While there are low-cost (and some free) tools that can be used to simply ‘get your orders into the accounting system’, a well-designed (and supported) commercial integration can better support how your business records General Ledger transactions and actually help you sell more product; thus paying for itself in an extremely short period of time. Support for this assertion can be found in the following paragraphs.
If you are a developer that has been tasked with sourcing an eCommerce integration for a client, it is highly recommended that you confer with your client regarding the following criteria. Business owners tend to be more concerned with the continuity and capability of their operations than trying to save a few hundred dollars. Failing even one of the following criteria can turn the money/time your client spends on a lesser product, into a sunk-cost.
There are no safe assumptions when evaluating integrations
Are these capabilities important to your business?
- Recognizes G/L accounts of individual items?
- Rule-based creation of customer names?
- Updates using Invent. Avail. vs. Qty. on-hand?
- Phone orders trigger inventory updates?
- Detailed feature-list to aid your decision?
- Try before you buy! No money up-front.
- History of positive reviews?
- Money-back Guarantee?
- Phone number indicated on website?
- Support for Assembly-based products?
- Support for QuickBooks Group-Item products?
- Recognizes CC used in transaction?
- Keeps customer info current?
- Support for Coupons/Discounts?
- Pull orders by multiple status'?
- Fast efficient synchronization?
CartSpan offers value vs. integrations that ‘just get you by’
Competitive integrations like the one compared above utilize a common ledger account for items, regardless of how you have them configured on the QuickBooks side. Most businesses classify their products differently for the purpose of analyzing sales. This capability is lost because there is no dynamic interaction with the QuickBooks company file to support this detail in the import.
Also, many competitive integrations for WooCommerce do not recognize assembled product types in the QuickBooks system. If you are offering anything other than the basic ‘Inventory Item’ in QuickBooks, you are going to have difficulties importing them properly into the accounting system from WooCommerce. The CartSpan integration for WooCommerce closed this gap beautifully and even provides advanced support the ‘Group Item’ in QuickBooks.
Relying upon your integration to help increase your sales has less to do with the order import side of the equation than with the practice of effective stock management between systems. If you have a significant number of products to manage and don’t update availability in WooCommerce in a timely manner, you are losing significant income opportunities.
Hard Benefits: CartSpan provides a deep integration with QuickBooks to provide you with near real-time updates of product availability in your store. So, as soon as you receive stock into the accounting system or accept a new order over the phone, CartSpan sees the new inventory and will pushes an updated quantity-available to WooCommerce. If you are a manufacturer, CartSpan offers a stock management feature that projects how many of an assembled item you can offer based upon supporting stock. See our blog post, Inventory Management for Assembled Product Types, for details on how this feature can increase your earnings.
Soft Benefits: Don’t discount the ‘softer’ side of how a good integration can maximize the use your accounting system. If you are constantly changing, adjusting, or ‘tweaking’ your imports to reflect how you do business, you might ask yourself, Am I really saving that much time? CartSpan is built for QuickBooks and maximizes integration opportunities. These finer points of integration can be found on our Product Features page for order imports as well as for inventory updates.
To ‘piggy-back’ on a well-known phrase, “CartSpan integrates your WooCommerce with QuickBooks…beautifully.”
We support for some very popular WooCommerce extensions
Stripe Payment Gateway WooCommerce Addon (FREE!) – Syed “Nazrul” Hassan, author of the ‘Stripe Payment Gateway WooCommerce Addon’ (SPGWA) has extended the functionality of his extension to support CartSpan integration with WooCommerce. The basic WooCommerce implementation allows payments to be taken via PayPal, but will not provide suitable detail regarding the payment method for merchants to reconcile payments. The basic PayPal integration will only provide back a reference of ‘Credit Card’ for the online payment transaction. His ‘Stripe Payment Gateway’ has been extended to allow merchants using the CartSpan eCommerce integration to import a ‘real’ reference as to what type of credit card was actually used (i.e., Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc.) as well as a reference to the last four digits of the card used.
This small, but very important feature, supports a superior integration where the merchant may more easily reconcile payments made with bank statements from the associated card companies. This functionality is especially useful with QuickBooks U.S. accounting system where the built-in ‘Undeposited Funds’ feature is targeted to this business process of payment reconciliation.
We are aware of no other extension for WooCommerce that enables this level of support for payment method detail…not even the commercial extensions offered by WooThemes. We are also not aware of any other accounting integration tool for WooCommerce capable of utilizing this additional detail even if it were provided by the gateway. CartSpan + SPGWA represents the most effective approach to accounting integration and payment reconciliation available. Though this Addon is offered for ‘free’, many developers rely on supplemental income via the donation process to sustain themselves. So, if you end up using this Addon, please consider ‘buying Nazrul a beer’ to show your appreciation!
WooCommerce Sequential Order Numbers Pro plugin – If your business has a ‘must-have’ requirement of order numbers being formatted to a legacy convention, the Sequential Order Numbers Pro plug-in by WooThemes may be able to help you. It supports initialization of the order numbers themselves to a value that you choose, as well as options for adding a customer prefix and/or suffix.
Testimonials from Customers and Developers:
September 2, 2015
When our company decided it was time for a website overhaul, we went with WooCommerce. After researching integration options, CartSpan stood out as the best option. We needed something to download our orders into QuickBooks and also be able to update inventory quantities on our WooCommerce site. CartSpan does both. Scott Wheeler is also very helpful with any issues and concerns. He actually added a function we requested that related to how item prices are updated when certain products are on sale. Talk about personalized service! I would not hesitate to recommend CartSpan to anyone needing integration between their e-commerce site and accounting software.
Brian Evers, Owner, PDR Outlet @ pdroutlet.com
August 25, 2015
I was asked to develop an e-commerce website and shopping cart to replace an existing WordPress/Yahoo Shopping Cart site. The client’s first priority was to integrate orders and stock management with their Sage 50 accounting system. The company CFO had done some research and asked me to check out CartSpan. CartSpan’s specs met the company’s accounting and stock management needs. Using WordPress, WooCommerce, and CartSpan I developed a website that meets both the e-commerce and accounting needs of the client.
Scott provided great support to get CartSpan installed, and tested, and has been available without fail through the growing pains and changes of the website. He has continued to provided effective and professional support for CartSpan, with quick turnaround. It is a great pleasure to work with Scott.
Patricia Gill, Web Developer @ saidthespider.net