From an accountant’s perspective: Why app developers need to understand who their ideal users are

If you develop apps for accountants, then you know the first step in the development process is coming up with the idea.

Or is there more to it?

According to Megan Tarnow, a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor since 2002, a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP), and founder of Mobius Group—an accounting company for nonprofits—the first step should always be knowing your ideal user. “Be clear on who your ideal client is and start there,” she says.

Create apps for accountants by knowing who they are and what they need

Megan notes on her ProAdvisor Profile that she’s “ferociously committed” to helping her clients. All of her five-star reviews underscore the fact that her passion has been felt and appreciated by them.

One reviewer writes, “Megan is leading the way in nonprofit bookkeeping and helping all of us do better. She has provided advice and support as our org transitioned to in-house bookkeeping and [QuickBooks Online]. She made it so easy to connect, share and resolve my issue! She is super knowledgeable and loves to help make us all better nonprofits!”

For her to serve her clients successfully, Megan solves their pain points and that requires finding the right apps for accountants. The app currently receiving her MVP vote is SaaSAnt, which allows users to import, export, and delete Excel transactions in QuickBooks Online. These features fully support her clients’ needs while also helping her save time. Check out this short video where Megan explains her favorite feature of the app.

The app’s developers of SaaSant understood Megan’s pain points, and by keeping their app user friendly, they developed an app that solved those pain points without gumming up the workflow with non-essential features.

You can’t be everything to everyone. And that’s okay. Know what you are absolutely the best at, listen to your ideal clients, and make an app that lightens their load.”

What do your ideal users need?

Find out what your ideal users need by asking them and taking cues from other QuickBooks Online apps. Read their reviews in the app store and see what pain points aren’t being solved. You can also solicit anonymous feedback on other apps you developed, finding out what you’re doing right and what you need to improve upon.

In addition, Megan says an intuitive app UI is something she looks for as a user. “I’m looking for something that is dead simple from an end user perspective. I appreciate a thoughtful interface that makes it easy for people to use. Sometimes people feel like the use of apps is making their lives harder, even as it makes ours easier. It worked for them to just dump a stack of receipts on the bookkeeper’s desk, for example. So, we need to streamline it as much as we can.”

She recommends that app developers be aware of changes and improvements to QuickBooks Online, thinking about how their clients would want to use these new features. “They need to constantly be thinking, ‘How can we make this easier?’ ‘How can we remove the friction between our app and QuickBooks?’”

Ultimately, if you take Megan’s expert advice on understanding your clients and meeting their needs, she says, “you won’t have to pay them to sing your praises—you won’t be able to stop them.”





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