Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Automating Quickbooks from the Cloud

For all the benefits working in the cloud provides, sometimes migrating every aspect of your business operations to cloud services is not an option.  What do you do when your CRM and Project Management are cloud based, but you need to move data back to Quickbooks on the desktop?

One answer: get in touch with Interlock IT.

Our client had already switched their Contact and Project management to Norada's Solve CRM when they did just that:
I would like to integrate the Solve CRM API with Quickbooks to automate our workflow bidirectionally between Solve CRM and Quickbooks. We use Quickbooks Enterprise Construction Edition.
Our first response was to rule out other options, couldn't we move accounting into the Cloud? Specific features of the Quickbooks Contractor edition were mission critical; there was no direct cloud replacement. Xero, Quickbooks Online, and Freshbooks would not meet their needs at this time.

Enter the Quickbooks Web Connector, a legacy application released by Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks, designed to allow desktop editions of Quickbooks to communicate with web-applications, also known as the Cloud!

Armed with a method of communicating with Quickbooks on the desktop, we dug into the clients specific needs and developed the solution below.

Setting a Revenue Opportunity to "Won" in Solve CRM kicks off the process.
When a revenue opportunity is marked Won in Solve CRM, the following occurs automatically:
    • Instantly create a Customer and Job in Quickbooks with details from the Solve CRM Company record.
    • Add an Estimate to the Job and convert it to a Sales Order, using details from the revenue opportunity.
Details from Company record and Opportunity are synced into Quickbooks.
Now the accounts team can take over and work with the project in Quickbooks, tracking progress and financial details on the automatically created job in Quickbooks.

Finally, our system syncs financial report figures back into Solve CRM, allowing for reports on project finances to be generated entirely from data in the Cloud, avoiding a time consuming manual process of matching Quickbooks reports with Solve CRM Opportunities.

Later, Quickbooks report values are synced back into Solve CRM automatically, simplifying project based reporting.
The technology stack used to implement this solution consists of Google Apps Script and Python on the Google App Engine.  Webhooks triggered from within Solve CRM call out to a Google Apps Script living on Google Drive.  The Apps Script processes the Webhook and determines the required action. If Quickbooks related actions are required, the Apps Script passes the request onto the Google App Engine application, which handles SOAP based communication with Quickbooks, using QBXML.

The Quickbooks Web Connector polls the App Engine application and consumes any new actions that have been passed from Apps Script, returning results to the App Engine. The App Engine then feeds data back into Solve when necessary.

The end result is an integrated solution that saves time, reduces errors, and provides staff access to important financial data direct from Quickbooks!

Try Solve CRM for Free.

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