Cloud accounting tool Fifo Workpapers has integrated with the cloud accounting platform QuickBooks Online and practice management tool Workflow Max Practice Manager, owned by cloud accounting company Xero.
“We don’t have any preference whether an accountant is using QuickBooks Online or Xero,” Macfarlane said.
“In terms of feature set, some accountants will be suited to using both. An accountant could give micro-clients a choice (of either Xero or QuickBooks Online) but they might be better suited to Xero. If I’ve got anything that needs anything more robust I’d consider QuickBooks Online.”
Intuit had done a “very good job” in porting QuickBooks to online, Macfarlane said. “If you’ve used the desktop version of QuickBooks you’ll be surprised by the functionality and the speed of use in QuickBooks Online. And there’s a lot more we can do with the QuickBooks API than the Xero API in terms of access to reports,” Macfarlane said.
Fifo Workpapers could pull more easily clients and general ledger data from QuickBooks Online.
“The other aspect is it’s got a more traditional and robust chart of accounts structure. We require a trial balance and can grab it from QuickBooks Online but not Xero. I’d have to take their chart of account data and manipulate it into a report format,” Macfarlane said.
Despite overlapping with some features in Workflow Max, Fifo Workpapers could help automate processing tax forms.
“The team gets the job in Workflow Max, works on it in Fifo, sends queries to clients, and so on. At every stage of the job Fifo will send a status update to Workflow Max so job tracking is much more accurate than it was before,” Macfarlane said.
Without Fifo “the team have to manually upgrade job statuses. If they don’t their job tracking is not going to be up to date and it defeats the purpose of it,” Macfarlane said.
Fifo used a document management facility to produce and store fully referenced and bookmarked electronic workpapers within Workflow Max as well as client source documents, cover letters and tax letters.
Fifo could save a practice 20 percent to 30 percent of time taken to process a client’s accounts, Macfarlane said.
Image credit: Fifo Workpapers