Mobile business depends on mobile banking. One of the most recognized names in this arena is Intuit's QuickBooks. Because many businesses are making a shift towards mobility, there are concerns about working with solutions like QuickBooks Online Banking. Are you safe? Is working with QuickBooks through an Android device a logical step going forward?
I spoke with QuickBooks ProAdviser, Jim Wells, about QuickBooks and his thoughts on the future of Android and mobile banking. Here are the five questions I asked and his responses:
1. Plans for security
It seems Intuit is focusing quite a lot on mobile banking/accounting solutions these days. If this is the case, do they have a plan for security when using their products on smartphones (such as Android)?
"Intuit relies on industry-recognized security standards to keep customers' data protected. QuickBooks Online uses the same encryption technology (128 bit SSL) as the world's top banking institutions. In addition, users can create a log-in PIN for an additional level of security.
"Intuit's servers are hosted in two Tier 4 data centers protected by physical and electronic safeguards. Routine penetrative tests and external security audits are conducted routinely and user data is backed up every few minutes."
2. Intuit's Online Payroll
Do you feel tools like Intuit's Online Payroll, for Android, are smart solutions for business owners on the go? Or do you tend to steer your clients away from such tools?
"Because of the time investment involved in running payroll, I think any mobile solution that makes payroll easier for owners a good idea. I just remind them to always pin code protect mobile devices before downloading the app in case they lose the device. When combined with QuickBooks Online, small business owners really do have a robust mobile solution for managing their business from anywhere on any device, because it syncs information across mobile and online. The best features of the Android Online Payroll mobile app allows users to create paychecks, pay taxes, and view past checks and employee information from a mobile device."
3. Migrating to Android
Android could well become the powerhouse platform of the future. What are your concerns with your users migrating to Android for using QuickBooks software?
"There are not many concerns considering the high adoption rate of mobile devices in the small- to mid-size business market. Also, since most data still exists someplace other than the device itself, it's getting easier to recommend mobile devices for completing sensitive business tasks. In the past 5 years, I've witnessed quite an improvement in QuickBooks Online to provide a great product experience across all platforms including Android."
4. Limited functionality
Currently, the QuickBooks On-line app for Android has limited functionality (cannot handle charges, purchase orders, and registers like the Apple version can). Do you know if Intuit has any plans to flesh this out in the future?
"Intuit will typically develop for the largest installed user base first, but with both Apple and Android running about even, I'm now seeing feature upgrades coming out for both about the same time. Plus, Intuit has always used customer feedback to improve its products and give small business users additional features that make running a small business easier. The QuickBooks Online team is constantly listening to customer feedback to add additional capabilities."
5. Getting started
If a client came to you and ask you to guide them in getting started with starting a mobile business with QuickBooks, how would you advise them?
"Well, with the keyword being mobile business, I would lean towards using QuickBooks Online because it's easy to set up and features an intuitive design that allows users to get up and running quickly. Users can sign up for a free 30-day trial at QuickBooks.com or download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play. In addition, new users have access to anytime, anywhere customer support from QuickBooks Online experts, plus local support from Certified Online ProAdvisors like myself."
Jim Wells is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisor and Intuit Premier Reseller with over 10 years of experience in accounting. Since graduating with an accounting and MBA degree from the University of Louisville, he has continued developing his skills and interest in accounting. After working two years in public accounting for Deloitte & Touche, he spent the next eight in the private sector as a Controller for a distributor of a multi-national corporation. Not completely satisfied with big business, Jim wanted to work with small business owners just starting out with their dream.
What other questions would you like to see answered about QuickBooks and its future on Android? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.