Well folks, it’s that time of year again, though this year the fine people of the American Institute of CPAs and CPA.com have thrown together their very first “Megacon,” and despite focusing on everything from marketing and administration to financial planning, at the core of this 4,000+ attendee event are still the products and services that allow CPAs to run their practices better and work with clients.
What was once simply known among longtime attendees as “PracTech” or the AICPA Practitioners Symposium and Tech + Conference has expanded to Engage: much more than before, with a week full of content and learning for firm marketers, administrators, wealth managers, and financial planners. While we’ll have other content focused on the week’s events, there is a veritable cavalcade of relevant product and services announcements this week that I’d like to get to in App Watch form.
Once again for those unfamiliar, App Watch is our always informative, never paid-for or promotional column focused on the latest, relevant news coming from the application and service provider market. So, outside of the usual array of booth demonstrations and basic “we are here” announcements, we managed to sort through several bits of relevant product and service news to share with you that we hope you find some value in knowing.
We have quite a few to get to, as one would imagine in such a conference, so let’s get to it:
News: Expensify and Bill.com Form Enhanced Integration
Expense reporting software maker Expensify and cloud-based business payments service provider Bill.com have partnered, resulting in a major redesign of their integration with new features, including document sync between Bill.com, Expensify, and ERP solutions. The revamped Expensify and Bill.com integration incorporates fellow CPA.com partner solution Intacct into its first iteration, allowing information to flow between all three systems. The seamless connection keeps clicks to a minimum by automating the proper path to payment for reimbursable expenses, and ensuring that all documentation and receipts populate in the right places along the way.
Views: OK, so this is definitely good to know if your firm is serving more enterprise-level clients, or at least those that would benefit from a more robust cloud accounting package like Intacct. Not that there probably aren’t benefits for users of Bill.com and Expensify, or those that wish to would fall into my category of leading through real-life integration partnerships. Meaning, you did your homework and figured out how to actually work seamlessly in every sense of the word within one application and have the information from the other(s) via your partnership flow together without the need for an API or any extra work on your part. In short, this is how to really win in the cloud, as I’ve mentioned before, by seeing what other cloud apps and services can work well with you and locking in a deal like this.
News: Scalus and TSheets Integration Delivers Time Tracking Within Workflow App
Scalus, a team management and workflow software maker, announced an integration with TSheets to deliver the time-tracking solution embedded directly into the Scalus workflow dashboard for seamless team management. The integration offers customers the ability to track time in TSheets from within the Scalus application and consolidate time spent by team members on specific clients, as well as capture notes as it relates to the billable hour.
Key features of the Scalus integration with TSheets include Scalus workflow automatically pushes time-tracking data to TSheets time tracking; consolidate team, client, and timesheet data with the click of a button; the ability to take breaks within your workflow and instantly sync them to TSheets; and the ability to track time within a single pane in Scalus.
Views: So, Scalus has been around in one form or another for several years but really hit the market as we know it back in 2015. These two had inked a basic integration deal back then (November 2015, to be exact), but apparently it took some time to work out the real integration between their products that they are revealing this week. Hey, you can’t blame them for taking the time to get it right, sp hopefully they did.
Look, workflow and team management issues run deep even in the smallest of firms. If you don’t have a hold on it, you know you’re asking for serious trouble down the road, especially if you want to try to expand your service offerings. Is Scalus necessarily better than what’s out there? Not for me to say, but I’m certain it beats managing your team and workflow in spreadsheets. And again the time-tracking element here could help. Remember, even if you’re looking to go toward a more fixed or value priced model, you still need to have some sense of WIP and the time you and your staff spend on it in order to place a value on that time. These guys are also demoing how it all works together during the conference, so catch ’em if you’re there and see what it’s all about.
News: Doc.It Releases Doc.It Go Mobile App
Doc.It, a provider of document management, workflow, and document storage products for accounting and tax firms, announces the new Doc.It Go, the mobile app engineered to work in conjunction with Doc.It Suite.
Doc.It Go puts the power of Doc.It Suite at your fingertips, allowing workflow to continue while working anywhere at any time using any mobile device. The Doc.It Go app is designed to allow the user instant access to all information stored in Doc.It; track documents; know the status of workflows; collaborate on multiple devices; pass work to a teammate; take and upload pictures into the system; post and retrieve documents from web portal; and send documents via email. The Doc.It Go mobile app is available at Google Play and the Apple AppStore.
Views: First off, it’s good to see these guys are still around and adding to their offerings. Several years back (during PracTech if I recall), they had an official unveiling to the media, analysts, and thought leaders in the space in an attempt to establish some relevance among the myriad of document management solutions at the time. While there isn’t as much fanfare with this announcement, adding some collaborative mobility is always a good thing. Time was when having a mobile app was seen as advanced, and while it’s become more commonplace and expected in today’s business world, there are some very useful features here if you’re sharing documents with a team.
News: AuditFile Introduces Add-In Tool for Microsoft Excel
Cloud-based audit automation solutions provider AuditFile has released AuditFile Report Builder, a free add-in for Excel available in the Microsoft Office Store. The new add-in gives audit professionals greater flexibility in building dynamic financial statements, reports, schedules, and other workpapers by linking directly to relevant data in the AuditFile trial balance tool.
This add-in extends AuditFile’s integration with Microsoft Office and works in Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel 2016 or later, and Excel Online. AuditFile users can add the AuditFile Report Builder from the Add-Ins tab within Excel. In April, AuditFile announced that it joined the Microsoft Cloud Storage Partner Program and released integration with Microsoft Office Online for creating, editing, and managing workpapers within AuditFile’s cloud environment.
The AuditFile Report Builder allows users to connect data from trial balances and leadsheets to Excel to dynamically create custom financial statements and reports, and automatically refresh that data when updates are made in AuditFile. For example, an AuditFile user can easily link a cell in an Excel financial statement or report template to a leadsheet balance, and all journal entries are automatically reflected when real-time updates are made to AuditFile’s trial balance tool.
Views: These guys are working fast to get noticed in the audit space, adding new features every few months in order to benefit CPAs who specifically engage in A&A work. As you know, it’s a very paper-heavy, or rather document-heavy, job and anything that is going to streamline the work you do, particularly with productivity tools you already use (i.e., Microsoft Office, etc.), has to be a good thing.
Thanks for tuning in to this special edition and, as ever, your thoughts and viewpoints are not only welcome, they are encouraged.