What makes an app successful? This is the key question for all developers in the QuickBooks ecosystem, so I recently spoke with Brad Celmainis of Brad Celmainis Accounting Solutions to get an accountant’s perspective. He offered some great advice on developing apps for accountants, and he used his favorite QuickBooks Online app as an example of how to do it right. Check out his video about the app.
Receipt Bank: A great app for accountants
You heard what Brad said about Receipt Bank. “That’s a no brainer. Anyone who knows me knows I like green and I like orange. I wear it on my heart, wear it on my wrist, wear it on my glasses. That’s Receipt Bank. I like tools I can use in my own business and I use Receipt Bank every day.”
Clearly, he loves Receipt Bank, and he’s joined by more than 240 reviewers on the QuickBooks Apps.com store who give the app 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Why the love?
“Receipt Bank allows businesses to not only become paperless in a very cost-effective manner, but also audit-proofs a client’s business, provides disaster recovery options and speeds up the time it takes to process accounting data,” says Brad. “It’s the one tool I use for my own business every day outside of QuickBooks Online. I can’t say enough good things about it and wish I had the tool in a past life when I was a Controller or CFO.”
Receipt Bank as an example for other app developers
According to Receipt Bank, the app was founded “out of frustration from the amount of time and money lost in forgotten expenses, lost receipts and weekends spent sorting through paperwork.” The founders focused on an accounting pain point (one they knew well) and solved it. When I asked Brad what he looks for in apps for accountants, this was at the top of the list. “First and foremost, it has to solve a real solution to a problem and solve those pain points in an easy-to-use tool.”
He also has some other requirements:
- The user interface has to be intuitive.
- The cost of the app needs to fairly reflect the value the app delivers.
- The tighter the integration with QuickBooks Online, the better.
- The app’s support team must be excellent and receptive to client needs.
For app developers to be successful, truly understanding the challenges faced by real business owners, bookkeepers, and accountants is vital. Getting out of the programming mindset and into the end-user’s mindset will go a long way in creating an app that accountants fall in love with.
“Reach out to the accounting community before you go too far down the development path,” he says. “I’ve seen too many app developers show me their tools, and I truly can’t see why they’re creating the app in the first place. Do your homework and collaborate. It will save you a ton of time (and money) and set you on the right path from the get-go!”
Great advice, and I appreciate Brad taking the time to share it. The Intuit Developer team also appreciates the time app developers have taken to offer their feedback on our platform and has introduced some new features to improve developer productivity and other QuickBooks Online improvements based on their requests.