Have you ever had a great app idea? In the old days, these moments of insight would end with a wistful sigh as you realized you didn’t know the first thing about coding or building an app. But now, no-code platforms are letting non-developers build everything from client portals, job boards, food ordering apps, and more.
Rather than having to fiddle with learning a programming language, you can now design and build apps that work in a browser or on a smartphone. I’ve rounded up 15 no-code platforms and resources that your accounting firm can use to bring additional value to clients and improve your operational efficiency.
For modern firms, being able to work efficiently is vital. Doing manual, tedious tasks will steal your time from more profitable tasks and ultimately leave you drained and burned out. Equipping your firm with no-code capabilities, however, allows you to iterate process developments or service improvements like developing a client portal without needing to invest in a hefty software development contract.
Decreases the time and cost for prototyping ideas: The business world rewards the first and the fastest. In the old way, you’d invest thousands in software development and pray your idea worked. But modern firms can move quickly and get real-world feedback on an idea by mapping a process and implementing it with no-code tools. As Wynter’s CEO Peep Laja says, "Speed is an underrated advantage".
Lowers chance of manual programming errors: As we saw in the US with the IRS recently, programming errors can have disastrous consequences. This is another benefit of no-code: we don’t have to touch the code and risk causing the apocalypse. Instead, we use building blocks made by skilled developers to design a process, and then press the green button.
Promotes problem-solving and innovation: It was Elbert Hubbard who said, "The value of an idea lies in the using of it". When feedback is squashed or costly to implement, the creative flow is stifled. But if your team understands there’s a good chance their ideas will be implemented, they’re more likely to be innovative and push your firm forward. This frees up the flow of ideas within your firm, which means you, your team, and your clients ultimately all win together.
The growing popularity of no-code tools gives professionals the chance to create a competitive advantage by reducing the period between inspiration and implementation. Zapier’s 2022 report showed that 90% of no-code users believe their company has achieved faster growth because of no-code tool adoption.
If you want to start your no-code journey, here are the best tools and resources to help you take ideas from dream to done:
This no-code platform lets you build apps, job boards, websites, and internal projects without any coding knowledge (you can see examples here). As a side note, it’s also highly recommended by accounting automation wizard Jason Staats.
Started in 2012, Airtable has recently exploded in popularity as its stated mission of democratizing software development has made them both a leader and source of community in the no-code space. Their customer stories will both inspire and guide you in your low-code journey.
If you want to import transaction data into Google Sheets and connect QBO reports to your spreadsheets, this is the tool for you.
Most of us have heard about Zapier. Still, this platform is still worth calling out because of its versatility and necessity in connecting otherwise separate apps.
Like Zapier, IFTTT acts like a pipeline that moves data from one app to another. Though IFTTT has fewer app integrations than Zapier, it does offer an affordably priced alternative to Zapier’s pricing tiers.
Like IFTTT, Make offers an affordable alternative to Zapier and is continuously adding to its library of integrations.
Riding the wave of no-code, data-driven app development, Softr recently raised $13.5M Series A to fund their ongoing development of no-code apps. This platform is especially suited for building apps (like a client portal) using Google Sheets or Airtable.
Birthed from Y Combinator in 2019, Glide was recently awarded a $20M Series A and helps you turn Google Sheets, Excel spreadsheets, or Airtable bases into apps and websites that look amazing but are easy to manage on the backend.
Available as a standalone product or alongside accounting software, NettTracker automatically depreciates entries and recalculates them for you each month.
When you connect Bookkeep to sales channels like Amazon, Greenbits, Grubhub, or Stripe, it will automatically post daily journal entries to accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero.
Chad is the founder of Canadian accounting firm LiveCA, which happens to be one of the only accounting firms to offer no-code services. Naturally, you’ll find him talking about accounting automation all over YouTube.
Recommended reading: Chasing sunsets and sales: accounting life from the road with Chad Davis
If you’ve been researching accounting automation for any amount of time, you’ve likely come across Jason’s YouTube channel or even joined his premium community for accountants. Jason runs Brenner LLP, an Oregon accounting firm, and creates content about automation and productivity for accountants.
When automation nerds like Jason Staats and Chad Davis get together, a podcast about automation is inevitable. They discuss topics like no-code, Zapier for 'normies', and even email productivity hacks. Their goal is to “automate the problems we all share.”
It’d be negligent of me to leave Makerpad off a list about no-code development. This website is a fantastic resource of the best tools, people, and guides to help you successfully implement no-code apps in your firm.
This well-known form builder recently announced app-building features that let users create apps without touching a line of code. Makerpad’s Sara Saunders has a great guide that walks through how to start using Jotform Apps.
Gone are the days when improving your firm’s processes meant you needed to hire a software developer. Now, you can create and test prototypes of your firm’s workflows and cycle through iterations until it makes sense to invest in full-on software development. Modern accountants bring an attitude of continuous improvement to their processes, reducing their firm’s time and costs while they increase the value they deliver to their clients.
Marketing Manager, MBS Accountancy
For more than 10 years, Adolfo Marquez has used SEO to generate thousands of leads for companies in diverse industries. Adolfo is now the marketing manager at MBS Accountancy, an accounting firm based in California. Since 2011, MBS Accountancy has been helping business leaders achieve greater financial performance by providing prudent accounting and tax services.