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App Watch on ScanSnap, iManage, TaxAct and OCREX

Jan 31st 2017
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Hello again App Watchers, we’re back for another busy round of announcements and viewpoints on the latest accountant-focused applications and services.

As ever, this column aims to inform and provide some analysis, though not definitive, on the aforementioned news. It will never be promotional, paid or otherwise, and is always open for comments and interpretations.

Over the past week or so we received new announcements from Fujitsu and its ScanSnap product in particular; iManage; and some comparatively lesser-knowns TaxAct and OCREX. So, let’s get to it, there’s lots to cover:

News: Fujitsu Adds Hubdoc to ScanSnap Cloud

Fujitsu now has a partner integration with Hubdoc for its ScanSnap Cloud feature. Business owners and accounting professionals can now scan receipts, bills and other financial documents straight from their ScanSnap iX500 and iX100 scanners to Hubdoc.

ScanSnap Cloud is a free feature that allows ScanSnap customers to deliver scanned data directly to their preferred cloud service without the need for a computer or mobile device. ScanSnap Cloud digitizes hard copy records and creates high-quality PDFs or JPEGs that are sent automatically to Hubdoc by just selecting your desired folder in the dedicated ScanSnap Cloud app. You can then find them in Hubdoc with a push of ScanSnap’s blue button.

This integration enables users to: quickly digitize bills, statements, and other financial documents upon receipt; extract critical data using OCR technology; automatically retrieve documents and pull statements to view and share files without multiple logins; synchronize and manage accounts in one secure hub; and sync key documents to cloud accounting and cloud storage solutions.

Views: For ScanSnap, this is another in a growing line of integrations with other document and expense management and productivity products you may already use, including Dropbox, Evernote, Expensify, Google, OneDrive, Box, Shoeboxed, LedgerDocs, and Rocket Matter (OK, don’t know much about that last one, but anyway…). As I’ve long mentioned, when you’re in the cloud game, the way you really win is by the amount and level of truly seamless integrations you have. Problems with those proposed link-ups will only hurt your brand loyalty. That said, you’re all dealing with documents every day and I know plenty of you are still holding on to some form of manual document management. Good luck with that, meanwhile the Fujitsu’s and Hubdoc’s of the world are going to continue to link up so it will make less and less sense for you to work that way.

News: iManage Releases iManage Work 10 for Product Management

iManage has released of iManage Work 10, a complete redesign of its document and email management application. In conjunction with iManage Work 10, iManage has enhanced its iManage Cloud services to deliver significantly greater scale, performance and reliability. iManage Work 10 was designed with input from hundreds of professional services. It is enhanced with AI-based smart features designed to boost productivity. iManage Work 10 is delivered through elastic cloud-scale services or as an on-premises deployment. Some examples of recent enhancements include: a single, mobile-first user experience;  a simple search interface with filtering options to enable easy navigation of large result sets and personalized results based on each users’ past behavior; AI, machine learning, and big data analytics to help eliminate traditional friction points in common tasks and by anticipating user needs based on historical data; smart work lists automatically track and provide one-click access to all recent clients, matters or engagements, emails and documents; smart timelines to quickly access prior versions and understand how a document has evolved and who has changed or viewed it; smart previews for reviewing large documents on mobile devices; and smart email management to automatically track and group email threads. iManage Work 10 is expected to be available for customer download starting Feb. 10, 2017.

Views: Whew! OK that was a lot for a document and email management product but, apparently they uh, put a lot of work into this new version. Do you need all of the bells and whistles here? Probably not, but as the core functions are indeed essential to everyday office and client work it seems worth a test drive. If for nothing else, see how the AI functions work as these types of “machine learning” features are going to become more commonplace than you know in nearly every business and personal product you use.

News: TaxAct Offers New Features for FY16 Filing

TaxAct has released its TY16 TaxAct Professional tax-filing products. The products are intended to streamline the tax-filing process and help preparers safeguard their clients’ information as well as their practice.

New product features include improved permissions that allow practice owners to have greater control over the data and client returns accessible by other tax professionals in the practice; only preparers with appropriate permission can view and modify returns; users can now go online and sign into the product to be authenticated as a user. Once successfully completed, the tax professional can access client returns within the TaxAct Professional software. In addition, the product also features an import wizard, topics assistant, enhanced 1040 client organizers and more 1041 state editions.

Views: You didn’t think we’d get through January without mentioning tax product updates of some sort, did you? Well look, many of you probably haven’t heard of TaxAct before and I get that unless you’re particularly unhappy with what you and your clients are currently using there’s a fat chance you’ll try anything new, at least not this season. But, on the off chance you want to give something else a go, this seems to at least have the basics.

News: OCREX Releases AutoEntry Mobile App

OCREX, which makes automated data entry solutions for accountants and bookkeepers, has released its AutoEntry solution on iOS in the App Store and on Google Play for Android devices.

AutoEntry is designed to significantly reduce time and cost spent processing paper documents. The app automates data entry by accurately capturing, analyzing and posting invoices, receipts and statements into a user’s existing accounts software; integrating with accounting solutions including Xero, Sage, and QuickBooks. AutoEntry also allows users to capture key invoice information, including tax summaries and full line-item detail on demand. The AutoEntry app is compatible with all Android devices version 4.1 upwards, as well as from iOS 8.0. Users will have access to a range of integrated mobile features, including the capture and upload of multi-page invoices, personalized tracking categories and cost codes; and the ability to monitor the progress of items in real time. It is currently available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store, and offers a pay-as-you-go option.

Views: OK, I get it, again with the document management products. But look, as I said earlier you’re all dealing with a ton of documents, paper or otherwise, so the more choices you have to help manage them the better, right? For these guys, it probably helps to be comfortable in the mobile world and, well, using cloud accounting as well.

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