. Sometimes you might find some different type of complaint from another site, so do your due diligence. Just make sure you are looking at posts that are recent – not something from years ago which could have been addressed by the app by now.

#5 Test. Test. Test.

Once you have determined you want to try out an app, take the time to test it out – and try to get that testing done within your free trial period. Most of the time you can perform your test within your own company file, but if you are worried about it, you can always try testing the app in a test company file.

  • Use A Test Company File To Test The App

If it is possible that an app could royally mess up your QuickBooks Online data, then consider using a test company to test out that app. (Inventory might be a good example of this.) You can try to make a copy of your QuickBooks Online file using ChronoBooks or making a backup to Desktop and then using that to create a new QuickBooks Online file. Of course, you’ll need to test either of those options. But, you don’t need the data to be perfect to perform your app test. You just need sample data to figure things out.

  • Test The Workflow From Beginning To End

Make sure you are testing all of the features in the app and are including all the stakeholders in your business that would be using the app. Basically, you want to find any issues or red flags as soon as possible. You can address those with the support team of the app or you can just cut bait and run to the next app.

Final Thoughts on Adding Quickbooks Integration

Testing and trying out new apps can be time-consuming and stressful, but hopefully, by going through these steps, I’ve cut out some of the stress. I’ve probably tested out hundreds of apps by now. The majority of the time they are just crap. I either run by just looking at their info on Apps.com or run as soon I start the free trial. But, I can tell you that there are some awesome gems out there. Feel free to share here any of your favorite apps and how your experience was when you first tested them out.

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Cathy Iconis

Cathy Iconis, CPA is the creator and facilitator of the weekly tweetchat #QBOchat and the website QBOchat.com - a community for QuickBooks Online Users. She is also the founder of Iconis Group, an Intuit Top 20 Firm of the Future, that supports small businesses all over the United States with their bookkeeping needs. She is a five-time recipient of the prestigious CPA Practice Advisor 40 Under 40 Award, given annually to just 40 people nationwide.

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