App Watch on FreshBooks, Gusto and ResultsCRM

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Busy season be damned, the App Watch marches on! Developers continue to expand their offerings for tax and accounting professionals and hope you have time to consider them when you lift your heads.

As such, we have some updates for you – admittedly, some of them are more recent than others – in the form of new apps and integrations from FreshBooks; accountant-centric offerings from Gusto; and a brand re-design from ResultsCRM. Sound interesting? Let’s hear more….

News: FreshBooks Adds Apps and Integrations to Rebuilt Platform

FreshBooks, an invoicing and accounting product focused on self-employed professionals, now offers more than 65 apps and integrations for New FreshBooks, up from 16 when it launched in September 2016.  Integrations for the modernized platform include popular apps and offerings like Google G Suite, Stripe, Hubspot, Fundbox and Bench to name a few. Other apps and integrations available with New FreshBooks include Zapier, OneSaas, Salesforce, MailChimp, Basecamp, Trello and Asana. These apps and more now appear on a redesigned integrations page with enhanced search capabilities.

Views: My response here is two-fold. First off, for anyone who has known this company since the very beginning as I have, I say “good for them.” Nice to see some upgrades and, as any cloud product maker worth their weight in Bitcoin knows, hefty integrations to tools users are already linked up with are invaluable. Outside of that, you may say well, they’re not really a product for accountants and you kind of would not be wrong. It’s not QBO, it’s not Xero, etc. But, it’s also not trying to be, it never was. Since Day 1, FreshBooks’ aim was to serve what has become a growing number of self-employed or contract workers. That’s right, your 1099s and FreshBooks would love nothing more than for accountants to know about them and recommend or even use it in tandem with their 1099 clients. It seems they’ve made it more attractive to do so.

News: Gusto Launches Tools to Help Accountants Grow Their Practices  

Gusto, a modern payroll, benefits, and HR platform has launched Gusto for Partners, a new set of tools aimed to help their accountant partners run payroll and offer HR services for their clients in order to grow their practices. With Gusto for Partners, CPA firms can offer HR advice through Gusto’s Concierge service. Firms can give their clients access to certified HR professionals who can help them navigate HR compliance questions in addition to running payroll.

Gusto for Partners includes a newly designed central dashboard where accountants can run payroll for all their clients from a single login as well as onboard new clients. Accountants can also promote their payroll services by sending new clients a customized signup page with their firm’s logo and invite them to join the Gusto platform. When a client signs up for Gusto payroll through that signup page, the company will automatically show up in the accountant’s central dashboard. As an additional benefit of joining the Gusto for Partners program, members will get free payroll and HR tools such as employee offer documents and paid time off requests from Gusto for their own firm. They also unlock rewards as they add additional clients to their dashboard and can earn revenue with Gusto.

Views: OK, so from the sound of this you may be thinking it seems pretty awesome to start offering payroll and HR services. Gusto is trying to make it more accessible for accountants to do so, but as you may know, if you don’t already do some kind of payroll for your clients or had in the past, it may not be the most attractive thing to do on your service-offering list. Also, I’m sure you’ve been pitched “accountant programs” before from other more “brand name” HR and payroll service providers and didn’t quite see the time and cost benefits. That said, looking at the barrier to entry here with Gusto, it seems well worth kicking the tires and, of course, assessing your current client base for who may truly benefit from you offering to take care HR and payroll to them (with Gusto doing the heavy lifting of course). 

News: ResultsCRM Unveils Brand Redesign and New Software

ResultsCRM, formerly Results Software, a product of AbacusNext, has a brand redesign including a new logo and the user interface of its CRM software. The new ResultsCRM is optimized to run on Abacus Private Cloud and brings with it a redesign of the user interface based on an adaptive framework that delivers a consistent user experience across desktop, web, and mobile applications. The new user interface is also dynamically adaptable, with drag and drop tiles and data modules, allowing the look and feel of the software to be widely variable from one user to the next depending on their permissions, user role, and personal preferences. It also enables fully customizable reporting for business intelligence and data analysis purposes.

In addition, ResultsCRM will consolidate its offerings, merging the features of the Business Suite (previously an optional upgrade) into the core application. The Field Service Management module will continue to be offered as an optional enhancement to the base software for companies with teams serving clients in the field.

Views: On first glance you may say: CRM, what is that or why do I need it? The fact is, a growing number of accountants are indeed embracing CRM to not only help with their own firm marketing and client outreach efforts, but as a viable alternative to practice management systems. Granted, CRM systems were not designed as such but particularly smaller firms who don’t necessarily need all the “bells and whistles” of a practice management system are finding all they need in the comparatively simpler CRM systems. This isn’t to say firms are running on Salesforce, but the likes of ResultsCRM, which has integrations to other tools accountants and clients already use like QuickBooks, TSheets, ShareFile, Constant Contact and SmartVault, are a bit more attractive. Plus, we’ve been wondering how ResultsCRM would fit in to the AbacusNext framework since they purchased them a year ago. Clearly this is the next step in that evolution.

About Seth Fineberg

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