As the transition to cloud technology and the ever-elusive “paperless office” has gained some serious momentum over the past few years, the latest trend in small business technology is connected services. As many small business professionals have discovered, the ability to easily “connect” applications and services to build robust technology solutions that propel productivity to new levels is exceptionally powerful.
While the concept of adding apps and services to existing platforms isn’t new, current technologies make it easier (and more affordable) than ever to leverage the power of connected services. With the advent of these technologies, the landscape for small businesses has evolved immensely. Open platform technology in combination with plug-and-play apps and services make it drop-dead simple to create and connect solutions that streamline workflow and enhance internal systems. Today’s technologies level the playing field, giving small businesses the opportunity to exponentially increase productivity, streamline operations, and carve out a truly sustainable competitive advantage—without blowing the budget.
Online document storage is a perfect example of a connected service. When offered as a cloud service, users enjoy anytime-anywhere access and a pay-as-you-go model—so businesses can add services as they grow, and never pay for more than they need. There is also the value of real-time access to data and documents—a core trigger for the explosive growth of mobile technology and the paperless office. The bottom line is that business professionals want access to their information when they need it, from whatever device they’re using… and services that enable this are in high demand.
In this whitepaper, we’ll focus on connected services for QuickBooks, the leading accounting system for the small to medium-sized business market. More specifically, we’ll consider the options business users have for what we’ll refer to as QuickBooks document management –storing, accessing, and managing source documents relating to transactions and records in QuickBooks. The purpose of this article is to compare the evolution of QuickBooks’ approach to document management, in contrast to SmartVault as a connected service for online document storage and secure file sharing. The goal is to help you assess the needs of your business when it comes to managing mission-critical files, to help you determine which QuickBooks document management solution is most conducive to achieving your business goals.
Before moving into the SmartVault-QuickBooks integration discussion, it’s helpful to consider the evolution of QuickBooks document management offered by Intuit over the past several years, and what it means to businesses in years to come. Consider each stage of evolution in the Intuit product (so far):
The eventual sunset of Intuit’s QuickBooks Document Management and QuickBooks Attached Documents – It’s important to note that existing customers of a paid version of QuickBooks Document Management may continue to use this feature until QuickBooks 2010 is retired (scheduled for May 2013), and users of QuickBooks Attached Documents can continue using this feature until May 2014 (when QuickBooks 2011 is likely to be retired). Going forward, users on QuickBooks 2012 and later can leverage the local storage option through Doc Center, but if users require the benefits of storing documents in the cloud, QuickBooks Attached Documents will not meet their needs.