QuickBooks is incredibly popular for business bookkeeping. It is used by organizations like small Mom & Pop Shops all the way up to large enterprise organizations. One reason for this popularity is their promise of “smart, simple tools that make your whole business thrive.” Among those tools is a means to integrate – or connect – other applications, systems and data into and out of QuickBooks. In this article we will explore some ways QuickBooks Integrations help companies customize how they do business by tailoring QuickBooks to better suit their unique needs.
What are QuickBooks Integrations?
We’ve explored in other articles the concept of Data Integration, which is connecting different pieces of data, or information, to create deeper layers of insight. Like many other applications and systems, QuickBooks allows access, as part of its technology, to its API, or Application Programming Interface. Simply, this allows QuickBooks to receive requests from other, different applications and to respond to those requests. This connection, the integration, lets QuickBooks “talk” to other platforms, software and systems your company might be using. It also allows for custom software developers like us at InterSoft Associates to create new ways for QuickBooks to work with other applications or systems. With a properly designed QuickBooks Integration, the capabilities for efficiency, time and money savings, and new potential for business impact increase dramatically.
Why Create QuickBooks Integrations?
In some ways this is the wrong question to start with. Instead, what outcomes are you trying to achieve, or what problems are you constantly dealing with or working around? At InterSoft, we rarely get a client coming to us asking us if we can integrate QuickBooks into something else. It’s in our consultative discussion and discovery processes that we will uncover issues such as repetitive manual entry into QuickBooks that could be automated, or billing or invoicing processes that could be improved or even accelerated . It is at that point we will start exploring ways a QuickBooks Integration might be part of the solution.
QuickBooks Integrations Examples
It is more useful to move the idea from the conceptual to the practical and illustrate some ways we have created QuickBooks Integrations that have solved unique problems or created previously unavailable opportunities.
“We Cannot Scale!”
In a conversation with a client who provides domestic and international shipping services, we learned that QuickBooks was creating an impediment to their ability to scale. This was largely due to people having to manually enter data into QuickBooks because their client-facing invoicing system was not connected to QuickBooks. This meant that people with clerical responsibilities were left with the tasks of entering the data into QuickBooks. We did the math – if the company wanted to scale to twice their size, they would need to hire twice the people just to manage these tasks. Additionally, manual entry always introduces the potential for human error because data produced by the shipping software system is manually and, sometimes, incorrectly transcribed into QuickBooks.
In order to alleviate this situation, we created a QuickBooks Integration Solution between their invoicing platforms and QuickBooks. This allowed them to grow dramatically with more accurate data and allowed clerical staff to perform more high-valued tasks.
Again, the problem they were experiencing was never seen by them as being a problem. Our review and discovery process uncovered the fact that it was taking too much effort to coordinate between invoicing and QuickBooks and because of that they would never be able to scale effectively. It was after analysis that we were able to determine ways QuickBooks workflows could be optimized with other software in the company.
“Lost in Process”
In another instance, one of our clients was struggling with an understanding of how money was moving through a particular pipeline. Staff would request a check, and in the manual process that check should be delivered to the payee within 5 – 7 days. But what was happening in the meantime? The client’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system was not able to tell when the check was requested, and there were no mechanisms for insight on the process – the check could get lost on a desk somewhere and there would be no record of when or on whose desk it could be landing.
We created a Custom QuickBooks Integration that connected to multiple other parts of their ERP and other software systems used by the organization so from the time the check was produced in QuickBooks, its place in process was better understood. This helped speed up processes, created accountability and eliminated inefficiencies.
QuickBooks Can Be More Than You Think It Is
Many people simply are not aware that they are not “stuck with stock” – that whatever comes out of the virtual box with QuickBooks isn’t everything it ever has to be for you. Many of us get familiar with inefficiency or discomfort until the habits created become part of our ineffective workflows. Just getting by with what QuickBooks provides to you is not a good strategy. Remember, “Good Enough is never Good Enough”. Multiple inputs, too much printing, overlapping responsibilities, repetition and uncertainty – these are all symptoms of inefficiency, which is one of the biggest indicators that some Custom Development might be able to solve a need and move your business forward.. With the right QuickBooks Integrations working with your tech and your teams, many of these pain points can be quickly remedied.
Not only that, but once those old problems are fixed new opportunities for competitive advantage can emerge. At InterSoft Associates we love to hear clients say, “Wait, we can do that?!?” as they suddenly see potential they didn’t know existed.
If you are struggling with repeating tasks or frustrated with parts of your accounting processes, give us a call. You don’t need to know how to fix the problem, you just need to know you have a problem. We would love to explore ways QuickBooks Integrations might be part of your solutions.