QBO for 2016
I have been an Intuit customer for a long time, using Quicken for over twenty years to manage my personal affairs. I may be a Chartered Accountant, but I was never good at balancing a chequebook using paper and pen. Having a powerful tool like Quicken at my disposal has kept me organized and kept me sane.
As many fans of the company know, Intuit founder Scott Cook developed the iconic software package at his kitchen table in an effort to help people like me. That very table is still on display at Intuit’s campus in Mountainview, California.
Intuit branched out into a number of offerings through the years. SMBs around the world use and love another iconic Intuit brand, the desktop version of Quickbooks. As a small business owner, it was a no-brainer to adopt Quickbooks Pro as my accounting software when I started my business in July 2013. I had used the software occasionally during my career as Controller or CFO and always loved the ease of use and ability to drill down to the information I needed.
In June 2014, I gave Intuit’s browser based cloud offering, Quickbooks Online (“QBO”) a look. I signed up for a day of QBO training here in Calgary and by the end of the day, I was a QBO ProAdvisor. Not long afterwards I converted my Quickbooks Pro file to QBO and have run my company in the cloud ever since.
In the summer of 2015, I was thrilled to be invited by Intuit to attend their global trade show “QB Connect” to be held in November at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley. I was even more thrilled to find out they wanted me to attend as part of their “VIP Summit” program. I was humbled to be invited to an event which included Quickbooks rock stars from all over the world, including many I had admired from afar for a long time.
QB Connect came and went too quickly. My week in California was special. It wasn’t just the fact I got to visit Silicon Valley and meet countless people of the highest quality. It wasn’t about amazing speakers and presenters at the event (some lady named Oprah Winfrey was a keynote speaker for example).
It was something bigger than that.
The night before our final day of activities, I found myself feeling sad that QB Connect was all about to come to a close. I dreaded leaving the people, places and things I got to see and do. I made a LinkedIn post from San Jose that night.
I am richer for having been around everyone I met in San Jose. Whether it was the Intuit employees themselves, the many amazing ProAdvisors or the thought leaders who presented at QB Connect. The quality of this event was first rate and reflects on Intuit as a company. They walk the talk.
Intuit VP Jim McGinnis stated on day one of QB Connect that the venerable desktop version of Quickbooks will be supported indefinitely. The crowd cheered. That was the last we heard of the desktop software for the week. QBO is where the focus is now, and rightfully so.
Like so many aspects of the technology space these days, the future is in cloud-based computing. QBO is not just about being in the cloud, but freeing yourself up from the traditional ways of doing business.
For me, it’s running my business on my iPad from the front seat of my car and having the peace of mind knowing my data is always safe. I no longer use paper as the backup for a transaction. Instead, I attach the support for the transaction to the transaction itself. The support is also safely stored in the cloud and backed up too.
Bookkeepers and accountants love to kill trees. More often than not I used to sign off on cheque runs where the backup included paper and photocopies of that paper. If your current bookkeeper/accountant insists on sending you reams and reams of paper to run your business, then I can show you better ways.
I have only just begun to scratch the surface of all the amazing apps in the QBO ecosystem. It is so easy to custom tailor a QBO solution for your business with apps managing processes that normally took teams to accomplish previously.
Recently I spoke to an owner of a local bookkeeping
business. He was looking for referrals for his company. He claimed to own the “best bookkeeping business” in Calgary. I asked what their value proposition was to support such a bold statement. He beamed with pride as he told me they provide the best “binder” in the industry.
I remember binders. They used to sit in my bookshelf and collect dust during my time as a Controller/CFO before I started my consulting business. What a waste of space and money!
Don’t even get me started on his views on cloud accounting. Let’s simply say, he did not believe in cloud accounting (and his reasons amused me).
There are now online tools now that give you quick access to the information you need, in real time. I rarely print out reports myself. QBO gives me the ability to customize the reports I need to run my own business and do things my way. I view them on screen and get the answers I need from my PC or iPad. Printing to paper is the last resort.
QBO is the future of accounting for small businesses and I plan to ramp up my involvement in 2016 with not just QBO but all that QBO entails. The app ecosystem for the product is huge and grows every day. This allows ProAdvisors like me to custom tailor the software to so many small businesses at a low monthly cost.
Since I got back from California, I’ve been spending my time reading books that were recommended to me in San Jose, studying the many apps available in the QBO ecosystem and got myself certified as a QBO Advanced ProAdvisor. I’m also all about value/fixed billing too. A monthly bill with “all in” services is the way to go. Hourly billing is going the way of the dodo in many businesses (not just accounting).
As part of the VIP Summit, we spent a day at Intuit’s campus at Mountainview. Intuit shared their vision for world domination and we met real live developers. They showed us not only how they are making QBO better and better every day, but how they are truly listening to the very users that utilize the software every day.
As 2015 has come to a close, I am excited for 2016. I’m wrapping my brand around QBO and wrapping QBO around my brand.
As every entrepreneur knows, spending more time working ON your business instead of IN your business is the key to growth and success. A custom designed QBO system can give you the tools the big companies use at a fraction of the monthly cost. Value billing makes sense on so many levels.
Contact me today for a free no-obligation assessment of your current accounting infrastructure. I am confident I can show you a better way to run your SMB.
Happy New Year