Category Archives: Product Reviews

Neil Evans of Nevcon Accounting recommends products and services that help him as an accountant and/or can help you with your accounting and recordkeeping activities.

Hubdoc – an indispensable tool for any business

Continuing with the different types of technologies I use, I’d like to discuss Hubdoc. I first saw a demonstration of Hubdoc about two years ago, and thought it was an interesting product that could benefit me and my clients. As always, I’m the tester for new software and other solutions, as I believe I should understand it and see what happens in real world use. It’s always amazing how many products I thought were a great idea on paper … and when I started to use them I found out fast that they would not be suitable for myself or my clients’ needs.

hubdoc-logoHubdoc is an application that can grab you bank statements, utility bills or anything else for which you have recurring invoices. Hubdoc is constantly adding new links to different sites so the software can automatically get bills and statements that are stored on a secure site for you to view. You can also have the system push the information for bills to QuickBooks online, so you don’t have to enter it and it will give you a copy of the bill in the transaction so you can view it whenever you want. You are also able to upload PDFs to the site.

At first, I wasn’t so sure that this would be useful, but as I started to add my bank feeds and other bills I became increasingly amazed at what it could do. Just setting up my bank feed, I ended up with close to three years worth of statements for me to view (this depends on if you have electronic statements already set up). It also brought in the information on any payment I’d made via email transfer, so I could easily see who I was paying on them instead of the statement just saying “email transfer” and not identifying the recipient. I was quickly becoming very impressed! As I have added different billers to the account and uploaded others, I figured out what this system is really great at: EASY ACCESS to all your statements and bills

Hubdoc is all about having to source documents, to be able to verify something or to have handy when you have a CRA audit and need to produce documents for them. This is where Hubdoc becomes invaluable. As well as always putting a PDF of the invoice in your online accounting software, it also allows you to access every invoice at any time from your computer. No more going into a filing cabinet or storage box to find that invoice … hoping it’s in the right folder. As an accountant, I also can access clients’ documents so if they have a problem with a bank reconciliation I can see the statement at the same time as my client, so I can see and understand problems and know quickly how to correct them.

So if you ask me, I tell any client that Hubdoc is an indispensable tool for any business.

Technology is wonderful … most of the time

Technology is wonderful … most of the time. Continuing on from my scanner discussion and how I use technology to go paperless, we should talk about what accounting software I use.

I have used different systems over the years, from Sage 50 to Accpacc and QuickBooks desktop software. In my own practise, I tend to see something new and innovative and will try it out so that when clients are using it I have the experience needed to help them with problems. A few years ago, I decided that I wanted an accounting system that allowed me to work on whatever computer I was on, no matter what location I was at. Normally a desktop solution cannot do this unless it’s installed on a laptop which I always had to take with me. (I still do carry a laptop with me everywhere).

I started using hosted solutions which at the time was the only thing available and allowed me access no matter where I was, but it was expensive. A few years ago, Intuit QuickBooks came out with an online version. Was it the best software out there? Not compared to a desktop version, but it was the best of online software available. I started using the software for testing so I could understand how it works and what sort of client it would be good for. Back then it was not suitable for all situations and even today … well, it is greatly improved, but it still is not suitable for some clients.

intuit-quickbooksWith QuickBooks online, as you set it up, you input your online banking information so the program can fetch your bank feeds and match it with cheques you have written, customer payments and so on. At first I thought this was totally unhelpful, but as I used the product more and more I notice just how easy it was to notice items I had not entered and to have the software do it for me. Is it perfect? Of course, not. I have noticed occasionally the bank sends the information twice at different times (sometimes months after it happens), the payroll system is still being improved along with the sales tax system. But overall, it is a good product that is continually improving with pricing that is less that a traditional desktop system.

I signed up for the accountant’s edition as, of course, I’m an accountant. As the name suggests, that version is only available to accountants and bookkeepers. It allows me to access client files with their approval so I can see what the problem is in real-time as they are trying to do something. I also can offer it to my clients at a wholesale rate which is cheaper than the advertised rate. If you wanted to pay them directly it can be done, but my discount expires within the first year. If I pay the bill and bill you the discount, it’s for as long as you are a Nevcon Accounting client.

There are lots of other online products around like SageOne, Freshbooks, Wave and more. Is QuickBooks online better then the rest? In some ways, I find it better then the others, but what I find good for me may not be ideal for you. That is why I’m here so I can go over your needs and ensure the software you pick is suitable to you and your business requirements.

Over the next little bit, I’m going to go over the different apps I use and why I think they are great. Stay tuned!

When the going gets tough … the tough get scanning!

I’m really into technology and making it easier for clients to deal with me. One of the ways I do this is by going paperless. Now what I have noticed is that going paperless has meant I seem to have way more paper then I ever did before!

Way more paper? Well, that’s mainly to do with shredding everything I receive after I’ve scanned documents into my computer system. Over the years, for my own I paper I scan and shred right away, but for clients I give them back the documents that I needed to complete their work.

fujitsu-scansnapI’ve tried many scanners and the best one I have ever had is the Fujitsu ScanSnap. I have now been using them for over ten years and never had a problem. They are built for document scanning and I have noticed that now Shoppers Drug Mart uses them for prescriptions. One is always on my desk to scan anything I receive.

Now, you may be asking “but how does that help me when I don’t own a scanner?” Over the years I have upgraded to new models that are faster, have new features and so on, but the old one always ends up in my trunk so if I’m at a client I can scan anything I need right away and I don’t have to take anything away. Below you can see the scanner in my trunk and also set up at a clients so I can get the information I need.

On the go with my Fujitsu ScanSnap in the back of the car ...

On the go with my Fujitsu ScanSnap in the back of the car …

Arriving at a client's location with my Fujitsu ScanSnap ...

Arriving at a client’s location with my Fujitsu ScanSnap …

I'm putting my Fujitsu ScanSnap to good use in a client's office.

I’m putting my Fujitsu ScanSnap to good use in a client’s office.