The Benefits of FileMaker Integration with your Accounting Software

integration

The start of a new financial year is a great time to assess how your business has performed over the previous 12 months and start making plans for the next financial year. It’s also a good time to assess your business processes and put in place systems that help streamline the way your business works and contribute to the bottom line in the next fiscal year.

For Australian businesses the new financial year starts in a few weeks (1 July), for New Zealand and the United Kingdom is was on 1 April, for Canada it was 1 January and for the United States it was 1 October.

If you’re planning to make any changes to your accounting software and systems the start of a new financial year is the perfect time to implement these changes. You can use the weeks (and months) leading up to the new financial year to decide on any changes you wish to make, then develop and test these changes during the end of the current financial year before going live at the start of the new financial year. If you can’t wait for the start of a new financial year the start of a new quarter is usually the next best time.

Some of the questions you might wish to consider include:

  • does my Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software “talk” to my accounting software?
  • are my staff doing double data entry of Customers, Invoices, Payments etc in my CRM and my accounting software?
  • if I could eliminate any double data entry would that free up my staff to work on more productive tasks?

The ability to integrate CRM software with Accounting software has become much easier thanks to the rise of APIs. An API is an Application Programming Interface that a company makes available to other software developers – essentially it is a series of instructions for what you need to do to get your software talking to their software. In the small business space accounting software vendors such as Xero, MYOB and Saasu all provide well documented and reliable APIs that you can use to integrate your CRM software with their accounting software.

Having an API allows the accounting software applications to create an ecosystem of “add ons” that extend the functionality of usefulness of the accounting software, for example having transactions from a point of sale system automatically uploaded to the accounting software at the end of the day or being able to accept online payments for an invoice.

If you’re using FileMaker as your CRM application to track your customers, sales, invoices and payments there are a number of advantages of integrating it with your accounting software, including:

  • no more double data entry in FileMaker and the accounting software. Enter the invoice once in FileMaker, click a button and the invoice is pushed to your accounting software in a few seconds
  • less errors between your CRM system and your accounting system. Being able to push invoices, payments etc from your main system to your accounting system means there is less likelihood of data entry errors between the 2 systems
  • free up staff time for more productive work. Rather than having staff spend countless hours each week doing double data entry they can be freed up for more productive (and enjoyable) work, such as following up on sales leads, customer service, marketing etc.
  • it also allows staff to push data to the accounting software without giving them direct access to the accounting software

Having implemented a number of FileMaker/CRM and accounting integrations over the past 3 years we’ve seen the benefits first hand. One customer that processed hundreds of sales every fortnight has now freed up 1-2 hours of time each day for staff that were responsible for the double data entry of invoices. Now they enter the sale once into FileMaker, click a button and a few seconds later get confirmation that the invoice has been uploaded.

We’ve also integrated FileMaker with our accounting software in our business. Before the integration the workflow for processing an online sale was something like this:

  1. customer makes an online purchase from our webstore and a notification is sent us via email with the order details
  2. Databuzz staff manually create a new order in our FileMaker CRM system
  3. Databuzz staff then manually create the same invoice in our accounting software
  4. Once the invoice has been created we then manually add the payment details

Now that we have integrated our FileMaker CRM with our online webstore and our accounting software the process is this:

  1. customer makes an online purchase from our webstore and a notification is sent us via email with the order details
  2. Databuzz staff review the order in our FileMaker CRM which can show webstore orders live, then click a button to push that sale to our CRM and online accounting software, including the Customer, Invoice and Payment details

That saves around 5-10 minutes of data entry time per order – multiple this by tens or hundreds of orders and you can see the time savings add up quickly.

If you would like to discuss integrating your FileMaker solution with either Xero, MYOB AccountRight or MYOB Essentials please contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements. We also have a number of products which allow you or your in-house/external FileMaker developer to do the integration yourself:

A typical integration usually takes around 4-8 hours – in that time we can have your FileMaker system authenticating with your accounting software, uploading Contacts, Invoices, Payments and more. Imagine how much time and money your business could save by integrating your CRM with your accounting software.