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  • How to Create an Invoice in QuickBooks

     

    QB101

    So far in our QuickBooks 101 blog series, I've answered a few high-level QuickBooks questions such as "Why is QB a good accounting software for my small business?"  
     
    Now I'm happy to help answer user-based  QB questions starting with "How do I create an invoice in QuickBooks?"  
     
    I will also include the 'how-to' documentation notes (thanks Alex!) and video tutorial link (thanks Errol!) for creating an invoice within Method:CRM, since everything you do in Method will sync with your QuickBooks file (yay, no double entry!).

    What is an Invoice?

    An invoice is a itemized bill issued by a seller (you!) listing the goods or services supplied to the buyer (your customers!), containing individual prices, total charges, and the terms.

    How do I create an invoice in QuickBooks?

    1. From QuickBooks homepage, go to Create Invoice.

      HomeScreen_Invoices_1
    2. From the Invoice Templates drop down menu, choose an invoice template.

      Invoices_3
    3. From the Customer:Job drop down menu, select a Customer from the list.

    4. Enter the correct date for the invoice.

    5. Click the first line in the Item column. From the drop down arrow, select an item. 

      Invoices_4
    6. Enter the quantity.

      Invoices_5
    7. Change the description and rate, if necessary.

    8. Enter a customer message, if required. To print or email the invoice later, click the To be printed or To be emailed check box.

    1. If you have more invoices to enter, click Save & New. Otherwise, click Save & Close.  If you chose to print the invoice later, choose File > Print Forms > Invoices when you're ready to print.  To email the invoice later, choose File > Send Forms when you're ready to send it.


    How do I create an invoice in Method:CRM (that will sync with QuickBooks)? 

    1. From Method CRM, go to Customers > Invoices.

    1. From the Customer: Job drop down menu, choose a customer or lead with whom to associate this invoice. This will auto-fill any address information Method has on file for this customer or customer job.

    1. From the Account drop down menu, choose an account to associate with this invoice. The only option available out of the box is Accounts Receivable, but you can add more in your QuickBooks account!

    1. From the Date drop down menu, choose a date for this invoice. The default will be today's date.

    1. In the Line Item grid, choose the items that will be included for this invoice by using the Item drop down menu(s). You can include as many items as you want; if you run out of space, click New Line Item to generate further lines.

    2. Choosing these items will auto-fill the Description, Quantity, Amount, Cost, and Tax fields in the grid. You can change these, as well as the other options, as you desire. Click Update when you're done filling in line items to generate a total.

    1. Clicking Save at the bottom of the screen will save this invoice; when you reload the Existing invoice grid you will see it there. If you have clicked Email notification when saving, the button below will appear as Save & Email, and will generate and send an email to any contact on the account who has Opt out of billing unchecked (please see our documentation on Contacts for more information). If the Email notification box is left unchecked, this button will appear as Save & New, which means it will save the fields and clear them in preparation for a new invoice.

    TIP: The above fields are the only required fields on this page and represent the minimum amount of information Method needs to create an invoice. However, the more information you provide, the more comprehensive your invoice will be! For more information on the remaining fields on this page, please see our full Documentation page for Invoices.

    Can I turn an estimate or work order into an invoice in Method?

    Yes!

    If you've created an estimate within Method:CRM, that estimate can easily be turned into a work order, which then can be turned into an invoice!  There is really no reason to be entering in the same info more than once when you’re busy with small business.  

    In this video, found within the Method:CRM Transactions Video Series, Errol shows you how to do just that.
    Watch the video here!
    Screen_Shot_2014-03-05_at_5.09.21_PM
    Until next time,

    Lynda

     

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  • Managing Multiple Currencies in Method:CRM

     

    Hi there again, this is Adam from the Support team!

    For this blog post, I thought I’d talk a bit about incorporating multiple currencies into Method:CRM.

    In QuickBooks, you can enable a feature to allow for transactions in foreign currencies. This works great for businesses who have customers in the U.S and Canada, or overseas. But how does this work in Method, you may ask?  Can I log transactions in a foreign currency? The answer is yes, and it’s actually fairly simple to utilize.

    To take advantage of this, you must first enable this feature in QuickBooks. See here for information on how to do that.

    In Method, there is a Currency dropdown field available in the Customer table. This field is one that syncs with QuickBooks and holds the currency of the customer. Our stock Edit Customer screen does not have this field available, but with a quick customization, you can drag this field onto the screen.  

    Here’s how:

    First, right-click the current stock Edit Customer screen to create a copy of the stock screen, and edit it (if you’ve already customized this screen, you can simply edit it).



     

    Next, simply drag and drop the Currency field from the Field list on the left to the screen designer on the right. You can put the field anywhere on the screen; I chose to put it underneath the Price Level dropdown for simplicity.

     




     

    Something to look out for is the Account Receivable account (AR account) set for the invoice. The AR account must match the currency set for the customer.  In Method, the default AR account is set to the last one used in a transaction. If this is not the correct account and the invoice is saved, a conflict will be created and prevent the invoice from syncing to QuickBooks.

    Now, you could potentially stop here and be done.  With this simple customization, you can now see the customer’s currency and can set it for any new customers entered into Method. You can also enter transactions in Method that match their currency. This will give you basic functionality.

    However, there are other customizations you can do for multi-currency.  You can place actions to set the AR account on the invoice screen according to the customer selected, as well as add the BalanceRemainingInHomeCurrency field to show the balance in your home currency. If you have a customer overseas, you can also change the currency symbol on the transaction screens and reports to show the customer’s currency code.

    Finally, you can set currencies for Vendors, accounts, and various transactions. There are many other areas in which you could potentially utilize multi-currency.

    I hope this article provided a glimpse of what Method can do with this QuickBooks feature. If you’re unfamiliar with customization, I would suggest going through our Customization Webinars first. If you have any questions about multi-currency, please ask about it in our Forums.  We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Adam
     
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  • February in Small Business

     

     

    Wow, it's hard to believe we're at the end of the month already!  Was February a productive one for you and your team? Did you hit any milestones in your business or are you ramping up for a busy Spring and Summer season just around the corner? 
    Last month was the kick-off to our new blog series "This Month in Small Business" where I recapped some of the interesting, and often helpful, resourses I shared throughout the month with our social media community.  
    If you missed these, no problem! Here is a selection of what I came across during February that includes a video, an infographic, and two articles:  
     

    Shawn Anchor: The Happy Secret to Better Work [Video] 

    If you're not already a TED Talks enthusiast, I'm going to make a fan out of you with this one!  The Happy Secret to Better Work talk is given by Shawn Anchor, the CEO of Good Think Inc, where he researches and teaches about positive psychology. If you're having difficulties with low team moral or just need a good laugh, check out this talk.  

    (To my delight, Shawn Anchor even thanked Errol when he shared the video with his own network!)

    Screen_Shot_2014-02-28_at_12.35.35_PM

    10 Body Language Tips Every Speaker Must Know [Infographic]

    Speaking of great presentation skills, here's an infographic that offers a few easy to implement tips for improving your skills as a presenter. (Note: To zoom in on the infographic for better reading press Command and + on a Mac or Ctrl + scroll mouse wheel on a PC)

    The Miracle & Mystery of Sleep: 12 Remarkable Psychological Studies [Article] 

    This article features the results of sleep tests that are quite amazing.  Who knew our sleep was affected by a full moon?!

    “The data show that around the full moon, brain activity related to deep sleep dropped by 30 percent. People also took five minutes longer to fall asleep, and they slept for twenty minutes less time overall."

    The important take-away from this article is the importance of sleep, especially for those of you running a small business. It may seem like a good idea to sacrifice sleep to continue working, but it's about working smart, not hard. You'll be able to think with more clarity and creativity if you're rested, so go to bed! (Eeks, I sound like my mom!) 

    How to Train Your Brain to Stay Focused [Article]

    I may not be willing to sign up for those brain-training services, but I thought the notion of training your own brain through productive work habits was an excellent idea.
    If you're interested in becoming more focused and productive in your daily work routine, check out this article from Entrepreneur Magazine.
    I hope you enjoy these pieces and if you've come across a great article, video, infographic, or cat pic, please share! You can always tweet me at @MethodCRM
    Have a great weekend everyone!
    Lynda
      

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    You Might Also Like: 

    January in Small Business 

    3 Massive Website Mistakes to Avoid

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    CRM for Small Business

  • Intuit Reseller Rally: Method’s Adventure to Silicon Valley

     

    For many, the start of a new year means resolutions to get fit, eat healthy, time with family...I could gon but will spare you. For some of us at Method, this new year kicks off a new round of annual conferences.
    By now there’s a lot that is routine in attending conferences -- airport delays, long nights and early mornings -- while other parts are fresh, bold, and totally new, like the product features, innovations, announcements, and new faces. For 2014, Method decided to be fresh, BIG and bold!

    2014_IRR_(1)

    Intuit Reseller Rally

    Our first trip took us to beautiful San Francisco for the annual Intuit Reseller Rally, bringing together some of the top Intuit Resellers. Together with sponsors like Method:CRM, the event provides Intuit Resellers, many of whom are a part of Method Partner Program, with an opportunity to see the latest showcases and innovations in the marketplace.

    Additionally, it provides an opportunity to interact with other Resellers to share their own best practices and to also learn from others to help their own clients to be more successful.

     

    Silicon Valley - the Mecca of Innovation

    During the trip, we made sure to stop in at the Intuit Headquarters, where we were greeted with apps (short for appetizers...not tech applications) and a small tour around the Innovation Center.  During the Intuit Gallery Tour, we were treated to demos of some pretty exciting technology - here are a few:

    2014_IRR_(2)

    GoPayment by Intuit

    For those small businesses that provide services on the road, Intuit’s GoPayment is a way to accept credit card payments on the spot. Instead of sending a customer an invoice for a product or service and then waiting days, or even weeks for payment, the GoPayment card reader and app allows you to either swipe, key-in, or snap a picture of a customer’s credit card and process the transaction immediately.  

    To provide authorization for their credit card, the customer signs right within the app and receives a receipt of the transaction by text or email.  The transaction syncs up with QuickBooks and Intuit Point of Sale products, so everything is in the system before you even get back to the office. How cool is that?!      

    SparksRent by Intuit

    Intuit created SparksRent because handwritten, post-dated rent cheques are outdated and landlords need an alternative to chasing after payments.  This is how SparksRent works:

    • Landlords create a SparksRent account and add rental units, tenants’ info, and their own banking info to receive  payments

    • Each tenant will receive a welcome email from SparksRent where they are shown how to pay rent through the application and even set up automatic payments

    • Each tenant can see all their payments on their dashboard, which is an easy way to make sure you haven’t missed any

    • When a rent payment has been made, the landlord receives a notification email with the payment confirmation and can also view all tenant payments on his own dashboard.


    A Quick Stop Off at Google

    Before the start of the Intuit Reseller Rally, Paul and Danny left the Toronto winter weather behind for an extra day in Silicon Valley to meet up with an old friend, who not only works at Google HQ but who was kind enough to show the guys around.  I was told it was an amazing experience and that both Intuit and Google had pretty incredible offices and corporate cultures.  Here are some pics from outside the Google office and what Paul and Danny had to say.

     
    Paul and Danny at Google HQ

    “Google and Intuit are both highly innovative companies that have been very successful at building products that have won the hearts of both consumers and small businesses. I enjoyed getting a peek into their environments.  Key takeaway: Google has a better staff coffee policy!”

    - Paul Jackson, Method CEO

     
    Paul at Google HQ


    “Visiting Google and Intuit's headquarters provided a sneak peak into what makes each of their workplaces unique. This was also a perfect time to do some self reflection into what makes Method's work environment unique and special. While we aren't there yet, if I were to sum up our workplace it would be a perfect blend of both companies cultures. Creative/playful (Google) and structured/organized (Intuit).”

    - Danny, Method COO

     
    Danny at Google HQ

     

    (Danny forgot to mention that Method HQ also has a fantastic Friday afternoon beer policy!)

     
    If you'd like to see all the pictures from our trip, follow us on Facebook and stay tuned!
    Val
     
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     2014-05_Free-eBook_468-nologo
  • If an Olympic Athlete Applies to Your Small Business, Hire Them

    So far the 2014 Sochi Olympics have been incredible to watch.  The victorious wins, the heart breaking falls, and just knowing millions of others are sharing in the experience is pretty incredible.

    While I am no Human Resource expert, I truly believe athleticism produces so much more than strong muscles and Olympic medals.

    If your team is expanding in the coming months, look out for those applicants who have a past in sports.  In fact, here are 3 reasons small businesses should hire an Olympic athlete, (if they are ever so lucky) or anyone who has trained in sports:

     

    1. They Know How to Take Risks

    If anyone saw me watching the 2014 Winter Olympics they would think I was watching a horror movie, but in fact I’m clutching a couch cushion and gritting my teeth because I’m watching athletes whip down ice tunnels at over a hundred miles an hour.  Don’t get me wrong - I will take on the scariest of roller coasters if presented with the opportunity, but I salute those athletes brave enough to take on a sport like the Skeleton.

    Knowing when and how to take intelligent risks is an attribute I always associate with small business owners and those who work for them, especially in the early years. So if you own a small business and someone like U.S SIlver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace wants to join your team, I suggest you shake her hand in acknowledgement of her bravery (and her recent silver!) and then ask when she can start.

     

    2. They Have Impeccable Work Ethic 

    So, Kaitlyn Farrington shows up at your small business with her resume (and her gold for Half Pipe Snowboarding) but she doesn’t have the same level of experience in customer service as the next applicant - do you give her a shot?

    When you consider the long-term benefit of work ethic and intelligence in comparison to experience, it might be worth giving the Olympian a place on your team.  Sure, the other candidate will have a shorter learning curve in the the beginning, but if the role is not technically based (e.g. computer programming) I would bank on the ROI in hiring someone with a proven record of initiation, discipline, and a world-class work ethic.

    In fact, in the article 5 Attributes to Look for in High-Performing Employees, Ryan Caldbeck (founder of CircleUp) makes the comparison between the benefit of intelligence over experience:

    “An intelligent candidate can quickly learn a job and frequently ends up doing it better than someone (less intelligent) who has been doing a similar job elsewhere. Experience is certainly valuable, but brains are the horsepower that drives the business.” 

     

    3. They Have Endurance and Persevere

    There’s no question - the best sports to watch during the Winter Olympics are the speedier sports.  But what about those athletes who train in sports that rely on endurance?  They may not be the most thrilling spectator sport to observe, but anyone who trains for a sport like the Biathlon sure knows what it means to keep on trekking even when you feel like you’ve been running uphill for days.  

    The world of small business is not always glamorous, so there’s value in hiring those who will stick it out with you through the rough times as they’re able to visualize the end goal. Take sales roles for example: as more industries move away from the cold-calling tactic, salespeople are now required to do more research, investigate the needs of their leads, and - well, persevere!

     

    I hope you enjoy the watching the rest of the 2014 Winter Olympics and if you are indeed hiring this winter, I hope these tips help you score high on new hires.

     

    Until next time,

    Lynda, Method Content & Community Coordinator

     

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  • Updates From Method's Video Guy

     

    Hello, and welcome to another Method CRM blog post written by me, Errol!

    I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time. Lynda has favourites and I’m not one of them. Ha! I’m kidding.

    Anyway, I have so many things that I want to talk about. For example, did you know that in our Help Center, I have listed out all my videos? You did? Did I already mention that? Well, it’s good to have a reminder regardless.

    And this is growing!

    Did you also know that Jason and myself have been at Method for a year? That’s right, it’s our one year anniversary and we wrote a song. I don’t know why we’re sharing this song but we are giving you full permission to mock us.

     

    And finally, I have two video series to give you and that’s the Google Gadget Plug-in, as well as the Outlook Plug-in. If you are not aware that you can use these plug-ins to help integrate Method more into your CRM workflow, well now you know. Check out the documentation that Alex has updated, and then take a gander at these videos.

     

    And that’s it! I hope you have a great Valentine’s day. Speaking of Valentine’s day, here’s a photo with my officemate, Lynda. She LOVES Valentine’s day… a little too much in my opinion.

     

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  • QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online?

     

    While there are common functions in both Intuit products, there are also functions found in QuickBooks Online not found in QuickBooks Desktop, and vise versa.

    There is a misconception that QuickBooks Online is just the cloud-based version of QuickBooks Desktop; however, this is not the case.  

    So, it’s important to evaluate what you need out of your accounting software to determine which version would best suit your business. 

    Both programs have common features such as accepting credit card payments, bank reconciliation, company snapshot, printing bills, online banking, and more.  But let’s compare the differences in the two QuickBooks products. Oh, and the QB Desktop version I’m referring to is the U.S Windows version, not the Mac version.

    QuickBooks Desktop vs QuickBooks Online

    QuickBooks Desktop 

    • offers Webex Remote Access as a remote accessing solution, but doesn’t allow simultaneous access for multiple remote users.

    • integrates with QuickBooks Point of Sale

    • offers QuickBooks Bill Pay

    • offers complete job costing

    • allows more freedom to customize forms and reports

    • syncs with Method:CRM by installing the Method Integration Engine

    • requires you to purchase a new desktop version of QuickBooks software every year with some free update releases throughout the year

    • does not include support - that’s an additional cost 

    QuickBooks Online 

    • is accessible anytime, anywhere for up to 5 simultaneous users

    • includes all upgrades and there’s no need to purchase a new version of QB Online every year

    • includes free support

    • tracks inventory (Online Edition Plus)

    • easily integrates with Method:CRM since there's nothing to install

    • does not integrate with QuickBooks Point of Sale

    • does not offer QuickBooks Bill Pay

    • does not do complete job costing, but it does track expenses by job

    • is less flexible with regard to customizing forms or reports

     

    If you’re looking for a really detailed breakdown of the differences between the QuickBooks versions, I recommend taking a look at these two Sleeter Group articles:

    QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: Is One Better than the Other?

    Comparing QuickBooks Desktop with QuickBooks Online  

     

    If you're interested in learning how small businesses are organizing their operations and saving themselves time with Method:CRM and QuickBooks, check out our Small Business Success Stories.

    That's it for the third installment of QuickBooks 101.  If you have any questions you would like answered in the next post of this series, leave a comment below or send me a tweet at @MethodCRM

     

    Until next time,

    Lynda

    Method Community Manager 

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  • 3 Massive Website Mistakes to Avoid

     

    Unless you have the wonderful problem of a phone that’s always ringing, as a small business owner, you rely on your website to pull in new leads.  This is especially true outside of business hours.  So how do you get your website to be a digital version of your top salespeople?  

    Avoid these 3 common mistakes and you’ll be on your way to making your website a sales superstar.
     

    1. Lacking a Clear Value Proposition

    A new visitor should be able to quickly scan your homepage and immediately understand 1) what your product or service does, 2) who it’s for, and 3) how it will benefit them.

    Imagine you know absolutely nothing about your company (yes that’s hard to do!).  Now take a look at your homepage.  Would you understand the benefit being offered in 30 seconds or less?  That’s how much time you have to communicate your offering before a potential customer bounces from your website.

     

    2. Failing to Build Trust

    It’s so easy to talk about how great your products and services are; after all your business is your passion!   But wouldn’t it be so much better if your customers did that for you?

    Prospects respond best to social proof like:
    • Real customers giving short testimonials on how your product/service benefited them.
    • Reviews on other sites (we do this on Intuit Apps.com).

    • Customer Success Stories.

    If you have any or all of these trust signals, that’s great!  Feature them prominently on your website.  We’re going to run an experiment in the coming months to see if interspersing short customer quotations with headshots on our Tour page helps or hurts our conversions.  I’ll update you on that in a future blog post, or hit me up on twitter @jamilaljabri

     

    3. Too Many Hoops in Your Conversion Funnel

    Einstein said it best: “Make things as simple as possible and not simpler.”  
    So true when it comes to your funnel.  Here’s an example: in my last role at a travel ecommerce company, the biggest improvement we made to our conversion rate was changing from a multi-page check-out process where we made buyers click through many pages and decide on extras like car rentals, to a single page where we captured only the required info to book their flight.  Not only were bookings higher, revenue was also higher despite not getting cross-sell sales from car rentals and hotels.
    Maybe a conversion on your website isn’t a purchase -- it’s a lead.  How many fields are in your form?  I think you only need 2: name and email.  When you keep it simple, you’ll get more leads, and you can get all the other info when you follow-up.

     

    Measuring the Results

    So how do you know if the changes you made to your website are helping or hurting your conversions?  If you aren’t already, you can track your conversion rate with a free tool like Google Analytics, which is easy to add to your website, and you can run A/B tests with a tool like Optimizely.  We applied the learnings above to our website redesign, and the results have exceeded our expectations.

    If you have a question, comment or story of your own, please leave it in the comments section below or tweet us @MethodCRM.

    Until next time,

    Jamil

    PS - In my next post I'll cover 3 more website mistakes to avoid so your redesign isn't a train wreck.

    Illustration below is by Ron, Method's Admiral of Awesome Design.
    Train_Wreck-1 


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  • New Field Services Documentation

     

    Welcome to the new year, Method users.  Alex here again - documentation specialist and sometime-sidekick to Errol the video guru. For those of you who have been asking (and from what consulting and support have told me, it’s been many of you) I’m pleased to report our next section of documentation is up and running.  

     

    It is with the greatest pleasure I announce the launch of the updated Field Services / Scheduling and Invoicing documentation (with nine dedicated Errol videos to boot for those of you who consider yourselves card-carrying members of Errol’s fan club - which I am beginning to suspect is a real thing). 

     

    The breakdown is similar to what you have seen in this section up until now: under Field Services in the Help Center you'll find some A-to-B walkthroughs including how to set up field services, customization suggestions, and more.

     

    But what we’re really pleased about is the Field Services Center, which you can find as another tree under Field Services. There, you'll find an exhaustive breakdown of every screen and function associated with field services, supplemented by Errol's videos where appropriate.  Need to know how to turn a work order into an invoice?  It’s there.  Questions about how to set up time tracking?  Oh, we’ve got you covered.  Want to schedule a work order using the Calendar?  Now you know how.  

     

    And if you’re looking for a little more context relevant to your business, check out our three-part Day in the Life series, found under the Tutorial section.  Here we’ll cover three standard days in Field Services life from the perspective of different service industries.  If your particular industry isn’t included, don’t worry - there are a lot of similarities between how different businesses use Method, so our examples will likely apply to you too!

     

    Feel free to take a look at the new material, and as always Errol and I would love your feedback.  However!  We have changed our contact information.  Moving forward, if you want to contact Errol or me, please refer your emails to education@method.me.  Because from now on, we are educators!  

    Alex the Method Educator

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    That’s all from the documentation camp for this week, Methodites. 

    Excelsior, et cetera!

    Alex

    Stop by to socialize!

     

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  • This Month in Small Business

     

    Happy Friday Method Friends!

    Today's blog post initiates our new "This Month in Small Business" blog series, where I will recap some of the best  resources I have stumbled upon throughout the month that are small business and leadership focused.

    Here are the most informative and thought provoking articles from the past month

     

    To Keep Your Customers, Build More Moats

    There are great articles and blog posts on attracting more leads and increasing conversion rates (which is very important, don't get me wrong), but keeping your current customers happy and loyal also needs to be part of your strategy.  This Inc.com article provides the 3 C's of discovering and developing the "moats" that matter most (say that 3 times fast!)

     

    "...I call this basic business strategy "knocking on old doors," which means working harder to deepen your connection to and your involvement with current customers. This will increase their average spend ("share of wallet") and lock them in for the long haul."

    - CEO Howard Tullman

    For the full article, click here

    No Managers Required - How Zappos Ditched the Old Corporate Structure for Something New

    No more job titles and no more managers: this is the 2014 goal for Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.  If alternative org charts are something of interest, this FastCompany.com article is for you.

    "Holacracy is a little known organizational management system that’s is gaining a toehold in the business world. Zappos, so far, is its biggest adopter."

     For the full article, click here

    14 Things Successful People Do on Weekends

    I love a good list, don't you? This one, found on Forbes.com, recommends 14 activities that successful people have been known to take up during their days off.
     
     “Even when I’m technically not working, I’m always processing in the background and thinking about the company. Weekends are a great chance to reflect and be more introspective about bigger issues.”
    Spencer Rascoff, CEO at Zillow

     

    For the full article, click here

     

    If you've written an article yourself, or have found a great piece that you would like to share, tweet me at @MethodCRM

    Until next time,

    Lynda 


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  • Is QuickBooks a good accounting software for SMBs and startups?

    QB101

    Hi Method friends!

    Today, I'm continuing to answer commonly asked questions about the accounting software QuickBooks.  For those of you who are already using QuickBooks, feel free to leave your own tips and tricks below as a comment or connect with me on Twitter.  

    This is the second installment of our QuickBooks 101 blog series.  In the first posting I answered the question "What is QuickBooks?" and disucss benefits of using QuickBooks as a SMB owner.  Check out the first post here!


    Is QuickBooks a good accounting software for SMBs and startups?

    Yes!  Small businesses greatly benefit from using QuickBooks.  While some startups feel that they can manage their accounting in spreadsheets, QuickBooks allows you to easily gain a big-picture perspective on your company’s financials. It is also a good idea to get your accounting practices organized and within a scaleable software before your business expereinces a growth spurt.  

    Will I be able to use QuickBooks even if I don't have an accounting background?

    Yes! QuickBooks is user friendly and has been designed to do a lot of the accounting for you. If you don’t understand debits, credits and postings, that’s ok - you will fill in forms, like cheques and invoices, and QuickBooks will do a good deal of the accounting for you.
    If you're a small business owner managing your accounting within spreadsheets, you will also love how easy tax-time becomes when you start using a program like QuickBooks.  You can quickly view one-click reports like 'Profit & Loss' to see where your business stands and can then easily share these reports with your accountant. 

    What are the advantages of using QuickBooks with Method:CRM?

    Method:CRM was designed with small business owners in mind - especially those who use QuickBooks. Method's patented bi-directional sync technology mirrors QuickBooks data in real-time, which means that Method:CRM users save a ton of time by only entering data once.  Virtually everything syncs back and forth between QuickBooks and Method:CRM so thousands of SMB owner love using the programs together for organizing customers, vendors, employees, invoices, sales orders, and so much more.
     
    That's it for the second installment of QuickBooks 101.  If you have any questions you would like answered in the next post of this series, leave a comment below or send me a tweet at @MethodCRM
    Until next time, 
    Lynda :)

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  • 3 Things Serving Beer Taught Me About Succeeding as a Small Business

    From dive-bars to five-stars, I’ve served in a variety of restaurants over the last 10 years.  Working in the hospitality industry was a great way to put myself through school and was a transferable skill I also relied on as a traveler.  

    Looking back at the different bars and restaurants I worked in, I chuckle to myself remembering the unique quirks and issues of each place.  Every restaurant had a different set of owners and managers, all of whom had different leadership techniques.  There were also those fellow servers and bartenders I will always remember as leaders because of their innate ability and dedication to building lasting relationships with customers, instead of just taking orders.

    But what truly resonated with me was how important customer service was for these restaurants, especially the smaller businesses.  I am such an advocate for small business CRM applications because they allow small businesses to better serve their customers.

    But a software solution can’t improve your tact or how well you listen to a customer.  So, I wanted to share these three customer service lessons I learned as a server that I’m sure you can apply to your own small business.

    1) Provide customers more than what a computer can

    I love cooking, but there are some days when I end up eating at a restaurant because I’m too tired to cook, or even too tired to think of what to cook. I once served someone that did not even open their menu, but just said “I have been making decisions all day and have no interest in making any more. I trust you to order a dish for me that is recommended by the chef”.  So I ordered this exhausted business owner the chef’s recommended dish.  She loved it and appreciated that I did the thinking for her.

    When it comes to your customers, how much thinking are you doing for them?  When your customers are ordering your product or service, is there something you can send to them, or advise them to purchase as an add-on, that will improve their experience?  The easier you make it for your customers to do business with you, the more they will think of you for that product or service in addition to recommending you to their friends.  

    2) Give out comment cards

    At most restaurants and bars I worked at, comment cards were handed out with every bill and we encouraged the guests to rate their dining experience. If a guest voiced concerns or had a negative experience, the manager would promptly get in contact with that guest to hear them out and offer them another dining experience, giving the establishment another opportunity to shine.

    I’m sure you’ve heard it before that customer feedback is crucial for the success of your business.  You’ve probably also heard the analogy that when someone has a good experience they tell one person, but if they have a bad one they tell ten.  Providing an outlet for customers to voice feedback about your product or service allows you to improve your business, rectify their experience, and keep them as a customer, instead of losing them and never knowing why.   

    3) Just say sorry

    During one of my first waitressing shifts, I was so overwhelmed that I completely forgot to ring in a table’s order. In the chaos that was a typical Friday night, I went a full half hour before I even realized my mistake and needless to say, the patrons were wondering what was taking so long.   

    I quickly rang in their order, informed my supervisor, and then headed back to the table to face the inevitable thrashing from the hungry family.  During the walk over to the table I went through all the excuses I could make for their delayed meals. But as I got closer to the table I came to my senses.

    I simply said “Guys, I’m really sorry! The reason your food has taken so long is because I forgot to punch in your order. I’m new to this job, so I guess I just got a bit overwhelmed. I’m so sorry. Your food is being made and the kitchen staff are prioritizing it right now”

    To my surprise, these guests (who I dreaded going to talk to) were so appreciative of my honesty and my owning up to the situation that they smiled and told me not to worry.  

    In the world of small business, mistakes will be made, and a customer may have some strong words for you (hopefully over the phone and not on Twitter).  But sometimes all customers are looking for is someone to take ownership for the poor service they received.  

    After that Friday night I learned that owning up to a mistake and apologizing, while sometimes uncomfortable, is the best practice for keeping your customers happy.  Well, that and free dessert.

    What Customer Service lessons have you learned in your small business?  Leave a comment below or Tweet me @MethodCRM.

     

    Until next time,

    Lynda,


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  • New AERO Workflow Manager for QuickBooks Online!

    AERO Workflow Management

    The fall release of the new, redesigned QuickBooks Online (QBO) was exciting for all of us that use it. For Cloud Consultancy, it also meant it was time for us to get to work creating a version of AERO Workflow Manager that could take advantage of the update. We’re happy to tell you that AERO for QBO is ready for download as the first third-party app for Method QBO.

    Cloud Consultancy created the original AERO Workflow Manager out of our own need. With the team working remotely all over the United States, it became apparent that we needed a smarter way to keep track of who was doing what for which client. AERO was designed for organizations like ours, with multiple staff performing multiple tasks for multiple clients. It uses Method:CRM’s platform to provide both up-to-date resources on customers as well as easy tools to track time and activities. AERO for QBO brings those benefits to the many who use QBO to manage their accounting; especially those who, like us at Cloud Consultancy, work entirely in the cloud.

    The key to AERO Workflow Manager is its expansion of the activities table in Method:CRM. Activities in AERO are set up so that managers can provide everything necessary for the task to be accomplished—detailed, step-by-step instructions, links to important web pages, logins and passwords, and more—all accessible from the activity itself. Staff can log in to their Method account, see a new activity assigned to them, and get started. Where before they might have an email with instructions about an activity, relevant documents on the company server, and login information in a password application (or even stored in an Excel file!), with AERO it is all contained on one activity page.

    And the work of creating that activity doesn’t go to waste. Typical activities can be saved in a template library to be used in creating similar activities. Or activities that are performed on a regular basis can be set to recur on customizable schedules and time periods, simplifying scheduling.

    Contained within the activities is time tracking, which not only syncs to QuickBooks for payroll and billing, but also allows your company to easily assess how long activities take and optimize scheduling and billing rates. Managers can enter time estimates when creating an activity and see overages at a glance. With recurring activities, it’s simple to track the average duration of an activity over time. This can be a huge help in calculating flat fees for services or determining personnel needs.

    AERO for QuickBooks Online and Quickbooks Desktop are available on the Method:CRM app store at a subscription rate of $15 per month per user and requires Method:CRM Pro. If you’d like to find out more about the app, please comment below or join our LinkedIn group by clicking here.  

    If you’re interested in seeing AERO in action,  links to live and recorded webinars can be found here: http://cloudconsultancyllc.com/webinars/

    Katy  

    Katy Manis joined Cloud Consultancy in 2013 as client support and community manager. She enjoys working remotely from a cabin in the woods, where in her spare time she can read, hike, bird watch, and keep an eye out for bears in the backyard.  Her airhorn is always at the ready.

     

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  • New CRM Video Series: Scheduling and Invoicing

    Hello and welcome to a Method CRM blog post by your Video Tutorialist, Errol. I don't think tutorialist is a word.

    Anyway, you haven't heard from me in a while because I've been working on videos. And they are finally done! You have no idea how happy I am that this series is complete.

    We have nine tutorials on Scheduling and Invoicing for you, and they cover the topics:

    1. Creating a Work Order

    2. Series, Occurrences and Recurring Work Orders

    3. Updating & Renewing Work Orders

    4. Teams & Team Defaults

    5. Route Mapping

    6. Job Costs

    7. Invoicing Work Orders

    8. Using Mobile

    9. Reports

    The Method Scheduling and Invoicing Playlist.

    These tutorials were created with the help of Michael Melo, who knows everything. Poor guy, I was emailing him on a daily basis. 

    Anyway, I hope those are helpful for you and stay tuned for we plan on having more videos available. Take care, and have a great day. Bye bye!

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  • What is QuickBooks?

    QB101

    One of my favorite things about working at Method:CRM is getting to know such a diverse group of small business owners and their unique products and services.  Specifically, Method gets introduced to start ups when their businesses are gaining traction and they need a way to stay organized as they grow.  This is an exciting chapter of a company’s story, and one that we’re always honored to be a part of.

    While engaging with us about their need for a proper Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, small business owners often realize that in order to maintain momentum and continue to grow their business, their use of spreadsheets for contact management and financial management will no longer suffice.  At this stage in the conversation, we’re always happy to tell our customers about QuickBooks and why we chose this popular accounting software with which to integrate.

    When I explain Method:CRM’s integration with QuickBooks I often tell people that Method to QuickBooks is peanut butter to jelly - a perfect match.

    So, if you’re a Small to Medium sized Business (SMB) owner who is curious about QuickBooks, I’ll start with the basics today and will continue to answer your QuickBooks questions in this QuickBooks 101 blog series.  I hope this helps and if you have a particular question feel free to post a comment below or tweet me @MethodCRM.

     

    What is QuickBooks?

     

    QuickBooks is a small business accounting software that has been designed for those who are unfamiliar with accounting, as it has formulas and reports built right in.  In addition to creating invoices for your customers, you can use QuickBooks to accept payments, scan receipts, track sales and expenses, and pay your employees.

     

    Knowing that SMBs rely heavily on QuickBooks, Method:CRM was designed to sync with QuickBooks so that businesses could manage their accounting alongside other customer information. The integration between QuickBooks and Method:CRM also means that there is no time wasted on double entry and every Method:CRM user has ALL of a customers’ information without having direct access to the company’s main accounting file.

     

    What are the benefits of using QuickBooks?

    There are several! With QuickBooks, you can:

     

    • See your whole business on a single screen with the company SnapShot

    • Create and send an estimate to a customer and then turn it into an invoice with a click of a button

    • Analyze every aspect of your business with built-in reports

    • Make tax time easier on yourself by tracking expenses and sales throughout the year

    • Access your financials from any of your devices with QuickBooks Online 

     

    Thanks for stopping by the Method:CRM blog!  If you haven't yet signed up with Method:CRM, we offer a free trial so that you can put our QuickBooks sync to the test.

    Until next time, 

    Lynda

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