Email marketing is still a force to be reckoned with, even though it was one of the first forms of digital marketing to take off. In an age of social media, blogging and text messaging, email marketing is going strong because of the powerful results and conversion rates it gets for businesses of all types. Two email marketing services in particular are helpful to small businesses:
Here’s a disarming stat: only 2.5% of companies finish every project they start. A Gartner report reveals that only 5% of companies use just one project management tool. This indicates a need for an “all-in-one” solution that helps employees reduce the amount of time they spend switching between apps. Here are three great solutions to get you started.

Many test automation tools provide record and playback features that allow users to interactively record user actions and replay them back any number of times, comparing actual results to those expected. The advantage of this approach is that it requires little or no software development. This approach can be applied to any application that has a graphical user interface. However, reliance on these features poses major reliability and maintainability problems. Relabelling a button or moving it to another part of the window may require the test to be re-recorded. Record and playback also often adds irrelevant activities or incorrectly records some activities.[citation needed]
Jones defines BDD as the process where teams use domain-specific language to express the expected behavior of an application through scenarios. She points out that this is not magic - there is automation code involved in the process - but that BDD is ideal for developers and testers sharing automation work. Specialized tools like Cucumber, the most popular open source tool for automation code integration, executes this work and is the tool of choice for Jones.
To do more with less, developers reused test scripts during development and integration stages to work more efficiently. The demand for new software built, and the constant change to software under development opened the door for automation testing practices to serve as a reliable control mechanism for testing the code (Automated Software Testing, 1999).
Interactive home pages. Some small businesspeople love working with numbers, but many just want to sign on to their accounting application, do what's needed, and move on. Interactive home pages, or dashboards on these websites play two primary roles. First, they flag tasks that need attention and provide a bird's-eye view of your finances, with graphs, charts, and tables that quickly summarize real-time income, expenses, and cash flow. Second, most of these sites' dashboards contain links to working screens, so you can pay a bill or send an invoice or transfer funds between accounts—whatever needs to be done that day.
Testing is a very important phase in the development process. It ensures that all the bugs are ironed out and that the product, software or hardware, is functioning as expected or as close to the target performance as possible. Even so, some tasks are too laborious to be done manually even though they are easy enough to do. This is where automated testing comes in.
Though you can still read reviews of them here, three of the small business accounting applications we covered do not appear in the features matrix because they're not quite as mature as the ones that are posted here. Sage One Accounting was developed by Sage, a global software company that sells a diverse family of accounting solutions, both desktop and cloud-based. WorkingPoint is still missing some functionality offered by its competitors, such as mobile access and integration with related apps. ZipBooks is the newest; it had the thinnest feature set when we reviewed it, but it's growing rapidly.
QA professionals know that UI testing is essential to a comprehensive test strategy, because it provides critical feedback from the user’s perspective. But this requires significant effort: validating visual details like images, colors, and fonts as well as every aspect of the application’s functional behavior — including its controls, navigation, error messages, data entry handling, and more. Comprehensive GUI testing is time-consuming and expensive, especially when tests must be repeated as part of a regression suite or for cross-browser/cross-device compatibility. Automated tests save time and costs by executing in a fraction of the time required for manual testing. Test automation conserves system resources by running overnight and in parallel, across multiple browsers and platforms. Automation also frees test personnel from routine tests so that they can focus on more challenging and exploratory testing.  The improved test coverage possible with test automation creates confidence that an application is ready for release with the quality that users demand.
With an increase in the adoption of agile and DevOps methodologies, the software testing industry is undergoing a paradigm shift. Test automation is gaining traction as there is very less time left to perform testing.  The automation testing tools not only provides intelligent automation but also provide smart analytics to address any testing challenges. Here is a list of top 5 automation testing tools and frameworks that can improve your software testing outcomes significantly.
Jones recommends flexible automation frameworks and cautions against using a framework limited to only UI testing, for example. Some test teams build their frameworks from scratch to satisfy the desired result of the test automation code and activities. According to Jones, most test automation initiatives fail due to the poor design of the test automation framework architecture for that project.
A variation on this type of tool is for testing of web sites. Here, the "interface" is the web page. However, such a framework utilizes entirely different techniques because it is rendering HTML and listening to DOM Events instead of operating system events. Headless browsers or solutions based on Selenium Web Driver are normally used for this purpose.[6][7][8]
BambooHR has two main plans, Essentials and Advantage. The Essentials plan includes everything for HR administration plus an employee self-service portal and online support. The Advantage plan includes hiring tools, advanced analytics, and integrations. BambooHR is built to grow with a company without overloading with features a really small business might not need.
To further inform our decisions, we contacted each vendor to measure the quality of their customer support. Posing as small business owners in the market for accounting software, we chatted with sales reps and customer service teams and asked a variety of questions. This also helped clarify any concerns and issues we came across while researching and testing each product.
It’s still very much a product in development, we’re happy to admit that. It’s not available for web, Windows or Apple’s tvOS as yet. But we’re proud of the functionality it offers mobile development teams. Bugfender is specifically designed to confront the problems we see on a daily basis as developers – most notably Android fragmentation, the exponential proliferation of new devices which means we now have to consider thousands of different smartphones when designing our apps and websites.
We then created an extensive list of accounting software. It included software from our research as well as applications we were already familiar with and vendors who have previously pitched their software to us. We narrowed down this list based on different use-case scenarios and a wide range of criteria, which we've listed in detail below. As part of our research, we studied user reviews, watched tutorial videos and checked out customer resources offered by each vendor, such as knowledgebases, blogs and guides.

The system’s graphs, dashboards, and transaction overviews offer users a vivid idea of how their business is doing anytime, anywhere. It can generate histories of purchases and sales and bank statement imports, which is very useful in managing cash flow. The app can be accessed via smartphones, giving users a real time view of customer data and letting them record notes at any given time.

With automated testing, that time is cut drastically. The work for automated testers is instead spent coding the tests and making improvements to these tests repeatedly as adjustments are needed. Once the test is complete, however, automated testing allows for the recycled use of tests so that they do not have to go through this whole process again. In essence, the time spent on the mundane tasks and repetition a manual tester would go through is instead spent focusing on larger, more important issues involving the software you’re developing.
Trello is often cited as a great project management tool for small businesses and teams because it’s so easy to use. The tool was sold to Atlassian in early 2017, but it has retained its core functions and even added a couple of cool add-ons since then. Trello is a fully Kanban-style project management tool that allows teams and individuals to add lots of pertinent information to tasks on their board and get notified when team members make changes.
Even the very smallest businesses need to keep track of their money, from payroll to taxes. In fact, many operate so close to the bone that every dollar is critical. Very small businesses and freelancers need accounting software at least as much as their larger counterparts. The problem is, what they need and what a bigger business needs are not the same thing at all. If you're a freelancer, contractor, or sole proprietor and you've tried a cloud-based accounting solution aimed at larger businesses in the past, you may have found that you're paying more than you want to for features that you don't really need. And maybe you went back to the old tried-and-true methods of keeping your books in a spreadsheet, or even in actual, literal books—made out of paper! It's easy to understand how that could happen, but it's a shame in this day and age not to take advantage of best-of-breed accounting software, wizard-based simplicity, access from anywhere, and the safety of an offsite backup.
Sage 50cloud is an online accounting solution designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their financials and stay compliant with taxes and reporting requirements. It comes with all essential features expected of a best-in-class accounting platform such as taxes, inventory, budgeting, cash flow, and invoicing. In addition, you get a wide range of add-ons including credit card processing, HR/payroll, POS, e-commerce, data management and more.  With its mobile capability, you can make payments on-the-go and bill customers, and provide your accountants real-time access to accounting books. You can easily sign up for a Sage 50cloud free trial here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
As most people in the software industry know, there are distinct differences between manual testing and automated testing. Manual testing requires physical time and effort to ensure the software code does everything it’s supposed to do. In addition, manual testers have to make a record of their findings. This involves checking log files, external services and the database for errors. If you’re familiar with manual testing, you know this process can be extremely time-consuming and repetitive.
Unlike many accounting software products that limit transactions unless you purchase a more expensive package, FreeAgent is a cloud-based program that supports unlimited users, clients and invoices for one monthly price. It also has a project management feature to help you keep track of billable hours and expenses. FreeAgent is best for freelancers, consultants and other project-based businesses. freeagent.com

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Robot Framework is an open-source automation framework that implements the keyword-driven approach for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). Robot Framework provides frameworks for different test automation needs. But its test capability can be further extended by implementing additional test libraries using Python and Java. Selenium WebDriver is a popular external library used in Robot Framework.
The platform offers unlimited payroll runs for W-2 workers and 1099 contract workers. You can pay workers using check or via direct deposit, for which you must pass a risk assessment. OnPay handles all your payroll tax needs. It can compute state and federal payroll taxes, manage filing of tax forms, withholding and tax payments. What makes it even better is that the vendor guarantees accuracy by taking responsibility for any tax filing errors committed by the product.
Core product functionalities such as accounting, cash management, purchasing, subscription billing and financial consolidation are present. Easier information entry and error minimization are possible with the platform’s general ledger. The system can cut down income losses and is able to effectively control margins and costs. Computing for currency difference is much easier using the solution as it offers multi-currency support. In addition, it can streamline compliance by automating sales tax management.
We've emphasized the importance of getting everyone involved in automation. Here's how it works in my department. An integral part of each development team, the DevTester writes and executes manual test cases for the team's user stories. The tests are written using a methodology (see connect manual tests with automation using a clear methodology) that clarifies how to automate them later on. Once a feature is stable, the DevTester writes the actual automation tests. Then, there's the Developer. In addition to developing the application, the developer works with the DevTester to review both the test's design and the testing code itself. The developer's involvement in the automated tests increases his or her engagement in the automation efforts, which also means the DevTester can help with test maintenance should the need arise. The QA architect is an experienced QA professional who is instrumental in deciding which feature tests should be automated. This is the person with the higher-level view of the overall testing effort who can understand which test cases will yield the best ROI if automated. With a broader view of the application, the architect is also responsible for cross-feature and cross-team QA activities to make sure that end-to-end testing can also be automated.
GitHub’s major competitor is Bitbucket, an Atlassian product that has deep integrations with JIRA, Confluence, and Trello. For up to 10 users, Bitbucket is cheaper. When you hit 10+, it’s more expensive but may work out as cheaper for large enterprises. Also, if your company is looking to spark interest in the open source community, there’s no bigger audience than GitHub’s.
TestingXperts is a Specialist QA & Software Testing Services provider co-headquartered in London, UK and Harrisburg, PA in USA, with offices in the Netherlands, USA, Australia and offshore test labs in India. TestingXperts’ comprehensive suite of testing services covers Test Advisory, Functional and Non-Functional testing specializing in Automation, Digital, DevOps, Agile, Web, Mobility, IOT, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to name a few.
Zoho Books is a subscription-based accounting software with enough features to meet all your small business needs without the hefty price tag. It can sync with your bank accounts and help you create and send invoices. The time- and expense-tracking features are top-notch. The Basic plan will track your billable hours and accommodates up to 50 contacts. The Standard plan supports two users and accommodates up to 500 contacts. You can track inventory if you upgrade to the Professional plan. The Professional plan supports up to 10 users and holds unlimited contacts.
Test automation eases this burden by automating the tracking and managing of all those testing needs, including how much of the system different tests cover and what other types of testing might be required to cover all the moving parts. In doing so, test automation goes a long way toward helping ensure that teams maintain a high standard of quality at all points along the pipeline. Additionally, it allows testers to focus more time and effort on creating effective test cases to ensure the quality of the software since they’re no longer bogged down in managing all the minutia of testing needs.
Integration with complementary add-ons. The future of accounting lies in two areas: the cloud, and integration. SMBs that experience tremendous growth or increased complexity may need to move up to the next level of cloud-based financial management applications, like NetSuite or Intacct. But if a business just needs more flexibility and/or features in a particular area, like invoicing, expenses, or inventory management, there are hundreds of add-on solutions that can connect to services like QuickBooks Online and Xero.
If your business still doesn't have a blog--one of the best ways around to provide up-to-date company and product news--you're only about three years behind the curve. Hey, it's not too late to catch up: WordPress installs in minutes (it even offers a free, hosted option on WordPress.com), and the platform is dazzlingly easy to use (the site's home page carries an ad for WordPress for Dummies, but we doubt you'll need to crack that volume). WordPress so simple, your team will be begging to contribute to the blog instead of whining that it's too laborious. (free)
Digital dashboards, also known as business intelligence dashboards, enterprise dashboards, or executive dashboards. These are visually based summaries of business data that show at-a-glance understanding of conditions through metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Dashboards are a very popular tools that have arisen in the last few years.[when?]
During a recent consulting assignment, a tester told me he spent 90 percent of his time setting up test conditions. The application allowed colleges and other large organizations to configure their workflow for payment processing. One school might set up self-service kiosks, while another might have a cash window where the teller could only authorize up to a certain dollar amount. Still others might require a manager to cancel or approve a transaction over a certain dollar amount. Some schools took certain credit cards, while others accepted cash only. To reproduce any of these conditions, the tester had to log in, create a workflow manually, and establish a set of users with the right permissions before finally doing the testing. When we talked about automation approaches, our initial conversation was about tools to drive the user interface. For example, a batch script like this:
Work[etc] is an ERP for small businesses that’s based around CRM and project management software. Connect sales, marketing, projects, operations, support, and financial teams in one software where different departments can collaborate easier. Work[etc] replaces the separate software for project management, CRM, email marketing, help desk, and contract management. Integrate directly with your accounting software for real-time updates and financial reports.
There are various tools that help software teams build and execute automated tests. Many teams are actively using unit tests as part of their development efforts to verify critical parts of their projects such as libraries, models and methods. Historically, testing user interfaces of desktop-based applications via automated tests have been more challenging, and currently available tools for this are usually commercial and quite expensive.
The recently released World Quality Report 2017–2018 by Capgemini, Sogeti, and Micro Focus points out several interesting trends in software quality and testing. Two of three key trends are increasing test automation and widespread adoption of agile and DevOps methodologies. As the report shows, organizations need intelligent automation and smart analytics to speed up decision making and validation and to better address the challenges of testing smarter devices and products that are highly integrated and continuously changing. The report also suggests the need of smart test platforms that are self-aware and self-adaptive to support the complete application lifecycle.

Quickbooks has been around forever, and for good reason. The tool scales quickly from individual freelancers to small businesses to multinational enterprises, and offers lots of great business add-ons like payroll and payroll tax preparations. The most basic plans track payments, expenses, and invoices with a full reporting suite that gives small businesses deep insight into where their money comes from and goes to.
First, you need the right tools. Second, you need qualified testers who need to be trained. Third, you need to invest time and effort in automation infrastructure and to develop tests on top of it. Developing automated tests is a software development effort itself. Tests need to be designed, coded, and validated before you can really put them to use. But the biggest effort comes just when you think you're done.
Quicken lets you manage both your personal and business finances in one place, making it a convenient solution for really small businesses and home-based entrepreneurs who don't need accounting software designed for larger or more established businesses. The downside, however, is that the software isn't cloud-based and is only available for Windows, though it has iOS and Android apps that allow you to view your data. quicken.com
When we talk about continuous testing, and with it continuous delivery and DevOps, the term automation gets thrown around a lot. In a basic sense, we all understand what automation means — the use of some technology to complete a task. But when we talk about automation in terms of continuous testing, there are some nuances that we need to take into account.
“There are millions of regression tests for a Windows 10 release. For example, if you plan 10 new features, five [of those 10] are critical and a priority. These test cases will be the criteria used to release the software. You build from that progress. So on the next release, you have new features, 10 are determined critical for testing. So it keeps adding, now you have 15 regression tests being automated to keep up with the release schedules.”
Katalon Studio is a powerful test automation solution for mobile, Web, and API testing. And it is completely FREE! It provides a comprehensive set of features for test automation, including recording actions, creating test cases, generating test scripts, executing tests, reporting results, and integrating with many other tools in the software development lifecycle.

Automation frameworks are combined with specific automation tools to create a sound basis for your specific project goals. Automation tools are then aligned with testing goals. When the framework and tools are combined with common practices and coding standards for testing software, you have an automation framework. Jones offers an example using the most popular open source automation technology used for testing a web browser’s user interface (UI).
With automated testing, that time is cut drastically. The work for automated testers is instead spent coding the tests and making improvements to these tests repeatedly as adjustments are needed. Once the test is complete, however, automated testing allows for the recycled use of tests so that they do not have to go through this whole process again. In essence, the time spent on the mundane tasks and repetition a manual tester would go through is instead spent focusing on larger, more important issues involving the software you’re developing.
Automation frameworks are combined with specific automation tools to create a sound basis for your specific project goals. Automation tools are then aligned with testing goals. When the framework and tools are combined with common practices and coding standards for testing software, you have an automation framework. Jones offers an example using the most popular open source automation technology used for testing a web browser’s user interface (UI).

Email is a fantastic invention, but it is missing a few key features out of the box. For example: the ability to send emails later, if you don’t get a response. And notifications on which emails are awaiting your reply. Boomerang helps emails flow in and out of your inbox more easily, preventing the dreaded buildup of drafts, unreads and messages you’re “just saving for later” instead of archiving them.

Building a successful automated testing strategy is tough and the approach will vary on a team-by-team basis. No team is completely identical to another. Some may consist of more manual testers than automation engineers, while some may have shifted left and depend on developers to do the heavy lifting. Budget, deadlines, application type, and development model are all factors that impact how an automated testing strategy should outlined be implemented.


GitHub’s major competitor is Bitbucket, an Atlassian product that has deep integrations with JIRA, Confluence, and Trello. For up to 10 users, Bitbucket is cheaper. When you hit 10+, it’s more expensive but may work out as cheaper for large enterprises. Also, if your company is looking to spark interest in the open source community, there’s no bigger audience than GitHub’s.
 Use Smartsheet to track the schedule and results of planned, current, and completed tests. Share the schedule with your team and collaborate on the details in real time, in one central location. Whether you’re running manual or automated tests, Smartsheet’s broad range of views – Calendar, Gantt, Card, and traditional Grid – allow you to manage progress the way you want. Organize test results with hierarchy and use comments to keep work in context.
Sage Intacct is a financial management solution for growing businesses. Sage acquired Intacct in the summer of 2017, a move that gives companies a scalable solution from small business to enterprise. Intacct gives smaller businesses access to accounting, invoicing, purchasing, ordering, and collaboration tools. Optional features include supply chain and project-centered modules that make Sage Intacct customizable for all types of growing businesses.
Xero is our top pick for the best accounting software for Macs. We like that Xero is affordable, easy to use, offers a ton of features and integrates with hundreds of third-party business solutions, many of which you likely already use. Xero also offers 24-hour email and live chat support, so there's always someone ready to help you. Read our full review here. Xero.com

Integration with complementary add-ons. The future of accounting lies in two areas: the cloud, and integration. SMBs that experience tremendous growth or increased complexity may need to move up to the next level of cloud-based financial management applications, like NetSuite or Intacct. But if a business just needs more flexibility and/or features in a particular area, like invoicing, expenses, or inventory management, there are hundreds of add-on solutions that can connect to services like QuickBooks Online and Xero.


Namely serves medium-sized businesses at 15-100 employees, and offers HR, time, payroll, benefits administration, and talent management–all in a cloud-based solution. And if your team is clueless when it comes to HR, there’s no need to hire a full-time specialist when you can contract with Namely Managed Services to give you advice and best practices.

“While using and teaching Agile practices like test-driven development (TDD) on projects in different environments, I kept coming across the same confusion and misunderstandings. Programmers wanted to know where to start, what to test and what not to test, how much to test in one go, what to call their tests, and how to understand why a test fails. [….] My response is BDD.”


You try to enter random data in this form which took around 20 minutes. Then you press submit. Wolla!! An error message is shown which looks like an unhandled exception. You become very happy. You proudly note down the steps and report the bug in your bug management system. Great effort, you feel really confident and energetic. You continue the testing until the day ends and find some more bugs. “Amazing first day”, you thought.
Some business applications are interactive, i.e., they have a graphical user interface or user interface and users can query/modify/input data and view results instantaneously. They can also run reports instantaneously. Some business applications run in batch mode: they are set up to run based on a predetermined event/time and a business user does not need to initiate them or monitor them.
Each of the above-mentioned testing tools offers some unique features that help to improve the quality of the released software.  You can choose any of these automation testing tools based on your project requirement. Apart from these automation testing tools, you require the right test management tool to get the desired results from your software testing. ReQtest is a test management tool that is preferred by the testers across the globe as it helps them to handle testing challenges and accomplish testing objectives easily.
The Automation test suite should be indicated if any of the integration pieces are broken. This suite need not cover each and every small feature/functionality of the solution but it should cover the working of the product as a whole. Whenever we have an alpha or a beta or any other intermediate releases, then such scripts come in handy and give some level of confidence to the customer.
 Use Smartsheet to track the schedule and results of planned, current, and completed tests. Share the schedule with your team and collaborate on the details in real time, in one central location. Whether you’re running manual or automated tests, Smartsheet’s broad range of views – Calendar, Gantt, Card, and traditional Grid – allow you to manage progress the way you want. Organize test results with hierarchy and use comments to keep work in context.

Quickbooks Online is an accounting solution specifically targeted at small businesses and freelancers as it simplifies the most complex accounting processes. It has become a popular tool among accountants, bookkeepers, small business owners and finance officers. For up to five users, all the app’s features can be accessed. However, functionalities are limited for packages with unlimited number of users. To learn more about this software and see if it matches your needs, you can easily sign up for a QuickBooks Online free trial here.
Another reason our QA specialists love Appium automated testing is its versatility. The software works with any testing system and supports a number of dialects, including Ruby, Java, PHP, Node and Python. It’s also pretty low-maintenance: standard robotisation APIs mean there’s no need to recompile your application in any way. The Appium android testing tool doesn’t expect anything to be introduced on the gadget, and it can be set up on an alternate stage easily.
Continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate.[14][15] For Continuous Testing, the scope of testing extends from validating bottom-up requirements or user stories to assessing the system requirements associated with overarching business goals.[16]
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