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A block inventory screen from ClearlyInventory software. Image: ClearlyInventory.
Clearly Inventory Block Inventory

Streamlining Business Operations

April 22, 2021
Reviews of a cloud-based inventory management system, an app for running a paperless office, and two apps that increase the functionality of QuickBooks Online Advanced.

ClearlyInventory (,  800/300-0160) is a cloud-based inventory management system that enables online asset tracking and stock maintenance of equipment and items at a company’s warehouses, shops, vans, offices, and jobsites. Suitable for companies where the number of users of given inventory typically ranges from one to 100 (though it can support more), it comes with a mobile app downloadable free at The App Store and Google Play. 

The software, utilizing an interface that resembles a spreadsheet, is barcode friendly—you can pair the app with a SocketMobile scanner ( or can use your smartphone camera to read barcodes. Up to four images uploaded from a PC or taken and uploaded with the mobile app can be associated with each item.

Management has total control over the information users (including vendors to whom access is given) can see or do (e.g. permission by item, location, event type).

ClearlyInventory has a limited time offer to organize, for free, a company’s data and configure it for asset tracking by the software. It can handle serial numbers, expiration dates, lot numbers, and other data specific to individual units of items. Reports can be created and saved on current inventory and inventory events.

Pricing: free for up to 100 items and 5 locations, up to 250 records, then fee-based tiers scaled by the number of items, locations, and records monthly.  

Dataforma Service and Project Management Solution (,  866/764-9992), is software suitable for commercial and residential HVAC and plumbing contractors. Featuring a mobile app and designed to help enable running a completely paperless service department (from initial call from a customer through to invoicing), it offers drag and drop scheduling with instant notifications for field employees, CRM and lead tracking, and project management. GPS tracking of locations of field technicians and their customers facilitates real-time “intelligent” routing based off traffic data.  

The mobile app gives access to site histories and users can upload photos (automatically resized, without losing resolution, before uploading to the database), add labor and materials, capture customer signatures, and create and perform mobile inspections. 

The solution includes an inventory module that informs users how much material is in each warehouse, email integration for invoicing clients, and the ability to generate daily job reports from the field.

An optional mobile timecard add-on captures hours (down to cost code) and can address regular time, overtime, and double time and account for automatic breaks for lunch and other time frames. 

The optional client portal enables clients to generate, track and review service requests, with access to associated documents, photos, and invoices.

All data in the relational database is encrypted for security. Fields are perpetually customizable for clients, allowing the addition of new trades, new reporting metrics and lists, etc.

Dataforma can be customized to export data to QuickBooks and other accounting packages without re-entry of information.

Pricing for Dataforma, including document storage up to 100 GB: one-time installation fee, including database set-up, customization, and virtual training, plus user fees per month or per year. Additional fees for optional services including template customization, additional on-site training, the client portal, and the mobile timecard app. 

Here are two apps that integrate with QuickBooks Online Advanced, a scalable, customizable financial and business hub that addresses business transactions including tracking income and expenses, capturing and organizing receipts, the estimating process, invoicing, and managing and paying bills (

DocuSign eSignature Connector for QuickBooks ( integrates with QuickBooks Online Advanced. It enables small and mid-size businesses to send estimates and other documents to collect e-signatures directly from a QuickBooks account, expediting the signing process and providing a permanent statement of record in the cloud.

The solution allows users to easily track who opened and signed a document and features automatic reminders and notifications designed to help keep agreements on track. Pricing: scaled yearly fee. Connect Bill Pay for QuickBooks Online with QuickBooks Online - Intuit

Bill Pay for QuickBooks Online ( is a digital business payments solution, suitable for small businesses, which allows companies to pay bills to vendor, lenders, suppliers, and employees and to accept customer and client payments directly from inside QuickBooks. It includes professionally designed invoices.

How it works: When an invoice is dropped into Bill Pay, the software automates the invoicing process. You can receive vendor invoices by email or drag and drop them into Bill Pay and can receive and approve payments any time on any device.

Users can send a single payment or invoice, schedule when payment or invoice is sent, and set up recurring invoices and payments. The software can send automated reminders and can have payments sent directly from within the company bank account via ACH or credit card. Bill Pay maintains a complete audit trail for each payment in or out.

Pricing: annual plan (Bill Pay for other accounting software, including XERO and Sage Intacct, is also available.)

Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. She can be reached at [email protected].

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