Zenefits Reboots

Cloud Accounting Weekly #27

We had two big app updates this week: 1) On Tuesday, Zenefits announced some major updates, including the new Zenefits Platform, and 2) my favorite general ledger released Xero Report Templates to the U.S. 

I also want to let you know about two upcoming events: On November 1 I'll be a technology panelist for the free, online Growing Your Firm Virtual Conference. Later that same day I'll be moderating a cloud accounting panel discussion in Seattle sponsored by Xero & Hubdoc.

And I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm happy to say that I've finally tested out the TSheets + Xero integration, and I can confirm that it's excellent. I've added TSheets to my list of Recommended Apps for Accountants and Bookkeepers.

For this and more, keep on scrolling.

Software Updates

Meet the New Zenefits

The HR company Zenefits released a new version of the Zenefits app on Monday. This is a big upgrade β€” there are more new features than I can list here, so check out the blog post. Highlights include:

  • Other apps can now integrate into the employee onboarding and offboarding process, saving admin time. For instance, when you hire a new employee you can tell Zenefits to create user accounts for them automatically in Xero, Expensify, or 15 other apps available at launch.
  • Zenefits announced HR Advisor, a paid service that includes a comprehensive library of HR information, plus live experts available to answer your HR questions
  • An upgraded plan shopping experience that includes a map of in-network providers for each plan superimposed on a map of your employees' locations so you can choose a plan that works for all your team members
  • Payroll for California, along with prepackaged time-off policies that are compliant with regulations in California
  • Project codes in the Time & Attendance app

Xero releases Report Templates to U.S.

Xero Report Templates are live for the U.S. Now you can create standardized, practice-wide reports. Map each individual client's chart of accounts to a particular report template, and when you update that template, each client's report updates, too. Or you can customize at the client level. A big time saver!

A sample compilation practice-wide template

A sample compilation practice-wide template

Latest updates to Bill.com Mobile App

Now you can use the mobile app to create invoices, pay multiple bills at once, manage items and customers, scan documents with your phone’s camera to the Inbox, invite vendors to get paid with ePayments, connect with vendors already in the network, and more.

Recommended Apps

TSheets for Time & Billing

TSheets is an easy-to-use but powerful app that does time tracking, scheduling, time sheets, and invoicing. The Xero integration is really good β€” it even syncs tracking categories. I've added TSheets to my list of Recommended Apps for Accountants and Bookkeepers

Future of the Profession

The CPA Shortage Approaches a Tipping Point β€” CPA Trendlines

Here are some interesting stats:

  • 1/2 of accounting majors don't sit for the CPA exam.
  • 1/3 of those who start the CPA exams never finish.
  • It takes an average of 6.5 attempts to pass all 4 parts.
  • Only 27% pass all 4 parts on the first try.

... and 75% of current CPAs are projected to retire within the next 15 years. So the question is, do we need to be worried about this? My reaction is: maybe not given that cloud accounting allows one tech-savvy CPA to do the work of 4 or 5 "old school" accountants.

Upcoming Events

Leaders: A Fireside Chat with Seattle's Top Cloud Accountants 

Tuesday, Nov 1, 2016 at 6:00 PM
Don't miss this Seattle accounting & bookkeeping panel discussion, brought to you by Xero and Hubdoc. I'll be moderating! If you can't make it in person, you can tune in on Facebook. To get notified when we go live, please like the Cloud Accounting Weekly Facebook Page.

Growing Your Firm Virtual Conference

November 1 & 2
Don't miss the free, online Growing Your Firm Virtual Conference in November β€” I'll be a panelist on the "Technology for your Firm" panel on 11/1 at 3 PM EST

Starting a Practice

Will Keller

An Inside Look at a Small, Cloud-Based Accounting Firm β€” AccountingWEB

Will Keller, who is starting a practice, on the time he spent moonlighting as a freelance accountant: β€œI learned more about real-world accounting than I ever did during the thousands of hours I spent studying for the CPA exams or ticking and tying numbers at conventional firms.”

Sales & Marketing

Negotiation & Pricing Lessons from when I Bought my 1973 Bronco β€” Thriveal CPA Network

A lesson in negotiation and pricing from Greg Kyte, CPA.

WHITEPAPER: Cash is King, Cloud Style β€” Spotlight Reporting

Looking to make the shift to higher-value advisory services in your firm? Check out this whitepaper from Richard Francis about adding cashflow forecasting, budgeting, and scenario planning as a standard service across your client base.


Episode 1: How A.I. is changing everything β€” The Gary & Rod Show

This month Gary and Rod discuss the major announcements coming out of last week's Google keynote. The big talking points, Google's goal to leverage artificial intelligence to create a personal Google for every person on earth, and the introduction of Made by Google, the new range of Google hardware.


Stripe launches Radar to tackle e-commerce fraud with machine learning β€” TechCrunch

Payment processor Stripe unveiled new API tools that allow businesses to leverage Stripe's machine learning algorithms to do automatic fraud detection on orders. One beta tester, Watsi, a crowdfunding non-profit, said it blocked $40 million worth of attempted fraud using Stripe Radar.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend! Looking to catch up on the news? Check out our previous issue, Cloud Accounting Weekly #26.