Integration Consulting

There are two types of Integration Consulting Services we offer:

For the QuickBooks Professionals and their clients who need assistance working more effectively with QuickBooks

For the Developers working on products to integrate with QuickBooks

Our Approach

We support many add-ons due to the increase in efficiency and functionality enhancements when working with QuickBooks. Some are tools that provide a specific function, others are complete software packages that serve as a front end method for capturing data that is then integrated into the QuickBooks file, and still others extract the information from QuickBooks to accomplish specific client needs.

With more than 400 add-on products, we cannot be an expert in all of them, but we do have a good working knowledge of many. In addition, we know where to look for others. With our extensive use and testing of many different add-ons we know how they should work, and can provide guidance on evaluating if a specific add-on is the right decision. 30-60 minutes of consulting time is an inexpensive way to get a second opinion before the time and cost of purchasing and implementing an add-on is begun.

This is also true for developers: We have heard time and time again, I am so glad we talked before we actually started the programming and/or Wow, this product is much better (and very different than where we started) based on the feedback, suggestions, and comments we have received from you.

QuickBooks Professionals and Clients

 

Data Integration

We assist in building out what a client’s entire accounting/operational process looks like by:

  • Taking various systems and insuring that they are compatible and communicate with one another in an efficient and automated way
  • Implementing various 3rd party Software Programs with QuickBooks to achieve a fully integrated system
  • Building a process so that everyone has the information they need from an accounting, management, and operational perspective

QuickBooks has many features that serve the needs of most small businesses adequately. An add-on is appropriate when a feature or report cannot be handled by QuickBooks alone. Some of these solutions are available directly from Intuit, while the majority is provided by third party developers.

Specific Examples:

 

To determine when an add-on is needed, first carefully examine the features and functionality of QuickBooks alone. Then determine as specifically as possible what is needed. With a clear understanding of how QuickBooks works, it will make the evaluation of potential add-ons more efficient.

How to Find Appropriate Add-Ons

Due to the many alternatives available, and the fact that most QuickBooks professionals and their clients are not interested in becoming experts in evaluating the alternatives, we have found they appreciate a targeted list of alternatives with Pros and Cons of each as a starting point. From there, it is possible for them to investigate, test, and decide which is the best alternative for them. Other times, they prefer we guide them through that process and the implementation. We are flexible, as in all aspects of our business, to develop an approach that works best for the client. As a starting point, many clients want to use our Add-On Recommendations service to get a starting point for their search.

If you want to start the search yourself, the three most effective methods we have found for discovering appropriate add-on alternatives are: Intuit’s Solutions Marketplace, a general search of the internet, and networking and/or asking for referrals.

Intuit Solutions Marketplace

Intuit maintains a web site of integrated applications where you can search for products based on key words. The list is too extensive to include plus new products are being added all the time. To see the complete listing, visit http://marketplace.intuit.com/default.asp or choose Company > Company Services > Find Integrated Applications from within QuickBooks.

Internet Search

A search of the internet may also provide other alternatives in addition to those registered as part of Intuit’s Developer Network.

Ask for Referrals

Networking and asking for referrals from other consultants, QuickBooks users, industry associations, discussion forums, IDN message boards, etc may also serve to uncover missed gems. Keep in mind those industry specific products that provide an appropriate, cost effective solution may still be better than a QuickBooks specific add-on. It really depends on the results of the needs analysis and what the priority hierarchy is for solving the needs. In addition, there may be a way to work with the industry specific developer (by explaining the market share the QuickBooks enjoys) to help them expand their customers to include QuickBooks users, or a third party developer may be able to develop a bridge program to extract the information from the industry specific add-on and integrate the data into the QuickBooks file. Take the time to thoroughly investigate the relative pros and cons of each scenario prior to making a decision. A chart documenting this will also help the client to understand the trade offs, and potentially eliminate frustration in the long run.

On to the products...

Developers

We love working with developers! It is exciting to see products progress and with the extensive experience we have with QuickBooks as well as a working knowledge of developer issues, we have made a dramatic impact on many products. We are quick with suggestions for consideration along with many ideas for future enhancements. Based on the numerous QuickBooks data files we have seen as well as the countless industries our clients represent we bring a unique end user, QuickBooks Professional Advisor, and CPA perspective. Other issues discussed often include marketing, how to effectively reach the target audience, obtaining testimonials, etc.

On to the products...