fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) – Tracking Categories Updates

If you’ve been using Xero for a while you’re probably familiar with their use of tracking categories to categorise transactions such as Invoices and Bills to suit your business needs and allow you to generate reports by tracking category. For example you might setup tracking categories for different areas of your business (e.g. departments, cost centres, or locations) so you can track their performance over time.

A typical Xero tracking category might be named Sales Regions and have the following tracking category options:

  • North
  • South
  • Eastside
  • West Coast

 

There are some limitations to tracking categories in Xero – a Xero organisation can have a maximum of two ACTIVE tracking categories and four tracking categories in total (ACTIVE and ARCHIVED). You can enter up to 100 category options for each category.

We’ve always had some basic support for tracking categories in the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution – you could download all your tracking categories from Xero at the click of a button and also add them to Invoices and Bills when uploading to Xero. Over the past 12 months we’ve had more and more customers request additional support for tracking categories, including the ability to manage tracking categories completely in FileMaker.

We’ve just released an update to the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution that includes full support for Xero Tracking Categories. You can now enter two tracking categories for the following items:

  • Invoices
  • Bills
  • Purchase Orders
  • Overpayments
  • Prepayments
  • Receipts

Both tracking categories are also downloaded from Xero for each of the above items. We’ve also added the ability to do the following from the fmAccounting Link file:

  • create a new tracking category and upload it to Xero (as well as update existing ones, e.g. change the name or status)
  • add new tracking category options and upload them to Xero
  • delete a tracking category from both FileMaker and Xero
  • delete a tracking category option from both FileMaker and Xero
  • download an individual tracking category, including all tracking category options

We currently support a single tracking category in our Timesheets module – we’re working on a few changes to Timesheets and tracking categories which will be included in the next update to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition). Timesheets uses the Payroll API and you enable Timesheet tracking categories separately to the general tracking categories, but we expect them to work in a similar way to Invoices, Bills etc.

Xero Surpasses One Million Subscribers

Xero today announced that it has recently surpassed the one million subscriber mark on its global accounting platform, doubling subscriber numbers in less than two years. We’ve been closely following the growth of Xero over the past five years and knew it was only a matter of time before they hit the magic million mark, becoming the first cloud accounting platform to achieve this milestone.

When you consider they had only 50,000 subscribers just five years ago the growth rate has been phenomenal – in April 2015 they had 475,000 subscribers and in March 2016 that had increased to 717,000. Xero has added almost 300,000 subscribers in the past year alone.

As a Xero customer, Xero Approved Developers and developers of the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) add-on we’re extremely pleased to see the rapid growth of Xero around the world. We’re getting more enquiries each month from the North American market and it appears Xero is starting to gain some attention and market share in that tough market.

Here’s some other numbers about Xero that demonstrate the size of the size of the Xero ecosystem globally:

  • in the last 12 months Xero has processed more than $1.2 trillion of global economic activity
  • the Xero API receives more than 10 million calls per day
  • there are over 35,000 developers in the Xero ecosystem
  • there are over 100,000 business advisors – accountants and bookkeepers – empowering small businesses as they join the cloud accounting revolution

Every day our fmAccounting Link customers around the world are uploading Contacts, Invoices, Payments, Purchase Orders, Bills and more from their FileMaker solutions to their Xero accounting software, removing the burden of double data entry and saving them tens of hours each week in manual processing. If you have any questions about integrating Xero with your existing FileMaker solution please get in touch or visit the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) page for more details.

Downloading the Xero/MYOB Invoice PDF

Whether you’re using Xero or MYOB AccountRight for your business accounting software there are times when you would prefer to send your customer the Invoice that Xero and MYOB generate natively. For example if you have added an online Payment option to your Xero Organisation you might prefer to send the customer the Xero generated Invoice with the “View and pay online now” link in the PDF for customers to click and pay online with a credit card. Similarly if you’re using MYOB AccountRight you might to send your customer the invoice using one of the MYOB M-Powered layout forms.

For our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution we’ve already given users the ability to:

  • get the Online URL for an Invoice and include that in an email etc that they send to clients so they can choose the “View and pay online now” option
  • download the Xero Invoice PDF into a FileMaker container field and then save that to the desktop etc or include that in an email to the customer in place of a FileMaker layout based Invoice

We’ve been working on creating a similar feature for our fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) solution and it will be included in the next update. Like the Xero solution it will allow users to click a button to download the MYOB PDF invoice into a FileMaker container field and then save that to the desktop or include that in an email to the customer. We currently have the ability to download all the Form Templates setup in your MYOB Company File:

and then specify the Printed Form for each Customer in the fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) file:

 

This is then used as the default when you request the MYOB Invoice PDF, however you can specify a different form template to be used by passing a parameter with the request for the Invoice PDF. Here’s a quick video that demonstrates creating an Invoice and then requesting the PDF from MYOB:

fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) Now Supports Jobs

We’ve just finished an update to fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) which now includes examples for working with Jobs, one of the most requested features from our customers. fmAccounting Link shows you how you can use FileMaker to:

  • download Jobs from MYOB to FileMaker (all Jobs or filtered by Start Date)
  • create Jobs in FileMaker and upload them to MYOB
  • update a single Job from MYOB
  • enter a Job against an Invoice Line Item or a General Journal Item
  • download a Job Budget from MYOB to FileMaker and send an updated version back to MYOB

This is a free update for all existing customers. You can view the full release notes on our version history page. If there are other features you would like to see in the core fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) file please get in touch and let us know.

New fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) Videos

We’ve just uploaded a couple of new videos demonstrating how you can work with Prepayments and Overpayments using fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition). In each video we cover:

  • creating a new Prepayment and Overpayment from a Customer
  • allocating the Prepayment/Overpayment to an Invoice
  • refunding the balance of the Prepayment/Overpayment

You can watch these videos on the Videos page or here are the direct links:

Prepayments in fmAccounting Link

Overpayments in fmAccounting Link

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) – Prepayments Update

Our first update to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) for 2017 is now out the door – this release includes a number of minor enhancements as well as a new endpoint example: Prepayments. We’ve had a number of requests for Prepayments so we’re happy to release this free update to all our existing customers.

The fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file has examples for:

  • downloading Prepayments from Xero (all Prepayments or between 2 dates)
  • creating a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero
  • allocating Invoices to a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero
  • creating a Refund for a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero

Further details on fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) including the full list of examples are available on the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) product page. If there’s any examples that we don’t currently have that you would like to see please get in touch and let us know – we’re already working on the next round of enhancements and examples based on customer feedback.

fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) Updates – my.MYOB Login and General Journals

We’ve been busy working on some updates to fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) over the past few weeks. fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) was a popular item during our recent End Of Year sale and we’ve had some great feedback from customers about features they would like to see in future releases.

We’ve just released an updated version of fmAccounting Link  – v1.0.8. As well as the usual bug fixes we’ve added examples for working with the General Journals API endpoint – you can now download, create and update General Journals from FileMaker using fmAccounting Link. We’ve also added support for users that have linked their MYOB Company File User ID to their my.MYOB login – typically this is set using either of the following dialogs in AccountRight:

We couldn’t find anything about working with linked my.MYOB logins in the API documentation and after raising a ticket with MYOB developer support we were informed about the changes you need to make when working with linked my.MYOB accounts. We’ve added a new checkbox to the MYOB Company screen that allows you to flag that you’ll be using a linked my.MYOB login:

which handles the required changes automatically. For existing customers using older versions of fmAccounting Link you can simply disable a single script step to handle working with linked my.MYOB logins – see our FAQ page for details.

We’ve started working on adding examples for working with the JOBS API endpoint and hope to have this completed in the next few weeks. If there are features you would like to se in the core fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) file please get in touch and let us know. You can view the full release notes on our version history page.

FileMaker Inc. Releases Xero eBook

filemaker-xero-ebook

FileMaker Inc. have put together a number of resources outlining the benefits of Xero integration with a FileMaker custom app, focussing on how to eliminate duplicate data entry between FileMaker and Xero and centralise your Customer, Inventory and Invoice data whilst protecting your Xero financial data. I’m pleased to report that our recent Xero Webinar and our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution are both featured.

You can access the eBook and other resources from the FileMaker Inc website. If you would like to discuss integrating Xero with your FileMaker business app please get in touch.

Coming Soon – fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition)

Earlier this year we published a series of articles about FileMaker and eCommerce Integration, highlighting our use of External SQL Data Sources (ESS) to make our online store orders visible in our internal FileMaker CRM. We’ve been using this method of integration successfully for many years and it has saved us countless hours by not having to manually re-enter online orders in our main FileMaker business app and our accounting software (Xero).

That was until recently when we started getting this error message every time we navigated to the online orders layouts:odbc-error

Suddenly we could no longer see our online order records! Everything was still working on the website and orders were still being submitted successfully (we receive an email for each order) so we started troubleshooting this to try and get to the bottom of it. After many frustrating hours we still could not establish the ODBC connection to our server, so we made contact with our web host and opened a ticket explaining our issue and describing how this had previously worked fine for many years. We were then informed that they had disabled remote MySQL access for security reasons and there were no exceptions – talk about a great way to annoy your customers by switching off access and not informing your customers about this!

It was still possible to connect but you had to create an SSH tunnel first – we then wasted another couple of days setting up the SSH tunnel which would work but then drop out, and we had issues with automating this so it could run when the server wasn’t logged in. After many days of frustration and lost productivity I decided to abandon the SSH tunnel efforts as it was proving too unreliable and too look at other options. Databuzz specialises in FileMaker integration and having recently written an article on working with eCommerce APIs and Webhooks I revisited my article and knew what needed to be done.

Our website stores are built with WooCommerce, a popular plugin for WordPress that powers over 39% of all online stores. WooCommerce offer both a push and pull API so you can have new orders automatically pushed to a server, and also download new orders on demand (e.g. get all new Orders today). The push option is the more complicated of the two options as it requires FileMaker Server, Customer Web Publishing, PHP pages and Webhooks to be setup, so we decided to focus initially on the WooCommerce REST API as that allows us to query WooCommerce for any new Orders and download the data directly into FileMaker. This can be run regardless of whether the file is hosted with FileMaker Server or just using FileMaker Pro, and we can also setup server side schedules to run each night and download new data. The REST API also allows us to push data from FileMaker to WooCommerce, such as Product updates, which is something customers have requested in the past.

Fast forward a few months and we are in the final stages of development and testing of our latest product – fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition):

preview-home

fmEcommerce Link is our solution to connecting FileMaker to WooCommerce when you can’t make a direct ESS/ODBC connection – you use the fmEcommerce Link file to query your WooCommerce store for new orders, product inventory changes, new customers and also to push data back to WooCommerce such as new Products. You can link the fmEcommerce Link file to your existing FileMaker solution to push orders from WooCommerce into your main FileMaker business app, or recreate the same functionality inside your FileMaker business app as the fmEcommerce Link will be 100% unlocked for you to explore.

Here’s some screenshots showing data that we have downloaded from our test WooCommerce site:

preview-order-details

preview-orders-list

preview-products-list

I’ll be posting some videos demonstrating the core functionality of fmEcommerce Link over the coming days and would love to hear any feedback from existing FileMaker/WooCommerce users about any features you would like to see in the product – just leave a comment below.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) Updates – Reports and Invoice Attachments

We love hearing back from our customers about new features/examples they would like to see in the core fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file. We recently had some requests for examples showing how to upload files/attachments from FileMaker to an Invoice and the ability to download a Report from Xero to FileMaker.

We’ve had the Files API on our list of future enhancements as well as the Reports endpoint for a while, so we took this opportunity to dive in and get some of the basic functionality for these developed so our customers can start using them now.

For the Reports endpoint we’ve started with the Trial Balance report – we’ve created a new Reports module in the fmAccounting Link file that we will add to over time with additional reports that are available via the Xero API. The Trial Balance report lets you specify the date to run the report as at, and then the report is downloaded into the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file and looks like this:

trial-balance-report

For the Invoice Attachments we’ve added a new TAB to the Invoice details layout allowing you to select a file to upload to Xero and attach it to the current Invoice:

invoice-attachments

You can upload up to 10 attachments (each up to 3mb in size) per invoice, once the invoice has been created in Xero. To keep things simple we’re not storing the selected file in a container field – we’re just storing the path to the file (you can change this behaviour in your version of the fmAccounting Link file). You can upload the common file formats, such as PDF, JPG, Word, Excel and PNG files, and you can specify for each attachment whether to include that in the Online Invoice so that the attachment appears when a user clicks on the online invoice link. A full list of file types that you can upload is available on the Xero website.

One limitation of the Attachments API at the moment is that you cannot currently delete an attachment in Xero from FileMaker – you will need to login to Xero to delete any attachments that have been uploaded to an Invoice.

We’re working on the Prepayments endpoint next and should have that finished in December, and then we’ll start adding more of the Reports that are available via the Xero API. If there’s any examples that we don’t currently have that you would like to see please get in touch and let us know. Further details on fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) including the full list of examples are available on the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) product page.