We're very pleased to have been reviewed and accredited by ICB. The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is the largest bookkeeping institute in the world with over 150,000 members worldwide. It promotes and maintains the standards of bookkeeping as a profession.
Their review process is very thorough, as you might expect. In our case the whole process took about six weeks.
What was interesting from our point of view was how some features were not immediately apparent to the reviewer. We agreed at the start that the review would be conducted using the available information in the app's help system and the web site. We didn't want to give a tutorial on how to use Easy Books because we also wanted the review to be an opportunity for us to gather some feedback from a professional bookkeeper. If there were features that weren't obvious we wanted to know about them because after all, we're aiming to make the app easy!
As an example, something we picked up on was that the process for entering payments received from customers was not all that obvious. For sales invoices, we added a section at the bottom of the form for entering payments received as part of some improvements to the app in January 2014. It's much faster to add a payment now, especially payments received in full. Tapping and holding the Receive payment line adds a payment instantly, dated with the current date and for the total invoice amount. But it's also possible to enter payments from the bank account or the customer account, so unfortunately this feature wasn't spotted. We're going to try to make it better, perhaps just adding a popup message when the first invoice is saved, or by changing the text colour to make it more clear that the line is intended to be tapped.
We've already updated the app with some improvements that came out of the review. One of these was added in April. Previously, Easy Books would lock all transactions dated before a filed VAT period. Now as long as the transaction does not affect the amounts reported in a previously filed VAT period, the app allows the transaction to be edited. Transactions that affect a previous VAT return are still locked, but Easy Books makes it simple to undo a previous VAT filing to make changes and re-file.
A few more of the reviewer's comments were very nice to hear, it's great to be appreciated!
"The interface is clean, very straight forward and easy to navigate"
"As a small business owner I really enjoyed using this application. It was intuitive and fast, and easy to do all the major transactions required by a small business."
There's another change we're making as a result of the accreditation too. From today, Easy Invoice is now FREE. Easy Invoice is an app built using all the same technology in Easy Books, but focused on invoicing. It's compatible with Online Sync, so you might find it useful if you want to use Easy Books for the bookkeeping while someone else is entering all the sales for you. We think bookkeepers and accountants are going to love this, they can now recommend Easy Invoice to their clients while having immediate and live access to the books.
Easy Books is due to be featured in the June edition of the ICB newsletter.