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Core5 Starter Edition CRM – Integrating FileMaker with QuickBooks

November 1st, 2017

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The Core5 Starter Edition CRM comes with an impressive level of QuickBooks integration right out of the box. It can connect to QuickBooks Desktop or Online.

Core5 is preconfigured to:
1. Import Items, Taxes, Customers, and Vendors from QuickBooks
2. Push contacts to QuickBooks
3. Push invoices to QuickBooks
4. Pull balance due for invoices
5. Pull most recent payment date

It also has the ability to set flags on customer or invoice records to notify the user that something has been updated and the customer or invoice record needs to be re-pushed to QuickBooks.

The Core5 can do single record or batch pushes and pulls of contacts, invoices, and payment information.

How to add a new contact to QuickBooks

When you create a new contact there will be a red icon on the record – this indicates the contact is not in QuickBooks. Click “Push to QB” to push the single, new record.

Once it has successfully pushed, the icon will turn green.

If a contact record has already been pushed to QuickBooks, but has been updated – the QB icon will turn orange – indicating it needs to be re-pushed.

Here is a quick video demoing this:
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If you added or edited multiple records, you can push them all to QuickBooks at one time from the Dashboard.

On the Contacts tab, there is a “Push All to QB” button. This will call a script that looks for all new and updated records and pushes them all to QuickBooks at one time.

If you wish to not push a specific record, you can click the omit checkbox and that record will not be pushed.

Here is another quick video showing these actions:
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How to push an invoice to QuickBooks

One of the nice things about the Core5 Starter Edition is its consistency. It is almost the same process to push an invoice to QuickBooks as it is a customer.

Once an invoice is complete, you can push the “Push to QB” button in the top left. The QB icon will be red if the invoice needs to be pushed to QuickBooks, orange if it needs to be re-pushed, and green if it has been pushed and is up-to-date in QuickBooks.

Check out the video below demonstrating this:

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Invoices can also be pushed en masse from the Dashboard. Similar to Contacts, you can click the “Push All to QB” button to push all new and updated invoices to QuickBooks. The omit checkbox will prevent a specific invoice record from being pushed.

Here is your final video:
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How to pull balance due and payment information
Once an invoice has been pushed to QuickBooks, payments can be recorded in QuickBooks and then pulled into the Core5.

To pull balance information, click the green money icon on the invoice record. This will bring over the invoice balance and the date of the most recent payment.

On the Dashboard, you can also do a batch pull of balances due.

Try Core5 yourself with our online WebDirect demo.

Need QuickBooks Licensing? We can give you a discount on Pro, Premier, Enterprise, and Online licensing.

PCI Performs BigCommerce Integration

October 24th, 2017

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We recently assisted a customer integrate BigCommerce with their Core4 CRM FileMaker solution.
BigCommerce is an online platform that helps businesses build an e-commerce presence. The platform allows customers to build and customize their site, take orders, and manage shipping.

Our client sells restoration parts for the MOPAR auto industry and they recently upgraded to FileMaker 16. We were asked to write a routine to help them better integrate BigCommerce with their elaborate FileMaker solution.

Our client had two problems with their daily workflow.

Problem – Duplicate Data Entry
The first issue they were dealing with was redundant data entry. The same product information needed to be entered into FileMaker, BigCommerce, and QuickBooks Online. The client wanted FileMaker to be the main point of entry for data and from there the data could be pushed to QuickBooks Online and BigCommerce.

Problem – Data Accuracy
It is important that all data is consistent across all three programs (QuickBooks Online, FileMaker, and BigCommerce). When an order is created in BigCommerce it is imperative that the data exactly matches what is in FileMaker, because when the order is placed with BigCommerce, it is then imported into QuickBooks Online and subsequently pulled to FileMaker via the FM Books Connector Online Edition plug-in. This cyclical process is easily broken if any of the data does not match across the three programs.

To solve these issues there were two main objectives.

Objective – Pull BigCommerce Categories
The first task was to “pull categories” directly from BigCommerce so that these categories could be used in dropdown lists in FileMaker.

We used FileMaker 16 and cURL to pull the categories directly from BigCommerce using the BigCommerce API. Once these “official categories” were in FileMaker, users could easily and more accurately pick items for use on their sales orders and invoices directly in FileMaker.

In order to add a new category to their FileMaker dropdown list, the user first adds the category in BigCommerce and then clicks a button in FileMaker to pull the new category into their solution.

We also scripted the customer’s solution with the ability to “push categories” from FileMaker to BigCommerce. This gave the customer the option to either pull or push new categories, but we cautioned them against using both options interchangeably. We recommended selecting a consistent direction (for example, always pulling categories) to ensure better workflow and to make internal training easier. To be consistent with their current workflow, we suggested setting up rules that all categories must be first entered into BigCommerce, then pulled into FileMaker.

Objective – Push Products to BigCommerce

The customer keeps all their product items in FileMaker and is accustomed to entering all data there. The customer asked for the ability to “push these product items” to BigCommerce. Product items consist of a product description, pricing, and additional details.

Now, these items are entered and managed in FileMaker and pushed to BigCommerce. Pictures for the product items are stored on an FTP server (to ensure BigCommerce would have public access to them) and each photo is linked to FileMaker.

As part of their updated process to add a new product to BigCommerce, the user enters the necessary information in FileMaker, then clicks a button and, using the cURL technology in FileMaker 16, the data is automatically entered into BigCommerce.

Due to their workflow, the customer only wanted the ability to push one product at a time. However, as with most data transfers, it would have been easy to create a batch push script and loop through a found set of products in FileMaker and push them all to BigCommerce at once. Likewise, a server-side script could be instituted to run every hour to automatically push products from FileMaker, creating a sense of true synchronization between FileMaker and BigCommerce.

Result – Client Impact
Predictably, as a result of this integration the client has seen several hours of time savings per week. This is due to the fact they are no longer entering the same data into multiple systems and they do not have to spend time fixing data errors associated with manual entry or order errors that occurred because of data errors.

Result – Capabilities of FileMaker Data API
As developers, we strive to learn something from every integration. One of our most prominent revelations from working with this client was the increased integration capabilities available with FileMaker 16. We discovered that these kinds of projects (REST API integrations) can be completed in less time and with less overhead (no plug-in to install) than traditional integrations. REST APIs, in general, can be a little tricky to learn, but once the process is understood it opens up a lot of possibilities to interact with data across other platforms.

macOS High Sierra Compatibility

October 17th, 2017

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macOS High Sierra was released on September 25 and we worked diligently to test and update each of our plug-ins to confirm compatibility with the new OS. If you have updated to High Sierra make sure you download an updated plug-in.

Each plug-in comes with an updated demo file and many plug-ins feature new functionality, updated documentation, and bug fixes.

Plug-ins:
FM Books Connector Online v2.0.3.1: Available for client or server-side deployment and compatible with FileMaker Cloud, the FM Books Connector Online Edition connects FileMaker with QuickBooks Online. Users can save time and money by eliminating double entry of contacts, invoices or sales transactions. This release also includes additional plug-in enhancements and functionality.

Address Book Manipulator v4.0.2.1: The Address Book Manipulator allows users to update all contacts in FileMaker or Apple Contacts and then easily push the information from one application to the other, ensuring contact information is always up-to-date.

iCal Manipulator v2.0.2.1: The iCal Manipulator plug-in directly connects FileMaker with Apple Calendar. The plug-in supports multiple calendars, recurring events, and tasks. This release also includes additional plug-in enhancements and functionality.

FM Credit Card v2.0.0.0: Available for client and server-side deployments, FM Credit Card connects a user’s FileMaker solution to their preferred merchant services provider. Productive Computing also offers low-priced, basic integration packages for this plug-in.

PDF Manipulator DC v1.0.2.1: The PDF Manipulator DC Edition enables users to create a searchable document management system and process forms faster by extracting and inserting data between PDF form fields and FileMaker.

File Manipulator v4.0.2.1: File Manipulator can copy, move, rename, or delete files and folders directly from a FileMaker solution. In addition, it can compress and encrypt file data with password protection, as well as decompress and decrypt file data.

Change Printer v4.0.8.1: The Change Printer plug-in automatically changes printers, sets optional printing attributes, facilitates the coordination of large and complex print procedures, and easily switches between various types of printers/drivers.

Solutions:
Core5 Starter Edition v1.0.2.1: The Core5 Starter Edition is an intuitive and easy-to-use CRM solution. Pre-configured to connect with QuickBooks Desktop or Online, the Core5 is designed to be easy to customize and immediately deployable.

Core4 CRM v3.0.0.5: Core4 is a robust and expandable CRM solution. This business tool allows users to track everything from contacts to sales transactions and calendar appointments to notes and documents. The Core4 can connect with QuickBooks and Outlook for Windows, Apple Contacts, and Apple Calendar.

For additional information on product functionality, updates, and integration details, please contact sales@productivecomputing.com or call 760-510-1200.

Let’s talk integration – FileMaker to QuickBooks Integration

September 28th, 2017

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Earlier in the year our CEO, Marc, did a webinar for the Blue Feather Group/ Atlanta FileMaker Dev Group all about integrating FileMaker and QuickBooks – but before we get into that, let’s talk a bit about why Marc spoke on this topic.

Here at Productive Computing we have made it our business to know all there is about QuickBooks and FileMaker integrations and to offer our clients an array of products and services to help them get up and running with an integration.

We offer:
– The FM Books Connector plug-in for QuickBooks Desktop
– The FM Books Connector Online Edition plug-in for QuickBooks Online
Core4 CRM and Core5 Starter Edition CRM (both of which come preconfigured to connect with QuickBooks)
123sync Accounting Integrator, which offers two fixed-price integration plans for QuickBooks Desktop
– Custom development services to assist you with your integration
– Discounts on both FileMaker and QuickBooks licensing

We actively work to make it as easy as possible for clients to connect two of the most important office software solutions.

We’re also proud to announce that we just released FM Books Connector v10. And, let us tell you, it has aged beautifully. This plug-in is compatible with QuickBooks 2014–2018 and FileMaker Pro 14-16 (32-bit and 64-bit).

As we alluded to earlier, we’re authorized Intuit resellers and, because of that, we are able to offer great rates on QuickBooks Desktop 2018 Pro, Premier, Enterprise, and Online licensing.

Now, for the real reason you clicked on this blog – the FileMaker and QuickBooks integration webinar.

For your viewing pleasure and to be sensitive to the fact you don’t have all day to watch webinars, I have detailed out what topics begin at what time. If you want to start at the beginning, you can just watch it from the video below.

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At minute 7:08 Marc begins his discussion on QuickBooks and FileMaker integrations. He discusses the various QuickBooks integration products mentioned above and why there is no plug-in for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac (hint: it’s because there is no SDK).

At 11:00 minutes he discusses why businesses use QuickBooks and why people want FileMaker and QuickBooks integrations.

Starting at 15:50, he discusses what a typical desktop integration looks like and at 17:20 he reviews how a developer can do a desktop integration (custom integration, integration package, starter solution).

At 26:10 Marc begins his first demo to show importing contacts and items from QuickBooks into FileMaker and at 33:10 he turns on the debugger to show the “under the hood” of the import for items, taxes, customers, and vendors.

At 45:10 Marc demonstrates a FileMaker to QuickBooks push, specifically of a new customer.

At 48:20 Marc answers the question, why not just use the FileMaker field validation functions and discusses handling field validation.

At 57:00 Marc starts to discuss batch pushes to QuickBooks.

At 1:01:30 Marc discusses some QuickBooks rules that affect FileMaker and QuickBooks integrations and begins to answer some Q&A.

At 1:06:40 Marc discusses the Intuit OSR (onscreen reference).

At 1:08:00 David, a FileMaker developer, shares his own story learning how to do a custom integration with QuickBooks and FileMaker.

Hopefully this helped you and answered a few questions you might have had about integrating FileMaker with QuickBooks. For more information please feel free to check out our website www.productivecomputing.com or contact us at sales@productivecomputing.com.

VSS V 2.4: How to Push Invoices and Pull Balances with QuickBooks

July 11th, 2017

If your VSS system is configured with QuickBooks (Desktop or Online) using our FM Books Connector plug-in, you can push invoices to and pull payment and balance information from QuickBooks.

Please contact PCI if you wish to configure VSS with QuickBooks.

Before we begin, it is important to note that VSS is equipped with colored icons that indicate an order’s status in QuickBooks:

1. Red: Has not been pushed to QB/ needs to be pushed
2. Orange: Order has been pushed to QuickBooks and it needs to be updated/ re-pushed to QuickBooks
3. Green: Order is up-to-date in QuickBooks

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VSS can push and pull information about cases one at a time or in batches, we’ll first cover how to push and pull information for a single case.

How to Push a Single Invoice to QuickBooks:
Once you have a completed order, you can push it to QuickBooks by locating the sync icon next to the “Pushed to QB” field.

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When you click this icon, you will see a series of popups as the invoice pushes. The first will ask if you wish to continue, the next will indicate the invoice is pushing, and the third will indicate if the invoice pushed correctly.

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After you have pushed the invoice, you will notice that the “Pushed to QB” field will indicate the date of the push and the icon next to the field will be green.

If you make edits to the line items on an order – such as fix a price or adjust a quantity – after it has been pushed to QuickBooks, the icon next to the “Pushed to QB” field will turn orange. You can then push the sync icon again and it will update the invoice in QuickBooks.

How to Pull an Invoice Balance or Paid On Date:
You can post payments in QuickBooks and pull over balance information to VSS. To pull payment information, click the sync icon next to the “Paid On” field.

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If your order has been paid in full then the Paid On field will populate with the date the invoice was paid. If your invoice has an open balance, you will get a popup stating the amount of the remaining balance and the “Paid On” field will remain blank.

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The More Info tab provides you with additional information such as the QuickBooks ID, the date the invoice was pushed QuickBooks, the last time the balance was checked, and the invoice’s current balance.

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How to View your Invoice in QuickBooks
To view your invoice in QuickBooks, you can go up to the top menu bar, click on the QB drop down list and click “View in QuickBooks”.

Your order must be pushed to QuickBooks before you can view it in QuickBooks.

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Clicking this option will open up the invoice in your QuickBooks file for easy reference and editing.

How to Push Multiple Orders to QuickBooks at One Time (Batch Pushing):
To push multiple orders to QuickBooks at once, you must first mark the order as reviewed.

When an order is received back from a captain, the status will change to “Ready to Process” and a button will appear that says “Mark as Reviewed”.

Once you have reviewed the order and confirmed that it is correct, you click the “Mark as Reviewed” button and the order’s status will change to “Reviewed”.

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When you are in list view, you can click the “Push Reviewed to QB” button and the system will push all orders marked as “Reviewed” to QuickBooks. If you have modified an order that has been pushed to QuickBooks and the icon is orange, this “Push Reviewed to QB” will also push modified orders to QuickBooks again.

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You can also use the list view to do a mass pull of balances. The pull balances button will query QuickBooks for any balances due or paid invoices and update the system appropriately.