The CloudSolutions Alliance, an accountant-focused educational collaborative comprised of Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc., XCM Solutions, SmartVault, FreshBooks, and Avalara, announced the addition of Shoeboxed.
Founded in 2007, Shoeboxed provides several easy, convenient ways to digitize and organize receipts, business cards, invoices, and other documents. Shoeboxed accepts mailed paper documents in their famous "blue envelopes" and provides services to scan and organize them into an online account for clients. If users prefer to scan the documents themselves, they can upload electronic images directly to the Shoeboxed folder for data extraction and verification. With Shoeboxed Mobile, uploading documents is as easy as snapping pictures of receipts and business cards with a phone and e-mailing them for processing to a client's account. The paid service and the free online software make organizing important paper documents easy, saving time and money.
Shoeboxed is a valuable addition to the CloudSolutions Alliance, representing a combination of cloud-based technologies and human data verification, which truly enables accountants and their clients to achieve zero data entry. The team at Shoeboxed has identified and executed on key integrations in the accounting space in order to make their clients' experience more productive.
Shoeboxed shares the strong conviction of fellow CloudSolutions Alliance members that best-of-breed SaaS, cloud, and paperless solutions should be integrated in order to create easy-to-use, fully connected solution suites that accountants and their clients can access from any location, anytime, without the need for extensive IT infrastructure.
"As we look to make a bigger name for ourselves in the accounting market, we feel that teaming with the CloudSolutions Alliance is a huge step in the right direction", said Taylor Mingos, CEO at Shoeboxed. "We've watched this group's efforts over the past year and feel that its motivation to provide cloud and paperless education to accountants is in lock step with our company goals. Today everyone is talking about 'zero data entry,' mobile, and integration; three things that we bring to the table. We're confident that by incorporating Shoeboxed into this superior mix of cloud, SaaS, and paperless solutions, the Alliance will continue to provide even more value to accounting firms of all sizes."
"We've been using Shoeboxed at our firm for some time now, and it's proven to be a critical interlocking piece to the puzzle of solutions that enable us to be as productive as we possibly can without sacrificing any accuracy", said Jason M. Blumer, managing shareholder at Blumer and Associates and THRIVEal+CPA Network, and cocreator of the THRIVEcast, one of the most recent CloudSolutions Alliance educational initiatives. "With Shoeboxed now on board, the alliance is continuing to show that it can uphold its mission to educate the CPA community by finding best-in-breed technology solution sets that go far beyond surface-level integration. I can't wait to see what's around the next corner from these folks!"
Shoeboxed will join the other CloudSolutions Alliance members in supporting and creating continued educational initiatives throughout 2012, including the ongoing podcast series from the THRIVEal+CPA Network, the THRIVEcast.
Additional educational initiatives undertaken by the CloudSolutions Alliance have included:
- A research study of Top 100 accounting firms conducted by Bay Street Group focused on profit margins, competition between firms, and getting up-to-date with technology. Managing partners, partners, senior executives, and senior staff from Top 100 firms participated in the survey, which shows that the best-managed, most successful firms are aggressively adopting cloud, SaaS, and paperless solutions. The survey results show that firms are adopting these technologies in order to become more competitive, provide better client service, and improve client retention.
- A white paper by James Bourke, CPA,CITP, and partner at WithumSmith+Brown",3 Key Tech Strategies of Successful 21st Century Accounting Firms", describing how competitive, growth-oriented firms are leveraging technologies like document management and SaaS to better serve clients and improve internal operations.
About CloudSolutions Alliance
CloudSolutions Alliance is a CPA-focused educational collaborative formed in 2010 as a response to the rapid shift toward cloud, SaaS, and paperless technologies in the accounting profession, and how this shift has impacted the capacity of firms to better meet client needs and expectations and to grow by becoming more competitive. Just as firms are now reevaluating long-established processes and metrics used to run firms - the move toward value billing being a key example - the prospect of continuing to serve clients in a non-automated fashion; moving paper-based tax and other documents through the firm; and utilizing outdated, on-premise software, no longer promotes firm growth or keeps pace with the level of client service being offered by fully automated firms. Visit CloudSolutions Alliance Facebook page for more information.
The CloudSolutions Alliance will continue to help educate the CPA community with a variety of initiatives that address the key tenets agreed upon by alliance members:
- Cloud/SaaS/paperless is the new normal.Mature cloud, SaaS, and paperless solutions are readily available and gaining widespread adoption among firms of all sizes. Accounting professionals should consider the positive impact of these technologies and services on their firms, on their staff, and on their valued clients.
- Increased firm efficiency. Choosing to work in a cloud environment supports highly efficient processing and the ability to establish standardized operations, so everyone is following the same procedures.
- Newfound mobility and efficiency. Staff can easily and effectively work from any remote environment with cloud and SaaS tools.
- Focus on client service. Clients benefit directly from cloud, SaaS, and paperless technologies and applications that support real-time exchange of data and new levels of convenience.
- New pricing power. Firms that optimize their operations with cloud, SaaS, and paperless technologies and services gain the ability to confidently charge a premium for their enhanced services with little risk of losing business to a competitor.
- Access to cloud equality. Firms of all sizes, with or without IT staff, can leverage SaaS solutions to offer their clients the assurance of the highest levels of data security and privacy via their service provider(s). This key aspect of cloud computing allows small firms to compete aggressively in the market with a service offering comparable to Top 100 firms.
CloudSolutions Alliance Members
Shoeboxed is a web company founded in 2007 that specializes in the scanning, data extraction, and organization of receipts, business cards, bills, and other documents. Shoeboxed accepts documents through their prepaid mail-in service; by e-mail; with one of its free uploaders; or from one of its Android, iPhone, or iPad apps. Once the important information is extracted and human-verified, users have access to a secure, online archive of data. This data is also exportable through direct integrations with partners such as Quickbooks, Salesforce, Bill.com, and Freshbooks, making accounting, bookkeeping, tax return preparation, expense reporting, and contact management easier.
Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc. delivers innovative scanning solutions and services that enable customers to solve critical business productivity issues and streamline operations. Fujitsu provides cutting-edge document capture solutions for business and personal environments, backed by a comprehensive portfolio of service and support programs.
XCM Solutions, LLC, which was founded by CPAs, provides accounting firms with web-based workflow management solutions that increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. The company's management team has drawn on its extensive experience in public accounting and clear understanding of the paper-driven workflow issues facing the profession to develop technology that addresses those challenges.
SmartVaultis a provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) document management solutions, providing accounting professionals and business users with an easy and affordable solution for going paperless. SmartVault's unique integration with popular small and medium-sized business applications, such as QuickBooks, creates a seamless user experience for scanning, attaching, and finding documents within a familiar application. With SmartVault, users can securely store, access, and share all their documents anytime from anywhere.
FreshBooks.com is an online invoicing and bookkeeping service for small businesses, freelancers, and service-based professionals. Since 2004, FreshBooks.com has helped over 2.5 million people experience painless billing. Dedicated to designing extraordinary customer experiences, FreshBooks.com helps people focus on what they love to do, instead of their paperwork. Visit FreshBooks.com to get a free account and learn more about why over 1,500 accountants and financial professionals are referring FreshBooks to their small business client.
Avalara simplifies the complexity associated with indirect taxes and, in the process, makes compliance achievable by small and mid-sized businesses. Avalara's web-based offering provides the most complete set of indirect tax compliance solutions available, including tax calculation, exemption certificate management, and returns processing. Additionally, Avalara offers automated Form 1099 filing and reporting.