Integrated is Better: Connecting Your Systems and Workflows

Small businesses need software and systems to help them get business done efficiently. The global pandemic has been fuel for recent growth in the small business software market where companies of all types are adopting more applications and services to better support operations.  Especially when users are no longer able to work in the office and consumers are demanding increasingly more personalized services, businesses need to find ways to get more business done in less time and with fewer resources.

According to Intuit® research “small businesses, on the average, use four or more apps to run their business”. You could consider it that business owners and managers buy software apps to get jobs done. Software can help structure the work and the information, creating workflows that improve efficiency and accuracy.

The key to getting the full benefit from any application or service is to have it connected to or integrated with your other solutions. There is almost never a completely disconnected process in a business; everything flows from and to something else. It should be the same with software and data. Saving time and improving accuracy of information means that data should only be entered once, and key data should sync between systems to remain up to date.

QuickBooks Desktop (Pro, Premier, Accountant and Enterprise), as well as other desktop accounting or ERP solutions like Sage100, AccountEdge and more, have a variety of 3rd party applications and integrations offering additional functionality or services. Just because the main solution is a desktop application does not mean that all integrated applications must also be desktop products.

To extend functionality of desktop products, developers often create web-based applications and services that sync or integrate data with the desktop product. In fact, many of the services inside of QuickBooks desktop are web-based application services which sync data to and from QuickBooks. Payroll, payments, and more are subscription-based services connected in QuickBooks but look like they are just part of the installed program.

When QuickBooks and other desktop applications are hosted with NOOBEH’s QuickBooks on Azure service, the system is running entirely on the Microsoft Cloud. This improves system flexibility, resiliency, and security, as well as providing the optimum platform for desktop applications and web-based services to connect – the bandwidth they use is cloud to cloud instead of cloud to your PC.

Even if the average small business uses four or more apps in the business, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all those apps are talking. Often, a business will implement a new application to handle a particular job but won’t consider the additional benefits to be gained by connecting the new app to the accounting system. Yes, the new app may make getting data from the field easier, as with a timesheet or field service management solution. Maybe it makes doing payroll easier because the calculation, reporting and delivery of paychecks is automated. Perhaps it is a website that takes customer orders and manages their payments.

All are cases where a business benefits a great deal from increased efficiency in data capture, reporting and more, but if all the information from the app needs to be re-entered into the accounting system, then a great deal of additional benefit is simply not there.  Data entry takes time away from other work and introduces the potential for errors that can take hours to track down (if they are even noticed).

When connecting any 3rd party solution with your accounting or ERP system, it’s important to make sure that the company fully supports the integration. Whether it is a direct connection to your QB or other software or is a “brokered” connection (as with an Integration-as-a-service connector), just make sure that the integration has the features and functionality you need and that the data will flow as you want.

We know that businesses need more than a single solution to address the variety of business problems that arise. We also know that sub-standard or improperly configured integrations risk doing more damage than good to the business data. That’s why we offer consulting and deployment services for a wide range of add-ons and integrated products. Even if it is a solution we haven’t worked with yet, our consultants know how to validate and test the integration within QuickBooks to ensure that the data flows properly and gets the right treatment in the financial system.

Get your software connected and working better for your business. Mendelson Consulting and NOOBEH Cloud Services help you focus on your business and not the IT that supports it, so that you can get more done with the resources you have. We help you work smarter, not harder.

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