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April 10, 2012 / Jessica Connell

Portable Productivity: Invoices, Expenses, and More

Accounting in the cloud is closer than you might think. In fact, it’s here, in some cases. QuickBooks Online, of course, is entirely cloud-based, but it does not yet offer all of the features found in Intuit’s top-of-the-line products, Premier and Enterprise.

In the meantime, Intuit itself, as well as third-party developers, have built online apps that fill in some of the gaps. These add-on solutions exist on websites, but they can collect data and synchronize it with desktop QuickBooks. So can that iPhone or Android that’s sitting on your desk right now.

Many Mobile Applications

To find these apps, go to the Intuit App Center and click on All Apps. There are dozens of them, arranged by category (Billing and Invoicing, Customer Management, Inventory Management, Apps by Intuit, etc.).

Your first stop should be at Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect (this is the name of the online application that you’d use on a remote PC or laptop; the name of the smartphone app is QuickBooks Mobile). This app gives you easy access to your customer and sales data when you’re away from your office.


Figure 1: QuickBooks Mobile, shown here on the Android operating system, gives you sales tools when you’re away from desktop QuickBooks.

Remote Sales Tools

Whether you’re working in web-based QuickBooks Connect or on a smartphone, your data and transaction options are similar. QuickBooks Connect has a few more features, like an Item List and Customer Center, but both let you:

  • Access multiple company files
  • View, add, and edit customers, estimates, invoices, and sales receipts, using QuickBooks’ custom templates
  • E-mail these forms to customers

QuickBooks Mobile and QuickBooks Connect use the Intuit Sync Manager — located on the desktop where QuickBooks is installed — to keep data current everywhere. That computer must be running for syncs to work.


Figure 2: You can create and e-mail invoices from QuickBooks Mobile.

Manage Travel Expenses

Concur Breeze grabs the data you need (customers, employees, jobs, etc.) from QuickBooks to record expenses on the road. You can enter charges directly into a form or snap a picture with your phone. Either way it will be attached to your expense report. These charges are then sent to a report template that thoroughly documents the charge, letting you specify variables like the trip purpose, travel policy type, project and client. The status of your approval and payment are also included here.

You can send travel itineraries from your free TripIt Pro account and credit card charges directly to an existing expense report to accelerate the process. And once an expense report is approved, money can be moved automatically from the designated company bank account to an employee’s account.


Figure 3: Concur Breeze provides mobile expense management.

Mobile Time-Tracking

If your company has employees or contractors who work remotely and submit hours for approval, consider eBillity Time Tracker for Intuit QuickBooks. After it pulls in customers, service items, and employees from QuickBooks, you can invite workers to track their time on their smartphones by either entering it manually or using the timer, and then sync it with the online application. Mobile workers can use the application in offline mode; entries are uploaded when they reconnect.


Figure 4: eBillity Time Tracker for Intuit QuickBooks is a great companion app for remote workers.

The Cloud = Convenience and Accessibility

Synchronization, especially across three or more device, is a simple concept whose implementation can be not-so-simple. We can help you determine which apps make sense for you and get them up and running.

Integrated, web-based applications accessed by whatever computing device happens to be nearby are the essence of cloud-based accounting. Intuit and its companion mobile apps offer the convenience and accessibility that the Internet is making possible.

If you need help with any of these applications, or questions about “the cloud”, please email or call us. We are your partner in building a successful business.

For more tips visit www.PlumCPAs.com

Copyright © 2012 CPA Site Solutions

Disclaimer of Liability: This information is  for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

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