You're already using QuickBooks. Check out five ways to get more mileage out of it.
You're likely familiar with the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Windows Store, but what about the Intuit App Center?
Probably not on your radar. But maybe it should be. There you'll find nearly 50 apps that work with QuickBooks, and more than 25 that work with QuickBooks Online.
Here are five of them to check out because they integrate with the popular business accounting software to offer more features and functions. Best of all, they're free to try for 30 days.
BodeTree sits on top of Quickbooks and helps people who are freaked out by numbers, ratios, and formulas by giving them hard facts in a light, visual way. It gives you a current estimated valuation of your business, one-click reports, and an interactive optimization tool that lets you compare your company's performance to the competition, test scenarios to see how various metrics impact your company's value, and set specific targets to help you reach your goals. Cost: $49.95 a month or $495 a year.
This collaboration app keeps project and accounting teams on the same page and integrates with both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. It lets you work on projects with others; share files; track budgets, time, and expenses; and send financial information to QuickBooks. Mavenlink also integrates with Google Apps so you can sync deadlines with Google Calendar, take care of "to-dos" in Google Tasks, and search and embed Google Docs. You can choose to receive notifications about events, messages, and comments in real-time or bundled in a once-a-day email. Cost: $39 a month.
This customer relationship management app lets you create Web forms to help you get leads from your site as well as create invoices, payments, and estimates, and sync them all with QuickBooks Online. You can also use Method to build self-service portals for customers--a "My Account" area on your website--where they can ask questions, see past transactions, make payments, and print existing invoices. Method also lets sales people share leads with each other and includes analytics that identify your best customers and staff, and the ones need more of your attention. Cost: Either $25 or $40 a month per user.
ProOnGo Expense lets you track, approve or deny employee expenses. It syncs with your QuickBooks credit card registers so that you and your employees can edit and categorize credit card transactions from mobile devices running iOS, Android, or BlackBerry. First you activate online banking in QuickBooks, which pulls credit card transactions from your bank. QuickBooks then pushes those transactions out to ProOnGo. You can use your mobile device to edit and categorize the expenses, which sync back to QuickBooks. It also records timesheet info and mileage data, and auto-extracts information from receipts snapped with a smartphone camera. Cost: Plans start at $15 a month for one user and go up to $290 a month for up to 100 users.
SOS Inventory offers serious inventory, order management, and manufacturing features and is designed specifically to integrate with QuickBooks Online, which on its own doesn't include sales orders. SOS Inventory lets you create sales orders, shipments, and invoices. It also lets you manage inventory in multiple locations, track items by serial number and cost history, track multiple stages of work-in-progress, and create pick tickets and packing slips. Cost: Plans start at $25 a month and go up to $200 a month.
CHRISTINA DESMARAIS is an Inc.com contributor who writes about the tech startup community, covering innovative ideas, news, and trends. Have a tip? Email her at christinadesmarais (at) live (dot) com. @salubriousdish