I wrote an article for AccountingWeb on Cryptocurrencies which was featured on their site for some time. Click here to access the article.
I’m working on a project related to SaaS Client Accounting tools, and would like to update some product listings related to this category. A few questions for you, the gentle reader, about these apps:
1. Are there any other solutions which I should be listing?
2. Do you have any experience (good, bad, or ugly) with any of the products? How would you describe your experience, as well as how would you categorize the product within the SaaS accounting tools category?
3. Are you aware of any US accountant programs for the applications?
SaaS Client Accounting Tools
Sage One (www.sageone.com)
QB Online (http://oe.quickbooks.com)
Wave Accounting (www.waveaccounting.com)
Freshbooks (could be sidebar only) (www.freshbooks.com)
Zoho Accounting or Zoho Invoicing (could be sidebar only) (www.zoho.com)
SAP Business ByDesign
Less Accounting (www.lessaccounting.com)
Free Agent (www.freeagent.com)
InvoiceXpress (Euro Invoicing)
Kashoo Online Accounting
Ed. Note – This press release was issued today, and since both MS and Intuit are betting so much on hosted services, I thought it was an important release for you, the gentle reader. I have not edited or otherwise modified the release, other than inserting this comment, so this content is solely the responsibility of its authors – Intuit and Microsoft – BFT
Companies Expand Cloud Opportunity for Developers and Channel Partners
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and REDMOND, Wash. – Jan. 20, 2010 – Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) plan to create new opportunities for software developers to deliver and market Web applications to small business customers through the Intuit App Center. The two companies plan to integrate the capabilities of their cloud services platforms – the Intuit Partner Platform and Windows® Azure platform™ – to enable developers and channel partners to deliver solutions to the millions of employees within businesses that use QuickBooks® financial software. In addition, the two companies will provide small businesses with Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity applications via the Intuit App Center.
Intuit will name Windows Azure as a “preferred platform” for small business cloud application development on the Intuit Partner Platform. The companies expect this to jump-start development and distribution of new Web-based applications to help small businesses in today’s challenging economy. The free Windows Azure software development kit (SDK) (Beta) for Intuit Partner Platform is available today at http://developer.intuit.com/azure.
“Intuit and Microsoft are trusted technology partners to small business,” said Walid Abu-Hadba, Microsoft Corporate Vice-President of the Developer & Platform Evangelism organization. “By combining the pooled technology assets of our developer communities, we stand to produce an outpouring of new applications to help small businesses enhance their competitive edge.”
Immense Ecosystem of Developers and Channel Partners Benefits Small Businesses
As two leading technology platform providers to small businesses, Intuit and Microsoft are creating a vast ecosystem of more than 750,000 development firms and channel partners to create more new innovative applications and services that will reach the market more quickly.
· For Microsoft developers, the ability to develop applications for Intuit’s loyal customers will open a new landscape of sales prospects looking for small business solutions.
· For Intuit’s developer community, Microsoft provides a cloud platform and tools that will boost developer productivity and expand the possibilities to extend Intuit’s core application functionality.
“Intuit is driven to help small businesses succeed by improving their bottom line,” said Bill Lucchini, Vice President and General Manager of Intuit’s Platform as a Service Group. “The Intuit App Center is a huge breakthrough, allowing us to get innovative apps that solve real problems in users’ hands faster than ever before. Now, Microsoft developers can enhance their businesses with access to the small business channel, the Intuit App Center will get stronger and small businesses will reap the rewards of all this innovation.”
“The Windows Azure SDK for Intuit Partner Platform is great news for .NET and Intuit Partner Platform developers,” said Joe Dwyer, CTO of Propelware, a longstanding member of the Intuit Developer Network, specializing in integrating software applications with QuickBooks. “Our developers are already very familiar with Visual Studio, and with the Windows Azure platform, we will no longer have to worry about maintenance, reliability and scale and can focus on creating richer applications for small businesses faster and respond quickly as their needs change.”
New Opportunities for Developers and Channel Partners
The Intuit Partner Platform will give Windows Azure developers the ability to build applications that their customers can use to take advantage of their QuickBooks data. In addition, developers get instant access to a pre-built channel for acquiring customers – a potential market of millions of employees at small businesses that use QuickBooks. A simple click from the QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2010 toolbar takes small businesses to the Intuit App Center where they can find, buy and use Web-based business applications built on or integrated with the Intuit Partner Platform. Applications in the App Center can also be accessed via any Web browser.
Integrated Microsoft Online Services on the Intuit App Center Later This Year
Later this year, Microsoft plans to make Microsoft Online Services, including Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Live Meeting and Microsoft Office Communications Online, available for purchase in the Intuit App Center. These cloud-based applications streamline business communication and collaboration with comprehensive security, high reliability and simplified IT management. As a result, small businesses will have a complete set of high-quality Web applications that deliver the capabilities, flexibility and value they need.
· To download and test the Windows Azure SDK (Beta) for Intuit Partner Platform and other tools, go to http://developer.intuit.com/azure
· To learn more about the Windows Azure platform, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure
· To learn more about the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/online/business-productivity.mspx
· To learn more about the Intuit Partner Platform, visit: http://ipp.developer.intuit.com
· To learn more about upcoming Intuit and Microsoft Activities, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/Intuit
About Intuit Inc.
Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax®, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit’s leading tax preparation software suites for professional accountants. The company’s financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help banks and credit unions serve businesses and consumers with innovative solutions.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual reven
ue of $3.2 billion in its fiscal year 2009. The company has approximately 7,800 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate
Editor’s note: My brilliant and talented older sister recently wrote this article for Dicta, the magazine of the Knoxville Bar Association. I enjoyed it so much (and could have used her sage advice on these topics early on in my marriage and career) that I I am reprinting it here with her gracious permission. Enjoy. – BFT
How to get through the holidays without looking like Ebenezer Scrooge
by Amye Tankersley King
Remember bar review? After three years of being led through the wilderness by the modern day equivalents of Moses (that is, law professors), you finally got a glimpse of the Promised Land (that is, actual answers to questions that were not in the form of another question). Sometimes I feel the same way about holiday shopping. List in hand, I wander aimlessly looking for the perfect gift for everyone, with no idea where I’ve been, where I’m going, or where I am at the moment. While I don’t claim to have all the mysteries of the perfect holiday gift for everyone solved, I have some suggestions that, for the most part, don’t involve a lot more than swiping or typing the numbers off your gold card. Thus, I offer my vision of the Promised Land of gift-giving for some of the most important people on your list.
If you’re in a relationship and want to stay that way, perhaps the most important person onyour list is your partner. I can’t speak for the men and their preferences because I don’t know much about fly rods and NASCAR collectibles, and fortunately Mr. K is pretty easy to shop for because he usually tells me what he wants and then buys it for himself before I get the chance,meaning he’s happy with whatever I get him because he already got what he really wanted. For you men, however, a non-exhaustive list of a few other things the woman in your life doesn’t want includes: anything made by Isotoner, things that come pre-wrapped from a department store circular display, anything with “As Seen on TV” emblazoned on the box, and anything that came from Best Buy, Circuit City, or the electronics department of WalMart. In fact, go ahead and cross anything from WalMart off the list altogether.
I know all you guys think you’ve got shopping for your wife down to a science. December 24th you cruise into the mall about 3:30 p.m. and hit the closest jewelry store to the entrance, where you buy the first thing you see that’s under $100 and comes with a free box of chocolates, then go home for a quick nap in front of the TV. You know how this ends, and it’s not well, yet you keep repeating it like you’re Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.” My advice to you is this. Your wife knows what she wants. If you’re not the type to ask her directly, ask her friends. By her friends, I don’t mean your mother, your secretary, or the cute girl at the dry cleaners. Another tidbit for those of you who are still reading–there is a greater than 50 percent chance that what she wants is not available at the mall on Christmas Eve. Ask now. As in right now. Then Google it, compare prices and shipping fees if you must, click “gift wrap,” and order it before you go home today. Sometimes, if you have managed not to glare at your wife’s friends all year long, they might even volunteer to pick The Perfect Gift up for you. If they don’t offer, start working on your charm for next year. Just think, now you won’t have to endure 25 years of dinner party conversation about the Christmas you got her a dustbuster!
I know you guys think I’m picking on you, and therefore I will move on to the astonishing number of people of both genders who turn into Ebenezer Scrooge when it comes to their non-attorney staff. I was a member of the pink collar workforce in my days before and during law school and therefore consider myself to have (somewhat dated) street cred here. (And my employers here in Knoxville were always very generous, for the record.) In this arena, there’s not a lot of gray area, and I’m going to give it to you in black and white, or as I used to say back in my private practice days when I was getting really fired up at opposing counsel, “So there can be no mistake, I am memorializing this in writing.”
Rule #1: If you hired and/or have the authority to fire an employee, a gift is necessary. I know what you are thinking…. “He/she gets a paycheck; why do I have to give a gift, too?” Umm, he/she gets a paycheck for doing his/her job. Putting up with your moody self all year requires a holiday gift.
Rule #2: There are really only two acceptable gifts for office staff. They are: (1) cash/cash equivalents, and (2) nothing.
Let’s start with “nothing,” because I can hear a misplaced sigh of relief going up over downtown Knoxville. Be advised that you are always treading on thin ice with the Gift of Nothing. You might get away with it if you’re a partner/ shareholder/ owner AND the employee is receiving a hefty cash bonus either for the holidays or organization’s year-end. Just remember that nobody in the office has your back if you roll in a Mercedes but give out stingy bonus checks along with the Gift of Nothing, without regard to the economy. This also doesn’t work if you’re the only one who isn’t giving out employee gifts. It also doesn’t work for non-owners. If you are an employee (read: associate) supervising a subordinate employee, fork over the cash or cash equivalents. Finally, don’t forget to include a sincere note about how much you appreciate the employee’s contribution to the business. This goes a long way in filling out a thin envelope.
Now, let’s go back to the definition of cash and cash equivalents. Cash involves actual cash money (legal tender, Benjamins, dough, etc.) or non-post-dated checks for which sufficient funds are on deposit at the bank upon which it is drawn. Cash equivalents include such things as Visa gift cards and gift certificates to specific stores or service providers that you are absolutely positive are among the employee’s favorites. Items including but not limited to tickets to the Dixie Stampede that came free with your kids’ Dollywood season passes don’t count. There are some of you who have a long-standing relationship with a trusted staff member who exchange personal gifts, and that’s fine. That is in addition to, not in lieu of the cash or cash equivalents.
Next, children. Your children who believe in Santa will tell you what they want. That’s easy. Get on Amazon and order away. Have it shipped to the office to ensure the surprise. In polling several underage family members and acquaintances who are older than the Santa crew and therefore are wise to the big guy’s game, I have discovered that you again won’t go wrong with cash or cash quivalents. Cash is better, but if you decide to go with cash equivalents, be advised that even though you think you’re terminally hip because you shop at Gap and J. Crew, they don’t want a gift card from an “old person store.” Stick with the ubiquitous Visa gift cards (get them at the information desk at the mall and at most banks) that spend at the cool stores with loud music, as well as at the clerk’s office when they are paying their speeding tickets. I’m informed that itunes gift cards (available everywhere, including Kroger and Walgreens) are a safe bet, as well.
Once you’ve amassed the goods, you have to wrap them. While I don’t advocate this attitude on a regular basis, I’m a firm believer that gift wrapping is one of those areas where you can throw a little money at a problem and make it go away. There is the obvious department store gift wrap service. Neiman Marcus is particularly good about free wrapping promotions, and if you hit their website on a good day, you might score free shipping, too. Amazon has gift wrapping as an inexpensive add-on, and it’s well worth it given how much of your gift list you can knock out in an hour. In a pinch, pay the babysitter extra or find a staff member who is motivated to earn some extra holiday cash. Just don’t make it part of the babysitter’s or the receptionist’s regular job description or you will be punished. Trust me, they will find a way.
Happy shopping and happy holidays to all of you!&
Amye Tankersley King is an attorney and a Judicial Clerk for the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville, Tennessee.
[This article originally appeared in Dicta ( the newsletter for the Knoxville Bar Association), and is republished here with the permission of the author. ©2008 Amye Tankersley King, all rights reserved ]
Interesting post on Footnoted.org, (one of the better financial blogs out there) about H&R Block’s contingent liabilities related to the sale of its Option One sub-prime mortgage unit.
I wanted to let you all know that I was recently selected for the 2007 edition of the CPA Technology Advisor’s annual 40 Under 40 list of future leaders for the accounting technology profession. I’m pretty excited about this honor – and wanted to let readers of the blog know about it.
I’ve also uploaded the individual profile they prepared on me for any of you who are interested in it. (warning – even after cutting the image quality, the file is about 1MB.)
As many of you know, I also work with a site on CPA Firm Technology (www.cpafirmtech.com) through my teaching with K2 Enterprises. Today’s mail included the following message (name and location changed to protect the innocent).
I can’t find information return preparation software listed in your website software listing. We are a CPA firm preparing information returns for our clients.
Can you direct me to a spot on your website?
W-2less in Washington
Dear W-2less in Washington:
Most of the major write-up packages offer this functionality from within their product (e.g. Thomson Tax & Accounting’s Write Up CS, ProSystem fx Client Write Up, Intuit’s EZAcct), and all of the entry level solutions (QuickBooks, Office Accounting,Peachtree)offer 1099-MISC preparation and W-2 prep. If you’re looking for after-the-fact payroll (and all that it entails, including 941 prep), look at the following products:
· Quickbooks Enhanced Payroll Plus for Accountants
· Intuit’s EZAcct
· Thomson’s Write Up CS and Payroll CS
· CCH’s ProSystem fx Write Up
· Accountant’s World.com / Accountant’s Relief
The best solution for forms I’ve run across is the Information Return System which comes with Intuit’s EZAcct product line, but I’m not sure if it’s still offered as a separate solution. Click on (http://accountant.intuit.com/member_programs/easyacct/index.aspx?page=features) for information about EZAcct.
If all you’re looking to do with this application is print some forms, the above applications may be more than you really need.
1. Paycycle does a good job of preparing small business payroll , and has a separate service to prepare 1099’s if you’re just doing a few here and a few there (max per company is 50), but they only offer the service during the January-February time frame. You can learn more about them from www.paycycle.com. PayCycle also is offering a year of free payroll for your firm (up to 25 employees) and 90 days of free payroll for your clients. (For more information, please visit www.paycycleseminar2007.com. )
2. There are some online services which will prepare these returns in a web browser window. One I’ve used (and been very pleased with) is www.FileTaxes.com. FileTaxes will even mail the printed forms to the recipients for you from their site as part of the charge for their service. Other K2 team members have also used this application for either their own businesses or for the small business client who needs a few 1099’s prepared. FileTaxes charges on a per-form basis, and is very reasonably priced.
3. I’ve been using the software that I purchase with the 1099’s from Staples every year, but seem to have deleted it from my PC. The application I’ve been using is published by Adams Business Forms, and is included when you buy a pack of 1099’s or W-2’s from your office supply store. I do this very infrequently, so all I have is the printed reports and a data file from this year’s software, but next year, I’ll be able to import the data into their new software, enter the amounts for 2007, and print the reports easily.
4. The IRS has a list of software providers in this space on their site at http://www.irs.gov/efile/lists/0,,id=100422,00.html
If I can be of further service, please drop me a line. I hope to see you at a future K2 seminar.
Best regards, Brian
My travel schedule for the rest of the year is as follows:
11/20-21- New Orleans
11/22- Wichita, KS
11/28- Spokane, WA
11/29- Travel back from West Coast
12/3-5- Fargo, North Dakota
12/6- Travel/ Road work day
12/8- Suburban DC
12/12- Greensboro, NC
12/14- Louisville, KY
12/15- Milwaukee, WI
A very frantic few weeks- and then we head into busy season, possible lifestyle changes, and a 2007 year with lots of teaching and fatherhood, as well as new tech. As such, Thursday and Friday are the only two weekdays (besides Thanksgiving and the day after) where I will be in town until the week of 12/18, and they’re loaded up with appointments already. Yikes!