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Try to keep data consistent and accurate between QuickBooks and Dynamics manually is an impossible amount of work. Let’s explore the best practices and tips for getting it done automatically with a QuickBooks and Dynamics 365 integration.
Intuit QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based solution for accounting needs that is very popular with small and medium businesses. As businesses grow, the need for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system arises. These businesses might try to use QuickBooks as CRM at first – not such a good idea! – but eventually, they will try to find an actual CRM for QuickBooks Online.
Although Microsoft Dynamics 365 is not made for QuickBooks, it is a market leader in the small to medium segment. Consequently, it is often the CRM of choice. The problem is that the company then has two systems that should work together… but don’t.
Why is this a problem? When QuickBooks and Dynamics 365 work separately, there is duplicate data in them. You will find yourself navigating back and forth between systems just to check the information you need and manage your pipeline – a big waste of time!
As a result, you may try to keep that data consistent and accurate manually, only to find is it is an impossible amount of work. You can try to get some data from the CRM into a supported QuickBooks import file format (QBO, CSV, OFX, or QFX). You can certainly use an Excel spreadsheet, save it in CSV format and then import this CSV file to QuickBooks Online.
The problem with this QuickBooks Excel import strategy is that you need to repeat it. Not only do you have to import transactions into QuickBooks Online from Excel, you have to keep the Excel spreadsheet up to date. And this would only cover having data from the CRM in QuickBooks, not the other way round. All this manual work means a lot of time spend, and a high possibility of errors and inconsistencies.
So, what is the alternative in terms of QuickBooks Dynamics CRM integration?
1 – Go For an Automatic QuickBooks and Dynamics Sync
If manual is not an option, then automatic should be the way to go. Having any updates automatically reflected in both systems can be a significant timesaver and increase the teams’ productivity.
For this, you need QuickBooks integration software, as the integration or synchronization options are not available neither in QuickBooks nor on Dynamics 365.
2 – Make Sure the QuickBooks and Dynamics Integration Is Bidirectional
Once you integrate Intuit QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics 365, you will be able to view the basic customer information (such as company names and addresses) within the CRM. The accounting information, such as the data on transactions, including aging details, can also go from QuickBooks to Dynamics 365 CRM.
By bringing that customer information into Dynamics 365, you can launch targeted marketing campaigns. Besides, the Sales team can help track accounts payable and make sounder decisions based on customer’s purchase history.
As soon as the Sales process is complete, you can also get the details automatically go to QuickBooks, which speeds up the invoicing and other accounting processes.
3 – Keep the QuickBooks and Dynamics Integration Simple
Having decided to automate the connection between QuickBooks Online and Dynamics, you then have two options:
A) You can investigate how to integrate with QuickBooks API – using the API yourself
Be warned! This will involve studying all that QuickBooks API documentation. The QuickBooks Online API documentation is actually quite well organized at the Intuit Developer site (link at the end), but that does not make the task less daunting. To start with, you will need an Intuit Developer account. Then you need to create your app to generate your development keys. Finally, at this point you can move on to the OAuth 2.0 authentication – always a bit of a hassle – and then on to the appropriate API calls.
B) You can do your QuickBooks API integration without touching the actual API
This second option only works for QuickBooks Online, but it is a real timesaver if that is the QuickBooks version you want to integrate with. It involves using a paid third-party application called Connect Bridge. This application is actually an integration platform and it does have a fully functional free trial available. With this tool, the necessary studying and coding are very much reduced.
With Connect Bridge, you either work with SQL only or with a combination of SQL and your favorite programming language. You can use languages such as C#, PHP (with or without Laravel), and many others for this integration. For example, if you want to do a Dynamics with QuickBooks integration in PHP, the total effort can be reduced to 10% of what it would normally be – yes, that is a 90% reduction. On top of that, any future upgrades of either QuickBooks or Dynamics are covered by the forward compatibility guarantee of Connect Bridge, and that is totally worth it.
4 – Consider Specific Dashboards on the Dynamics 365 Side
You can build accounting dashboards in Dynamics 365 to view Recent Transactions, Top Customers, and Pending Invoices in order to help the sales team take adequate actions. This streamlines the entire business process.
5 – Be Aware Of Possibilities and Limitations
It is worth investigating what would be ideal for your company in this integration. It is really not a one-size-fits-all situation and if you get your requirements right early on, you have much to gain. Here is a shortlist of what you can and can’t do in terms of QuickBooks integration. The list refers to integration using the Connect Bridge integration platform discussed in point 3. Using this tool, you can’t:
- Sync QuickBooks Desktop with Online (or Sync QuickBooks Online with Desktop)
- Integrate or Sync QuickBooks Desktop with other software
- Sync QuickBooks Online with software that is not Windows-based
On the other hand, you can use this tool to:
- Sync QuickBooks Online with other software, namely CRM platforms, such as Salesforce or SugarCRM and still use the tool discussed in point 3 B) above
- Integrate QuickBooks Online with custom or legacy software from the last 40 years. You can sync data as long as you have access to the software’s source code
- Sync a single instance of Dynamics 365 with multiple QuickBooks companies
- Do a website integration with QuickBooks, by getting the data from QuickBooks into a database such as SQL server or Oracle
Final thoughts on the QuickBooks and Dynamics 365 integration
If your teams are using Quickbooks Online and a CRM, such as Dynamics 365 CE, getting relevant data to move automatically between systems is definitely something you should consider. It can be a significant timesaver and increase your Accounting and Sales teams’ productivity. This is especially true if the synchronization is bidirectional and the users don’t have to do anything for the synchronization to work.
The faster way to get this integration done is by using Connect Bridge. Why not see exactly how this could work for you?
By Ana Neto
Software engineer since 1997, she is now a technical advisor for Connecting Software.
Connecting Software is a producer of integration and synchronization software solutions since 2004.
We operate globally and we are also a proud “Top Member” and “Top Blogger” at CRMSoftwareBlog.
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