November 17, 2022
Quadient Accounts Payable by Beanworks Review: Features & Pricing in 2023
(formerly Beanworks AP) is a cloud-based automated accounts payable (A/P) solution that helps accounting teams move swiftly from invoice to payment. It uses automatic data entry to import data to its secure online dashboard and manages the approval process. While upfront pricing is unavailable, you can request a demo of the software before purchasing. Quadient Accounts Payable Automation by Beanworks Deciding Factors Quadient Accounts Payable Automation by Beanworks Alternatives Despite Quadient’s free starter plan, we’ve scored them low in pricing because of their lack of transparent pricing and lack of details as to what is included in the free plan. Quadient Accounts Payable offers customized feature-based plans instead of tiered plans. This means each plan has a unique set of features. There are very few details about the different plans. All plans are custom priced except for Beansprout where users can start for free. Beansprout: For businesses new to A/P automation needing payment approvals and cloud storage Purchase orders (POs): For businesses looking to manage purchase orders (POs) and requisitions Invoices: For businesses wanting invoicing solutions for unlimited users and storage Payments: For businesses needing payment solutions like check payments, ACH, electronic funds transfer (EFT), forex, and remittances Expenses: For businesses looking to track expenses Quadient Accounts Payable Automation by Beanworks Features In evaluating the features of Quadient Accounts Payable, we compiled general and special features related to A/P. General features are essential functions like creating bills, recording bills, creating POs, paying bills, and so on. Special ones, on the other hand, pertain to A/P automation features that help users have a smoother A/P management experience. The main purpose of Quadient Accounts Payable is to assist businesses with tackling four core areas: POs, invoices, payments, and expenses. It can create and match POs automatically to invoices, set and manage spending limits, search for digital invoices, configure customized approval channels, and set up batch payments. It’s mobile-friendly, with the ability to access and approve invoices on both iOS and Android devices. Embedded within the essential A/P features are the special features that we’re looking for in A/P software. It has optical character recognition (OCR) features that speed up data entry with 99% accuracy, according to Quadient AP. The OCR feature is extremely helpful for small businesses that process a lot of physical documents. There are also workflows within the app that work with your accounting software. Quadient AP automatically forwards data to the accounting software through a series of workflow steps. If there are invoices and bills sent to your email address, Quadient AP can automatically fetch them and record them in the platform. Quadient AP comes with a full support structure. The website has a help center, which expands upon all of the core features and functions in more detail. There’s also a solid resources section, which contains a blog, white papers, infographics, and case studies that home in on many key areas of A/P automation. The level of customer support depends on the plan that you get. For example, the Starter plan promises a response within one business day, while the Premium and Enterprise options promise a dedicated customer support manager and a response within four business hours. Quadient AP can also be integrated to work alongside your accounting software, which means that you can export batch payment data with very little effort. One of its claims is that it can implement its fully automated A/P system in less than six hours, an attractive offer for businesses wanting to avoid a long period of downtime. Moreover, Beanboard is Quadient AP’s version of a dashboard. The example above shows the performance of various users, which includes the details of invoices processed and approved. Information for invoices processed includes the number of invoices and average and median processing times. Meanwhile, information for invoices approved includes the total number of invoices, average and median approval times, and number of invoices approved or rejected. This information can be filtered by legal entity name and date range and can be exported to a comma-separated values (CSV) file. Quadient Accounts Payable Automation by Beanworks Integrations Quadient AP integrates with many of the leading ERP and accounting programs to automate the A/P process. These include QuickBooks, Xero, Sage 50/100/300/500, Sage Intacct, Oracle NetSuite, Rent Manager, Jonas Club Software, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Clubessential, and Northstar. Quadient Accounts Payable Automation by Beanworks User Reviews Quadient Accounts Payable reviews from users indicate that the software is suitable for small business accounting. However, some reviewers said that the response to support emails takes some time. Quadient AP received the Top Performer award in Featured Customers. Featured Customers: 4.7 out of 5 stars based on around 1,650 reviews G2.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars based on around 130 reviews GetApp: 4.6 out of 5 stars based on around 35 reviews Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) What does Beanworks do? Quadient AP Automation by Beanworks (formerly known as Beanworks AP) is a cloud-based A/P automation software that integrates with popular accounting software. Does QuickBooks have A/P automation? QuickBooks has A/P automation features but isn’t as robust as Quadient AP Automation by Beanworks. Since QuickBooks focuses mainly on accounting software, you can expect basic A/P automation features like workflows (in QuickBooks Online Advanced) and bill management. Bottom Line empowers accounting teams to succeed by automating the A/P process. You can set the A/P workflow, automate the approval channels, and manage multiple entities easily in one consolidated system. With the addition of smart coding, the data entry is all but eliminated. The platform excels when used across multiple teams, departments, and companies, allowing you to manage simple yet powerful workflows. With no user fees, you can involve the real spenders and collaborate across the entire organization in real-time.
November 15, 2022
How To Import Bank Transactions Into QuickBooks Desktop
We’ll cover how to import bank transactions into QuickBooks Desktop through two methods, with the first one via setting up a direct connection, or bank feed, between your bank account and QuickBooks Desktop. The second is by WebConnect (.qbo files), which doesn’t require QuickBooks to access your online bank account. We’re glad you’re taking the time to learn QuickBooks Desktop, one of our best small business accounting software. Read our comparison of all QuickBooks Desktop products to help you determine which is best for your business. You can check out Intuit’s website to learn more about the products. How To Import Bank Transactions to QuickBooks Desktop Through Bank Feeds How To Import Bank Transactions to QuickBooks Desktop Through WebConnect (.qbo File) Why Import Your Bank Transactions to QuickBooks Desktop? The ability to import your bank transaction to QuickBooks Desktop is one of the software’s biggest time-saving features. Most banks have digital banking features that make it simple to 1) allow QuickBooks access to your account or 2) export transactions that can then be imported into QuickBooks. Moving your bank transactions to QuickBooks helps you: Save time from entering your data manually Keep your books updated regularly Simplify the reconciliation process How Often Should You Import Transactions to QuickBooks Desktop? A good rule of thumb is to import transactions to QuickBooks Desktop no less than once per month—but do it more often if you actively use QuickBooks to monitor your expenses and bank account balances. At the very least, you should import your bank and credit card transactions whenever you receive a statement—but prior to reconciling the account. Check out our tutorial on how to reconcile a credit card balance in QuickBooks Desktop. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) How far back can I import to QuickBooks Desktop? Most financial institutions allow you to import up to 90 days of transactions. If you need to import transactions before those 90 days, then you need to seek assistance directly from your bank. Is my bank information secure with QuickBooks Desktop? Yes, it is. QuickBooks uses multiple layers of network, storage, and physical access security measures to ensure that your banking information is always safe and secure. What if my bank doesn’t support WebConnect file download? If WebConnect download is unavailable, then you’ll need to import your transactions through bank feeds. Alternatively, you can manually import transactions in Excel, but you have to download and install the QuickBooks Import Excel and comma-separated values (CSV) toolkit. Wrap Up Congratulations on finishing our lesson on importing bank statements into QuickBooks Desktop. If you’re considering a switch to QuickBooks Online, check out our tutorial on how to convert QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.
November 14, 2022
Xero Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives in 2023
Xero is an online accounting software program that offers services for self-employed individuals, small businesses, and growing companies. It can help you track and pay bills, manage inventory and invoices, claim expenses, and store files. It even integrates with Gusto for your payroll needs. You can try its features free for 30 days and then subscribe to any of the three plans, which have prices that start at $13 per month. Xero Deciding Factors Xero Alternatives Xero New Features 2023 Income by contact report: This new report shows you the top 10 contacts (customers who have purchased your products and services) based on the amount you’ve earned from them. Improved aging reports: Xero will now show the credit limit and remaining credit by customer in the Aged Receivables Summary report. Bank statement extraction via HubDoc: HubDoc now supports data extraction from PDF bank statements generated by Wells Fargo and Chase. Purchase orders (POs) in mobile app: Users can now create and edit POs in Xero Android and iOS. Fit Small Business Case Study In our case study, we compared several accounting software using criteria that our experts developed. Xero and QuickBooks—two of our best small business accounting software programs—are tight competitors in the United States accounting software market. Xero beats QuickBooks Online Plus in terms of pricing, as it’s obvious that Xero offers similar accounting software at a lower price point. But if we consider all other competitors, Zoho Books appears to be the most affordable and most flexible option because you choose among its six-tiered pricing plans. In other features, Xero and QuickBooks Online are head-to-head, and their differences don’t have a significant effect on the overall experience. However, the most notable difference is that Xero has no user limit—you can add as many users as you like, making it more scalable and flexible than QuickBooks Online. But if you intend to hire external bookkeepers and certified public accountants (CPAs) to handle your business’ accounting, QuickBooks Online is more popular for US accountants and bookkeepers. Xero has three pricing plans, and all accommodate unlimited users. That’s why it’s our best ecommerce accounting software for companies needing to include multiple users in the accounting software program. Before subscribing, you can access all of Xero’s features for free for 30 days to help you decide which plan best suits your needs. Early: $13 per month up to 20 invoices and five bills Growing: $37 per month for unlimited invoices and bills Established: $70 per month for unlimited invoices and bills plus project accounting The prices above are effective on Nov. 14, 2022. Xero Accounting Features In our expert evaluation, we found that Xero has many great, useful features that can work with different businesses. Overall, it did an excellent job in most of the areas we examined, even though it fell short in customer service and the mobile app. Let’s look at our accounting expert’s walkthrough, analysis, and evaluation of Xero’s accounting features. We like how easy it’s to set up your business on Xero. The chart of accounts has default accounts set up, but you can modify existing accounts or add new ones. The most accessible general feature is the user-friendly conversion balances window, which allows you to input your beginning balances while clearly distinguishing if you’re entering a debit or credit. You can also invite an additional user and set limits to their access. Accounts payable (A/P) management is one of Xero’s strongest features in our evaluation. From vendor creation to recording of payments, Xero can help in keeping your billing system organized. It also has an outstanding PO system to convert POs into bills, track unpaid bills, record e-payments, and apply vendor credits. The bills window is presented in a tabular format, wherein you can see pertinent billing details like vendor, invoice date, due date, amount paid or due, and the status of the bill. Navigation is very user-friendly—everything is laid out neatly, and it’s not complicated, even for first-time users. However, Xero cannot record recurring expenses automatically. It can create recurring bills, but you’ll need to record the payment of that bill manually. It would be nice to have an option for a recurring expense to be deducted from your checking account automatically. We also found a minor problem in POs and inventory. In Xero’s system, inventory on a PO isn’t reduced automatically when only a portion of a PO is received. Instead, you’ll need to edit the original PO and adjust the quantity not yet received. Otherwise, the number of units available and in a PO will be overstated. Though it can work this way, we still don’t see it as a great solution since there’s no paper trail or change log when editing POs. Aside from those minor issues, the A/P management system is outstanding, easy to use, and comprehensive. Overall, we gave it a high score since it performs well in most of the A/P aspects we want to see in accounting software. In the accounts receivable (A/R) management portion, we evaluated major aspects like invoice creation, inventory adjustments, and customer payments. For invoice creation, we found that Xero doesn’t give users the ability to customize the invoice in terms of invoice color, layout, and font. Although it lets you customize invoice elements, such as invoice line items, we wanted to see some personalization in creating invoices. However, we’re satisfied with how Xero takes into account COGS and inventory adjustments when creating invoices. It can accommodate short payments, which is a great feature, and can issue sales receipts for immediate payments: The invoices window of Xero is similar to the billing window. We like its advanced search feature, which you can use to search invoices using multiple fields and filter them appropriately. In summary, Xero’s A/R management is competitive when compared to applications like QuickBooks and FreshBooks. Its ease-of-use score is also high, making it a great software for A/R. Xero’s banking and cash management features score high in our evaluation because they include all the functions we want to see in accounting software. We like the side-by-side layout when reconciling transactions because it’s easy to match transactions and spot bank statements items that haven’t yet been recorded. Users can also upload files like bank statements to register the transactions in the books. The only setback we see here is that users can’t enter ending balances of checking accounts—they have to upload the bank statement first before reconciling. We also found that it’s impossible to combine multiple checks along with cash into a single deposit entry. Xero does provide an account to hold undeposited checks, but the feature doesn’t track when checks are removed and deposited and doesn’t allow cash to be added to the deposit. Though such a feature doesn’t impact the overall performance of Xero that much, not being able to group payments into bank deposits makes it difficult to reconcile your bank account. Xero got a perfect score for project accounting. In our rubric, we emphasized heavier weights on project estimate assignment, labor cost assignment, and the recording of inventory used in projects. We saw all of these features in Xero, and we’re satisfied with how it can help companies stay on top of projects in terms of income, expenses, and profitability. In this area, we gave more weight to certain features like creating inventory items, viewing inventory levels, adding inventory to invoices, and calculating COGS automatically. Xero has all of these features alongside minor features that can help in inventory management, like viewing inventory cost information and POs. To reiterate our point in Chapter 2 (Accounts Payable) of our case study, the only shortcoming we see is with viewing inventory in the PO. Overall, we’re satisfied with how Xero’s inventory features performed based on our rubric. We evaluated inventory as part of our A/P and A/R testing, so there’s no separate video. In evaluating the reporting features of Xero, we set 16 necessary reports that every accounting software should have. Xero has 14 of the reports we want to see, such as basic financial statements, specialized reports, and other accounting reports. It’s missing two special reports: income/loss by customer and unbilled time. But even though it doesn’t have these, it doesn’t affect the overall experience. Xero fell short in customer service. In general, accounting software companies should have open lines of communication with customers. Unfortunately, Xero only has a chatbot, a customer service email, and self-help information. We want to see comprehensive features in a mobile app, like sending invoices, entering bills, receiving payments, and entering vendor payments. Xero’s mobile app is basic, with features like receipt scanning, sending invoices, and expense categorization. However, users can’t receive payments from customers, record time worked, assign billable time, and generate reports. Xero received a lot of positive feedback and excellent ratings from user review websites. Most cited that they switched to Xero because it’s easier to use than its competitors. Others also mentioned that it integrates with third-party apps that they use on their business. Some negative feedback seems to focus on very niche features, like problems with forex translations and customization options. Here are the Xero review scores on third-party sites: Software Advice: 4.35 out of 5 based on around 2,300 reviews G2: 4.4 out of 5 based on around 500 reviews Google Play: 4.1 out of 5 based on more than 8,800 reviews App Store: 4.6 out of 5 based on more than 750 reviews Assisted Bookkeeping Options You can access Xero-certified independent accountants and bookkeepers or accounting firms in Xero’s . Aside from Xero advisors, also offers assisted bookkeeping services for Xero users. Integrations There are more than a hundred apps available in the Xero App Store. From accountant tools to CRM solutions, it’s easy to integrate Xero with your existing software services. Frequently Asked Questions Is Xero difficult to learn? Xero has a moderate learning curve. It’s not extremely easy to use, but if you get some training or guidance, you can navigate and use its features in no time. Can I get Xero for free? Users like freelancers and small businesses can try Xero for 30 days before signing up for a subscription. However, accountants and bookkeepers can register in the Xero Partner program to get it for free. If your business isn’t offering accountancy services, you aren’t eligible for the free Xero account. Do I need an accountant if I use Xero? No, you can use Xero without hiring an accountant. However, as the need arises, you may hire a Xero-certified accountant to help you keep your books of accounts accurate and organized. Bottom Line is a great alternative to QuickBooks Online for budget-conscious small businesses. With its relatively affordable price points, you get features that you’ll only see in higher-priced plans of other accounting software. However, we found that Xero isn’t suitable for nonprofit entities or specific businesses needing multicompany accounting features. Although overall, it’s great for daily accounting, inventory keeping, and project management. We recommend it for project- and product-based companies because of its flexible features. You Might Also Like Zoho Books vs Xero Xero vs Wave FreshBooks vs Xero
November 14, 2022
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop: Review for Accounting Firms 2023
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop, an on-premise accounting software, provides bookkeepers and accountants with special tools for serving their clients who use QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier. This version of QuickBooks for accountants has many unique features not present in the Pro and Premier editions, such as the ability to review and adjust client data and toggle between all the industry-specific versions of QuickBooks Desktop. Most importantly, it can import an Accountant Copy created from your client’s books. comes with the purchase of a QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor membership, with annual prices that start at $799 per ProAdvisor. Are you looking for more accounting software options? Explore our evaluation of the best accounting software for small businesses. QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Deciding Factors QuickBooks Accountant Desktop New Feature for 2023 Cash Flow Hub: This provides a single screen where you can track all incoming and outgoing cash flow. You can monitor paid and incoming invoices, payments, sales receipts, and credit memos easily as well as upcoming and paid vendor bills. The Cash Flow Hub is customizable, so you can display specific information, such as cash balances and cash flow trends. QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Alternatives QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Pricing QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is available with the purchase of a QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor membership. There are currently two membership levels available: ProAdvisor Premier Software Bundle: $799 per year, per ProAdvisor ProAdvisor Enterprise Software Bundle: $1,299 per year, per ProAdvisor Both include QuickBooks Accountant Desktop and other features, but The ProAdvisor Enterprise Software Bundle has more inclusions, like QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Accountant, QuickBooks Mac Desktop 2023, and QuickBooks POS Desktop. Fit Small Business Case Study To create a reasonable and critical analysis of the accounting software we review, our experts designed an internal case study, which evaluates and rates each software based on key metrics, like pricing, features, and ease of use. The results of our case study for all editions of QuickBooks Premier, including QuickBooks Accountant Desktop, are explained in detail in our QuickBooks Desktop Premier review. The scores are summarized below. QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Features In addition to the general accounting features discussed in our QuickBooks Desktop Premier review, QuickBooks Accountant Desktop includes unique, time-saving tools that can help accountants streamline their work. QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Ease of Use QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is fairly intuitive and essentially has the same user interface as the other QuickBooks Desktop products, except for the addition of the Accountant menu. The menu lets you access the special tools you need, such as the Accountant Center and the Client Review tool. The platform also has some helpful features that make it easy to transfer and access your clients’ QuickBooks company files. For instance, you can open client files from the preceding two years without updating the file. This enables your client to still access the file with their older version of QuickBooks. In terms of customer service, QuickBooks Accountant Desktop includes telephone support, but you have to send a request and wait for a call. You can also talk to an agent through live chat during business hours or explore some of its self-help resources and troubleshooting guides online. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) How is QuickBooks Accountant Desktop different from QuickBooks Premier? QuickBooks Accountant Desktop has the same accounting features as QuickBooks Premier. In addition, it has special tools to allow accounting professionals to import, adjust, and export their clients’ QuickBooks company file. Can I convert an Accountant’s Copy to a regular company file? Yes, you can, but you’ll need QuickBooks Accountant Desktop to do so. Check out QuickBooks’ guide on how to convert an Accountant’s Copy to a regular file. Bottom Line If you have clients who use Pro or Premier versions of QuickBooks Desktop, then you need . It includes comprehensive tools to import your client’s data file, review the file for errors, and make adjustments. The 2023 version includes a Cash Flow Hub that can help you better track your or your client’s outgoing and incoming cash flow.
November 14, 2022
Sage Business Cloud Accounting Review: Features and Pricing in 2023
Sage Business Cloud Accounting (or simply Sage Accounting) is cloud-based accounting software that offers solutions for invoicing, expense tracking, and stock management. It lets you create and send invoices, accept and receive payments, and keep an eye on your bookkeeping tasks. offers two plans that cost $10 and $25 per month. You can try it for free for 30 days with no credit card required. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Deciding Factors Sage Business Cloud Accounting Alternatives FSB Case Study We used the case study method to fully understand how Sage Accounting best fits in small business accounting. In our case study, we highlighted 11 key areas in accounting that are essential for small businesses. Here are the results of our evaluation of Sage Accounting as compared to its direct competitors, and . Sage Accounting is Sage’s native cloud accounting software, similar to QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books. However, Sage Accounting is behind its competitors in terms of capabilities and functionality, especially in inventory, reporting, and ease of use. Its strongest suit is pricing because it’s only $25 for unlimited users. Although it’s lagging feature-wise, Sage Accounting is more than enough for small businesses that simply need to track invoices, bills, and bank transactions. If you find Sage Accounting lacking in features, we recommend Zoho Books as an alternative since it’s the next most affordable option. Moreover, we recommend QuickBooks Online for assisted bookkeeping since many bookkeepers and certified public accountants (CPAs) in the US are more acquainted with QuickBooks Online rather than Sage and Zoho Books. Buy the Sage Accounting plan and get 70% off for six months. Otherwise, you can get the 30-day free trial with no credit card required. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Features Sage Accounting offers a different kind of feel and a better interface than its desktop counterpart, Sage 50cloud. As a purely cloud-based accounting software, we see a lot of potential in Sage Accounting. Let’s go over its features across 11 key areas. Assisted Bookkeeping Options Sage certifies accountants as Sage Accounting Advisors. While there are Sage Advisors in the US, they generally support Sage 50cloud instead of Sage Accounting—but since there are similarities in the programs, you might find an advisor willing to work with you. However, if an expert network of advisors is important to you, has an enormous network of advisors. Integrations can integrate with 29 third-party applications through the Sage US Marketplace. You can connect to these apps once you get your login credentials and subscription. Here are some of the well-known apps that can integrate with Sage Accounting: Zapier for expanded integration opportunities Gusto for payroll processing and human resources (HR) tools Stripe Invoice Payments for accepting payments Epos Now for point-of-sale (POS) systems Combidesk for Shopify to connect your Sage account with Shopify Frequently Asked Questions Is Sage Business Cloud the same as Sage One? Yes. All of Sage’s accounting and finance products for small and medium businesses are formerly known as Sage One. The company changed its name to Sage Business Cloud, which includes Sage Accounting, Sage 50cloud, and Sage Intacct. Is Sage Accounting easy to use? Sage Accounting, the cloud-based product of Sage Business Cloud, is easier than its counterparts. We tested the software, and first-time users can get acquainted easily. Bottom Line isn’t as powerful as other accounting systems, but it offers a selection of helpful features to tackle basic accounting. For small and growing businesses, its affordability, simplicity, and ease of use make it worth checking out. There are a few areas where it could improve, but it’s gradually evolving with the occasional addition of features. If you’re a small business owner needing a straightforward accounting program, Sage Accounting is for you.
November 14, 2022
Block Advisors Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives 2023
Block Advisors, a branch of H&R Block, provides tax, bookkeeping, and payroll support to small businesses. You have the option of working one-on-one with a tax professional or handling almost everything yourself, with assistance available via phone, live chat, or video conference. Block Advisors’ professionals are certified small business tax experts who’ll work with you to determine the best solution for your business. The plans are affordable and can be customized based on your needs. Prices for tax filing start at $195 for do-it-yourself (DIY) and $220 for full-service assistance. Bookkeeping and payroll services are also available, starting at $50 per month for the starter package and $150 per month for full service. Payroll services start at $59 per month for self-employed payroll and $79 per month plus $10 per employee, per pay run, for those with employees. If you’re unsure whether assisted bookkeeping is right for you, read our guide to the best small business accounting software for great DIY accounting software options. Block Advisors Deciding Factors Block Advisors Alternatives Block Advisors offers two levels of pricing: one is an option to file online with unlimited access to a tax pro, while the other is where you let a Block Advisor prepare and file the return for you. However, the DIY option is only available for self-employed individuals, not for those who need to file a corporate or partnership return. Bookkeeping and payroll services are also offered along with a one-hour consultation, wherein you can ask questions specific to your business. Block Advisors offers Starter and Full-Service plans for bookkeeping services, available for self-employed, corporations, and partnerships. Both provide on-demand access to expert accounting help, a review of your books year-to-date, and a quarterly action plan. Your dedicated account manager will assist with onboarding, and your files will be managed with Xero accounting software, which you can also access on your own. If you opt for the Full-Service plan, you’ll also receive a monthly account reconciliation and financial statements, such as your profit and loss (P&L) and income statements. Block Advisors will categorize your transactions and your books will be finalized for tax time. For more information, you can schedule a free 30-minute consultation with an account manager. Block Advisors has a couple of very important guarantees that stand behind its level of accuracy and ability to help you obtain the maximum refund. Its accessible support makes it an attractive option for those who value exceptional service when working with a tax professional. Bookkeeping services: Block Advisors provide year-round bookkeeping support at two levels, Starter and Full-Service. Both give you free on-demand access to Xero, an online accounting program for small businesses. The Starter plan gives you access to an accounting pro who’ll work with you to create an action plan. If you’re a Full-Service subscriber, you’ll also receive financial statements, such as your monthly P&L. Your accounts will be reconciled and transactions categorized in real-time, and your books will be finalized for tax time. Payroll services: Whether you’re a team of one or have employees, Block Advisors can assist with running payroll and creating and filing payroll tax forms. You also get a dedicated account manager who will assist you with setting up your account and answering any questions that come up. Prices start at $59 per month for the Self-Employed plan and $79 per month plus $10 per employee, per pay run, for those with employees. Accessible support: Whether you opt to do your own taxes with the help of an expert or to work directly with a tax pro, support is available via phone, video, and live chat. If you decide to file with a tax pro, you can meet with them in person at a location near you. Small business expertise: Your Block Advisor has received specialized training in small business taxes. They’ll take care of everything, from Schedule C returns to reviews of your P&L statement. Block Advisors Mobile App Block Advisors doesn’t have its own dedicated mobile app. However, H&R Block does offer MyBlock, a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, which is essentially your H&R Block account and is for users of the online version. Block Advisors Reporting Depending on the type of service you sign up for, you’ll receive reports that will assist you in making decisions and ensuring that your business is compliant. For taxes and bookkeeping, you’ll receive a P&L statement and a business entity structure analysis on a monthly basis. Your Block Advisor will also create a quarterly action plan, which provides specific recommendations as to how to achieve your business goals. If there are other reports you need, you can work with your Block Advisor to customize them. Through Xero, you can access a variety of reports, such as an Accounts Receivable (A/R) Aging or Expenses by Vendor report. For payroll clients, you’ll receive monthly and pay period reports for review. Block Advisors offers two different options for filing taxes—DIY with a tax pro on standby if needed or have a tax pro handle everything for you. In either case, you have unlimited access and multiple ways to communicate. DIY Filing To file your own taxes, you must first gather all of your documents. Block Advisors has put together a small business tax prep checklist, which will help to ensure that you have everything you need. These documents will help to answer questions about your business when you set up the software. Once everything is entered, you’ll have an opportunity to review the return before filing. One of the best parts about working with Block Advisors is that you have free access to unlimited live help from a tax expert. The software itself is quite intuitive, and the navigation flows well. If you’re unsure about a particular form or tax situation, you can chat on-demand via video and share screens if there are documents you have questions about. Full-service Filing Once you sign up with Block Advisors, you’ll be given the option to meet with a tax pro in person or via phone, video conference, and live chat. They’ll work with you to determine the documents they’ll need, which you can either send virtually or bring to your meeting. Your tax pro will then take over, completing the necessary forms and making themselves available for any questions. You’ll have an opportunity to review the return before they file it for you. They’re available year-round, and you receive the same unlimited tax help as is offered with DIY filing. 100% Accuracy Guarantee If Block Advisors makes an error on your return, you’ll be reimbursed for any resulting penalties and interest. To qualify, the error can’t be due to inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent information that you supply. Maximum Refund Guarantee If you discover a Block Advisors error on your return that entitles you to a larger refund or smaller tax liability, they’ll refund the tax prep fee for the return and file an amended return for free. Personalized Tax Assistance Your tax pro has received Block Advisors’ proprietary certification and has an average of 12 years of experience. Not only are they available at tax time, but they’ll also work with you year-round. Add-on Services For an additional fee, you can select additional support such as a year-end filing service, business tax audit support, and estimated quarterly tax payment evaluation. Block Advisors Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Is Block Advisors the same as H&R Block? Block Advisors is a branch of H&R Block that provides bookkeeping, payroll, and tax services for small business owners. Can you meet with a Block Advisor in person? Yes, you can meet with a Block Advisor in your area in person or meet virtually. How much does Block Advisors cost? Prices start at $50 per month for on-demand bookkeeping support and $150 per month for full-service bookkeeping. Depending on whether you opt to file taxes yourself or rely on a tax expert, you’ll pay prices starting at $195 for DIY tax filing and $220 for full-service tax filing. Payroll services start at $59 per month for self-employed and $79 per month for one or more employees, plus $10 per employee, per pay run. Bottom Line allows you to either fully or partially outsource your tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services. With the option of customizing a plan that works for your business, it’s best for small business owners and self-employed individuals. Block Advisors’ personalized assistance and accessible support allow you the ability to reach out for help at any time. Combined with its accuracy guarantee, it’s a great option if you’re looking for reliable and efficient support.
November 14, 2022
ZipBooks Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives 2023
ZipBooks is a cloud-based accounting software that helps you balance your books effectively, get paid faster, and make informed business decisions through actionable insights. Its features include cash and accrual accounting, invoicing and billing, and financial reporting. It’s an ideal software for businesses that have no inventory and only need simple accounting software. It offers a free plan and three paid subscriptions with prices that start at $15 per month. ZipBooks Deciding Factors ZipBooks Alternatives ZipBooks Case Study We used the case study method to evaluate the fitness of ZipBooks in small business accounting. We emphasized 11 key areas in small business accounting and included other factors, like pricing and user reviews, in the case study. Here are the results of our ZipBooks case study as compared to its direct competitors, QuickBooks Online Essentials and Sage Business Cloud: We compared ZipBooks Sophisticated with (a more basic plan than QuickBooks Online Plus) and (Sage Business Cloud’s highest plan). ZipBooks leads at a price advantage over QuickBooks but is on par with Sage Accounting. ZipBooks’ strongest points in accounting features are reporting and accounts receivable (A/R). Overall, we see ZipBooks’ highest plan lagging behind the comparably priced QuickBooks Online Essentials, especially in Banking, A/P, and A/R. However, while QuickBooks Online Essentials is limited to three users, ZipBooks Sophisticated allows unlimited users. ZipBooks has three plans for business use and one plan for accountants. The Accountant plan has everything in the Sophisticated plan but is intended only for accountants who handle many clients. ZipBooks Features ZipBooks offers competitive features that can be seen in other accounting software products. In this review, we’ll examine ZipBooks Sophisticated’s features to help you determine if it’s a good fit for your business. ZipBooks offers a fresh and clean look right out of the box. The dashboard is clean and informative. On the right side, you can see a quick access menu. If you want to see the complete list of actions, you can click “More” on the top right portion of the dashboard beside the bell icon: Setting up your company in ZipBooks is easy. The settings aren’t too technical, and you can adjust your company name, details, and other information in the Company settings module. In the Accounting Preferences section, you set crucial accounting settings, such as accounting basis and closing date of the books. What’s missing in the company setup process included recording a fiscal year-end, setting an entity type, and importing beginning account balances. The only way to record a beginning balance in an account is with journal entries: ZipBooks has a default COA set up once you purchase the software. However, users of the Sophisticated plan can add more accounts, like valuation accounts for depreciation, amortization, and bad debts. We found out that the COA lacks an Accumulated Depreciation account, so we created an account for it with Fixed Assets as its parent account. The equity section of the COA is built for a sole proprietorship. However, you can adjust the section by adding corporation accounts like Common Stock, Additional Paid-in Capital, and Retained Earnings. The accounts payable (A/P) module is under the Transaction tab. Creating vendors in ZipBooks is straightforward, and there’s an option where you can designate the vendor as a 1099 Contractor. When creating bills, you can include items and assign which expense account is debited. However, we find it inefficient that we can’t tag bills for custom grouping during bill creation. It would be a time saver if we could tag departments or projects all together while creating a bill. Instead, you can only tag bills in the Expense tab: In the image above, we created a bill for the purchase of widgets. Ideally, the software should ask us to input the quantity of the goods purchased. But in the case of ZipBooks, it only asks for the total cost of the widgets. This makes it impossible for the software to track inventory unit costs and COGS. If you have inventory, then ZipBooks isn’t the right software for you—try , which has great inventory accounting. Creating an invoice in ZipBooks is limited. There are no templates available to choose from, and there’s no way to change invoice colors. However, you can add your logo and create a personalized message below the invoice: What we like about ZipBooks is that users can add unbilled expenses to customer invoices, which is a feature usually reserved for higher-priced plans like QuickBooks Online Plus. But in ZipBooks Sophisticated, priced at $35 per month, this feature is a competitive advantage over similarly priced software. Partial payment of invoices is allowed in ZipBooks. When a customer partially pays an invoice, ZipBooks will mark the invoice as “Partial” and it’ll show the amount paid side-by-side with the total invoice amount on the invoice screen. Unfortunately, ZipBooks can’t record credit memos to customers. Reconciling your checking account is also easy—just don’t forget to turn on “Reconciliation” in the account settings. The way ZipBooks presents bank reconciliation is different from what we usually see in other accounting software products. ZipBooks doesn’t show the typical line items in bank reconciliation, like deposits in transit and outstanding checks. Instead, it’ll only show the difference between the book and the bank balance. To reconcile the balances, just uncheck the items presented by ZipBooks or create an adjustment entry for charges found in the bank statement that haven’t yet made their way to the books. The downsides to ZipBooks’ banking features are that it cannot produce a reconciliation report and print checks. If you issue checks regularly for vendor payments, we don’t recommend ZipBooks, as it would be inefficient to manually write checks. Instead, check out for check printing and outstanding bank reconciliation features. Project accounting in ZipBooks is commendable and convenient because it has a built-in time tracker. You can create projects, assign a contractor for the project, and tag income and expenses to the project. Billable expenses can be converted into invoices during invoice creation. If your clients need estimates, you can create these in the Invoice tab, and the interface of the estimates form is similar to invoicing. Unfortunately, you can’t compare estimates to actual project costs in ZipBooks. is our best alternative if you need project accounting features that include a comparison of estimated and actual project costs. You can create a sales tax item to track sales taxes collected by jurisdiction. However, the program doesn’t provide a very detailed report of your sales tax liability. ZipBooks is also missing any features to help pay your sales tax or file your sales tax return. There will be no separate video for this area since it was already discussed in the A/R and A/P video. Unfortunately, ZipBooks doesn’t have inventory tracking features. There’s no way to keep track of inventory units ordered and sold, and the software doesn’t record COGS and determine the cost of ending inventory automatically. We recommend choosing for its outstanding inventory stock and cost tracking features. Since inventory was discussed in the A/R and A/P video, there’s no dedicated video. Reporting is one of ZipBooks’ strong points. It can generate the reports that we believe should be available in small business accounting software. Here’s the summary of reports: ZipBooks is generally easy to use. However, it scored low in this category because of its weak customer support options and lack of a support network of independent accountants familiar with ZipBooks. Also, its customer service isn’t as accessible as that of other accounting software products. It doesn’t offer customer service through phone calls, though you can use the chatbot or chat with a live representative. The live chat feature can be found at the bottom right corner of the screen, and ZipBooks provides an estimate of how long it’ll take to accommodate your inquiries. While waiting for a reply, you can browse through its Help Center to look for a quick fix for your problem. In terms of overall user experience, ZipBooks is easy for business owners without experience in accounting software, as the interface is clean and not overwhelming. Navigating around the software is a breeze since the interface layout and white background emphasizes the text and buttons within the app. ZipBooks doesn’t have a mobile app. If you need one, we recommend because it has an outstanding and full-featured mobile app that can send invoices, receive payments, assign expenses, enter bill payments, categorize bank expenses, record time, and view reports. Those who left ZipBooks reviews rated it highly because they found the software easy to use. However, negative comments mention problems with connecting banks and missing reports. Software Advice: 4.49 out of 5 stars based on around 100 reviews G2: 4.7 out of 5 stars based on around 80 reviews Assisted Bookkeeping Options ZipBooks offers bookkeeping and tax support services. If you have complex bookkeeping needs, ZipBooks can build a custom plan for you. Simple Bookkeeping: $125 per month A personal bookkeeper A ZipBooks plan Monthly bookkeeping assistance and financial statements Up to five bank or credit accounts Expert bookkeeping advice Online bookkeeping support Multi-classifications Bookkeeping: $145 per month All services in Simple Bookkeeping Tagging and tracking multiple locations, business units, or classes Individual and consolidated financial statements Comparison financial statements across all classes Vendor and 1099 Preparation: $175 per month All services in Simple Bookkeeping Tagging or tracking of vendor payments 1099 reporting and preparation Integrations ZipBooks can integrate with Slack, Google Workspace, Square, Zapier, Pepperi, Zoho Flow, Gusto, and PayPal. It doesn’t have many integration opportunities with third-party apps unless you subscribe to Zapier. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Does ZipBooks do payroll? No, ZipBooks has no payroll features, but you can track time on ZipBooks and sync it with Gusto, a payroll provider. Is ZipBooks secure? Yes, it uses 256-bit TLS encryption, which is similar to the encryption used by banks and entities handling sensitive information. Is ZipBooks legitimate? ZipBooks is made in Utah. Aside from accounting software, it also offers bookkeeping and tax assistance for a separate fee. It competes with QuickBooks in providing accounting software services to service-based businesses. Bottom Line offers the basic accounting functions you need for your business, as long as you don’t have significant inventory. The software is easy to use, even for do-it-yourself (DIY) accounting. However, it lacks some advanced features even with its highest plan. We wish we could’ve seen more advanced functions like inventory tracking, purchase orders, and vendor credits—so we recommend ZipBooks for the simple accounting needs of service-based businesses.
November 14, 2022
How To Use Excel for Accounting in 2023 [+Free Templates]
Microsoft Excel is an invaluable tool for accountants to perform complex mathematical calculations that traditional bookkeeping software doesn’t provide. We don’t recommend you use Excel as your primary bookkeeping system as there are several free accounting software to choose from. However, it’s a fantastic tool to supplement your bookkeeping system by performing needed reconciliations and calculations. We discuss how you can use Excel to enhance your accounting and fill in the gaps left by many free software and provide templates to assist you. Using Excel to Reconcile Bank Accounts A bank reconciliation is essential to keep your bank and book balances on the same page. Due to timing differences, bank and book balances don’t always agree. Most accounting software has bank reconciliation features, but they always come with the paid or premium version. We prepared our Excel bank reconciliation template in case you want to use free accounting software that lacks bank reconciliation features. With our file, you can reconcile the check register balance and bank statement balances by adjusting them for deposits in transit and outstanding checks. The template matches the adjusted bank balance with the balance per check register. If it’s not equal, the template will show you the difference. Once reconciled, you’ll see the word “RECONCILED.” Using Excel to Track Unpaid Invoices (A/R) An A/R aging report is used by many businesses that invoice their clients to keep track of what payments are due to them. It shows when payments are owed, the amount due, and from which customer. It serves as an effective way to forecast cash flow and know exactly how much you’re owed at any given time. You can use Excel to generate your invoices, especially if you want unlimited customization options, such as adding your logo and changing fonts. However, you may want to consider using a free invoice generator, which automates the invoicing process. Check out our recommendations for the top free invoice generators, which includes . The Customer Name and Days Overdue columns cannot be replaced and deleted—these cells contain the formulas. After updating the sheet, go to the Customer Tracker or A/R Aging sheets. Right-click on the table and click Refresh to reflect your changes. Using Excel to Track Unpaid Bills (A/P) The process of tracking how much money is owed to vendors, when the bills are due, and when they have been paid is known as A/P. If you aren’t diligent with paying your vendors on time, you can end up with bad credit and a lack of supplies, among other things. Creating an A/P aging file in Excel will help you monitor your payable accounts so that you know which bills you must pay first and how behind you’re on any past-due accounts. The Due Date, Vendor Name, and Days Overdue cannot be replaced or deleted. These cells contain the formulas. After updating the sheet, go to the Vendor Tracker or A/P Aging sheets. Right-click on the table and click Refresh to reflect your changes. Using Excel to Track Cost of Goods Sold The main challenge of inventory accounting is determining the cost of inventory on-hand at the end of the year versus the cost of inventory sold during the year, also known as cost of goods sold (COGS). Tracking COGS is crucial in determining net income. With our COGS tracker, you can compute the most recent COGS balance of a particular inventory item and determine individual inventory gross profits or cost per unit. The computation of inventory ending balance and COGS depends if you’re using the average cost (AVCO) method or first in, first out (FIFO) method. For our free template, we use the AVCO method because implementing the FIFO method in Excel requires complex functions. Using Excel to Create Amortization Schedules A loan amortization schedule shows you the schedule of payments, the amount of interest you pay, and the amount that gets deducted from the principal balance. You can use the amortization table to record monthly interest expense and update loans payable in the books. Most accounting software doesn’t have an amortization schedule feature. Our Excel template can help you prepare journal entries to update account balances. Importing Data From QuickBooks Online Into Excel can export any of its reports to Excel, which is useful as you can pull sales data, banking data, and invoices from many sources into one central workbook to support your accounting activities. Exporting the report is simple and can be done with the following steps: Step 1: Select Reports in the left sidebar. Step 2: Search for and select the report that you want to export. Step 3: Scroll to the top of the report to adjust the time period, accounting method, and other preferences, if desired. Step 4: Click the Export icon in the top right corner of the report, then select Export to Excel. You also have the option to save the report as a PDF. Step 5: Save the report in a location that you’ll be able to find easily, such as your desktop. Here’s a sample Profit and Loss report exported to Excel: When To Use Bookkeeping Software While there are many accounting uses for Excel, we don’t recommend using it as your primary bookkeeping software to track your cash flow and classify your income and expenses. While it can be done, it’s much simpler to use one of the many free accounting software that are available in both cloud and desktop formats. Basic bookkeeping software makes it easy to maintain detailed and accurate books. In addition to automating bookkeeping tasks, such as sending invoices (A/R) and paying bills (A/P), many programs use double-entry accounting, enable you to generate financial reports, provide some form of technical support, integrate with business apps, and can scale with your business. Unlike bookkeeping software, Excel won’t be able to: Generate reports based on the data from your books automatically Connect to your business bank accounts or credit cards and import and sort transactions automatically Create workflows to simplify accounting tasks because you still have to input formula and functions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Can I use Excel for bookkeeping? Yes, but it’s not recommended. If you’re a very small business, using Excel is cost-effective. But for small businesses with complex processes, Excel can be counterproductive and difficult to use. We recommend getting dedicated accounting software instead. How do accountants use Excel? Accountants and bookkeeping professionals use Excel to perform complex calculations, like amortization tables and depreciation schedules. They also use it to compute product cost, allocate overhead, and perform budgeting and forecasting. Is QuickBooks better than Excel? Overall, QuickBooks is better than Excel for accounting. It’s also easier to use because you don’t need to create formulas to perform calculations and process data. Excel requires users to have in-depth knowledge of formulas and even a little bit of programming to create automations. Bottom Line While using Excel for accounting tasks can be beneficial and inexpensive, it can also be a time-consuming process with the potential for errors. If you’re looking for a simpler and much more efficient way to manage your accounting, we recommend exploring different accounting software solutions to identify the one that’ll work best for you. Check out our list of the best small business accounting software for guidance.