Helm, a cash flow forecasting app, is participating in the new Intuit Developer Growth Program and highly recommends it to other app companies. See why.
Launched in late 2022 by the Developers & Partners group at Inuit®, the Developer Growth Program is a nine-month pilot program for application developers. During the pilot, developers are paired with experts from the accounting community who share their expertise on how to improve QuickBooks integrations, including applications that are already innovative and quality driven. With the Developer Growth Program pilot quickly closing in on the halfway mark, we’re excited to report that it’s receiving high marks from the five app companies that make up our cohort.
One of these companies is Helm, who offers a simple, flexible, easy-to-use, short-term cash flow app for small businesses and their advisors. Kelvin Gieck, CFA and Co-Founder of Helm, sat down with us to share Helm’s experience within the Developer Growth Program and how well it’s going so far.
First, What is Helm?
Helm was founded in 2018 by Gieck and Twyla Verhelst. Their love of accounting, technology, and helping others succeed helped them create an all-in-one cash management application that was designed to be a practical, useful, and intuitive tool for advisors and businesses.
“Knowing how much cash is available to run the business, plan for the future, and manage payments is critical to small business survival,” Gieck says. “With automated forecasting, one-click scenario planning, and drag-and-drop payment dates, Helm makes it easy for small businesses to manage their cash flow and run their business with confidence.”
Based on QuickBooks App Store reviews, Helm is doing exactly what it was designed to do. Blueprintbrian writes in its five-star review, “Helm is a very easy to use cash flow tool. Adjusting any forecast on the fly is simple and you can see a visual update right away. It’s so easy that if you don’t need to change a forecast amount then you can drag and drop it on the transaction chart to another location. They love feedback on the app, too. So if you’ve got ideas then you’ll get their ear for updates.”
With five successful years of growing their application, why did the Helm team decide to participate in the Developer Growth Program? According to Gieck, they found out about the program after the Intuit program team reached out to them through social media and emails. After a somewhat false start, they agreed to be a part of the new program.
“Helm has been around for a few years now and is quite active in the accounting and online community. We are approaching cash flow planning and management in a unique way, and given our long-time integration with QuickBooks Online, the Intuit team wanted to know if we would be interested in participating in this new and exciting program they built out,” Gieck says.
“The funny part is that given how much spam occurs on professional social platforms, the initial outreach attempts from Inuit were almost passed off as phishing by our team. We’re pretty thankful the Intuit team is so personable because we finally responded to the emails and now here we are!”
What Does the Helm Team Think about the Developer Growth Program?
Though the pilot program is only midway to completion, Gieck believes the program is—and will be—a complete success. He says: “The Developer Growth Program has been an amazing experience so far, and our team has no doubt that it will continue to be. You can tell the people within the Developer Growth Program team genuinely want to help us succeed in any way they can, which is a huge boon when you come from the startup world.”
Gieck brought some preconceived ideas about the program with him before it started, however. Because Helm is doing well, he thought the program would be validating the decisions they have made and are making. Instead, he’s finding that the program is taking Helm’s approach to “a whole different level” by providing specific feedback aimed at improving the application further. For example, Gieck says the customer, technical, and strategic insights they’ve gleaned from the program have helped them navigate the QuickBooks App Store more proficiently and make better use of Intuit resources.
“In fact, we’ve gotten so much from interacting with their group and resources,” Gieck says, “we have plans to build out an exciting new feature set in 2023 that we might not have pursued otherwise.”
As to interacting with the accounting experts, Gieck says that even though Helm is an accounting application built by and for accounting professionals, he and his team have significantly benefitted from the real-life experience and rich accounting app knowledge of the experts Intuit brought into the Developer Growth Program. Says Gieck, “These are experts that not only work with real accounting and bookkeeping clients every day, these are experts that also work with hundreds of apps. So they know what they need as professionals, they know what their clients need, they know what the industry needs today and in the future.”
Is the Developer Growth Program Helpful for Other App Companies?
When asked if the Developer Growth Program would be helpful for other app companies, Gieck has no doubts. “Having the ability to work with these people and gain access to solid technical and marketing insights is in and of itself invaluable. It allows a company like Helm to make more confident decisions in development, marketing, and strategy. A big part of this is related to risk. Getting feedback from Intuit’s staff, and the highly skilled industry experts they have deep relationships with, also gives us in-depth knowledge we might not otherwise garner.”
He adds, “This is greatly empowering.”
Another benefit for Helm that’s related to their participation in the Developer Growth Program is recent funding they’ve received from Alberta Innovates, a provincial economic development agency. With the help of two grants from Alberta Innovates, Helm will be able to complete additional product development based on guidance provided in the pilot program.
“This has fostered additional interest from other government funding programs and private investors, and helped open doors to other corporate opportunities,” Gieck says. “It’s also helped us attract better talent. We’ve recently hired a dedicated Product Manager to guide our new feature development at Helm. This person was definitely attracted to the partnerships and relationships we’ve built—a big one being our recent work with Intuit.”
Ultimately, Gieck declares the program a winner—for Helm and for other app companies. “As we continue to improve Helm, this input is invaluable. It helps us to focus our attention on critical features that will give our customers amazing benefits, which gives us an extremely bright future. If another QuickBooks developer asks us, we won’t hesitate to recommend the Developer Growth Program!”
To inquire about program details and how to participate, visit our developer forums. We’re always looking for innovative apps that can help the QuickBooks community. Our step-by-step guide makes it easy to list your app on the QuickBooks App Store.
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