Integrations, updates, and audit tools are the theme of this week’s App Watch – your never paid for, non-promotional, and (hopefully) informative column on the latest accounting-related product news.
The latest news of interest to the world of tax and accounting comes in the form of updates to QuickBooks Online; a new relationship between Wolters Kluwer and Validis; and a new integration between AuditFile and Microsoft Office Online. Intrigued? Good, let’s find out more …
News: QuickBooks Online Updates Focus on G Suite and Budgeting
The latest updates to QuickBooks include two new integrations with G Suite, a new tax exemption workflow feature and a new budget interface.
The new Gmail add-on for invoicing allows Gmail users and QuickBooks small business customers to generate and send invoices within Gmail. Intuit is also developing another integration that brings team collaboration and QuickBooks functionality to Google Hangouts Chat. In addition, this integration enables teams to run QuickBooks functionalities within the chat window.
The retroactive tax exemption workflow feature recalculates state unemployment insurance. If an employee becomes exempt from state employee insurance, this employee can be marked exempt and unemployment taxes are automatically recalculated for the entire year.
Lastly, a new budget interface uses the entire screen and provides more data when viewing, editing, and creating budgets. This includes totals for key variables and a fast way to confirm budget amounts.
Views: OK, so maybe this news isn’t quite on par with the addition of practice management capabilities in QBO (as announced last month), but, for its part, Intuit is keeping its promise of regularly adding productive features to its online accounting product (which, as you of course know, is not an online version of the desktop product. Go host it if you want that). The tax workflow feature probably would have been best included a few months ago, prior to busy season, but OK, it’s there now.
As for the Google Hangouts Chat feature, regularly working in it myself, I can say that being able to do more right from it is a definite plus. In fact, I’d go so far as to say we’ll see more integrations between accounting and productivity functions and chat applications (see Slack, WhatsApp, Messenger, and of course Hangouts).
News: Wolters Kluwer Enters Exclusive Agreement with Validis
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting has signed an exclusive and strategic license with Validis Holdings Limited, a UK and US-based company known for its data extraction and analytics software used in the accounting and lending industries. The agreement will expand and complement Wolters Kluwer’s existing audit product portfolio with the launch of CCH Audit Accelerator.
The Validis for Accountants product extracts data directly from the client’s source accounting package. Using the import capabilities of Wolters Kluwer’s CCH ProSystem fxEngagement product, customers will be able to import required reports that were automatically created by the client data captured by Validis for Accountants.
Also, CCH Audit Accelerator automates the data capture and automatic creation of the reports, making it easier to review an engagement. CCH Audit Accelerator will be part of Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach, which focuses the audit process on auditor judgment, facilitating their ability to make informed decisions rather than using a tool that makes decisions for them.
Views: Validis is definitely making some headway in the audit world, as more practitioners become familiar with their data extraction capabilities. Still relatively new on the US market for sure, a partnership with one of the largest tax and accounting entities will certainly help their case. And for Wolters Kluwer, heck they get a new audit product on the market. But, as I always say, exactly how well it will all work together remains to be seen and should warrant a test drive. As anyone who works on audit engagements knows, the process could use some enhancements, basically across the board.
News: AuditFile Joins the Microsoft Cloud Storage Partner Program
AuditFile Inc. and, specifically, its cloud-based audit automation software, is now integrated with Microsoft Office Online, designed to give audit professionals greater flexibility in creating, editing, and managing workpapers. Microsoft is making this possible with its Cloud Storage Partner Program, which enables cloud solution providers to integrate with Office Online.
The enhancement will allow AuditFile users to create and edit files with the .xlsx and .docx extensions from within AuditFile’s cloud environment, without the need to download or use desktop Office tools. Additionally, multiple users can work on the files in real time without creating version conflicts or “lockout” situations.
When multiple users are editing a file, each can see who else is in the file, as well as any changes or comments as they are made. Lastly, there is no need to create or manage multiple Microsoft accounts, as Office Online tools are built into the AuditFile Workpaper Manager.
Views: Workpapers, the basis of all tax and audit professionals. Why, exactly, wouldn’t you want managing the processes associated with them to be easier? Now, who exactly is AuditFile and why should you care? Well, they now work with MS Office Online, for one, and again, if integrations work as well in practice as they do on paper, or at the very least as you would expect them to, it has to be worth a try.
There’s lots of cloud storage options out there too. I’m aware of that and maybe you’re not exactly sold on MS Office Online as you’re firmly entrenched in the G Suite, but for AudtFile’s case it certainly gives them a boost, as the above deal – albeit inherently different – does for Validis.