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Integrating Quickbooks with Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com Quickbooks Integration

If you are considering integrating Salesforce.com with Quickbooks, here is some food for thought. We often get asked about doing this and here are some of the questions we will ask and that you should know the answers to.

  1. What version of Quickbooks are you using (Online, or one of their desk-top products of if the latter, which one)?
  2. What do you want the integration to do?  For example, do you want a one-way integration where invoices are pushed to a custom object in salesforce.com and updated or are you looking for a two-way sync where accounts, opportunity, products and invoices stay in sync.  Consider drawing it out on paper with one way or two way arrows.
  3. What do you want to be the trigger to move a record to the other system or update a record?
  4. Do you need an internal approval before a sales person can push a transaction into your Quickbooks accounting system?
  5. Do you need the integration in real time or near real time, or is a weekly or monthly update adequate?
  6. What edition of salesforce.com do you have?  Does your edition support the API (application program interface) - Salesforce.com Enterprise and Unlimited Editions provide the API and Professional Edition will only work if the product has been certified to work. In most cases Group Edition will not work with out-of-the-box integrations. Consider upgrading in these circumstances if integration is a requirement.
  7. What is the ROI for the integration? To figure this out, estimate the amount of time saved by individuals that would have to double enter data, correct duplicate data or would have to search for data. Estimate their hourly rate.  Solve for the equation: Cost Savings = (hours of effort saved each month x avg hourly rate of impacted employees x 12) - less the upfront cost of the integration application and annual license costs (plus any professional services).  If your number is negative, consider not doing the integration unless there are subjective factors like the cost of customer satisfaction that is impacted.  If the number is positive, consider how many months it will take to recover the initial investment (aka your payback period).
The following link, includes a current list we have put together of out-of-the-box integration solutions between Salesforce.com and various versions of Quickbooks.  Each has a different pricing model and does slightly different things. With all of them, if you need to alter the requirements from what these out-of-the-box solutions do, expect the costs to increase significantly as you may be looking at custom code or middle ware. Comparison of out-of-the-box Salesforce.com <> Quickbooks Integration Solutions.
 
If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss this initiative, feel free to contact us.