A new small business-focused cloud bookkeeping product has been launched by Cheqbook, a Hawaii-based company that offers color-coded alerts and categorization for all entries.
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Though the product itself was essentially in production for the past two years, mostly used inside of founder Doug Levin’s CPA firm Levin & Hu CPAs, Cheqbook went through several updates based on user feedback before its recent official launch. He claims it is currently being used by 250 companies, mainly those with $1 million or less in annual sales, and is currently planning marketing strategies and different ways to reach accountants.
Like many small business-focused cloud bookkeeping products, Levin claims Cheqbook is squarely aimed at “frustrated QuickBooks users” as well as those that do not feel some of the other cloud accounting and bookkeeping products on the market are the right fit for their business.
“Our main idea is that there’s tremendous promise with cloud accounting. I had tried others and they seemed to me to take longer to figure out and so I went back to using QuickBooks Pro, but had some frustrations there based on how it categorizes new entries,” said Levin. “If you are a smaller company, even with some of the newer products on the market, there are complications with how new entries come in and you want it to be simple so you can focus on your business; that’s what I think we’ve done.”
Cheqbook’s system tells users what transactions need attention in color coding, based on their own unique history. Also, on the top right of the user screen there is a “score” by color to show users how accurate their books are (or are not), designed so that even if users haven’t visited their books in a while, they will immediately see what needs the most attention.
“As a small business, you most likely are not employing one of the smartest people to manually key in the transactions or have the money to hire a professional bookkeeper,” said Levin. “One of our advisors, a former CFO, looked at the product and he said ‘you did what Intuit couldn’t do in a decade.’ To be able to sort through hundreds of transactions and rip through them in five minutes, I think that’s the biggest value.”
Cheqbook co-founder and chief marketing officer Tommy Russo also explained that they are enhancing their search engine optimization efforts as well as planning to reach out to accounting firms in the coming weeks but, for now, their main focus is on the product.
“Word of mouth is helping, but as with any accounting software it’s all about how it works and for accountants it’s about what they’re going to ask,” said Russo. “We want to eventually have a certification program too and position ourselves as an open table for accountants with geographic targeting so when a business signs up there’s a list of accountants for that area.”