One on One: Kashoo

*One on One is a series of reviews. Instead of a long-winded breakdown, I give you a quick summary along with one positive and one negative. *


In my first One on One review I talked about Wave. I thought I'd keep going through the bookkeeping services I use with my clients, so today I will be featuring another great service based in Canada.

Name: Kashoo

Description: Kashoo is a bookkeeping service based in Canada. It syncs and downloads bank transactions automatically, syncs with services like FreshBooks for invoicing and PaymentEvolution for payroll, and has very full featured mobile apps.

Cost: $5/m for Solo and $20/m for Business

One Positive: Kashoo’s implementation of the FreshBooks API makes it’s sync far better than any other FreshBooks integration I’ve used. (hint: someone else’s FB sync will be their “one negative” on a future post)

Once you have authorized Kashoo to sync with your FreshBooks account, you have a lot of control with how the data comes into Kashoo. Every line item and payment method gets mapped to the proper account in Kashoo. Other apps just let you pick one default bank account and one default income account, so this eliminates a lot of unwanted manual work.

While there are plenty of other good things to mention, they did so much better at this than their competitors I just had to highlight it.

One Negative: Setting up automatic downloads from your bank account is a great feature. But when it doesn’t work I often have to use spreadsheets or bank downloads to manually upload statements.

Kashoo is the only app that I’ve had consistent problems using csv files (one of the common filetypes for this type of thing). The issues I’ve had are a bit too complex to try to summarize, but let’s just say it makes bank reconcilations a nightmare if things don’t go well during the upload.

Final Thoughts: Kashoo is a powerful service on its own, but it really shines when you also use FreshBooks for invoicing and something like PaymentEvolution for payroll.

Kashoo

5 Things You Give Up When You Move Your Bookkeeping Online

I made a big jump back in 2010. I decided to try out a few online bookkeeping services...just for fun. I had never considered them a viable alternative to my QuickBooks, but thought it would be an interesting experiment.

Fast forward almost 4 years and I'm using Xero, Freshbooks, Kashoo, and Wave every day. I still use QuickBooks, but it doesn't represent the majority of my time anymore.

That's not to say this change didn't come with some trade offs. Working almost entirely online is very useful, but there are going to be some features and conveniences you will give up when making the switch.

Before you make the jump, here are a few things you'll need to be prepared to give up or change.

  1. Data entry speed
    This one isn't maybe. If you do a lot of data entry in a desktop app like QuickBooks, you are going to find it slower working online. The app you have installed on your computer doesn't care if your internet is slow. You can work at home or at a campground and you'll get the same performance. Unless you're running a seriously old computer, you are going to find working online slower than what you're used to. This is especially true for bookkeepers and accountants. If you're used to ripping through a stack of receipts like it was nothing, you are going to feel the difference. I've tried a ton of bookkeeping services, and no matter how good their interface is, they just can't replicate the speed of a local application. Some of the reasons are found in my second point.

  2. Keyboard shortcuts
    This will be more for the power users out there. QuickBooks has a few really useful keyboard shortcuts to help you speed through large stacks of paperwork. Once you learn them, you will really miss them when you move online. Some online services incorporate them. So far, Kashoo is the only one to incorporate my favourite...Ctrl+Enter. In QuickBooks, when you're ready to save a bill or invoice, you press Ctrl+Enter and it saves the invoices and starts a new one. I hate having to take my hands off the keyboard to click the Save and New button. If you enter one or two bills into your software every day, it's not a huge deal. If you have to get through hundreds of bills each day, it quickly takes a toll on your productivity...not to mention the RSI issues. So, if you're used to hitting Ctrl+W to write a cheque, or Ctrl+Del to delete a line...I'm sorry to say those days are now behind you.

  3. Powerful, customizable reports
    QuickBooks, at least the version I use, has spoiled me on reports. If you really fill in all the details into every bill or invoice, you can pull out some really great information for yourself or your clients. And, what you can't do directly from a one-click report can be achieved by combining the results of a couple in Excel and working some magic. The point is, QuickBooks lets you track a lot of details. One big example is Class Tracking. If you want to split up your company into departments, and track each one's profitability, you won't find that in many of the online options. Xero has a version of it, which is nice, and Netsuite (more suited to bigger businesses) also has the feature. It's out there, but just don't expect that it will be the norm. Most online options will give you a list of reports you can pull...some better than others. The big problem you'll come across is that most of them aren't as customizable as the one's you'd find in QuickBooks.

  4. Backup I've got all of my client's QuickBooks files set to backup automatically whenever I close the app. It keeps the last 10 (date stamped) versions of the backup somewhere safe, and that folder gets backed up automatically each day. Of course, the reason for that is that QuickBooks used to have a problem with data corruption...especially on large client files. I haven't had a big problem in years, but it's nice to have those backups just in case. Online, your backups are handled by the company hosting the service. I don't get a backup file saved locally from FreshBooks or Xero. And, to be honest, I've only had to deal with an issue once where I needed something restored. I do wish I could have those local backups though. If there was ever a problem, or if the service shut down, I would prefer having a file on my computer that I could restore from. Maybe there are some out there that provide that option...I just haven't come across it yet.

  5. Accountant workflow
    This isn't a loss, but more of a change. If you (and your accountant) are used to sending them a copy of your QuickBooks file at year end, this new system will be different. There's no "file" to send. In this case you can either download reports or give them access to your account. More modern accountants won't have a problem here. Some accountants are fine with this change...others aren't. Make sure to speak to them before making the change so you know how to handle year end.

"There's no free lunch"

Gaining the ability to collaborate in real time with your clients and their data is incredible for both sides. Bookkeepers don't get a frantic call on the weekend demanding that reports get sent over from the local QuickBooks file. Owners don't have to remain in the dark until the next meeting with their bookkeeper. And, with the ability of many services to download your bank transactions automatically, you gain a lot by going online.

I just want to make sure you're aware of the cost you pay for this convenience.

If you know of any other points that you found when making the change, let me know in the comments. I'd also love to hear from companies offering these services if you have been able to address all (or some) of these issues.

Tell Me About Your Bookkeeping System

Today I come to you, my readers, with a question.

I have spent the last 3+ years testing out different cloud-based bookkeeping options. Sometimes I just give them a few days "test run". Other times they have impressed me enough to be added to my official bookkeeping toolbox.

At present, I have 4 main services that get daily use. They are, in no particular order.

  1. Freshbooks
  2. Wave Accounting
  3. Kashoo
  4. Xero

There are others that I like, but just haven't had the free time to truly test out. I'm really interested, for example, to give the 2 big names a shot. QuickBooks Online hasn't been particularly powerful up here in Canada compared to its US counterpart. And, since it's not part of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program up here like it is in the US, it's not an extra expense I can justify given the fact that I don't have any clients using it. I also just found out that Sage has a cloud-based option too. Not sure how I missed that, but I guess I don't deal with Sage all that often.

If either of them have something worth talking about, I'll be sure to let you all know.

What I'd really love to know is what you use. Don't stop at cloud-based options. If you're using QuickBooks, Sage, Excel, or a good ol' ledger book, I'd love to hear about it. And, beyond that, let me know if you're happy with your current system.

You can leave a comment right here, or contact me directly instead. If I get enough responses, I'll write up a follow up post with a summary of what you've told me. Don't worry, no personal info will be shared...just a list of what seems to be popular out there.

Hiring A New Remote Bookkeeper

I've been very blessed with the opportunity to write guest posts for some great businesses, and the even greater people behind them. 

This week is no exception. I recently contributed a post to the fine folks at Kashoo. Kashoo, if you don't know, if a great online bookkeeping solution. Of all the ones I've worked with so far, it's the one that most closely resembles a full featured desktop app. I've been working with it more recently, and I plan on getting a post or two out about it in the near future. 

If you'd like to check out my post, here's the link. 

5 Things to Look for in a New Remote Bookkeeper

Kashoo also put out a collection of year end tips in another post, including a couple that I added. You can check that post out here. 

Counting Down to Year End

Finally, for those of you who have stumbled across my site as a result of reading those posts....welcome! Please subscribe to the blog to read more, find out what services I provide, or contact me if you have any questions.