Wouldn’t it be great if you had the ability to solve accounting pain points by developing your own app? Ashley Schroder, a software architect did just that. He, along with Paul Grey, created the app A2X after suffering through hours of reconciling payments as Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) sellers.
Today, Ashley tells us how “something that previously was complex to account for, and took hours of processing time, can now be done in seconds” with their innovative solution.
A2X Takes a Non-Traditional Approach
Ashley and his team have been developing e-commerce software for over a decade. Their goal has been to automate the e-commerce process, and Ashley says that being a part of a developer ecosystem enables them to “build highly connected apps that make life easy for our users with APIs.”
Making life easier is what A2X does for many Amazon FBA sellers who struggle with accurate and reliable settlement accounting.
“As an Amazon seller’s business grows, their accounting and bookkeeping requirements become bloated and complex. We built A2X after living through this pain selling products through our ecommerce business, ExportX,” Ashley says. “Our solution is a fully integrated and automated link between Amazon Seller Central and QuickBooks Online—and now Desktop.”
This automated link provides users with some amazing benefits, including:
- Easy accounting: A2X will automatically fetch your latest Amazon settlement transactions and post summarized journals to QuickBooks Online (and Desktop)
- Time savings: A2X does the work for you, giving you time to focus on growing your Amazon business
- Accurate finances: A2X is built for extreme accuracy, reconciling Amazon settlements down to the cent every time you get paid, and matching them to financial periods
- International connectivity: A2X supports Amazon Marketplaces (and currencies) around the world
“We’ve taken a unique approach compared to more traditional integrations by focusing on reconciling the e-commerce payments. Our application is 100% cloud-based, running on Google Cloud. Google described our technology on their platform as “innovative” in a recent case study.”
Integrating Their Innovative App with QuickBooks Online
Ashley says integrating with QuickBooks Online was an important step for A2X. “QuickBooks is a huge ecosystem with an enormous user base, particularly strong in the US market. It was a priority for us to integrate with QuickBooks, and the API’s make that possible.”
In the first year they launched their integration with QuickBooks, the A2X team found themselves in the top ten apps for the Small Business App Showdown. This opportunity led to other opportunities with Intuit, including StartUp Grind, Scaling New Heights, and QuickBooks Connect, all of which put them in front of many experts and potential customers.
It also helped them cement a partnership with the Intuit Developer team.
“The Intuit Developer team is great, they support what we do, help us with technical issues, and advocate for us with users. We couldn’t wish for better partners,” Ashley says. “The working relationship feels like we have genuine support within Intuit, the team helps us with problems but are very supportive of initiatives and ideas for growth, too.”
Building the Best
As A2X continues to grow, Ashley says their product roadmap is confidential but shares that their goal is to “build the best accounting tools for e-commerce sellers and their accountants and bookkeepers.”
Many users already think they’ve accomplished this goal. On their QuickBooks App Store page, A2X has received an overall rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 from 92 reviewers. The first review, titled “Exactly what I needed”, does a good job summarizing what many reviewers had to say.
“A2X is exactly what I needed to balance my books as an Amazon seller. I love the way it creates journal entries that are easy to understand and refer back to. It even attaches the backup documents in each journal entry. Brilliant!”
With the success of his app, Ashley has some advice for other developers. “Work with real users and accountants as early in your development process as possible. The feedback they provide will guide you to a solution that’s more suited to real-world scenarios and accurate accounting.”
He also advises developers to do exactly what he and Paul did, “Solve a real problem first—find a user with the problem and solve it for that user, then generalize it.”
In terms of emerging technology, Ashley believes developers on the software side should be thinking about client-side apps in JS and serverless backends for highly scalable low-cost software services. And developers on the integration side should be thinking about new APIs using GraphQL.
As A2X moves forward, Ashley will continue to rely on the support of the Intuit Developer team, noting in a Firm of the Future post, “We’re excited about our journey together, to empower and automate all of the complex e-commerce accounting needs that sellers have to deal with on a daily basis.”
Another Intuit Developer Spotlight post is coming soon with our next inspiring developer. In the meantime, the Intuit Developer Blog has some fresh ideas on how to connect with the QuickBooks community and insights into what’s happening in the community, such as changes to the QuickBooks App Store.