Can you remember when you opened up your first box of business cards and could smell the scent of fresh printing. You woke up earlier that morning and realized you really had your OWN small businesses? This scenario repeats itself thousands and thousands and thousands of times per year.
One of the most used tools every small business has is an accounting program. The challenge, however is when you want to bring your small business online and start selling online.
MAKING the web site is relatively easy – Homestead, Microsoft Office Live and others provide pretty easy (and good) web site creation tools.
The challenge, however is linking your online site to your accounting software. It’s a pain to have to do double entry and manually reconcile your online transactions with your offline accounting program.
Intuit recently announced that’s making this process easier with a fully integrated e-commerce solution.
QuickBooks Merchant Service for Web Stores
It’s a service that works with online store providers to offer an end-to-end, QuickBooks-compatible e-commerce solution. The solution helps small businesses create a Web store, sell online, accept credit card payments through QuickBooks Merchant Service and exchange business data directly with QuickBooks.
The preferred providers that have worked with Intuit to offer QuickBooks-ready Web stores are: Affinity Internet; ProStores, an eBay Company; GoDaddy.com, Homestead Technologies and WebSite Pros.
The QuickBooks press release reads that the service helps small business owners more effectively manage their businesses by synchronizing sales and customer data between their Web store and QuickBooks. In addition, it reconciles debit and credit card sales made via QuickBooks Merchant Service with the software. This compatibility can save business owners valuable time by eliminating the need to manually re-enter data. As a result, they can quickly track sales, credit card, invoice and payment data and create real-time financial reports all in one place.
Web store-provider pricing ranges from as low as $6.99 to $249.95 per month, depending on the provider and package selected. QuickBooks Merchant Service for Web Stores is offered at www.quickbooksmerchantservice.com for a one-time setup fee of $59.95 and a basic monthly fee of $17.95. Credit card processing fees vary.
For those who use Peachtree, check out their WebsiteTrader, Microsoft Accounting’s credit card processing services are here.
Prior to this announcement there was integration between Quickbooks and online sotres through the QuickBooks Software Development Kit (SDK) which allows third-party developers to create solutions that work seamlessly with QuickBooks. Several e-commerce providers have built integration between their data transfer tools, online store front solutions, order and sales channel management solutions and QuickBooks using this tool already. A list is available on the QuickBooks Solutions Marketplace here.
Intuit tells me that Before working with our preferred providers, we had not worked directly with third parties to help them build solutions that work with QuickBooks. Establishing these relationships has and will lead to deeper integration.
Intuit has also increased adoption of the SDK by shopping cart providers. This is important to QuickBooks customers that already have an e-commerce solution and – until now ñhave been trying to make e-commerce and their accounting solutions work together through manual methods.
From our research, it’s clear that many customers are using multiple merchant accounts to sell to customers through multiple channels. QuickBooks and QuickBooks Merchant Service customers who are selling online were required to get multiple merchant accounts to process ‘online’ through their Web stores and ‘offline’ in their retail or invoicing workflow of QuickBooks. That meant duplicative fees and multiple merchant accounts to reconcile.
Automated reconciliation of Web store sales and merchant account deposits is only possible using our merchant solution in QuickBooks. For shopping carts that have integrated our payment solution, QuickBooks customers can now be notified when funds have been deposited and they can quickly and accurately reconcile deposits and expenses, without ever having to enter data manually into QuickBooks.