One of the huge advantages of web based applications is that developers can create software that is very little to market and distribute to customers. Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine, at the GrowSmartBiz conference spoke about this.
Furthermore, traditional software vendors such as Intuit, FileMaker
Pro, Microsoft, and dozens of other small business focused companies
are leveraging their internal and independent developers to continue to
create added value for their products through applications that can be
downloaded through the internet and accessed online or installed as an
add-on to the software.
Intuit’s released QuickBooks 2010 last week and although it’s been
around quite a long time, it continues to get better, be more relevant
for small businesses and add enhancements that are critically important.
New in QuickBooks 2010 is Intuit’s App Center, which are web based
applications available directly from QuickBooks 2010. Intuit’s press
release reads applications offer free trials, and many work
directly with QuickBooks data, extending the value of the information
and eliminating the need for double data entry.
There continue to be hundreds of software applications that
integrate or add-on to QuickBooks, that are not so called “apps”
(defined as web based applications). These addons can also be a rich
source of boosted productivity and features for enabling you to do more
with QuickBooks than what you could normally do with it out of the box!
For QuickBooks and other software, this is only an evolutionary and
very small step, as I believe the integration between the software and
hosted application could be tighter in many cases.
For example, the email marketing integration between Vertical
Response and QuickBooks is actually just making it easy for you to
export your contacts to Vertical Response. It would be great to have
the integration available right from within QuickBooks and tightly
It’s hard to be innovative with a product that improves each year
and has so many features. But one improvement, of several, that you’ll
find in QuickBooks is an easier way to update several vendors,
employees or customers. For example, Users can save time by editing
multiple long lists of items, customers, or vendors, rather than edit
each item individually. They can also copy and paste data into
QuickBooks directly from Excel with a simple key stroke, eliminating
the unnecessary steps of inputting the data directly.
If you’re tired of going to the bank, or just want to cut out one
more “to do list” in your busy day, you can use a new (premium) feature
from Intuit Payment Services to scan or key in checks directly into
QuickBooks for deposit by your bank.
What does all this mean to you?
If you rely on QuickBooks for the day to day management of your
business I highly encourage you to upgrade. If you use QuickBooks but
just use it mainly to manage your cash flow, sit down with a local QuickBooks Pro advisor so they can show you what more you can do with it.
If you are using a competing product and don’t like it – definitely
try a free demo of QuickBooks 2010. You have nothing to lose – and in
this case – what you don’t know could very well hurt you.