Today I'm going to review the LedgerDocs workflow and how it integrates with QBO.
You know all those source documents (your business paperwork and receipts, bills, etc.) you receive electronically? Did you know you need to keep them? LedgerDocs helps you take the pain away by letting you automate a large portion of the data collection ... so you can get on doing the stuff you love.
I've been attending webinars and trying out various document management and QuickBooks Online (QBO) data integration / accounting apps these past twelve months (2016). After all, paperless productivity and automated data entry are all the rage. Technological possibilities that were only available / affordable to large companies are now an option for small businesses.
QuickBooks Online is terrific for service-based businesses. One of QBO's features is it integrates with apps. But how do you weed through all the accounting apps out there to ensure they actually increase your productivity and don't eat away your bottom line?
I created very simple criteria for evaluating an app to reduce my temptation to go “app happy”. My criteria are:
With this in mind, let's take a look today at the QBO - LedgerDocs workflow.
LedgerDocs is a document collection and management software app created by a Vancouver accounting firm. I LIKE THIS APP for its simplicity and how closely it matches a manual workflow process.
LedgerDocs reduces the pain for small business owners around gathering all the source documents needed to support business income and expense transactions. I get to nag less which always makes me happy. I don't enjoy nagging.
This document management tool helps bookkeepers. Normally getting client documents is the biggest pain point for bookkeepers. The more a business owner can find a way to easily systematize the capturing of their source documents, the more efficient their bookkeeper can be. It reduces the stop/start cycle that leads to inefficiencies.
LedgerDocs workflow doesn't include OCR which means I'm still doing some data entry, but I'm okay with that. When I first tested this app, it only provided a link to the source document in QBO. This was problem for me because if you ever decided to unsubscribe to LedgerDocs, your QBO transactions no longer had the source document attached to it. LedgerDocs now attaches the actual document in QBO.
An additional bonus is LedgerDocs removed that annoying memo in the QBO invoice field referring back to their app. It meant reading my G/L was useless as every entry said "LedgerDocs #xxxxxxx". Now my memo notes flow through making the G/L readable again.
Remember you can only push your invoices, bills and receipts through to QBO. Customer deposits, payments of bills gets done directly in QBO and you must manually download the paperwork in LedgerDocs to attach into QBO. Once your desktop is setup efficiently you can get a flow going.
If getting documents from your clients is your pain point, you need a cost effective solution, and don't like fighting with technology ... this app is for you. I should mention it does remember your last entry for a customer or bill, so over time manual data entry is reduced.
In May 2018, automatic fetching (or pulling) of bank statements became available. However, you have to have 5 or more company accounts to access the feature. They also have a limit of 5 pulls per company. This new LegderDocs workflow feature just takes automating your workflow one step further.
What is unclear at the time of writing is whether it will just pull bank statements ... or will it be able to pull credit card statements, utility and phone bills ... and other vendor accounts available online? I'm guessing probably not if it has a 5 pull limit.
There are four ways to securely upload your documents to LedgerDocs (LD):
What I like about LedgerDocs is its simplicity and basic workflow. If you feel frustrated and confused by all the apps out there but still want to reduce your physical paperwork and collaborate online, this app is for you. I found the workflow intuitive to how you would do it manually.
The document management app is searchable making it easy to retrieve a document when you need it.
I have to say, of all the apps I looked at, the price point on this app is PERFECT for small businesses. It's where all the app pricing should be in my opinion as it is affordable.
As I mentioned earlier, LedgerDocs workflow doesn't include OCR image processing of your receipt, which at time can be a bonus in my mind ... depending on what your objectives for the app were. This allows me to keep my existing QBO workflow if I want and just have LedgerDocs open to process the documents. There's a place to add notes. I can also rename the image or PDF to something more meaningful if I want ... unlike Hubdoc. If you like tags, it can handle that too.
New in 2018, LD has the option to auto re-name the document after you have posted based on the posting date, the supplier, and bill number. A renamed file will still be searchable.
Another new LedgerDocs workflow improvement in 2018 is the ability for finding duplicate documents by clicking on the "Filter by Duplicate Documents". It will be able to identify duplicate documents even if they have different file names! Wowza ... I'm going to love that feature because clients often like to upload the same document 2 or 3 times.
As you process each document in your LedgerDocs inbox, you file into folders that you can customize. The default filing folders are:
LedgerDocs workflow handles SIMPLE data integration with QBO. I had to play around with my workflow when testing the various document managers. I finally decided to just do whatever I have to in the document manager to get it to push the document over to QBO. then I just select the transaction in QBO though the search bar to open and edit the transaction so it is booked accurately.
I've been testing these types of apps for about a year now and I'm still not convinced they have saved me time. I find I am just spending my time differently. Now I spend more time clicking stuff rather than manual data entry ... and way more time verifying data.
I like this accounting app. It is simple, affordable and "made in Canada" for Canadian bookkeepers. US bookkeepers would also have no problem using this app if it fits their workflow.
It easily allows me to collaborate with my clients because it is in the cloud and you can create customized email addresses making it effortless to for the client to upload the data. My clients don't need to be "techies" to use it as it draws on computer skills they already have.
For my part, I don't spend my time troubleshooting why the darn app is not working the way I want it to because the LedgerDocs workflow matches the workflow I had already implemented years ago.
And they have great customer service ... always willing to assist me when I'm stumped.
I have always been slow with every step I've taken going paperless. When I started working virtually in 2010, I took baby steps so I didn't become overwhelmed. Now there are some processes that I can't even image going back to the old way of doing things. I expect that as I work with this document organizing service, I will reconfigure and refine how I am using this service ... but for me I'm comfortable taking baby steps. If you are like me, start using the basic features of the LedgerDocs workflow and once you've mastered those, try another feature.
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