I'm trying to sync up tables in Filemaker with Quickbooks, so that they have the same data, and that when someone inputs data into filemaker, it get published to quickbooks simultaneously. Are there any programs that do this? So far, I've looked at FMBooksConnector & qodbc, but I wanted to get an idea of all the products out there, so I can figure out which one meets my needs the best.
Thanks Filemaker Friends!
Do a search for "Quickbooks" here...
Depends if it is client or online
We have used FMBoksConnector successfully many times. Works well once you get the functionality. Also do plain export to cdv and import in the QB end too. Cheaper but an additional step.
For online try Todd's FileMaker QuickBooks Online Connector
We also use FM Books Connector (both the regular and the Online depending on the customer). Works pretty well and the demo is well documented and coded.
I will warn you that the documentation for QuickBooks Online (this is Intuit's fault) is horrible.
This may go a little off-topic so, pack your bags, we're going on a tangent...
I've done QB integration a couple of times, and used some of the tools that have been suggested. Technically, it's a little challenging to learn the ropes, but not too difficult.
What I'd like to share is that, more often than not, it turns out that synching between FM and QB isn't the right way to go from a business standpoint. Sometimes it is, and it might be here, but it's worth reviewing. For every time I've had to integrate them, there have been about three other clients that started off asking me to integrate them, and we spent a bunch of time discussing requirements or even starting to synch the two, only to find that it wasn't a necessary, or even desirable, requirement.
Most often, someone with QB is using FM to overcome the limitations of QB as regards tracking customers, products, pricing, inventory and/or documents. FM is more flexible and extensible when it comes to managing all of those things, and IMHO, FM shines in those areas. A pretty rudimentary FM contact management solution can keep up with what QB does. Setting up FM to figure pricing as customer-specific, matrix pricing, time-sensitive discounts, and any number of other creative pricing schemes is actually pretty straightforward. Adding dashboards, workflow, etc. to quotes, sales orders, shipments, invoices, rfq's, purchase orders, receipts of goods, etc. etc. is awfully flexible in FM if you set it up right. And producing required reporting for A/R and A/P, including some scary-looking reports like aging reports and so forth, is again pretty manageable in FM.
Where FM doesn't shine is with tracking actual financial accounting, things like checks, bank reconciliations, P&L, balance sheets, things like that. Those things can all be done in FM, and I've done them myself, but it's essentially "reinventing the wheel", and QB does a great job of keeping tax tables up to date and so forth. Also, accounting itself is a body of knowledge that works well because it's not supposed to be flexible (the basics were invented some 500 years ago) so this isn't generally a place to get creative.
The upshot of this is that I've found, in my experience, that it's almost always better to let FM "own" the customers, products, pricing and documents, and then let QB "own" the general ledger. That way, you're not maintaining two full copies of all the transactions and struggling to keep them in synch.
What this usually comes down to is one or more of the following, or similar:
- FM creates a deposit report, and the bookkeeper enters a single-line deposit in QB so that the bank reconciliation matches up.
- FM produces a report of bills, and the bookkeeper pays those bills using checks out of QB
- FM produces a journal entry to show changes to A/R, inventory, etc. and the bookkeeper enters that JE periodically (daily?, weekly?, monthly? whatever's appropriate)
When I describe this approach to clients, I explain that there are things that work better in FM, and things that work better in QB. Our goal is to find "the narrowest spot in the river" between them, such as the steps in the short list above, where we can pass only the essential information from one to the other. This is sometimes a hard sell, because the client, who until then has only used QB, is fixated on keeping all the data in QB up to date. Fact is, though, that if FM is handling its part as well as it should and can, then even fully synched data in QB is going to look woefully incomplete and clunky in comparison, and the accountant needs to know GL balances, not customer's names, or pricing rules, etc.
I find it useful to think of the two basic, beginner accounting courses offered in college: financial accounting and managerial accounting. Generally, the stuff in the former belongs in QB, and the stuff in the latter belongs in FM.
Having said all that, there are, of course, viable situations and reasons for integrating FM and QB. I also don't mean to demean QB; I'm a fan from way back, and we still use it internally for our GL accounting. When I hear of wanting to "sync up" the two, though, a red flag goes up in my head, because it usually means I'm about to be asked to set up something that's high-maintenance, time consuming to set up, and of limited usefulness. Instead, I'd recommend an integration that can be described as "pass off" not "sync up".
Just my two cents.
Thank you everyone for your input. I'm a lot further in my research on this thanks to all of you. In response to Extensitech, I'm not syncing up the two, but rather, I'm "passing off" data from FM to QB. We do all of our "Managerial Financing" in FM, and then once we know the data is accurate, and we're ready to invoice our clients with that data, we send the data from FM to QB. The sending of data from FM to QB is what I need help with.
Ultimately, I would like to have a button that pushes ready to invoice data related to a specific project to QB. I have everything set up in Filemaker to relate ready to invoice data in a specific project. Now, I just need to set up pushing that data to Filemaker.
Thanks to all of the info all of you gave me, I know there are many products out there that can help me "push" data from FM to QB: QODBC, FMBooksConnector (Online), FMODBC/FMJDBC, 360Works JDBC Plugin, 123 sync, fmQBo, and there are apps that "sync" your apps like Core4CRM and fmlgnite CRM+, but I'm more interested in just "passing off" data from FM to QB, not syncing them up completely.
Which of the above listed apps for pushing data from FM to QB do you recommend and why? 123sync seems pretty easy to use, but I see a lot of people are using FM Books Connector, so I'd like to know the advantages/disadvantages to each.
Thanks in advance for the info. You guys (and gals) are great!
It is my understanding that 123 Sync utilizes FM Books Connector, but they take it a bit further and integrate your solution for you. Otherwise, you do need to write a significant amount of code to get things synchronized
There is a lot of merit to what Chris at Extensitech had to say. You may think you only want to push, but keeping the two systems "reconciled" gets quite tricky. .