Expanding your app-titude

A monthly look at mobile apps that can make the CPA’s job and life better.
By Greg LaFollette, CPA/CITP, CGMA

Every CPA understands that, eventually at least, cash is king. It's the journey to get to cash that often causes problems. With that in mind, let's look at a couple of apps that offer quick and easy ways to move cash.

TAKE YOUR BILLING EFFORTS MOBILE WITH INVOICE2GO

While probably not robust enough to handle all of a firm's recurring billings, Invoice2go might well have a place in a CPA firm's operations. Its best feature is the ability to generate and deliver a professional-looking invoice directly from a smartphone or tablet. If you are on the go and would find it helpful to deliver an invoice as the service is delivered, you may find this app helpful. You probably serve many "solopreneurs" who would find this app perfect for their operations. As their trusted business adviser, it's well worth your time to understand the tools that could be helpful to them. (And you might be a hero!)

The app requires some initial setup in selecting templates, naming fields, etc., but I was up and running with a free account in less than five minutes. I added a client, a service, and an amount and was able to email an invoice quickly. While my "client" (my wife for purposes of this test) was impressed with both the process and the appearance of the invoice, her approval fell short of actually paying the bill. Invoice2go offers three service levels—Starter, Pro, and Enterprise—that provide increasing limits on customers, invoices, etc.

  • Website: invoice2go.com
  • Cost: $49 to $149 per year
  • Operating systems: Android, iOS, web

 

ACCEPT CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS WITH SQUARE REGISTER

This app provides mobile and premises-based credit card processing services. Square made a big splash with its launch five years ago, and now the iPod shuffle-size dongle connecting via a device's audio jack seems to have become practically ubiquitous. Getting started is free and easy. Simply download the app, open an account, and connect and validate your bank. Square will send you the required dongle. Stripe readers are free; chip readers are $49 (see "Technology Q&A: Credit Cards Getting Smarter," JofA, Nov. 2015, page 85). Once you have received the dongle, it's quick and easy to connect it and begin accepting credit cards. Although originally designed for mobile use, the app has developed nicely and is also widely used today in lieu of traditional card readers in many brick-and-mortar establishments. The Square system supports chip cards and contactless systems such as Android Pay and Apple Pay.

  • Website: squareup.com
  • Cost: 2.75% per transaction
  • Operating systems: Android, iOS, web

Greg LaFollette (greg.lafollette@hq.cpa.com) is a strategic adviser with CPA.com, the commercial subsidiary of the AICPA.

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