Just about all association management software on the market has some sort of export to QuickBooks. However, association executives from across the country continue to report that their AMS “doesn’t work with QuickBooks.” After seeing so many associations struggle with bad data transfers, clumsy workarounds, and hours of wasted staff time, the novi AMS team set out to solve this problem once and for all.
As we dug into the problem, we discovered that it wasn’t that association management software couldn’t “talk to” QuickBooks. It was a communication issue. The two systems were speaking different languages, and there was a poor translator attempting to bring the two together. This disconnect was the root of countless headaches, wasted time, and perhaps even some choice expletives as association staff struggled to implement workarounds just to get their member data and event records to sync with QuickBooks.
If novi AMS was going to get our connection to QuickBooks right when so many others have gotten it wrong, we knew we needed to take a different approach.
Here are five tangible steps that the novi AMS team has taken to finally solve the challenge:
1. Novi AMS Integrates Exclusively with QuickBooks Online. Intuit is doing everything they can to convince their desktop customers (even Enterprise) to move to QuickBooks Online. They should. It’s a more modern platform with quicker updates and better service. Our integration takes advantage of the API only available to QuickBooks Online customers. This software bridge is what allows us to provide 24/7, seamless integration between QuickBooks and novi AMS. It is also the reason why we’re able to sync individual records down to the line item instead of dropping obscure journal entries into an association’s books.
2. We’re Active in the Intuit Developer Community. Just like your members need to “get involved” to get the most out of their membership, we decided early on that our team needed to be a part of the Intuit Developer community. Not only has our team participated in their online social community and developer forums, but we have also traveled to Silicon Valley to meet with their internal team and participate in their developer hackathons. In 2016, the novi development team won “Best QuickBooks Online API Integration” for building a tool to help our clients clean their accounting records.
4. We have QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor Training. The novi AMS client support team quickly learned that when you integrate two systems at such an intimate level, it can be hard to determine when an AMS question stops and a QuickBooks question begins. To make sure that our support team can be there to point you in the right direction, a number of our team members have gone through the Certified ProAdvisor training program that Intuit offers to accountants and professional bookkeepers. Our intent isn’t to replace your accounting professional, but we do want to make sure that our support team was knowledgeable and qualified to help.
5. Association Executives Give Us Real-Time Feedback. As developers, we may know how to make things happen, but sometimes it’s more important to understand why things should be a certain way. We enlisted the help of a team of association experts to teach us how they used QuickBooks and to share how they wanted their AMS to integrate. With their guidance, our development team didn’t simply “connect” to QuickBooks. We found ways to enhance QuickBooks’ native functionality to better reflect the way that associations actually work.