Method Community



June 2009 - Posts

  • Method Dropdown Lists - today's awesome upgrade

    When you signed into Method today, you probably noticed something was different.  Something was smoother.....but what was it?  It's the new Method Dropdown lists!  This brings an end to a larger development project than you would have thought ( was a lot bigger job than we thought before taking the dive an digging in).

    You may be asking yourself why have we spent months of combined development time creating our very own Method Dropdown list controls?  Aren't the ones that exist on regular web pages "good enough"?  I think regular dropdown lists are okay, and fine for some web apps, but not for Method.  "Good enough" just didn't hack it.  For the same reason we made our own Method Grids, the Method Dropdown lists are incredibly important since as a Method user you are using them every day, all day long.

    Here's why we did it:

    Reason #1 - Method pages stay open all day - With a regular dropdown list, all the available entries are loaded into the list when the web page opens.  That's okay for most web apps.  But Method pages don't close or reload during the day. Once they are open, they are open - that's what keeps it fast and keeps it acting like a desktop app.  If we used regular dropdown lists, any new dropdown list entries wouldn't show up in Method until you signed out and signed back in.  That would be ugly.  We therefore had to create a dropdown list that would get the latest list of entries every time you clicked on the dropdown arrow, or started typing in the dropdown.

    Reason #2 - Speed - With a regular dropdown list, ALL available entries are loaded into the list.  That's fine for most situations, but what about an accounting or business app. That's crazy.  You might have 30,000 customers, or 100,000 items.  Or more.  Method is made to be enterprise-ready, so we couldn't have you click on a dropdown list then go grab a coffee while you waited for it to download the list every time from the server.  Desktop apps don't have the same constraints as web apps - so we are forced to be smarter.  We therefore had to find a way where it conveniently only grabbed the first 50 entries that matched your criteria.  With today's upgrade, this got even better as we added a "Next" and "Previous" at the bottom of the list if there were more than 50.  I've never seen "Paging" before on a dropdown list, but it just makes sense for Method.

    Also, in terms of speed, one of the major changes with today's upgrade is that you'll find the searching amazingly fast.  Before, if you typed "jackson" it would do 7 searches to the server, one for "j", another for "ja", another for "jac"....etc, until it caught up and got to "jackson". I found this especially annoying when at a conference in Las Vegas last week with a slow internet connection.  I would finish typing and watch it slowly show results after results until it caught up.  With today's upgrade however, if you type out "jackson" quickly, it would probably do one search for "j" and a final search for "jackson", making it amazingly fast and useful, so there is no waiting around at all.

    Reason #3 - Search "containing" not "starts with" - When you type into a regular dropdown, it will search for entries that start with what you are typing.  I find this annoying, especially when it comes to QuickBooks data.  Sometimes i know a customer by their last name, sometimes by their first name. Did I enter the customer as "Paul Jackson", or "Jackson, Paul"?  Did I enter my item as "Tree:Pine:Red" or was it "Red Pine"?   Method Dropdowns are so much more convenient because they search for text containing, not starting with.  So in my example, I could type "Paul" or "Jackson"..."Red" or "Pine" and it would find my answer for me.

    Reason #4 - Multi-columns - In QuickBooks, you are used to seeing multiple data columns in the dropdown lists.  For example, when creating an invoice, you see not just the Item Name, but all the Item Type and Item Description.  For the last two years, we have been slowly working towards Method Dropdowns to support this, and today's release was the final end goal.  As of today you can now show whatever data you want in your dropdowns.  This is cool.  It may not seem like a big deal since you are so used to it in QuickBooks, but since this does not exist in regular web dropdown lists, it meant a sizable job for us to put together.

    Here is how you customize a dropdown in the design screen:

    Design Screen

    Here is an example of the Invoice with 3 columns:

    Invoice 3 columns


    And there you have it.  It all makes for a much richer experience.

    We'll be upgrading most standard screens throughout the week, so stay patient and you'll start to see multi-columns appear automatically to further simulate what you are used to in QuickBooks.  Stay tuned, and enjoy.



  • Method showcased at 2009 AICPA Tech+ Conference

    AICPA Tech+ Conference 2009

    Time flies and I can’t believe it has been nearly 2 years since Method made its first appearance in Las Vegas for the Sleeter Conference.  This week, the Method team returned to Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino for the AICPA Tech+ Conference. 

    What a completely different feeling it was this time around when answering a very simple question, “So what do you do?”, by visitors at our booth.  I can only laugh about it now, but if you speak with anyone who visited our booth in 2007, they would have to agree.  Our response to their question back then was “We can be anything you want it to be”.  Boy was that the wrong answer. 

    This time we had a clear message and product vision – “We provide a suite of customizable web-apps that integrate with QuickBooks”.  Now why couldn’t we think of that before? Hmm

    Greg LaFollette, who wrote an article on Method in January 2008 just after the Sleeter Conference, asked me to join him for a vendor showcase with 5 other vendors he selected.  My goal was to present Method to CPA firms and show the audience why Greg thought this was something worth taking a look at.  Packing everything Method can do into 11 minutes is hard to do, but it was plenty to get interest going.  This spurred some serious excitement and traffic at our booth that lasted right through to Wednesday morning. 

    Now that we are back from Las Vegas, I am looking forward to spending some time here in Toronto until our next show in August at the 2009 Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase in Chicago. 

    I've included some pictures from our visit to Vegas below

    Las Vegas – see you next year!

    Danny Do Couto
    Method Integration

    View Danny Do Couto's profile on LinkedIn


    Method @ The Bellagio Hotel and Casino for the AICPA Tech+ Conference 2009

    Method @ The Bellagio for the AICPA 2009 Conference

    Danny Do Couto and Paul Jackson answer questions about Method Integration

    Danny Do Couto and Paul Jackson answering questions on Method Integration

    Danny Do Couto and Paul Jackson demo Method Integration for booth visitors

    Danny Do Couto and Paul Jackson

    Method @ The Bellagio Hotel and Casino - Main Lobby

    The Belligio Hotel hosts the AICPA 2009 Conference


  • Method recognized by CPA Tech Advisor Innovation Awards

    Yesterday was our first day exhibiting at the California Accounting and Business Show 2009 and we ended the day off with a bang!  Not only did we come face to face with CPAs, accountants, consultants and business executives who were ecstatic to learn about Method’s capabilities, but Method was recognized for being truly innovational to the tax and account profession.  How, you ask?...

    At the post-show exhibitor reception, the CPA Technology Advisor announced the recipients of the 6th Annual Tax & Accounting Technology Innovation Awards.  The awards recognize products and services that have been available for less than 2 years, which have made significant contributions of innovation to the profession.  The awards committee consisted of over 20 leaders in the profession, each voting for the product or service that they believed to be truly groundbreaking. 

    cpa tech award

    Method is a tool accountants and consultants use to sell more QuickBooks licenses and services to their clients – so we were so excited that CPA Tech Advisor recognized us for our innovative contribution to the profession.

    award movie

    Check out this video of the award ceremony to see Method acknowledged by the who’s who in the tax and accounting profession.  They think Method rocks and I couldn’t agree more!  We were all fighting to go up and accept the certificate, but Paul pulled the boss card and stole the spotlight as Danny and I watched with green eyes.

    We will hang the certificate proudly in our office when we get back to Toronto.  In the meantime, we’re showing it off at our booth as we continue to spread the Method buzz, wowing accounting and business professionals here in Los Angeles at Day 2 of the California Accounting and Business Show. 

    Have a great day,


  • Enhance your CRM experience using Outlook

    Method Plug-In for OutlookI’d venture to say that a majority of you are like me and throughout the day, the one application that tends to stay open the most often is Microsoft Outlook.  Okay fine, maybe iTunes comes in at a close 2nd, but does that really count?  Without Outlook, I’d be a very lost individual.  You laugh but it’s true.  It tells me where I have to be, when I have to be there, who wants to talk to me and who I have to talk to.  Not to mention, I don’t half to have a phone book on my desk with important phone numbers.  It remembers that too. 

    We all know any company who is serious about their customer relationships and wants to increase their sales in the most efficient and effective way will use some sort of CRM software.  If you’re a QuickBooks user, there is no argument as to which software you should be using.  Not being biased or anything.  ;-)

    Now that we’ve agreed on which software should be open, CRM and Outlook, wouldn’t it be nice if they actually talked to each other?  I’d say so.  The Method Team has launched an early beta of our Outlook plug-in for use with Method CRM and I for one could not be happier.  Why you ask?  Well, check out what I use to do on a daily basis.

    1. When an email arrived in my Outlook from someone other than my family, friends or coworkers, I’d take note of the person’s name.
    2. I’d switch to Method CRM and lookup the person’s name and see if they were an existing or potential customer that I was working with.
    3. Let’s just say it was a new customer.  I’d have to switch back to Outlook, take note of all their contact information, switch back to Method, enter them in as a new customer and create an opportunity for them, switch back to Outlook to write my email response and make sure that I copy the email I received and sent, switch back to Method and create an activity to log the work I had just done and last but not least, copy and paste the email I received and sent just so I have a record of it. 

    Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  Try doing that when getting upwards of 50+ emails and you’ll have a headache just from switching between the screens.  With the Method Outlook plug-in, you can:

    • Select an email and enter the email automatically into Method CRM.
    • Instantly see if the person sending you the email is an existing or potential customer.
    • Instantly see if the sender has any outstanding opportunities with your company and if you need to create a new one, go right ahead.
    • If they are a new customer or vendor, add them right into Method.
    • If the email is in regards to an existing problem, you can log an activity for outstanding cases or create a new case.
    • Create your activities right through the plug-in and schedule a follow-up if needed- all in one step.

    This has saved me a tremendous amount of time.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ll say out loud in the office “I love this tool”.

    Method Plug-In for Outlook

    Naturally, this plug-in will grow to allow functionality with calendars and other parts of Outlook.  For now though, embrace the power of this tool!  Want to hear the best part?  It’s free!  Here are the steps if you want to get started.  By the way, this is for use with Outlook 2003 and 2007.

    1. Download:
    2. UnZip the zip file anywhere, like C:\temp.
    3. Close Outlook.
    4. Double-click on Setup.exe.
    5. Go through the installation program.
    6. Open Outlook again.
    7. Once Outlook is open, click the "Setup" button in your toolbar and fill in your Method account information.

    I hope you love this as much as I do. 


    Danny Do Couto
    Method Integration

    View Danny Do Couto's profile on LinkedIn