From time-to-time, I have the pleasure of working with multiple developers from an app in our Intuit Developer Spotlight series. This is the case with the team at Kindful, including Jeremy L. Bolls (Founder and CEO), Andy Howell (President and COO), and Pete Brumm (CTO). They share further about Kindful below. You can also check out Kindful’s App Card on the QuickBooks App Store for an up close look.
Kindful Team Ready to Empower Nonprofits
Question: What’s the story behind Kindful, and what does it do?
Kindful Team: Kindful began with a simple idea in mind: nonprofits should be able to spend less time focused on their database and more time focused on their mission. With a beautifully designed, intuitive CRM solution, we help nonprofit professionals stay away from their computers and spend more time in front of their donors. Our fully integrated online fundraising CRM prevents nonprofit professionals from wasting time with clunky databases, manual import-export integrations, and confusing analytics.
Question: Why did you decide to integrate with QuickBooks and what are some special features that you’ve utilized?
Kindful Team: It was an easy choice. Our customers are nonprofits, and QuickBooks continues to be the most popular accounting system.
Kindful decided early on to build a bidirectional sync with QuickBooks. This means our customers’ financial information from QuickBooks shows up in Kindful and vice versa, streamlining financial data management and empowering seamless transition from one to the other.
Question: How has working with the Intuit Developer team been, especially in terms of support and the QuickBooks App Store?
Kindful Team: Intuit is a great partner. They are actively working to improve their API and maximize our capacity to integrate even more seamlessly with QuickBooks. Having checkpoint meetings throughout the year about challenges and direction helps our company plan more effectively.
Intuit Developer has provided invaluable technical guidance to ensure successful customer relationships in the App Store. On top of this, we’ve developed close relationships with the Intuit Developer team which pays dividends far beyond the App. We’re honored to work so closely with the Intuit team.
Question: Do you have any tips for other developers working on making their apps succeed?
- QuickBooks offers a quick test drive app that launches into a company with test data. This can be very helpful for your company when training support staff or when troubleshooting over the phone.
- QuickBooks’ webhooks helps us keep track of situations where information is merged or deleted within customer accounts. This enables us to stay up-to-date on data changes that would otherwise be difficult to identify.
- When building a new app on Intuit Developer, take time to talk to the accountants that your customers use. The key to success is to identify ways to save them time while still ensuring data accuracy.
Question: What are some emerging trends other developers should be keeping an eye on?
- Technologies like gRPC and more asynchronous API calls will be important in the future. Kindful developed our API to be asynchronous. We developed gRPC to allow async callbacks to notify when they are complete instead of relying on polling. There is potential for Websockets to integrate with this connection.
- CRUD APIs are starting to feel some developer pain. They can be a quick win for a young company, but they don’t incentivize partners to build off them. Each partner has to think through the same set of challenges, and that slows uptake. We think it is better to go a little deeper if you want large adoption by thinking through usage scenarios and removing those burdens from your partners.
- Many APIs have started adding restrictions on requests/second. We feel that these restrictions are a sign that the API was developed inefficiently. When developing your API, provide a way to asynchronous request an export instead and these restrictions usually become unnecessary or unreachable by developers. Having restrictions for abuse is still needed, but don’t consider normal usage abuse.
Kindful Continues to Improve
As Kindful continues to grow, the team plans to keep improving their services, saying, “Nonprofits CRMs have a unique challenge to aggregate transactional data from multiple point solutions. We continue working with accountants to gain a deeper understanding of what they do on a day-to-day basis and reduce some of those repetitive tasks. Improved deposit reconciliation is high on that list.”
Kindful’s future looks bright, and I can’t thank the team enough for their transparency and for the insights that they’ve freely offered the QuickBooks community. Being open and supporting other developers are top priorities for us here at Intuit, and we enjoy partnering with like-minded developers. Check out the Intuit Developer Blog and the Intuit Developer Support Community for the tips, tricks, and resources at your disposal.