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App Watch on Avalara, Intuit and iManage

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Sep 7th 2016
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Thanks for tuning in to our latest edition of App Watch, the non-vendor supported or influenced column on what’s new in the world of accounting-related apps and services. I hope that wasn’t too long-winded.

Basically what this column about is not really a center for breaking news, but more of a brief check in on what’s going on and our two-cents on the news itself -- particularly how relevant it is for you, the accounting professional, and your clients. So, here’s what’s up …

News: Avalara Certifies Fishbowl as Solution Partner

Avalara Inc., a provider of cloud-based tax compliance automation, has added Fishbowl, a manufacturing and warehouse management product to its community of certified solution providers. Avalara’s solution partners are software publishers that integrate Avalara’s Software-as-a-Service offering for sales tax management directly into their own applications. Avalara’s connectors into these applications enable customers to automatically calculate sales tax for every invoice line item in real-time, leveraging up-to- date tax rates and rules.

Views: Ok so if you have clients that track inventory, particularly that have interests in manufacturing and warehouse management, they should probably know Fishbowl. The solution is known in the QuickBooks space and also integrates with Xero. As I’ve mentioned, any company that has claims to SaaS/cloud, third party or otherwise, success is only as good as the relationships you have and, of course, how well the integration really works. So retail clients, in particular, should take notice as this particular relationship relates to calculating sales tax for all items they sell.

News: Intuit Introduces QuickBooks Desktop 2017

QuickBooks Desktop 2017 includes numerous new and improved features designed to help you and your clients complete tasks with less effort than before. Among the new features are, Scheduled Reports; Smart Search; In Between Amount Search so you can search between values to find a transaction without having to remember the exact amount; a Vendor and Customer Type Filter; a Visual Reminder to Record Make Deposits; a Credit Card Cleared Status feature; and new Feature Tour. Improved features include the Report Filters View and modification on a displayed report; the ability to quickly select filters so when selecting multiple items in a filter for a report, the list is displayed clearly; a Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks Enterprise; and improved Time Sheet Row Copy and Paste.

Views: Without getting into a political debate between QuickBooks Desktop and Online (I will leave that to you), Intuit appears to be keeping its promise to continue making necessary improvements to desktop, all the while encouraging users (accounting professionals and business alike) to move toward the online product. Based on this release, desktop devotees should remain happy for the time being as there has been much user feedback considered in the new and improved features.

News: iManage Completes Overhaul of Work Product Management Solution

iManage has released iManage Work 9.4, the latest version of its core document and email management solution. iManage Work Product Management is available as a cloud service in the iManage Cloud and as an on-premises installed product. Key aspects of iManage Work 9.4 include: a responsive interface, whether on a phone, tablet, or desktop; analytics that help the software anticipate user needs and wants and provide the user with new insights and useful information; personalized search features; a home page dashboard; and enhanced document preview. The system also tracks user actions and builds custom help topics for each user.  Help is available in mobile, tablet and desktop views and short video clips can be added to help topics for more guidance. 

Views: It’s hard to imagine enough earth shattering improvements to an email or document management system that will be such a major difference for small firms and their clients than what they currently use. However, for any of you that are either unhappy with or interested in exploring new options for you or your clients’ needs, iManage does appear to have done a fair amount of work to rebuild a core product to, apparently, meet more current needs. It seems low risk to check it out something that is so essential to everyday work, no?

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