apps get seriousBy now, everyone knows what apps are. You’re probably exchanging Words With Friends right now. Most people, however, just use apps for fun. And why not? The accessibility of games, music, and media is a fantastic thing. That love of apps, however, doesn’t always seep into people’s professional lives, let alone their QuickBooks use. If you aren’t using QuickBooks apps, you’re probably spending time performing data entry tasks, missing out on financial insights, and dealing with decreased productivity.

Here’s something to think about. According to a recent study, 72% of small businesses use mobile apps, and about a third say they “couldn’t survive” without the use of mobile apps.  The benefits of apps are obvious: they’re designed with the sole intent of saving you time (which then saves you money), providing convenience, and connecting you to QuickBooks in new ways. Plus, apps are just nifty. What’s not to love?

So, maybe you’re vaguely interested in using QuickBooks apps. You’ve gotten as far as saying,   I’d love to use an App for QB, but where do you start? How do you find the right QB app for you? With so many choices, how do you decide?

The key is to think about what you really need.  What is your pain point?  Start by thinking of all the things you do in QuickBooks  and which of them you dislike, or the ones that seem to take up a lot of time—time that could be used doing more important work.  Let’s take expense reporting as an example. There are two aspects of expense reporting: the person incurring the expenses, and the person approving those expenses and putting them into QuickBooks. The person filling the expense report has the following problems: receipts get lost, filling out expense reports is time consuming, boring, and most importantly, filling out expenses reports takes time that could used doing much more important work that actually impacts the success of your business. The person putting those expenses into QuickBooks has some of the same problems: the work is time consuming, boring, and not core to your business.  The time spent tracking down the one typo in an expense report with 100 expenses could be much better spent doing other more important work.

Expense reporting is a menial, repetitive, boring and time consuming task.  This is the perfect opportunity to step into the future and use technology! You’ve identified the problem. Now, find the solution.

In this case, the solution is to use an expense tracking app. Most apps have receipt reading features, which address the problem of data entry being time-consuming and subject to error. Also, apps save time by offering a mobile app: you can file, categorize, and send these expenses to QuickBooks right from your phone, at your convenience. By using these apps to file expenses as they happen, you’re saving time and maybe even enjoying the task!

If you want to find these apps, the place to go is Intuit’s App Center. Because App Center is run by Intuit, you can be sure that the apps within it are tailored specifically for Quickbooks users. Just run a search for what you need, in this case “Expense Reporting.” Compare the results, and pick an app.

The only real way to start getting the benefits of apps is just to dive in and start using them. When you download an app, make sure to use it at least once a week. If you want help setting up, contact the app’s support team (they’re there to support you). The biggest challenge when using apps is changing your every day actions. Once you make that change, though, you’ll wonder how you ever got by before. So go! Off to App Center with you!

Amber Pike blogs for ProOnGo Expense, which just so happens to be the best expense tracking app out there! She also runs customer support and helps out with marketing work. She oftentimes finds herself talking about QuickBooks in social situations; none of her friends know what she’s talking about.

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