Friday, November 28, 2014

Sleeter Group Announces 2015 "Awesome Applications"

Each fall, the Sleeter Group, arguably the most popular provider of technical reference materials, software expertise, and QuickBooks training materials for small businesses, has recognized accounting products in the SMB (small to medium business) market place. For many years, this list was called "Awesome Add-Ons" as in adding to the functionality of QuickBooks. Beginning in 2012, the group opened the competition to non-QuickBooks related products and changed the name from "Awesome Add-Ons" to "Awesome Applications". There remains, however, a strong QuickBooks flavor to the listing.

As consultants with many clients using QuickBooks, we are always interested in and looking for improvements to the basic QuickBooks platform, as well as improved or added functionality provided by third-party add-ons. With hundreds (if not thousands) of add-ons available however, it is difficult to assess which ones are worthwhile. Reviews by independent organizations such as the Sleeter Group help in assessing a product's strengths, weaknesses, and value.

This year's "winners" that could be of interest to Government contractors include the following:

TSheets is a repeat winner from last year. TSheets is an employee time-tracking system that can be used on mobile devices and desktop computers. We've been recommending this product lately for its ease of use, integration with QuickBooks, and its cost effectiveness (it runs about $20 per month plus $5 per month per employee with per-user prices decreasing as number of users increase). The publishers claim "DCAA Compliant" for this product - it requires supervisory review and approval, maintains an audit trail, and prompts for timely entries. For companies looking to automate their timekeeping systems, this product is worth a look.

Acctivate is a cloud-based inventory management system that made the top ten list. There may be a few Government contractors out there who require inventory management add-ons but most of these seem geared to the wholesale/retail.

If you're not satisfied with QuickBooks, you might look at a couple of other accounting systems that made the top ten; Zoho and Xero. We don't know too much about these products but they are gaining in popularity. Both are cloud-based platforms which hold a lot of appeal.

Many companies struggle with budgeting and forecasting. LivePlan is a cloud-based application that allows small businesses to easily create business plans, create and tract budgets and forecasts, and track financial trends. It can be set up, for example comply with Limitation of Costs/Limitation of Funds provisions in many Government contracts.

To review the complete listing of "Awesome Applications", click here.

To see prior year's winners, follow these links:

2014 winners

2013 winners

2012 winners

2011 winners

2010 winners

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