Business Analytics Apps in QuickBooks Online


Recently on #QBOchat we discussed the many helpful Business Analytics (BA) apps for QuickBooks Online. Many clients are initially resistant to using apps as a method of data analysis, but the right apps can be wonderful tools that create dynamic, visually appealing, and informative analytics for clients.

What Do Business Analytics Apps Mean to You and Your Clients?

Proper business analytics for small businesses can mean the difference between thriving and merely surviving. The app LivePlan aims to provide clarity to small businesses. Their visually striking charts allow small businesses to (gasp!) enjoy looking at their numbers and analytics, helping to assuage any fears. The analytics help accountants tell their clients the story that is their current business. The narrative generated is an added value from accountants to clients, and the insights provided allow clients to make informative decisions to grow their business. It is a win for both the business owner and accountant!

Balance, a full-cycle bookkeeping service for small and mid-size businesses, contend that with the proper QBO setup, clients can glean informative business analytics to help them plan and make decisions, assess performance, monitor trends and identify improvement opportunities. Fathom is an app that can assist with all of this and works seamlessly with QuickBooks Online.

What Companies Do You Associate with Providing Business Analytics Services?

Intuit Apps, LivePlan and Certified LivePlan Pros have done a fantastic job providing business analytics services. LivePlan is a popular choice for many small businesses, as it provides the ability to identify financial goals and track them against their actuals. You can compare LivePlan and Business Plan Pro here.

What Analytics Reports Do You Look for Besides the Basic FS, Cash Flow?

Intuit uses input and output metrics to create analytics for clients to measure their success and current course correctly. The built-in reports are helpful (i.e. the client’s revenue spread will indicated whether they’re relying too heavily on the customer or not), but almost every accountant will agree that the ability to customize reports on the problem areas specific to the business takes analytics to another level.

Other users like pushing clients to add non-financial measures to allow for a cost per staff or measures of fundraising effectiveness. Jan Haugo thinks employee, customer and staff analysis helps the overall health of a company, and we tend to agree. The Funding Gates app helps track past due days and the success of a communication method, showing you the level of customer engagement and the health of the relationship. It also produces special reports so small business owners see the effectiveness of one AR Manager’s efforts over others. Fathom’s mapping is a user favorite, with the app analyzing profitability, cash flow, growth and other KPI’s.

What Types of Clients are in the Target Market for Business Analytics?

Analytics might be a tough sell for some because they believe they have a decent grasp of the goings-on of their business already. However, there’s often a difference between perception and reality. The target market for business analytics is any business owner wanting to improve their business performance. Clients benefit from insightful visuals to help tell the numbers’ story, and when there are no traditional analytics, some suggest looking to Lean Startup’s validated principles.

Higher volume companies are also a good target audience, because more can be hidden in the numbers that business analytics will help unveil. The only clients that are not necessarily a good fit for business analytics are one-man service shops with no capital expenses. Knowing your channels and prioritizing them accordingly and finding new untapped potential clients is the key.

Services You Look for in a Business Analytics App

The ideal business analytics apps are the ones that make speaking with a client easier and more pleasurable. Smart goals are key, and it’s important to set your goals and use the proper tools to manage them. Apps like BodeTree, Fathom, Funding Gates and LivePlan offer education with their apps to help empower advisors and businesses to use the analytics for growth. At the end of the day, apps can make our lives easier and anything that does that is awesome in my book!

Keep up with everything current on QuickBooks Online by joining us for our weekly fun and informative #QBOChat every Thursday at 3:00pm EST. Don’t forget to sign up for our weekly reminder email so you don’t miss out on #QBOchat. We welcome all types of QBO users including small businesses, accountants, developers and others. We can’t wait to see you this Thursday!

Looking for the transcript from this tweetchat? Here you go!

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QBOchat Admin

#QBOchat began in July 2013 with the simple idea to host a weekly Twitter conversation around QuickBooks Online (QBO). We have since grown into a very strong community comprised of a diverse group of users. Our weekly tweet chat is held each Thursday at 3:00PM Eastern. The discussions cover a wide range of topics including QBO’s latest features and updates, business operation tips and apps that integrate with QBO, to name just a few.

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