Saturday, September 18, 2010

Access QuickBooks, Fishbowl, and Other Files from Almost Anywhere with Dropbox

I have been using Dropbox for some time now and it has proven to be extremely useful for my business. Basically, it is a free service (for up to 2GB of storage to start, but can be increased with referrals) that allows you to back up your files online, which then are synced with all of your computers with Dropbox. Or you can access your files online from any computer or even from an iPhone or Android phone!

For example, you can work in a QuickBooks file remotely on a laptop and when you are finished, it will automatically sync your changes so that when you get back to your office, the QuickBooks file you worked on is available on your PC. You can also share folders on your computer to others so that they can drop files into it that they want to share with you. I used to use services like YouSendIt (free version), but Dropbox is better because there is no limit to the size of the file you want to share or how long it is accessible. It works just like a shared folder on a wired network. Therefore, the need to use a thumb drive or flash drive has become obsolete.

For more strict permissions, like view-only, on files, I complement this service with Google Docs. However, the amount of free storage space is only 1GB, so I only use it for these and other special circumstances. But Dropbox works best for backups, file sharing, file syncing between computers, and web and mobile device access.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fishbowl Inventory Makes the Grade with QuickBooks Integration

Over the past few years, I have implemented and trained my clients on the inventory functionality in QuickBooks, focusing on the workarounds and tricks to make it work effectively. Unfortunately, it seems that I was requiring my clients to "jump through hoops" in order to maintain what is still very difficult to achieve in terms of accurate inventory control. And errors and frustration became inevitable. Therefore, I made the decision to test as many reputable inventory management solutions out there that integrate with QuickBooks that I could get my hands on. While there are many good software packages out there, in looking at the big picture of all the benefits, I chose Fishbowl Inventory.

I believe it is well-designed, easy to use, and is balanced in terms of not being overly-complicated or too basic, especially now with the option to add manufacturing and mobile warehouse capabilities. As a Fishbowl Value Added Reseller, I can provide the information and demos in conjunction with experience with QuickBooks integration as part of the decision-making process before even purchasing Fishbowl Inventory and/or upgrading QuickBooks. While able provide the software as a reseller, my focus is going beyond that by offering my services to install the software, create the Fishbowl database (which includes importing lists and setting up Bill of Materials), oversee the QuickBooks integration, training, and technical support.