My Top 10 Favorite QuickBooks Online Apps

Intuit AppsIn my previous post about accounting for meals and entertainment expenses, I mentioned Receipt Bank as an app that syncs with QuickBooks Online to keep track of receipts and expenses.

That’s just one example of an app that integrates with QuickBooks Online. Apps are important because they make you more productive. Most of the time, apps help you avoid a manual function that you previously had to do with QuickBooks or other accounting software. Intuit has carefully chosen third-party apps based on two criteria. First, the app must perform a function that is not already included in QuickBooks Online, and second, the function must integrate or sync with the software.

Here are my top 10 favorite apps for your review; to keep this simple, the explanation for each one comes directly from the Intuit Apps website.

  1. – Automate your payables and receivables online. Route bills for approval, store and share documents, send invoices via email or US mail, pay and get paid, and charge customers via ACH or credit card. Automatically sync with QuickBooks Online and Desktop.
  1. Receipt Bank – Get rid of the clutter. Use Receipt Bank to manage all your business expenses. Eliminate data entry – Receipt Bank extracts the info from your receipts and invoices quickly and accurately. Your data is then seamlessly synced with QuickBooks Online.
  1. Gusto (formally Zen Payroll) – Gusto is the easiest way to pay employees and contractors. Our full-service payroll means we take care of all payroll tax payments and filings on your behalf. Every time you run payroll, total wages and taxes are synced with QuickBooks Online.
  1. Method CRM – Method specializes in CRM for QuickBooks and is the top-rated CRM on Intuit Keep your customer follow-ups and history all in one place. Simplify the way you get your work done. Note: nonprofits should check out Method:Donor for a CRM.
  1. Revel Systems POS – a Point of Sale system available on the iPad that leverages the power of the cloud to seamlessly and automatically sync sales, payments, and inventory to QuickBooks.
  1. SOS Inventory – Need better inventory, order management and manufacturing than you get with QuickBooks Online? Get sales orders, assemblies, serial inventory, multiple locations and more, all at a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing systems.
  1. Avalara AvaTax – Connects to QuickBooks Online. Rates are calculated “behind the scenes” and are automatically applied to the invoice. Reports are generated on-demand, and invoices are synced seamlessly for filing on the back end.
  1. T-Sheets Time Tracker – Time tracking for hourly employees. Designed to simplify payroll, invoicing and job costing.
  1. Sync with Square – Square sales related transactions are automatically imported into QuickBooks Online.
  2. Mavenlink – Collaborate on projects in a central, convenient workplace, and sync tasks with Google Apps. Manage budgets and integrate with QuickBooks and PayPal. Track project timelines and dependencies on Gantt charts. Create invoices and send to clients.

Of course, Sound Business Services can help you evaluate the apps that are a best fit to your needs, and help you configure them for QuickBooks Online. I also find my list constantly changing, depending on the new apps Intuit constantly comes out with, so I’ll update this top 10 list periodically. Email us today, or call 770-745-4283, if you have questions. We’re here to help!


Bookkeeping Tips for Meals & Entertainment Expenses

One of the biggest myths in bookkeeping has to do with expenses related to meals and entertainment.

If you don’t know this already, not everything is 100% deductible; in other words, you can’t take a client out for a steak dinner that costs $100 and think that entire amount is always deductible. However, the rules are somewhat complicated, and there certainly are times when you can deduct 100% of your meals and entertainment expenses.

Two Tests

Let’s consider the steak dinner. Entertainment expenses must meet one of two tests:

  • “Directly Related” – You must show that the main purpose of the dinner was to conduct business, engage in business with the person during the entertainment period, and have more than a general expectation of getting income or some other specific business benefit at some future time. For example, if you had the dinner at a football stadium club with your family and just happened to run into a client who did not dine with you, you cannot deduct any of the dinner. However, if you took the client to the game and had dinner during the game, then by all means, deduct 50% of the dinner.
  • “Associated” – Entertainment is associated with your trade or business, and entertainment is directly before or after a substantial business discussion.

Proving Your Expense

After you’ve had your steak dinner, you must have receipts or records to show you were at the restaurant or venue to prove the business purpose. The record should show the amount of each expense, the date and place of the entertainment, as well as the business relationship of the persons entertained.

50% versus 100% Limits

There are two instances when the steak dinner is 100% deductible:

  1. If you are an employee, you can deduct 100%, as long as you are going to be reimbursed by your employer.
  2. If you are self-employed, you can deduct 100% if you incur the expenses as an independent contractor, your customer/client reimburses you or gives you allowance in connection with your services, and you provide adequate records of these expenses to your customer or client.

Documenting Your Expenses

You’ve got to understand the guidelines, of course, but keeping track of these expenses is just as important. Account for this directly in QuickBooks/QuickBooks Online, Xero or whatever other kind of software you’re using. The transactions will then show up on your Profit & Loss statement.

You can also use technology and apps to track your expenses. For example, I recommend Receipt Bank to our clients for two reasons. First, it’s simple; all you have to use is your smartphone to take a picture of any receipt. Second, the transaction feeds directly into QuickBooks Online.

I’m sure I haven’t covered all the fine points, so contact Sound Business Services if you have questions or need more information on some of the fine points. You can also check out IRS Publication 463 for more information, but because the IRS page is highly technical, it’s best to send me a note, or call me at 770-745-4283.