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ProOnGo Blog

Posts are primarily about QuickBooks, Xero, expense reports, and other topics useful to small business owners, CPAs, and ProAdvisors.


5 QuickBooks Compatibility Improvements that Delight

August 24th, 2013

When we introduced our QuickBooks compatibility a few years ago, we started with a deep focus on the data flows between ProOnGo and QuickBooks. Nothing is more important to us than the sanctity of your accounting data, and that meant taking a microscope with us as we focused on every field and entity that flows between ProOnGo and QuickBooks. That attention to detail led to a mountain of appreciation from data architects, API folks, IT professionals, and CPAs.

However, during that effort, sometimes it took a few tries to get your feedback into our user interface while we refined the ways in which you configure, send, or review the data headed to QuickBooks. You know, the user interface that caters to humans, not hard drives, memory, and network infrastructure.

This post is our shot at bringing you up-to-speed on some of the subtle UI improvements that have been added recently as we’ve increased our focus on what real, live, everyday users tell us about their needs and experiences.

1. QuickBooks Reimbursements – Making Read-Only

Imagine that you send a set of expenses to QuickBooks as a check or vendor bill to reimburse an employee for out-of-pocket expenses. The moment that you issue that reimbursement, the expense allocations and other details become an important financial record that should almost certainly not be modified thereafter. Sure, there’s an occasional correction after-the-fact, but once the financial transaction has been made — the payout to the employee — you’ll be hard pressed to think of any legitimate reason to add/remove line items, change the amounts, or other fundamental details.

QuickBooks Compatibility & Reimbursed Expense Protection
QuickBooks Compatibility & Reimbursed Expense Protection

That’s why expenses in the Reimbursed state generally should not be modified in ProOnGo, and they now have a “lock” hover if your mouse is suspiciously close to doing an edit-in-place on the expense.

Sure, we’ve always had reactive popups and error messages that catch you in your tracks if you try to modify a reimbursed expense, but now we have this “gentler and kinder” proactive hint that reminds you that the expense is read-only and strongly encourages you to use our QuickBooks compatibility correctly.

2. QuickBooks Reimbursements – One-Click Preview

Ever get into a situation where your employees suddenly file dozens of expense reimbursement requests, and it reminds you to catch up on these and other recent expenses? Us to. When it happens, it’s nice to have a running tally of how many expenses you need to send to QuickBooks, and you’ve long had our “yellow bar notification” that keeps you informed about that. However, it occurred to us that when you see that notification, more often than not you want a one-click way to preview the list of expenses that need to be sent over. Now, you’ve got just that – click on the blue-circle magnifying glass embedded into the text of the notification:

QuickBooks Compatibility &  One-Click Preview
QuickBooks Compatibility & One-Click Preview

When you click on that magnifying glass, you get a list of the expenses that will be included in your next send-to-QuickBooks. Your QuickBooks compatibility is now easier than ever to understand.

3. QuickBooks Compatibility Settings – Deep and Broad

The day that our QuickBooks settings page reached the equivalent of five full screen heights, we realized that an unwieldy settings page means settings that are too intimidating to touch. We needed to do a better job of making the settings much easier to understand and use. Done! Check out our new “left nav” style that breaks up QuickBooks compatibility settings into logical, easy to understand groups:

Reimbursed Expense Protection
Reimbursed Expense Protection

We hope you’ll agree that this is an easier and far less cumbersome way to navigate the deep and wide range of QuickBooks compatibility scenarios that we support.

4. Easy Edits in a Data Rich Environment

There’s nothing worse than staring at a user interface that looks and feels like a data grid. If we wanted to use Excel 97, we’d use Excel 97. The problem with data grids is that they tend to be functional but hard on the eyes. Check out our new, subtle UI cues that make it easy to see what row you are currently hovering over, and therefore what row you can edit-in-place if you want to click to edit:

Easy Edits in a Data Rich Environment
Easy Edits in a Data Rich Environment

5. Receipts Where & When You Want

Most of our users want to forward in their receipt images to Receipt Reader, have them turned into data fields for a QuickBooks import, and then basically not think about the receipt ever again. Good call, that’s the way it should be!

However, if your expense list contains a mix of expenses created manually vs. with receipt reader vs. with bank sync, you’ll soon forget which ones have receipts attached already and which ones are still “to do”. So, our thumbnails that appear upon hover, will help keep you sane:

Thumbnails - There when you want
Thumbnails – There when you want

The problem? Originally we set up these hover thumbnails in a way that might conceivably get “in the way” if you were using edit-in-place on that expense row. Problem solved! Now we hover just a few pixels down-and-to-the-right, to make sure that the hovered receipt thumbnail stays well out of the way of your edit-in-place. And, while we were working on it, we improved the speed of the receipt thumbnail appearance by a factor of 3x. Enjoy!

Stay Tuned!

That’s it for now, but keep the feedback coming, and we’ll keep working to make our QuickBooks compatibility natural, intuitive, and hassle-free.

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