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A QuickBooks Integration…Wine Not? Here’s why.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about accounting tasks, the terms “quick,” “flexible,” and “painless” do not come to mind. Accounting is daunting. And for good reason. Businesses depend on regular cash flow and timely deposits, which in turn rely on thorough and accurate accounting practices. Inefficient systems that require a lot of data manipulation make these practices even more tedious. So, focus on solutions that streamline your accounting processes, and you save time and money.

Driving Efficiency

One of the most streamlined processes I can think of is a car engine. The parts that makeup a car’s engine work together in a cyclical fashion to achieve the goal of motion. It doesn’t take a mechanic to understand how one inefficient part can have a negative impact on the engine’s performance. This analogy can be applied to your business units.

Picture your business as a well-oiled machine. Your accounting department operates as the inlet and outlet valves. These valves allow gas into the cylinder and allow the spent gases to escape. They’re designed to open and close at precise moments, to allow your engine to run efficiently at all speeds.

In some months wineries do club-runs and process many orders, followed by slower months during the summer when they process fewer orders when wine is costly to ship to hot states. Similar to the car engine’s valves, accounting processes should be flexible enough to handle any given load with the same efficiency.

Show me the Numbers

Analogies are great but accountants deal in numbers, not words. Let’s review some interesting statistics about small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small business owners with an emphasis on accounting in the modern age.

74% of SMEs use QuickBooks to manage their accounting.

QuickBooks has maintained its popularity among SMEs since its initial release in the early 1980s. Wineries are no exception to that. Over the last 8 years, WineGlass Marketing has mapped order data from ecommerce platforms to QuickBooks for more than 400 wineries.

60% of small-business owners feel they are not very knowledgeable about accounting and finance .

For anyone without an accounting background, QuickBooks can be confusing software and the terminology that it seems obscure. What we in the business refer to as “orders” get moved to QuickBooks as “Sales Receipts” and refunds are generally moved over as “Credit Memos.” QuickBooks experts seem to speak their own language. By automating your accounting process with a QuickBooks integration, you are essentially letting the software do the translating for you. 

Among failed SMEs, 60% cited cash flow as a cause.

Cash flow is essential for small business success. A great way to improve cash flow is to optimize and automate your processes. Instead of your staff spending time manually entering orders into QuickBooks, wouldn’t it be a better use of their time to focus on accounts receivable?

70% of accountants worldwide see their role becoming more strategic due to automation, while close to one-third are still using manual methods.

 Most accountants are experts at financial strategy. Instead of paying them to do time consuming order reconciliation and other manual tasks, why not pay them to help you improve your cash flow or to find innovative ways to reduce your business expenses?

75% of SMEs are open to embracing new technology, but of those polled, 30% find it hard to adopt.

Using iPads in the tasting room seems like a no-brainer in 2019, but you would be surprised how many wineries still haven’t implemented them. Most wineries are small, family owned and operated, with legacy procedures and software in place.

Hesitant to spend money on new technology? Do your research, request product demos, and ask the technology reps for reference. Ask to talk to users of the technology for a first-hand perspective at how well it improves workflow.

Top reasons for accountants adopting new technology are time and efficiency (64%) and improving service quality (44%).

If you are trying to convince yourself (or management) that the investment in new technology is worth the price, focus on products that will increase efficiency and flexibility of your current procedures. Make sure that you invest in technology that adds value to your business

Among SMEs that have an accountant, 22% employ an outsourced accountant.

In California, the going rate for a consulting accountant is anywhere from $80 to $450 per hour depending on the type of work that you hire them to do. Let’s say your accountant charges you $150 an hour to reconcile your orders every month in QuickBooks and it takes them 3-4 hours to do so because they spend time researching errors and manually inputting refunds. If this is the case, you pay them about $500 a month, just to do order reconciliation. If you purchase an integration tool that decreases the time it takes them to reconcile orders, the tool may pay for itself in the first few months of use.

More of This, Less of That

Small businesses, wineries included, are often operated by only a handful of people. This creates the need for the employees of said businesses to be cross-trained utility players.

Order reconciliation is something that a small business owner or employee can do with the proper training and the right tools in place – freeing up your accounting professionals to focus on how to collect and save you money.

Human beings make mistakes. With a QuickBooks integration in place there are fewer data entry errors because there is far less human data entry needed. A decrease in errors and time spent correcting information allows businesses to work faster and more profitably. A QuickBooks integration gives you the flexibility to handle errors as they happen. Because the information is automatically updated, you can decide when you want to go in and reconcile. In general, integration software reduces man-hours, increases efficiency, and improves company productivity. If you decide to integrate QuickBooks with your ecommerce platform, happy staff and efficient financials can be yours.

Integrations are the NOW

On the topic of integrations between winery SaaS (Software as a Service) companies and 3rd party best of breed applications…

By: Natalie Williams

Industry leaders are painfully aware of the legacy-state of winery software and the limitations that wineries have to adapt to while using these applications. What is really exciting is that some of us are out there working to catapult winery software into the same space that companies like DropBox, SalesForce and Slack currently operate in. These companies have open APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow for integrations between their software and other software, often seamlessly.

We’re all a little different.

To be successful, a winery needs to be unique — it has to own its niche in the consumers mind. It makes sense then that winery ecommerce/CRM platforms will never offer exactly what each winery requires. Integrations with 3rd party applications are the answer.

Wineries are finding that they can better interact with their customers using 3rd party applications that offer more features then their winery SaaS applications can provide. In order to get your customer data from your ecommerce/CRM platform into those 3rd party applications (or vice versa) an integration is necessary. To demonstrate how these integrations work, let’s examine a couple scenarios.

Winery A is focused solely on DTC sales and needs to send personalized emails to its buyers based on their unique purchase trends, but their current ecommerce/CRM platform houses the data and the mail system does not. If only the two systems could talk to each other! An integration can be established between their ecommerce/CRM platform and their mail system so that data that is collected in one will sync to the other. Now Winery A can send automated marketing emails to customers based on their lifetime value, purchasing history, and other advanced segments.

Not sold on integrations yet? Let’s talk money. Winery B outsources their accounting, which is costly because the order data generated in their ecommerce/CRM platform has to be manually entered into their accounting software on a daily basis. Why can’t this data automatically populate in their accounting software? With an integration, it can! By automating this process Winery B will save money on accounting.

There will never exist a winery ecommerce/CRM platform that can offer everything a winery needs within one application. By having the ability to integrate the right feature-laden application with their existing winery SaaS applications, wineries will have more flexibility in interacting with their customer base which means more opportunities to drive revenue.

More time to make wine.

The goal is to work smarter, not harder, which is why paying for integrations between the various business applications you use is a no-brainer. Business integrations drive efficiency and improve functionality.

Wineries want their product to sell itself. While that is not always possible, the idea is that a sale should require as few employee touch-points as possible. If your data is setup to flow between applications, the amount of manual entry will decrease and your insights will increase.

Integrations triggered by an abandoned shopping cart event.*

With just a few integrations in place, the following scenario is possible. A customer clicks on a Facebook Ad about your wine that takes them to your website. They put a few bottles in their cart but don’t checkout before they bounce. Their abandoned cart on your website triggers an email to the customer that results in a sale. The sale is processed in your chosen ecommerce/CRM platform. The sales data is captured in your email platform so you can target this customer when certain wines are on sale. The click-through-rate and open rate information flows to your ecommerce/CRM platform so you can monitor how this customer has responded to your campaigns historically. The order data gets auto-batched to your accounting software that night.

The integration scenario that was just described can happen automatically, in as close to real-time as the API’s will allow. And how many employee touch-points did it have? None.

There is a huge potential for software integrations to free up employees from manual data entry so that their time could be put to better use. Wineries that choose to integrate their business applications will have a clear advantage: more time to innovate and focus on strategy that will drive revenue.

Integrations are SaaS-sy.

With so many SaaS companies offering so many great services to wineries, it can be a daunting task deciding which ones are worth paying to integrate with your ecommerce/CRM platform. Our advice is to take a step back and find out which arm of your business could use some added efficiency.

Are you spending a lot of time digging through your data or manually entering it? Start there and ask yourself if there are any integrations available that you can employ. If you find yourself with a unique situation–there is always the option for a custom integration. You’ll just have to pay for one. This is when a simple cost analysis projection can tell you if the investment in a custom integration will be worth your while.

The benefits of integration software in the wine industry are endless. As long as API’s remain open, the sky is the limit.

 

* Intuit and QuickBooks  are trademarks and service marks of Intuit Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. Mailchimp® is a registered trademark ofThe Rocket Science Group. Commerce7 is a registered trademark of Commerce7. WineDirect is registered trademark of WineDirect, Inc.