Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that can provide many benefits for your business, allowing you to track important data and effectively implement your growth strategies. It is used by both large and small businesses working in a vast number of industries. The Salesforce platform provides a wide array of services as a part of their enterprise cloud services, from analytics to collaboration tools, but to truly get the most out of it, you can integrate it with other cloud-based accounting systems like Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Xero or Quickbooks.
Integrating your accounting software with Salesforce will help to make sure your customer service, sales, and financial teams are in sync. This will minimize issues between these different aspects of your business. Many businesses make the mistake of separating their accounting, marketing, and customer service from each other with segmented software tools. Important information gets held up in one department when it could benefit another significantly and make a positive impact on the business as a whole. That information will probably eventually get where it should go, but it could be too late for it to make any difference. Not to mention, manual entry of data between systems often leads to errors and data discrepancies.
Minimizing this “information bottleneck” will improve your business with speed and information accuracy. Salesforce integration with your accounting application will streamline this information flow. You’ll get a more cohesive view of what is actually going on in your business and make decisions based upon that clearer and more accurate view. You can use Salesforce to maximize efficiency, doing things such as automating invoice creation, syncing customer records and managing sales commissions.
Common Pitfalls of Accounting and Salesforce CRM Integrations
This is not to say that accounting software integration with Salesforce is always an easy thing to do. There are a number of common pitfalls that you need to avoid.
- Know why you are doing Salesforce integration and what you want to achieve. There are many different accounting tools you can integrate with Salesforce with their own capabilities and specialties. Integration is not a simple process and finding out that the tool you have selected does not do what you need it to is a waste of time and money. Know what you are looking to do with Salesforce and accounting application integration before you begin investing in it.
- Make sure you clean up your data before it is imported into Salesforce. Bad data will generate more bad data. This can be caused by as simple a problem as the labels and ID’s that you use to identify account names being different between Salesforce and your accounting application. Match them up before you sync up the two different platforms to prevent more confusion and generation of a large number of duplicates.
- Decide early on between custom objects and static schemas. You can only use custom objects and fields when your provider can pick up data dynamically. If there is support for these custom objects, you will be able to interact with them using their labels from Salesforce. Static schema, however, is predefined objects and fields. In order to modify them, you will need to go back into Salesforce. Using static schema will make it more difficult to create more complex workflows, but it may be a more financially fitting option for your business.
- Be careful about contact information. Accounting software tracks customer contact info by storing it in one record. Salesforce, however, may track several contacts under one customer profile. If you want to have the two platforms sharing information with each other, this can cause confusion. It’s important to pay attention to which contacts from Salesforce you are using for a customer profile.
As with many other aspects of business, having a clear plan about your Salesforce integration is important. It will allow you to know what result you want out of the process, what resource you are allocating towards it, and how you can mitigate the issues described above or other potential pitfalls lurking.
One of the most important ways to smooth your Salesforce and accounting software integration process is by choosing the right accounting software for your business goals. There are a number of options out there, each of them with their own features and structures. Here’s an overview of some of the best accounting software applications for Salesforce integration: