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Jeremy Martin | May 18, 2018

10 Ways to Use Fusion with QuickBooks

 

QuickBooks is great for managing your accounting, payroll, invoices, and billing. While valuable alone, QuickBooks data is even more valuable when combined with data from the other SaaS applications you use. But just what exactly could you do after Fusion has combined your financial information with data from your CRMs, support systems, marketing automation, events, webinars, and subscription management systems? In this article, we’ll explore the world beyond the QuickBooks dashboard so you can get more out of your accounting and payments data.

 


TRANSPARENCY ACROSS FINANCE, MARKETING & SALES 

1. Merge Quickbooks Finance Data with Marketing Data

Fusion makes it easy to load your QuickBooks data into a data warehouse and combine it with with other data sources. One way to use Fusion with your Quickbooks data is to discover how marketing data is tied to your finances. You could analyze campaigns by region or product line, for instance, and see how each impacts revenue. 

The best part is that the data isn’t months old. Rather, it refreshes every 10 minutes. So you can close more deals, produce more RFPs, develop products and know where they’re failing more quickly to adjust. You can find out which are your most valuable referral sources, the lifetime value of your customer, and whether email marketing campaigns, Facebook Ads, or Google AdWords earn you revenue. When you combine accounting data with data from CRM and marketing automation sources, you can drill down and see which campaign is more profitable, and even understand your marketing expenses and support costs. 

Just how does this work in Fusion? Well, in QuickBooks the big objects are:

  • Customer
  • Companyinfo
  • Invoice
  • Bill
  • Bill payment
  • Deposit
  • Estimate
  • Journal entry
  • Time activity
  • Purchase order
  • Vendor

Fusion combines these QuickBooks objects into a simpler set — contact, company, order, and orderitem — so that these can be matched with the contact and company objects of other data sources. The commonality between objects makes connecting a CRM to QuickBooks possible, and without creating any duplicates. One tangible benefit is that you could combine the transactions captured in QuickBooks with your advertising campaigns, customer loyalty programs, or special promotions, thereby gauging what marketing activities have helped drives business growth. With Fusion connected to a BI tool, you can then visually analyze your QuickBooks and marketing data together and craft insightful reports and dashboards that track your key financial metrics and marketing campaigns, then share your reports with colleagues. 

2. Connect QuickBooks data to Sales Data

Fusion also helps you merge QuickBooks data with sales applications like Salesforce. Doing so connects key account details, leads, and opportunities with your financial information.

The benefits of connecting QuickBooks data to sales data may seem obvious at first blush. You can share your financial data with your sales team, and vice versa.  

With Fusion, there are many more benefits than meet the eye. Yes, you reduce double data entry in QuickBooks and your sales CRM — which is fantastic, no doubt. And yes, by connecting Quickbooks to your sales CRM, you can track expenses, create customer reports, and gain insights so you can better forecast. But if QuickBooks is the nerve center of financial and vendor databases, that means when sales-side transactions (invoice, sales receipt, etc.) are recorded in your CRM, and purchase-side (bill, expense, etc.) transactions are recorded in QuickBooks, you can keep track of sales and purchase taxes in concert with data from your sales CRM.

This is a major boon for your business. For typically your two choices are either to spend money on an existing integration, or spend time building your own integration using freely available APIs. Both options are doable, neither fast or sustainable. 

For example, when a customer renews their subscription, your sales CRM captures this data as an order or booking. QuickBooks might record this as a purchase order, deposit, bill, or some combination thereof. This is the juncture at which the customer data fragment, or your company might squander hundreds, even thousands, of hours on a custom integration.

With Fusion, you have both sales and finance data together in just five objects: 

  • Contact
  • Company
  • Order
  • OrderItem
  • Contact

Simple.

So that you could track deals as they turn into payments, allowing your business to forecast revenue, profit, and loss. Orders are aligned with invoices, and accounts with accounts receivable. And because Fusion uses a single data model to unify data across systems, it doesn’t matter whether there has been a deposit, payment, or purchase.

By connecting QuickBooks data to your sales CRM, every account is bound together by Fusion’s contact, company, order, and orderitem objects. So you can do way more than simply identify lead sources by region and know how much they’ve grossed. You can view open opportunities for a projected sales forecast, identify how your top salespeople are impacting your business’ bottom line, and how well the leads, closes, and wins in your pipeline will impact your next quarter. Sales teams work faster, invoices are paid quicker, finance departments increase efficiency, and management has vital information at their fingertips.

3. Detect customer churn

Customer satisfaction can make or break any business. But all too often, ticket information, customer feedback, and consumer preferences are buried in your support system — locked away from all that finance data you have in QuickBooks. 

With Fusion, detecting churn — and how it impacts your bottom line — is easy. You don’t have to wrangle data from QuickBooks, copy-paste data, create workflow diagrams, or join tables from your customer support system. In Fusion, you’d just tie your contact, company, order, and tickets to get one holistic view.

For example, let’s say you use a CRM to acquire leads, QuickBooks for finance, and HelpScout for ticketing. The latter lacks an Account object. And even if you use Zendesk or FreshDesk, which have an Account object, the accounts in the support systems are managed separately from the accounts in your CRM and customers in QuickBooks. 

With Fusion, tickets, contacts, and companies are automatically linked together, so reports can be generated at the click of a button. Specifically, you could compare your CRM lead source data to your incident rate (tickets / time). All you’d need to do is access the company_ticket_links table to tie support cases to accounts, companies, or contacts stored in your CRM.

To complete the whole picture, you can then access your order and orderitem data from QuickBooks to tie your churn data into a financial overview of your invoices, P&L reports, and overall accounting performance.

Because Fusion simplifies the rapport between your CRM, financial system, and support application, by boiling down many schemas into contacts, companies, tickets, and order information, Fusion’s data warehouse is the ultimate data source for creating cross-functional reports. 

Such a unified view allows QuickBooks customers to compare which accounts might be more prone to churn based on their relative incident rates. Then, once you’ve identified accounts you want to make more successful, your customer success team will know who to reach out to and why. Based on their efforts, finance can then understand how effective customer success is at keeping existing customers happy by comparing their outreach to revenue. Be sure to heed this strategy, as research shows keeping existing customers happy is many times more profitable than drumming up demand for new business.

 

GOOD, OLD FASHIONED “OWN YOUR DATA” 

For some business, the data warehouse use case starts with just having easy, fast, reliable access to their source data. Rather than having data buried in SaaS systems, they want to have their own trusted data set.

4. Own Your Data

By now, every analyst and marketer and CxO knows about the modest data privacy law, otherwise known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the myriad ways it can impact how businesses collect and process data. A quantum leap in providing transparency to customers, GDPR has stoked a wildfire of incentives to want to have easy access to data. Fusion does more than just replicate your QuickBooks data as raw records. It replicates all raw records from all of your connectors, which also doubles for the purpose of data migrations and backup. Backing up this trove of SaaS data ensures you protect an increasingly valuable asset. 

5. SQL data set for Analytics, Reports, Dashboards, & BI Tools

There are scores of great tools on the market right now — Tableau, Quicksight, Looker, YellowFin, Power BI, MySQL Workbench, Metabase, and more — to which you can connect your QuickBooks data along with data from other cloud applications. As a relational database and data warehouse architected to store and manage data, Fusion is an ideal SQL dataset for connecting to the leading BI tools on the market. And because data warehouses are meant to store multiple data sources, analysts can let Fusion combine their QuickBooks data with other data sources and create a live connection in almost any analytics or BI tool. The result is what every analyst hopes for: speed, ease of use, a dataset they can trust, and one they’ve had organized on their behalf.

 

UNLOCK YOUR DATA

6. Enable cross-object analysis with linked tables

This gets geeky but it’s were data analysts and those hands-on with SQL queries really appreciate the value Fusion brings. While joins are straightforward once you get the hang of them, your tables must each include at least one field in both tables that contain comparable data. So if want to join a Customer table and a Company table, they both must contain a common element, such as a CustomerID column, to serve as a key on which the data can be matched.

For this reason joining QuickBooks objects with data from other cloud applications, each with its own API, can get very technical and result in overly complex queries. Fusion’s links tables allow you to create relationships across the various objects. For instance, in QuickBooks you have a Customer. In Salesforce you have a Contact tied to an account. If Jane Doe exists in both systems, using the links tables you can return a report with all the data that relates to Jane Doe from all the connectors you have.

The great thing about this is you don't have to key on a certain value. Nor do you have to conjure criteria for which keys to join your objects. Your data is much more accessible to work with. It's standardized and up-to-date. You can do the analysis in a single day.

7. Simpler ad hoc queries without joins or other database functions

With Fusion, you might not even need joins. All your Quickbooks customers are already combined with your contacts from other systems in one fused_contacts table. And the same notion applies for all other Fusion objects (Company, Opportunity, Event, Activity, Product, Order, etc.), which means you have simpler ad hoc queries without joins and loads of other database functions. Your Fusion QuickBooks data feed maintains object relationships, enabling you to build your own flexible closed loop reporting of QuickBooks analytics. And with the data in SQL format, you’ll have flexibility in slicing and dicing the data, and formatting your own reports without limitations.

8. Feed Quickbooks Data to a Custom Application

Virtually every business of any size has some unique customized applications. You could want a form submission in Quickbooks to trigger a webinar invite two days later. Or you might want an application to generate a customized quote. The trouble is that building these custom applications demands an enormous amount of effort. You might have to learn the APIs for three different SaaS applications; resolve the data from each into a common schema to create a database; extract data from every application into the database; write a most recently updated rule to handle conflicts; code for continuous detection of changes from all three SaaS applications — all this before you’ve even tested or deployed the custom application to end users.

9. Build Your Own Reporting Dashboard

A fused dataset makes this process a whole lot easier. You just connect your data sources, then let all the matching, de-duplicating, conflict resolution, and modeling take care of itself. In minutes, your warehouse is equipped with a universal schema, and ready to feed SQL data right into your custom applications. Every cloud application is unique. All capture, by design, data from different channels — web forms, picklists, chat bots, emails, support tickets, sales quotes, and so forth. To craft a dashboard, then, you need to format the data, learn the various schemas, transform them into one, build a database, and test your model. Even if you just use QuickBooks and no other SaaS applications, you probably want to build your own reporting dashboard outside of QuickBooks. To do so would require making calls to APIs, which impose strict rate limits depending on your plan. With Fusion, you’re not beholden to any of these steps or limitations. You have an on-demand data warehouse that gives you the flexibility to build your own reporting dashboard according to the needs of your business.

10. Account-based roll-ups 

The above hints at account based roll ups, a method of aggregating data about leads, activities, support tickets, and sales data, all in one, by account. In other words, account-based roll-ups combine data from related records to give you a more holistic picture of an entire account, or company.

Regardless of whether you data is generated by Salesforce or any other cloud application, you can see active customers and contacts by industry or country; sales & marketing activities; opportunities; churn rate; tickets; customer success scores; and high value customers approaching renewal -- all in one place.

Account-based roll-ups provide you insights by aggregating data at an account or company level, so you can draw meaningful conclusions. When organized at an account level, data has more meaning than when it’s scattered across dozens, or even hundreds, of individual records on leads, tickets, or activities. Rolling up ticket and company information by account is extremely valuable because it lets you understand an entire account’s support experience with your business. You could answer questions like: 

  • What is the average number of tickets per account per month?
  • What are the Company and Contact properties for each ticket profile?
  • What is your combined satisfaction rating?
  • What is the average number of tickets or conversations for a new contact?

Account-based roll-ups are also beneficial for viewing data about leads by account. You could questions such as:

  • How much have you invested in targeting a specific account?
  • How much pipeline revenue was generated by that account per campaign?
  • How many interactions were needed before the account was converted to a customer? What was the medium (e.g. phone, email, chat, etc.) for these interactions?
  • What was the optimal sequence of interactions that most effectively led to the acquisition of a new customer? 

There are many more examples, but we provide these to give you a taste and hopefully get you thinking about the possibilities.

Ready to feed your QuickBooks data to a Fusion data warehouse? Try it for free.

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