Karen Magno, a consultant for Baystate Consulting, CPA and QuickBooks ProAdvisor, shares insights into the best way to streamline the QuickBooks data import and export process when integrating data with a new solution.
Many companies will start the new year with at least one new solution whether it’s a new payroll provider, new e-commerce platform, change of banking or credit card provider, or a new time and attendance system to name a few. A major challenge for many small businesses is to ensure that all the data that is required for financial reporting flows timely and accurately into QuickBooks.
If the solution you are evaluating does offer QuickBooks integration, here are some things to consider for a successful transition:
- How does the solution connect to QuickBooks? Some apps may choose to use the outdated IIF file method of importing. There are many drawbacks to this method which include – not all fields/transactions are supported, no data validation available, only the Admin user can process the imports and only in single user mode.
- Does the solution provide the proper level of detail that you need in QuickBooks and does it support all the fields?
- Does the solution provide for flexible mapping (eg allowing mapping to an item instead of an account)?
- Are their inconsistencies between the solution and the QuickBooks database in the use of list item (eg customer, item, accounts etc.)?
- If there is a new list item how does the solution process that new list item?
- What happens if there is an issue with the way the solution integration is configured? Can you reverse any incomplete or inaccurate data from QuickBooks?
Here are some tips to make the QuickBooks integration easier:
- Start early – even if your company’s data may not be set up on the new solution yet, ask for a sample data import file and review it. If possible, perform several test imports into a test QuickBooks database.
- Start thinking about what information you need in your financial reports so you can make sure all this data exists in the QuickBooks import.
- Start reviewing the individual transaction template in QuickBooks and highlight all the fields that you need.
If you do find that you are in a situation where you are working with a solution that does not have a QuickBooks integration or the QuickBooks integration is not robust enough - don’t worry. You don’t have to manually enter the data. This is where a third-party import tool such as Transaction Pro Importer (“TPI”) can eliminate manual data entry.
You may have a specific January 2017 QuickBooks integration need, but don’t stop there. Evaluate any and all manual data entry that you do throughout the year and estimate the number of hours it takes. Then see if you can obtain the data in an Excel, csv or txt file and automate this process. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read this article on how you can start eliminating manual data entry today.