Stop Double and Triple Entering
Of data into QuickBooks
Enter it just ONCE
(Learn and Work Smarter not Harder)
October 9, 2011
Probably everyone has now heard of horror stories associated with getting data from one system into another and perhaps even a third. This double and maybe triple entering of the same data is a killer of time, money and nerves. No only does it take much time (and therefore money) but it can also cause errors due to the human making mistakes – and we are all human.
The answer to this is to allow 1 document (the source) to be the real source of the information and then have it go into all the various systems and components in your business. We will address in this article the idea that information once it is in electronic form can be imported into QuickBooks.
The most common of these today is web based systems. This can be an eCommerce site from a commercial shopping cart such as osCommerce, Miva, BigCommerce, etc., system such as Channel Advisors, Infusionsoft, etc., your home grown system or another system from another company. Today there are thousands of these systems on the market and each is different but there are many common features.
Just about all of these systems say that they are compatible with QuickBooks. But it there are different ‘definitions’ of compatible. Some require only having the Admin user import data via and having all of the QuickBooks users log out. Others do it their way with very little flexibility. What if you need this data all the time i.e. real time or have 20 users on your QuickBooks throughout the day.
Since the data is usually in 3 places we have solutions for most.
- Paper – This is the most difficult but paper reports if they are formatted that can scanned in and optical character recognition (OCR) be converted into an electric file such as a text or spreadsheet file.
- Electronic files. These usually come in 2 formats:
- XML files. This is the standard method of transferring data in many systems and although it is standardized there are a lot of variations. Each system can have it own tags and formats. Many times these files can be opened with a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Office Excel.
- Spreadsheet compatible. This would include spreadsheet files i.e. xls, Comma Separated Values (CSV), tab delimited text and some XML (Our TransImporter handles this files without Single User/Admin mode).
- File for direct importation into QuickBooks usually IIF (Intuit Interchange Format). This can be directly imported into QuickBooks Desktop editions but not QuickBooks Online. It does require Single User/Admin mode where everyone must log out of QuickBooks and the QuickBooks Admin user would do the import from the QuickBooks File menu. (Our IIFImporter imports IIF Files into both QuickBooks desktop and QuickBooks online).
- Text fixed length files. This is where the data is ‘spaced’ evenly i.e. name is always in positions 20-40, etc. Although this is simple it not widely used but could come from an OCR.
- Database – This is mostly used by other systems eCommerce/Shopping Carts, etc. In many cases the data can be extracted into a Spreadsheet compatible file but knowledge of programming or at least the date or order number range must be done. Otherwise you might be missing or have duplicate data being imported. (Our Integrator integrates database data with QuickBooks without Single User/Admin mode.)