Saturday, 18 July 2015

ZOHO CRM Connectors to Accounting Systems

Zoho CRM is becoming very popular in the market and we are getting more demand to connect Zoho CRM with a company's existing accounting system. The advantage of this is to reduce the errors and costs associated with double data entry and to also ensure customer data is in sync between both systems. Of course when a lot of customer related data is isolated in the accounting system the sales executive or account manager often has little idea on the current financial status of their customer. Providing up to date financial information in the CRM is very important to a sales person.

While Zoho offers Zoho Books, this may not be appropriate for every customer as they may have been using accounting systems such as Quickbooks, MYOB, KashFlow, or Xero and have no desire or need to change. The implementation of CRM for the sales team can be derailed if the project focus shifts to accounting. So it is often best to get the Sales team working well and then decide to either integrate the accounting system via connectors or consider the upgrade alternatives if your accounting system is old.

In this context, "old accounting systems" refer more to Cloud Accounting Systems or not. This means if you have been using Quickbooks or MYOB Windows for many years then many of the connectors between Zoho CRM and the accounting system may not be available. The modern connectors are offered as Cloud to Cloud. This means Quickbooks would be Quickbooks Online and not the traditional application installed on your accountant's Windows PC. More recently released accounting systems such as KashFlow or Xero only have a Cloud based offering. 

If your company is starting from scratch then Zoho Books should be considered first as it makes sense to review this if you are a Zoho CRM user. If your accountant prefers to use KashFlow or Quickbooks then you would need a connector that works between the two systems. 

The standard connectors in the marketplace offer basic mapping of data from one system to the other allowing data to flow both ways. For example, if an invoice becomes PAID, the status change will be pushed from the accounting system back to Zoho CRM. If not all fields required to be pushed from Zoho CRM to the accounting system are supported by the connector the vendor can be requested to enhance their connector to your exact requirements. The demand is now high enough that a company can focus 100% on just providing connectors to the market. The price being charged is up to US$20 per month and this is much cheaper than playing around with API's yourself unless you are a real expert in both systems. The vendor will also maintain the connector as systems upgrade.

Cloud Solutions has used Cloud based Connectors to sync data between Zoho CRM and the user's accounting system. Our lead consultant's background is in accounting so this is a strength of our consulting business. 

Contact us to for more information.

Some interesting data released this month - Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is in high demand. Gartner predicts that CRM software revenue will reach almost US$24 billion, with cloud revenue accounting for 49%. So if you have not considered CRM before, now is your time. With a growing availability of Cloud based connectors your complete business can be integrated. Email, CRM and Accounting.

Below is a video showing how Zoho CRM and Xero can be integrated