Syncing orders, products and customers between Magento and Quickbooks is essential in maintaining productivity and efficiency. At Alliance we’re constantly helping customers with exporting and importing their customers, orders, discounts, tax and other data from Magento to Quickbooks. We thought we would share our best practices, insights and 3rd party partners we’ve used to achieve a solid integration and automation between Magento and Quickbooks.
For most customers the main goal is to automate financial data reporting in Quickbooks. Magento is an order management and shopping cart platform and not an accounting package. So most companies need to get the sales from Magento into Quickbooks and prefer to have this part automated. If it’s not automated then someone in the company would need to manually recreate these steps in Quickbooks for every order received in Magento: Sales Order, Invoice, Receive Payment against Invoice and Deposit Funds. This is the natural process to increase sales and decrease inventory in Quickbooks. Some companies may opt to just use Quickbooks just for accounting by keying in the necessary total Sales amounts as a general journal entry but even that is still a manual process done daily, weekly or monthly.
Having an automated sync and import and export setup between Magento and Quickbooks allows real time accounting data and reporting in Quickbooks and also helps to ensure accuracy of the data.
In a nutshell Alliance works with 2 main Quickbooks and Magento Data sync partners: nChannel and Cartspan. The platforms differ really depending on the level of detail and process your business requires. Below we will highlight 2 implementations that Alliance was chartered with to serve as case studies in what and how we accomplished the Magento to Quickbooks sync successfully.
Case Study 1: Small Startup – SimpleTux
Specs: Magento Community, Quickbooks Enterprise 14.0, Online Tuxedo Rentals
Requirement: Automate Quickbooks invoice and payment receipt from Magento to allow business scalability as order volume increases
Case: Simpletux.com rents tuxedos online. Each time a customer places an order online a Magento order, invoice, payment receipt and shipment is eventually processed. Once a week a simpletux.com partner/owner would manually create invoices from magento in quickbooks and receive the payment for that invoice so the sales and payment could be booked in Quickbooks. One of the pain points was obviously the time involved to copy the Customers, Order Items, Invoices and Payment receipt information one by one but also they found that mistakes were made from time to time on descriptions and amounts. Simpletux wanted a way to cut the time to get the financial data from Magento to Quickbooks and maintain accuracy of the data.
Solution: The solution for Simpletux.com that Alliance Technologies implemented was to use CartSpan. Using CartSpan, Alliance was able to:
- Export Magento orders and import them to Quickbooks as invoices allowing the sales transactions to be automated
- Magento customer data was mapped to 1 “SimpleTux Retail Customer” in Quickbooks so that the quickbooks customer list was not overrun with retail customer accounts that was already kept track of in Magento. Individual customer shipping/billing data was mapped to the “SimpleTux Retail Customer” account as additional shipping/billing addresses.
- Magento products were kept in sync between Quickbooks with Magento being the master product database. Since the simpletux.com staff put more data in Magento (descriptions and pricing), it made sense that Quickbooks follow Magneto’s product data. Anytime a product price or description changed, it would automatically update it in Quickbooks.
- Tax and discounts were also exported from Magento to Quickbooks in the form of additional line items on the invoice. Tax and Discounts were non-inventory items in Quickbooks and Cartspan just created these charges on the invoice so they were mapped through an non-inventory item to the appropriate sales GL accounts.
- Inventory quantity and levels were kept in sync between Magento and Quickbooks. As PO’s were issued to acquire tuxedo SKU’s, inventory increased in Quickbooks. This increase in inventory was exported to Magento to make sure Magento was always up to date with the amount of inventory available to sell. Simpletux would issue PO’s, receive the inventory in Quickbooks and Cartspan would sync the inventory up to Quickbooks at a custom defined interval. When items were purchased online in Magento, the invoice export would naturally decrease the inventory in Quickbooks.
- In Phase 1, Simpletux opted to manually update tracking numbers in Magento but in a later phase tracking numbers would be automatically imported into Magento after a Tuxedo had shipped and trigger a customer shipment email as well.
This solution provided SimpleTux with customer, order and inventory sync between Magento and Quickbooks that addressed efficiency and accuracy issues in order and inventory management while giving them room to continue building the automation as their order volume grew. It allowed their team to free up costly data entry time and focus on more valuable equity building initiatives.
Case Study 2: Enterprise Retail Brand
Specs: Magento Enterprise, Amazon Marketplace, Quickbooks Enterprise 14.0, 3rd Party Logistics, Haircare Brand
Requirement: Automate Quickbooks invoice and payment receipt from Magento and Amazon Marketplace using a 3rd Party Logistics company that would fulfill the orders and provide shipping information.
Case: The solution for this customer that Alliance Technologies implemented was to use nChannel’s data sync platform to lay a strong foundation for a scalable omni-channel integration. Using nChannel, Alliance was able to:
- Export orders from Magento and import them into Quickbooks as invoices allowing the sales transactions to be automated
- Magento customer data is mapped to 1 “Retail Customer” account in Quickbooks so that the quickbooks customer list was not overrun with retail customer account details that was already kept track of in Magento. Individual customer shipping/billing data was mapped to the “Retail Customer” account as additional shipping/billing addresses.
- Magento products were kept in sync between Quickbooks with Magento being the master product database. This customer preferred to use Magento’s product descriptions and pricing because their marketing staff had easier access to the website as opposed to Quickbooks. Anytime a product price or description changed, it would automatically update it in Quickbooks.
- Magento Orders are exported to Quickbooks in the form of invoices. Bringing over invoice line items to increase sales and reduce inventory
- Amazon Marketplace orders are imported from Amazon into Magento then from Magento to Quickbooks as invoices. This centralized all online orders from not just Magento but also from Amazon into Magento allowing a streamlined fulfillment process to the 3PL and data to Quickbooks.
- Tax and discounts were also exported from Magento to Quickbooks in the form of additional line items on the invoice. Tax and Discounts were non-inventory items in Quickbooks that Magento Tax and Discounts were mapped to.
- Inventory levels were kept in sync between Quickbooks inventory, Magento inventory and the inventory at the 3rd Party Logistics company that did the actual shipping of their products. The process that was implemented was:
- Purchase Orders are issued to the customer’s vendors through Quickbooks and the vendors ship the inventory ordered to the 3rd Party Logistics company
- When the 3rd Party Logistics company received the products ordered they receive the inventory and increase their inventory levels in their systems and a notification by email was sent to our customer that the inventory was received and updated.
- Our customer would receive inventory in Quickbooks into a “warehouse” called “3rd Party Logistics” which increases inventory levels in Quickbooks.
- nChannel syncs the Quickbooks inventory level by SKU to Magento on a regular interval making sure Magento’s inventory levels reflect that of the 3PL. In a phase 2, we could implement a check to make sure that nChannel verified the inventory of Magento matches the 3PL as well.
- Shipment tracking imported back to Magento from the 3PL and the customer receives shipment tracking email
- The 3rd Party Logistics accessed Magento orders (Amazon and Magento orders) in the processing state and imported the tracking number which triggered the magento shipment function and also sent the customer shipment email with tracking information; completing the order.
This solution provided this customer with a basic foundation to automate sales, financial and inventory sync between Magento, Quickbooks and the 3rd Party Logistics and laid a great foundation to continue building the automation as their sales volume grows.
Sample nChannel Workflow: