Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sleeter Group Announces 2016 "Awesome Applications"

Each fall, the Sleeter Group, a leading 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 annual "winners".

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 can help Government contractors 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 for a number of years 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 contractors looking to automate their timekeeping systems, this product is worth a look. Incidentally, there are many excellent timekeeping products on the market that provide similar functionality. If you (and the Government) are satisfied with what you have, there's no point in changing just for the sake of change. But if you're looking for a change, consider TSheets.

Expensify. "Travel and Expense tracking is a headache for companies ..." Expensify tackles this problem with a mobile app that provides digital receipt capture, automated expense report creation, routing for approvals and electronic reimbursement to employees and contractors.
Recently named one of FastCompany's Most Innovative Companies in 2015, Expensify does expense reports that don't suck! Combining user-centric design with powerful compliance features makes Expensify the best choice for both employees and the finance department, including over 13,000 companies worldwide across all industries from solo-preneur to the global enterprise.
Although we do not have experience with this particular product, we have recommended and implemented similar products including Concur which also integrates nicely with QuickBooks and many other software applications. If you haven't yet automated your expense reports, don't wait any longer.

Receipt Bank. This is a product that we are going to look at closely. The Sleeter panel of experts was "blown away" by Receipt Bank. "By capturing documents in digital form and storing those documents with accounting transactions, Receipt Bank automates a big piece of the process that is crucial to streamlining accounting solutions. Receipt Bank provides multiple document submission methods including smart phone app, dedicated email addresses and scan and upload. Receipt Bank than extracts key data from all source documents associated with the payables function - supplier bills, corporate and individual receipts, credit notes - and converts that data into transactions. It then sends the transaction data and an image of the source document directly to the accounting software."

SmartVault (a previous Sleeter mention) is a similar product but does not have the extraction and conversion feature. The extraction and conversion feature might be valuable for contractors with many transaction.

To review the complete listing of the 2016 "Awesome Applications", click here.

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

2015 winners

2014 winners

2013 winners

2012 winners

2011 winners

2010 winners

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