by Michele Nachum
Published on 18 July 2012
I don't mean to sound partial here as I do review a lot of applications, but I am a somewhat devotee of Intuit having used their Quicken and TurboTax products for my personal finances/taxes, and found both products rather good. That said, when I spoke to the team at Zachary Systems, which provides tools for import of data into QuickBooks, I found there are relatively simple ways to get your bank data into your current QuickBooks accounts quickly and efficiently without hours of manual data entry.
In a nutshell, Zachary Systems, Inc. is a provider of "easy-to-use financial integration software for small businesses." For purposes of this review, I am going to take a look at their eZ Account Import which enables you to import your online banking data into QuickBooks to augment your QuickBooks accounts. You should know that in order to use this product, you must have a QuickBooks account.
At first I was a bit skeptical - why bother purchasing an add-on software to QuickBooks? After all, don't you purchase financial software to make it easier to keep track your finances and automate several processes to help save time and ensure a better level of accuracy?
That said, no one is denying that QuickBooks isn't a proficient solution, but the team at Zachary Systems have found a way to help various small businesses in different industries as well as accountants use their QuickBooks accounts with even more automation, and provide a simple solution for those with multiple vendors, payees, bank accounts and more. According to their website, here are the reasons to purchase eZ Account Import:
•Reduce costs by spending less time entering data into QuickBooks (eZ Account Import has some nifty automation techniques that saves some time on the back-end)
•Eliminate data entry errors
•Speed the reconciliation process and reporting of financial statements
•Control how and what is imported into QuickBooks
Basically eZ Account Import helps you to import checks, deposits, payments and bill payments from your downloaded bank account file into its system and compare the transactions to QuickBooks. For instance, eZ Account Import ensures transactions in your bank account are matched with what is in QuickBooks in real time so there's never any duplication of entries. You can control which transactions get imported into QuickBooks as well assign invoices and bills paid. One of the best features that eZ Account Import provides is Aliases - where you can create rules and designate how transactions are handled when importing into QuickBooks. It will automatically assign payees, classes and accounts to transactions based on specific keywords defined by you.
Small businesses and accountants that heavily depend on QuickBooks for their business needs. It helps you get your bank data into QuickBooks and reconcile your accounts quickly and accurately, saving you hours of manual data entry and possible errors. .
The main interface/dashboard of the eZ Account Import is a split screen that compares what you have in your downloaded bank file against what is already posted in QuickBooks. This ensures that you are not importing duplicate transactions.
eZ Account Import enables you to import your online banking data into QuickBooks. According to its website: "It supports the reading of all standard online banking download formats such as Quicken (.qif or .qfx), Money (.ofx) and Excel (.csv, .xls, .xlsx)." eZ Account Import is not a file converter, it's an integrated application with QuickBooks as it transfers your online banking transactions to your QuickBooks bank register to help you seamlessly tie your banking data together. The following are some of the main features of eZ Account Imports.
One of the main features of eZ Account Imports is that it reconciles your transactions between your bank account and QuickBooks. Besides making sure you don't import duplicate transactions, this feature allows you to mark items in QuickBooks as cleared. Then when you go to reconcile your bank account in QuickBooks, you will know which transactions have cleared. eZ Account Import indicates when a transaction is already in QuickBooks by setting the status to 'matched'. Matches occur when an existing QuickBooks transaction and online bank export transaction meet the following criteria:
Check Number (if both transactions contain a check number)
Date within three weeks of each other
While matching is automatic, the system allows you to have ultimate control of matching by allowing you change the status of a transaction from matched to unmatched or vice versa.
As stated above, you can create Aliases and designate what the solution should automatically do with the alias when a transaction occurs. Think of aliases as a way to setup rules to automate the importing of your transactions. eZ Account Import says, "Many times, data provided by your financial institution will not match the names you have created in QuickBooks for Vendors and Customers. Aliases enable you to create a mapping between online banking transactions and the names contained within QuickBooks. This enables you to set up a mapping and, going forward, the online banking data will be pre-populated with QuickBooks® names."
For instance, if you have a customer called "Shoes for Less on Maple Street" you can create an alias called "Shoes." Anytime you import a transaction that contains a keyword "Shoes" - you can designate what accounts that money goes into. This is helpful for several reasons. One, it saves time as you do not have to manually input the information. Secondly it helps lessen the chance of errors as the system knows exactly what do with the transaction, and human error is eliminated.
If you have multiple customers/vendors/payees and bank accounts, setting up aliases ahead of time and telling eZ Account Import what to do with the information, will help you more accurately manage your finances.
Real-time Importing of Data:
Another nice feature is that you can view and modify all your transactions from the eZ Account Import interface before importing them directly into QuickBooks. You do not have to import all the transactions from your import file. While eZ Account Import attempts to import the transactions into QuickBooks, it will alert you if there are any errors with your transactions so that you can go back and make any necessary changes to the transaction data before the data gets logged in QuickBooks. eZ Account Import also has a "data refresh" feature that will allow you to see any changes that you may have made in QuickBooks while working with eZ Account Import. All the QuickBooks imports can be seen in the top half of the eZ Account Import interface.
eZ Account Import provides a nice intermediary between QuickBooks and your bank account. If you have bank accounts that do not support import into QuickBooks, eZ Account Imports helps you automate your finances and by doing that eliminating human error.
The solution is fairly easy to use and will help you streamline the transfer of bank data from your online bank account into QuickBooks.. Pricing is $120 per year - so the solution is reasonably affordable and a nice add-on to your QuickBooks accounts.
The only real problem is that if you don't have QuickBooks, then this solution is not for you.
Ratings: ease of use 4/5, features 4/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 5/5