Accounting 2.0 at CloudAve
In an ongoing series of reviews and analysis pieces, CloudAve will be taking a deep look into accounting software for the new world.
See the other posts at this tag
Introduction & Background
Sporting what would have to be the least sexy SaaS accounting name yet created (), IAC-EZ is a product that leverages the invoicing capabilities of FreshBooks (CloudAve review here) and gives them a backend book-keeping functionality. It was created by Heather Villa who runs a multi disciplinary business support and advisory company, IAC professionals. Heather is both a FreshBooks customer, and also an adviser to other companies using FreshBooks – this insight led her to the belief that an accounting application that augments FreshBooks functionality would be a useful tool.
Heather teamed up with Cory Becker, another FreshBooks customer and software developer – and they came up with IAC-EZ.
IAC-EZ is currently in beta and is allowing customer access at no charge. Once they exit their beta period IAC-EZ will cost users USD19.95 per month.
The user experience
Testing IAC-EZ from my office in New Zealand proved fairly slow. I have a reasonably good internet pipe but IAC-EZ still proved slower than other solutions. I’m assuming North American based users would have a better experience.
IAC-EZ loses some usability points however. As an example, when viewing a list of transactions, users have to click on a small icon to the side of a transaction to view the detail for that transaction. Much more friendly would be to make the entire transaction line a clickable link.
The basic functionality
Visitors to the application are greeted by a reasonably clear dashboard. It’d be nice to have a more visual depiction of where the business is at – some graphs showing business trends would be a nice addition.
Similarly in the reporting screens (which at this stage only have profit and loss and transaction detail options) it’d be nice to have a more non-accountant friendly layout.
IAC-EZ have made a video to show how their system works – check it out below.
The security issue
IAC-EZ allows for a CSV export of a customers bills and invoices – functionality which is already enabled by FreshBooks themselves.
APIs – connecting the dots
IAC-EZ has been built specifically to integrate with FreshBooks, as such it is a good example of the breadth of FreshBook’s own API.
As for the ability to integrate IAC-EZ with other players – there is no information on the site to indicate how possible this is.
By their own admission, IAC-EZ is a fledgling application. It’s a valuable addition for FreshBooks users but isn’t compelling for other users. From FreshBooks perspective it’s a good development – allowing them to have a value added integrated accounting application without annoying the other full accounting application vendors out there.
At a price of USD20 per month it adds sufficient functionality to justify committed FreshBooks users giving it a shot.
IAC-EZ enters a reasonably busy space, what gives me more confidence of their prospects than I would otherwise have is the communication I’ve had with Co-Founder Heather Villa who is exceptionally responsive, displays an impeccable understanding of the issues around business process software and who is completely au fait with both the supplier and customer side issues for the industry – definitely a player to watch!