Custom integrations with Quickbooks, what you need to know

A good accounting software can help make running a business exponentially simpler. Opposed to a multitude of spreadsheets and different applications with manual uploads, a singular accounting program can be leveraged to help organize all financial components, keep up with regulatory requirements, track business analytics, and so much more — all while cutting down on time and energy spent and increasing accuracy.

 

Your accounting software is most useful when integrated with your other systems. Some to consider are:

 

• Payment gateways 

• Payroll 

• Timesheets

• Project management platforms

• Expense tracking

• POS

• CRM

• eCommerce platforms

• Tax tools

• Speciality softwares (for regulated industries, nonprofits, freelance work, partial payments, etc)

We have noticed many of our clients want to use Quickbooks as their accounting software of choice. Fortunately, many of the above tools come as features within a Quickbooks plan. 

 

While they make it relatively easy to do the essentials, there are some  features that are not included or are too limited. In that case, it is necessary to integrate with other software. We often integrate with eCommerce platforms such as DecoNetwork or Shopify,  CRMs such as Salesforce, and specific payment gateways such as Medius. Quickbooks is fairly easy to integrate with because they have good documentation and APIs.

 

While Quickbooks is business and developer friendly, there are still some things to be prepared for going into it:

1. Understand your current accounting system well

In order to make the transition over easier for users and to make sure you are getting the most out of your accounting system there are several areas we like clients to have an idea of going into the process.

Syncing/Statement Balancing Cadence 

How often do you want your data to sync up, does it need to be immediate or do you want a bigger info dump later? Some things might have to happen within seconds, whereas others might be done monthly and others somewhere in between.

Handling Returns 

When a return happens or there is a mishap, returns can either be done in the form of refunds or crediting their future purchases. Both good options, but the work behind them looks a bit different. 

Cost of Goods 

How much does it cost to make or get the products you are selling, and more importantly where are you getting that information? Is it being tracked with another application that should be connected to Quickbooks or should that tracking be done within Quickbooks itself?  

Where are you breaking convention right now?

If you know there are some places you are currently doing things differently and will need a work around, it helps to clearly define that from the beginning. Even discussing theoretical cases of where things *might* be different is good to plan for right away. 

Current Quickbooks Use

This is a super popular and fairly user-friendly application, so there’s a good chance you are already using it to some degree. If so, it helps to know what you’ve been doing in it and what features you’ve liked so far. It’s a highly customizable application that has so many different features to try out and see how we can help you better leverage the wealth of resources housed here.

 

2. Customized Flows and Processes add time and extra challenges

Customization in any software will help make it work for you better, however, it does add an extra layer to provisioning the software.  Reports and invoices, for example, are templates that are often changed to reflect information in a specific way. This is a rather simple adjustment, but we also have whole flow changes that can take a bit more time to provision.  

 

3. Sandbox mirrors Prod perfectly

The data that is in the production version must match the data provided to the dev environment. Without all the correct data, critical information could be missing which may lead to incorrect assumptions being made, testing holes, and allowing flaws to continue to exist for users that go unseen on the backend. 

4. Centralized Access

One issue our developers ran into was with the tokens Quickbooks uses. To hit an API, a user must have the correct token that is only usable for one hour and accessible from one place. When trying to push multiple flows through at once, they will inevitably lock each other out because only the first one is able to use the token. To work around that, our team created a new module which is able to control the auth and let all the flows get the necessary data from the database. 

 

Benefits

Some of the main benefits of these integrations are found with the CRM and eCommerce programs.

CRM Benefits

Integrating your CRM with Quickbooks ensures that customer data can be passed either way to help with many tasks particularly beneficial to the marketing strategies you may wish to use. The accounting information can shed light on a customer’s interest in the brand by analyzing lifetime purchasing history including how much they spend and how often they shop. This saves time and manual input of information from accounting teams, business development, and sales & marketing while leading to more tailored marketing campaigns such as newsletters and individual notifications.

eCommerce & POS Benefits

The benefits of integrating your eCommerce and POS systems are felt largely by the accounting and business development teams because it eliminates the manual process of inputting sales information while allowing the automatic analysis of Profit versus loss and revenue details.  Every payment, return, and order can be synced up in all systems. And while eCommerce and POS are different sources, they can be integrated on the same technical pathway, so once you have one, it is fairly simple to add the other.

Once these factors are accounted for, it is fairly straightforward to implement a well rounded accounting system using Quickbooks that will cut down manual work and save time and energy. If you are interested in a custom integration solution to help make Quickbooks part of your automated ecosystem, reach out to our team of experts for help!

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