This is part 3 of 3 in a series by Woody Adams. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
“QuickBooks Desktop looks old”… Let me end this series with a story that happened to me recently. I set aside 30 minutes to help a sales agent on our team overcome the Open Windows objection, as she sells the current 5 for $25 deal to accountant firms. You know, where you can get 5 QuickBooks Online Plus subs in your QuickBooks Online under wholesale billing for $5 each? Killer deal…Let’s call her “Camille”. Camille recently joined Intuit right out of college, a young millennial, a bright and shining example of the type of person you are wanting to hire or take on as a client.
She wanted to know more about what an accountant means when they complain about QuickBooks Online and how QuickBooks Desktop is so much easier to work in from a workflow standpoint, because of the Open Window list. I showed her in my QBA 2017, opened up a few reports, the register, a check etc, and the Open Windows list. Immediately she realized a benefit of this ole desktop approach. It was quite eye opening to her and she admitted easily that it did look easier in terms of UI, workflow, toggling quickly between windows. I showed her some browser tips in QuickBooks Online, and we both agreed it is not the same thing. Even the multiple tabs felt chunky and took time to get setup etc…Camille could understand the argument. It is not a winnable debate from the QuickBooks Online workaround viewpoint. Then I told her it didn’t matter and was not a battle worth winning…Her gut reaction to my take confirmed the Why…
QuickBooks desktop looks old.
“Camille, what does QuickBooks Desktop look like to you?”
“Exactly. Anything else?”
“I do like the visual open windows and how easy it is to flip back and forth but I wouldn’t ever install such an old application. I mean, QuickBooks desktop looks old…”
I then tell Camille a story of a firm transferring files back and forth with their clients, never having the most current data, or even the correct data, hosting fees, all to support the ability to use the Open Windows feature.
“Oh, well, yeah, I am never using QuickBooks Desktop, I mean it is just really old.”
Quickbooks desktop looks… old
Now I am paraphrasing “Camille’s” thoughts as we sat together at my desk that day, looking at QuickBooks Desktop, then doing the similar work in QuickBooks Online, and even launching the QuickBooks Online Windows app, which she admitted would bridge the gap for someone really struggling with moving to QuickBooks Online. It was some of the better 30 minutes I have spent in my 12 years at Intuit. Why?
“Camille” to me represents consumer progress, the younger generation that will soon take over the market, whether that market be firm employees or firm clients. You cannot take QuickBooks Desktop to them as a viable option, particularly if the client is going to be in the books. You are going to want to be in there with them, collaborating with them in real time, and they are not going to want to send you any file or version of their file. They will want you to login beside them. They will want you to teach them how to automate data entry, how to quickly get to critical data and have you advise them on it. Daily, in the moment. If you are willing to sacrifice all that progress for Open Windows, who are you really solving for? And the said in school I could never end anything with a rhetorical question. Ha!
This is a guest post, authored by friend and QBOShow.com co-host, Woody Adams.
A recent conversation in my Facebook group was all about how to attach bank and credit card statements in QuickBooks Online. I thought it would be a great to show the two methods of doing this.
Using zero dollar transactions to attach bank and credit card statements in QuickBooks Online
The first way to attach bank and credit card statements in QuickBooks Online is a bit more “old school” method, and my preferred way of doing this, because you can create custom reports that make it easy for users to find statements for any account in one place.
Similar to my method of attaching sales tax & payment tax returns and payment confirmations, this method also uses the zero dollar transaction.
First, create a new vendor that corresponds to the account: in this case, we’ll add “Amex 30018 Statements” to our vendor list:
Vendor Center > New Vendor
Next, you’ll navigate to the Amex register and create a transaction that posts to/from the Amex account, and has the same ending date shown on the statement:
Quick Create > Expense
Do the same for all of the accounts that you’d like to attach bank and credit card statements in QuickBooks Online: PNC, Bank of America, even PayPal.
Now you can create a report that will list all transactions to which attach bank and credit card statements in QuickBooks Online. We’ll set the filter to just show transactions for the current year, and selected vendors:
Reports > All reports > Transaction List By Vendor > Customize
Sharing the report for other users makes it very easy for everyone to access the bank statements. They simply open the report (or bookmark it for easy access) and click on each transaction to find the statement attached.
Using the vendor detail page to attach bank and credit card statements in QuickBooks Online.
The second method is much more simple, but doesn’t allow for the ability to see all statements in one list or report.
As in the first method, you create a new vendor.
Next, you simply navigate to the vendor detail page, click on the attachments tab, and drag and drop the statement.
Vendor List > Edit Vendor
Either way works, you just need to decide what method works for user needs, when you attach bank and credit card statements in QuickBooks Online.
Hope this little how-to was helpful!
This is part 2 of 3 in a series by Woody Adams. You can find Part 1 here.
As an Intuit product specialist for the Accountant segment, I get to spend time supporting sales agents and account managers as they work with their customers (accounting firms) and their clients. For the most part, most firms are opening the door and shifting their client base from a desktop platform like QuickBooks Pro to QuickBooks Online Plus. There are some reasons that are perfectly valid to ignore the knocking on the front door. Maybe it is not a good fit for yet, due to finances, consistent internet activity, fear of change, lack of perceived urgency to adopt latest technology, feature set, etc. There are many reasons like this that I totally understand; concerns with which I can empathize.
However, there is one push back from firms adopting QuickBooks Online: it doesn’t have the open windows list like in QuickBooks Desktop. Well, there is a QuickBooks Online utility app you can download on windows or mac machines that renders QuickBooks Online more relatable to long time desktop QB users. And we have the browser tips oft discussed in webinars and trainings to show accountants that they can indeed have a P&L, a Balance Sheet, and other forms or windows open in multiple tabs. It works well, but is not the same thing as the good ole QuickBooks Desktop Open Windows list.
These things aren’t going anywhere
Open Windows list isn’t QuickBooks Online. That’s a desktop thing.
Instead of the open windows list, we can use browser tabs. And move them around, on any monitor.
You can put these bad boys any place!
So I just do not fight that complaint anymore. I don’t put the gloves on and duke it out with some tips and tricks. I demo the QuickBooks Online Windows app, but would never actually use it myself. Why? I grew up on QuickBooks Desktop but also on QuickBooks Online, and when on QuickBooks Online, I am in a browser, mainly Chrome or Firefox.
I will Right click/Duplicate tabs when needed, move a tab to a 2nd monitor if I need a split view, or Tile the tabs vertically when on one screen. Like Stacy, to me, the point of using QuickBooks Online is so that I don’t have to install local apps. But even this does not matter. I am not using QuickBooks Online because of the open windows list. I am using it because QuickBooks Online offers me the best platform for the following WAY MORE CRITICAL business life stuff:
- No file transfer
- No QuickBooks Desktop versioning or installation of a desktop application
- No expensive IT structure
- Better real time collaboration with clients
- Automatic connection to bank and credit card feeds
- Automatic sync to apps that pull in feeds from other vendor sources with attachments, transactions auto created in QuickBooks Online.
- Auto-sending of reports
- Auto sending of transactions
- Auto-creation of invoices from unbilled activity
- Better collaboration within the firm
- Ability to hire better talent that will think desktop installed solutions unacceptable, unimaginable…
- One client list inside of QuickBooks Online
- New features and functionality in product without installing maintenance releases
- Access data from any device
- No re-entry of data after the day is done and I been out on road working with customers
- More time back to spend with family
I am sure there are more.
So I give you your victory regarding QuickBooks Desktop Open windows list. Congrats. Cling to it as long as you can. But how sustainable is your stance? How do you encourage an employee natively powered for the cloud to adopt your QuickBooks Desktop client collaboration process of transferring files back and forth? Or explain the benefit of using the accountant’s copy process? They will just think you are out of touch and apply to a firm down the street that is better adapted.
The desktop platform is not relatable to employees that are embracing technology. These demographic – regardless of their age – is fast becoming your clients and employee base. Is not being able to do a bank feed from an iPhone while on the road so much more viable than having an open windows list in one screen on a computer in an office? Your answer to that question is critical to your own sustainability as a sought after accounting practice. Are you in retirement mode or growth mode? Retirement = QuickBooks Desktop, Growth = QuickBooks Online…
Stay tuned for Part 3: It looks really old
This is a guest post, authored by friend and QBOShow.com co-host, Woody Adams.
Another one down, and a big shout out to too all of my fellow accounting professionals! My question to you is: Busy season is over, now what will you do?
As a bookkeeping firm, our business starts around Thanksgiving, and finishes around the end of May. We start during the holidays getting our existing clients year end prepared, so that once December 31 comes around, things go as smoothly as possible. We get many new clients that need data entry completed before they can get their returns done. Some just want a QuickReview to make sure the books they have are clean and ready.
I know many tax preparers will take (well deserved) time off, but the question remains when you return from that vacation: Now that busy season is over, what will you do?
For Kildal Services, this is a question that I start thinking about as soon as our busy starts. At the end of each year, we set goals related to revenue, clients and team members. Having these goals in place helps us plan when busy season is over – what sort of marketing will we do? To whom will be market? What sort of budget are we going to have to work with?
Busy season is over, now what will you do?
Our plan this year is simple:
- Get more active in local activities. Now that busy season is over, I’ve already participated by co-sponsoring a TGIF Coffee for the Highland White Lake Business Association, and am scheduled to have a table at the local high school Career Day.
- Try out a new marketing approach: custom landing pages, combined with Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Ads
- Stick to the types of clients we love (photographers, auto repair, landscaping, PR/marketing & consultants), and the services (technology consulting, QBO conversions, QuickReview™ and of course, bookkeeping) we do best.
- Cleaning up our website, to add more consistency and calls to action.
Now that busy season is over, we’ll also be revamping content for Weeks 1 & 4 in StacyKAcademy.com, and revamping the entire site to make it easier to navigate.
I’d love to hear from you:
Busy season is over, what are your plans for 2017?
“Let them win the QuickBooks Desktop open windows argument, mostly cause it doesn’t matter. Even they know that.”
-Clayton Adams III
Less and less do I hear this refrain, because I am somewhat removed from the phones; yet I know the argument still rages on in sales calls. “QuickBooks Desktop just is better at workflow…QuickBooks Online takes me 15 minutes longer to do the same task…I cannot have multiple windows open like I can in QuickBooks Desktop…Reporting sucks vs. QuickBooks Desktop”…and such. The last complaint is mostly in relation to open windows, “…like in QuickBooks Desktop”.
Core reporting is essentially the same between the two platforms, I mean the main 3 reports accountants run: namely the Balance Sheet, P&L and Trial Balance. I know there are a few gaps remaining in terms of extra header lines, footer on every report page, and date range formation flexibility, etc… but mostly, QuickBooks Online is on par with QuickBooks Desktop where it matters. Even feature set-wise, QuickBooks Online is practically a price-level away from QuickBooks Pro.
What really is the continuing negative noise about?
Tis more of a tired, dwindling tune…
Bank feeds in QuickBooks Online are superior to QuickBooks Desktop.
Bank rule function, direct connection, batch accept to register, batch modify, batch undo and delete – these are all online banking features that QuickBooks Desktop either does not have or does in a way that just cannot compare to QuickBooks Online feeds. Add to this the fact that with QuickBooks Online, it can all be done on mobile. Bank feeds in QuickBooks Online are superior to QuickBooks Desktop.
This is what the bank feed feature looks like in QuickBooks Desktop:
This is what the bank feed feature looks like in QuickBooks Online:
If automation of data entry is at the doorstep, then QuickBooks Desktop is a-slipping out through the back. Yet, there are many desktop champions still clinging to this old solution, and it is not because QuickBooks Premier supports sales orders. Heavy inventory and job costing requirements are seldom needed across a firm’s client base – at least not the firms with whom I’m talking to. If this were not the case, then why do so many of their clients use Pro?
Exactly… robust feature set is not the reason for the QuickBooks Online criticism or pushback on sales calls. These diehards just like the way the windows open in QuickBooks Desktop vs QuickBooks Online. It’s ok. It is cool how open windows work in QuickBooks Desktop. Genius. A genius whose impact and effectiveness is waning against a more important story: Automation of data entry and real time results. Who cares about open windows if you no longer need to enter data, or can set up the data to enter with minimal involvement? Uh, that question was rhetorical. Have I mentioned yet that bank feeds in QuickBooks Online are superior to QuickBooks Desktop?
Check out Part 2: Open Windows List
This is a guest post, authored by friend and QBOShow.com co-host, Woody Adams.
This week on QBO Show, our guest was Joe Woodard, and we discussed the upcoming Scaling New Heights conference, and it got me thinking about Mount St. Laundry and the entire idea of breaking down a process – whatever that process might be.
As he was explaining the theme behind this year’s conference, it dawned on me that it was similar to what I teach in StacyK Academy. It’s a variation of what I first referred to as Mount St. Laundry, way back in 2011, what I’ve talked about many times on previous shows, and brought up recently on my own blog, as well as Intuit’s Firm of the Future site.
This Mount St. Laundry idea (you can listen to me explain it here, start around the 16:40 mark, it finishes around 20:15), is what prompted me to begin planning StacyK Academy in 2014, and launch it the summer of 2015.
The Mount St. Laundry theory is breaking down a process and tackling each part, one at a time.
If you don’t want to listen to that part of the show, the TL;DR is this: managing a certain part your business is like dealing with a pile of laundry. It looms over you and can seem overwhelming, until you divide it up – whites, darks, reds, etc – and take on each small load. It’s all about breaking down a process and taking on each part of it, one step at a time.
Breaking down a process, like sorting a giant pile of laundry, makes it easier to manage
Here are just a few steps in the path to tackle your Mount St. Laundry (or your client’s) and begin breaking down a process. We’ll use a common one I hear in the accounting community: “How do I grow my practice?”.
- Identifying why it needs to be addressed. Is this internal pressure, or external? Internal pressure may be that you have a goal to build a business that you can sell, or you’re at a tipping point and can’t take on any more clients without hiring. External pressure might be that you’re being told you need to grow, or your clients are asking for additional services.
- Examining what you’re doing. Take a look at the types of clients you have, compared to what you’d like to have. What about your team members? What’s working? What isn’t?
- Defining the desired outcome. I’ve found that many times, it’s easier to work backwards from what you’re looking to accomplish. For this use case, you should figure out what “grow” means. Does it mean more clients? More staff or team members? More revenue? It could even be something as simple as you personally want to work less hours. It could even be all of the above.
- Breaking down a process. Working backwards from your goal in growing, break that down into smaller parts to take on. Clients, staff, revenue. For clients, let go of the ones that won’t help you reach the goal, and come up with a marketing plan to acquire those that will. For staff, start documenting workflow so they have the 3 aspects I teach in StacyK Academy: repeatable, trainable & scalable; this will make it easier for existing team members and any new hires to be on the same page. For revenue, you can evaluate current services and look for ways to streamline, look at additional services to add to your offerings, and examine current pricing to ensure you’re charging enough to cover your costs and that it can scale with your business.
I’ve been trying to help fellow accounting professionals with this for quite a few years now. In 2013, it was providing them with an action plan to move their practice online while presenting Intuit’s Find Freedom in the Cloud. These days it’s providing a checklist for new ProAdvisors, or via StacyK Academy by providing training and tools for managing their practice.My point here isn’t “I’ve been doing this forever”; I’m trying to say that this is an issue that any type of business will continue to encounter. I’m so glad to see the Scaling New Heights conference this summer taking on this theme as well!
My last piece of advice for this: relax. Don’t feel pressure to grow just because. Right now might not be the best time to do this, for a variety of reasons. Take your time to plan your growth; you don’t want to be stressed out, you don’t want to lose good team members, and you want to be able to provide stellar customer service. Be realistic about expectations; you probably won’t double your revenue in the next 12 months. I think this might always be an issue, for many people: taking on the Mount St. Laundry and breaking down a process, whatever that process might be.
By breaking down a process into actionable steps, we can achieve business goals
If we look at each small load of clothes we can put in the washer, rather than just staring at the intimidating Mount St. Laundry… if we look at breaking down a process into actionable steps, we can achieve business goals – heck, life goal in general – with a plan, and so much less stress. In the end, we’ll all end up smelling like a mountain breeze, right?