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October 3, 2016

Best Practices for Starting a Quickbooks Integration

Mallory Kaniss

Are you interesting in integrating your Quickbooks account with your Salesforce system? Before you start, here are a few helpful practices to keep in mind that will make the implementation process more manageable:

1) Know your finance processes-
Before you can start considering your integration, it is crucial that you understand the current state that your finance department is in (in relation to Quickbooks and Salesforce), and what their needs are. Some of the important questions to understand are:
-How is your finance department currently using QuickBooks?
-What version of QuickBooks is being used? (QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, etc.)
-How many books does the finance team have in Quickbooks, and which do they want synced with Salesforce?
-How would the finance team like to ideally sync QuickBooks to Salesforce? (i.e. what objects and information should be synced between the systems?)
-Will invoicing be sent out from QuickBooks or Salesforce?
-How should changes be synced between the systems? (i.e. if a change is made to a record in Salesforce, then should the matching record in Quickbooks get updated?)
-How frequently should the systems sync?
-Who is responsible for fixing/clearing sync errors? (i.e. the finance team, the Salesforce admin, the provider of integration connector, etc.)

2) Research QuickBooks/Salesforce connector providers-
Once gathering an understanding of what the finance team is ultimately hoping to achieve with the integration, you will need to begin researching the various QuickBooks/Salesforce connector providers on the market. While conducting your research, you should pay close attention to the following details about the providers you find:
-In what directions can the systems sync?
-What kind of connector package is the connector? (i.e. standalone product, managed Salesforce package, cloud-based packed, etc.)
-How much will the connector setup cost?
-How much will the annual license for the connector cost?
-Will the provider charge anything for managing the implementation? If so, how much?
-How customizable is the connector?
-What are the support options for the connector?
-How responsive is the provider to your questions?
-How user-friendly is the connector?

Once you’ve done your research, it’s impactful to compile your findings into a comparison chart; this chart can then help in determining which provider you will pursue.

3) Create an integration design document-
You should use the information you gained from Helpful Practice #1 to create an integration design document. This detailed design document should include information about the connector’s sync directions, any requirements for how or when information should be synced to/from QuickBooks/Salesforce, the QuickBooks/Salesforce fields that will used for the integration, and the proposed flow of data between the systems. This document can be used when working with the provider to determine the implementation scope, and when actually setting the integration up. The more details are put into this document, the more manageable the implementation will be, as there will be a paper trail of the agreed upon plan that the provider and you can easily refer back to.

About the Author

Mallory Kaniss

Mallory Kaniss is a Senior Business Operations Consultant that has been with OpFocus since 2014, and particularly enjoys brainstorming custom solutions to solve challenging business problems. An avid dog lover, Mallory tortures herself daily by visiting PetFinder. Also, she doesn't say no to sweets!

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