important announcement for all ProOnGo customers

ProOnGo Blog

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


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QuickBooks Mobile Apps – Post 5 of 5 – “View Time”

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Today, we launch our fifth QuickBooks mobile application since Friday, drawing a close to our Five Apps and Five Days project. We’ve had a lot of fun launching these applications, but more importantly we’re glad that we were able contribute to the QuickBooks market five applications that fill genuine needs for our customers.

The application for today will continue in that same vein of meeting a genuine need for mobile QuickBooks users; it’s called “View Time” and like our other recent applications QuickBooks mobile applications, it is a single function application designed to quickly deliver valuable information from your QuickBooks system to wherever you might be.

Contractors, accountants, lawyers and consultants are just a couple of the industries that require accurate time tracking, and they will love using this application, as it gives them a quick and accurate snap-shot of their employees’ time activities already registered in QuickBooks.

So if your employees are using an application that allows them to record time expenses and post them into QuickBooks (like ProOnGo Expense), you can just swipe through your employees time expenses to get a summary of time activities, and launch the register to view the specific time activities the employee has recorded.

The proverb ‘time is money’ was originally coined by Ben Franklin to illustrate that spending your time unwisely is the equivalent to wasting money. While that statement is truer now and it has been ever with the productive capacity crammed in to every minute our smartphones have given us, there’s also another way to think about ‘ol Ben’s quote; if you lose time, you also lose money. So make sure to check out the View Time application, available now on Intuit App Center and iTunes App Store to start saving your business money.

QuickBooks Mobile Apps – Post 4 of 5 – “Add Contacts”

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Some of our first early adopters for ProOnGo Expense back in 2009 were salespeople. Although they called from all kinds of industries and from all over the globe, there was a common theme behind their stories. As I write this blog post, I’m particularly thinking of one of our most dedicated early users (I’ll call her Jen). Jen’s story, though, is the story of dozens or maybe hundreds of others.

The day Jen first called us, was the day that her company’s owner had told her that her last business trip had expenses a little over the norm, and that he had put together an Excel template that she needed fill out for all future expenses (to turn in alongside her receipts originals). Jen didn’t mind documenting her expenses, but it occurred to her that every minute she wasn’t out “selling”, was a minute that she wasn’t generating value for the company. And that bothered her. We set up Jen’s custom Excel format as a just-for-her export option in ProOnGo Expense, and later we helped her get a ProOnGo<=>QuickBooks connection up and running (and at that point the spreadsheet became a moot point). Having solved the problem at hand, we asked her (maybe biting off more than we could chew at that point), “if this is just cutting down on your overhead time, what can we do to really help you create new value?”

The answer was simple. Create a sister product to ProOnGo Expense: create a new product/service for scanning business cards via mobile app, and have them automatically added to QuickBooks Customer Center. See, to salespeople like Jen, business cards are prospects, and she’s very, very good at turning them into customers. Their onboarding process for new customers runs through QuickBooks, because the first invoice is a pre-payment for an initial product shipment. Thus, time lag between getting a new customer commitment, to sending the initial invoice, is all just “time lost” in terms of generating cash flows. On a good day, like at a trade show (especially if it happened to be in the final few days of the month), the dollar figure could be a lot more than a rounding error on the company’s monthly financials.

So, Jen asked if we had anything for scanning business cards via mobile app, and automatically adding the contact to Customer Center in QuickBooks. At the time the answer was “no, we don’t have that”. But, today that “no” turns into a “yes”:

Scan Business Cards into QuickBooks Customer Center

Scan Business Cards into QuickBooks Customer Center

As usual, this app is compatible with just about every flavor of QuickBooks: QuickBooks Pro, Online, Enterprise, and Premier. Check it out on iTunes App Store. The first 15 days is “on us”, and after that you can pay-as-you-go.

QuickBooks Mobile Apps – Post 3 of 5 – “View Registers”

Monday, May 14th, 2012

When it comes to accounting for your company’s credit card transactions in QuickBooks, you really should be using Online Banking to automatically receive the transactions from your bank on a recurring basis. If you haven’t set this up already, it’s well worth the small amount of effort: in QuickBooks Online, go to Banking => Online Banking; or, in QuickBooks Pro, go to Banking => Online Banking => Set Up Account for Online Services.

Online Banking in QuickBooks Pro

Online Banking in QuickBooks Pro

Online Banking in QuickBooks Online

Online Banking in QuickBooks Online

The support for a wide variety of financial institutions is tremendous. We were going to go into QuickBooks Pro and count the number of available banks, but we gave up after 268 that begin with the letter “A”. Suffice it to say, your bank is almost certainly on the compatibility list.

Online Banking Works Great with ProOnGo Expense

If we’ve got you sold on the fact that you really should be using Online Banking to automatically gather transactions from your bank, then lets turn our attention to what to do with the info that lands in QuickBooks. First, you’ll want to set yourself and your employees up with a way to categorize inbound transactions with the correct Account, Customer:Job, Billable/Non-Billable, etc. You can do all of that with the credit card expense features in ProOnGo Expense. ProOnGo Expense also gives managers a way to see their employees expenses (including credit card expenses), and to make further edits if needed. The ProOnGo Expense app is designed all around this idea of letting employees and managers work together to easily collaborate to gather all of the necessary expense information that will ensure that “employee spend” is appropriately documented.

You Probably Have Lots of Cards

But, our guess is that of all of the cards associated with your business, you’ve got more than just the ones that you use for employee travel & expense. You probably have a card or two that you use for procurement. Perhaps you have a card or two of your own. Maybe you have a card attached to some kind of line of credit earned through your stable, reliable A/R.

Sometimes, what you want is a literal “register view” of each of your credit card registers, as they stand in QuickBooks. And sometimes, you want that on-the-go, when it’s not convenient to fire up the full QuickBooks experience.

Theres an App for That

Check out View Registers from ProOnGo. When you open the app, you’ll be able to scroll left/right through all of the credit cards configured in QuickBooks:

Scrolling Left/Right Through Credit Cards

Scrolling Left/Right Through Credit Cards

Then, when you find a specific credit card for which you want to see the register (the list of individual transactions), just press “Launch Register”, to drill in:

Viewing Transaction-Level Details in Credit Card Register

Viewing Transaction-Level Details in Credit Card Register

Check it out on iTunes App Store as View Registers. The first 15 days are “on us”, then it’s just pay-as-you-go, with no commitment required.

QuickBooks Mobile Apps – Post 2 of 5 – “Add Bills”

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Over the years you’ve asked for all kinds of variations of our tried-and-true receipt reader solution (which is part of ProOnGo Expense). About two years ago, we started to get requests from QuickBooks users who said “you let us scan our receipts to create expenses in QuickBooks, could you please, please help us do the same thing for bills we receive from vendors?” (spoiler alert – the answer is now “yes” – as you’ll see in the video)

To a non-QuickBooks user, the distinction between a bill and receipt might seem trivially small. They are both paper documents that signify a payment of some kind, right? Well, to you QuickBooks folks out there, you know the huge difference. Most receipts that find yourself tracking, are either for a credit card charge (which lives in your register for that precise credit card), or perhaps for a debit card transaction, or once in awhile a receipt for something that you paid for by check.

However, Vendor Bills are a bit different from Receipts

First, unless you are a particularly cash-rich business, there is a good chance that you receive bills from your vendors that you don’t pay right away. Perhaps you pay them on Net 30 or Net 45 terms (if you are lucky, maybe Net 60). That means that you are receiving a bill several weeks before you are actually going to pay it. So, it’s not as instantaneous as, say, a debit card transaction where the moment that you conclude the transaction, the bank is already moving money to the recipient. That means that you need some way to keep track of what bills you’ve received, long before you actually pay them, because you’ll no doubt forget 59 days later that you are 1 day from being overdue on that big Net 60 payable.

Second, if you use Accrual basis accounting, the above-described timespan between when you receive a bill and when you pay it, has a crucial impact on your financial statements. The impact of the bill hits your statement of cash flows on the month that you actually pay the bill, or more accurately, whenever the funds leave your account (perhaps because the paper check you sent has been deposited by the recipient, or better yet, because you’ve done a Intuit PaymentNetwork transaction to pay the bill). However, the impact of the bill hits your Income Statement as soon as the exchange of goods or services causes you to bear a future obligation to pay the bill. So, tracking Vendor Bills in QuickBooks is not just a fancy “reminder system” for what’s due to be paid — rather, it has real impact on your financial statements.

Third, Vendor Bills might be paid through any one of your bank or credit card accounts, and perhaps not from the same account every time. That differs wildly from a receipt, where you tend to have decided the payment method right at the point of purchase.

We could go on, but we bet you get the idea. So, Vendor Bills are their own unique beast, worthy of a separate + specialized mobile app.

We Have Something for You

With our new Add Bills app, you can now take pictures of vendor bills, and have them added to your Vendor BIlls list in QuickBooks Pro, Online, Enterprise, or Premier. It’s easy, quick, and it lets you get back to your “day job” (we’ll bet that you’d rather be out generating sales, rather than thinking about the bills you have to pay). The video shows the end-to-end user experience:

…and, don’t forget, the new Add Bills app is just one of five new QuickBooks-compatible mobile apps that we’re launching over the course of five days. You can learn more by hovering over the calendar days below:

QuickBooks Mobile Apps – Post 1 of 5 – “Add Alerts”

Friday, May 11th, 2012

If you are a small business owner using QuickBooks, I bet you wish that you had more time to keep your company file in tip-top shape on a day-to-day basis. You know, so that on that unusually slow Friday afternoon, you could crank out your financial statements and do some real strategic thinking about the future of your company.

Instead, you are probably a bit like the guy in the Staples commercial — the small business owner that has 10 different jobs to do and somehow tries to stay on top of all of them (my favorite part of the video is where “Dave” is repairing the copier, moving packages around the office, and opening the day’s mail all at once).

If we guessed right — that you are a little like the guy “Dave” in the Staples commercial — then there is a good chance that when you finally get around to checking QuickBooks, you might find that the balances in your various registers are far from what you expected (maybe in a good direction, maybe in a bad direction).

We Can Help

Never be surprised again, when it comes to:

  • High balances in your Credit Card registers
  • Low balances in your Bank Account registers
  • High Accounts Payable balances
  • High Accounts Receivable balances

Just set a push alert, using ProOnGo’s new app Add Alerts, and your customized alert level will trigger a push alert to your phone (only during reasonable daytime hours, of course!):

Add QuickBooks Alerts

Add QuickBooks Alerts

…also, we should mention that we built the app in a way that lets us add all kinds of additional alerts. So, feel free to let us know (pun intended: “alert us”) of what additional types of metrics and thresholds this app should make available.

QuickBooks Mobile Apps for Road Warriors

Friday, May 11th, 2012

If you found this blog, there is a good chance that you are both a QuickBooks user and a road warrior.  After all, most of our posts here are about ProOnGo Expense, our solution for QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Online, and Enterprise users who need to track receipts, mileage, and/or time. We’ve been honored to be able to help you from the moment that you incur these expenses — to the moment that a CPA or ProAdvisor is reviewing quarterly financial reports in QuickBooks! And, you’ve been an endless source of inspiration for improving our QuickBooks compatibility.

You Asked for More

If there is one thing we’ve learned from serving you QuickBooks road warriors for the past four years, it’s that you are thirsty for more mobile apps that give you easy access to a broad range of QuickBooks scenarios, not “just” for your expense tracking needs. We hear it from you directly just about every day — by email, by phone, on Twitter, on Facebook. We hear you loud and clear: you like our Expense app, but you want more, high-quality, QuickBooks-compatible mobile apps of all kinds.

Mobile Apps on Intuit App Center

There is plenty of room for an ecosystem of QuickBooks-savvy mobile app developers to create all kinds of delightful QuickBooks-compatible mobile apps. And month after month, we keep seeing new QuickBooks-compatible mobile apps arrive on Intuit App Center (that’s the place to find apps that integrate with Intuit’s cloud-based platform). I’m sure there is also a growing list of mobile apps that integrate via IIF files or the old QuickBooks SDK, but we shy away from recommending those, for reasons beyond the scope of this post. At the time of this post, there are 15 QuickBooks-compatible mobile apps listed on Intuit App Center, compared to just a scant few a year ago.

So, the ecosystem is growing, and that means more options for you. And that’s a good thing.

But it’s Not Growing Fast Enough

The pace of your thirst for new QuickBooks-compatible mobile apps vastly outruns the pace at which we are seeing good new QuickBooks-compatible mobile apps arrive on Intuit App Center. And we just can’t let that happen.

Over the years we’ve developed a dazzling array of libraries that we use internally to make it easy to build QuickBooks-compatible mobile apps, and it seemed like a shame to only use those for our ProOnGo Expense app. We finally decided that we just must help you get more access to QuickBooks scenarios while you are on-the-go, even if it means going a little beyond our normal domain of expense reporting.

Here’s How It Works

We picked five of the most popular requests that we’ve received for QuickBooks apps. We picked simple ones, and we prioritized based on which requests we’ve heard the most. These apps are a lot more like a butter knife than a swiss army knife: they are each built around one specific scenario, they are good at that one scenario, and they don’t have 73 additional features cluttering the UI.

Here are the five scenarios we’re going after:

  • …being able to snap a picture of an invoice from your smartphone, and have a new Vendor Bill created in QuickBooks
  • …being able to snap a picture of business cards from your smartphone, and have a new customer created in QuickBooks
  • …being able to view your employees’ time activities from your smartphone
  • …being able to view your QuickBooks credit card registers from your smartphone
  • …being able to set up push notifications for low balances, high A/P, or low A/R.

These five scenario-based apps go live on iTunes App Store over the course of the next five days, one app per day. Hover over the calendar days below, to see when your favorite scenario goes live!

ProOnGo Business Card Reader

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Introducing our latest app: ProOnGo Business Card Reader.  Now the same accuracy that we deliver with our Receipt Reader in ProOnGo Expense you can now apply to your business cards.

The app is extremely simple; Just open up ProOnGo Business Card Reader, select “New Business Card” and then your camera will launch.  Take a picture of the business card, and ProOnGo Business Card Reader will extract:

  • Name
  • Company Name
  • Job Title
  • Email Address
  • Mobile Phone #
  • Office Phone #

This info is then sent your email address as a vCard attachment as well as .jpg of the business card.  As soon as your tap the vCard attachment your contact is added to your address book.

The app is available for iPhone 3GS and BlackBerry devices for free, and with our subscription package, you can share your credits between ProOnGo Expense and ProOnGo Business Card Reader.

Give the app a try and then tell us what you think!