Real Time Updating Between SharePoint and QuickBooks

It is possible to develop real time data updating between SharePoint Lists and QuickBooks. This includes either QuickBooks desktop clients or QuickBooks Online and either SharePoint in house or online versions. Setting up the update process requires staff with computing expertise to develop and maintain the interface. I thought it would be worthwhile to mention the process even though the small business that this blog is meant for do not usually have such expertise.

SharePoint Lists can be update by QuickBooks and vis a versa using the Open Data Protocol (OData). Microsoft initiated OData back in 2007. CData Cloud Driver for QuickBooks can be used to give users the ability to access and update QuickBooks data in SharePoint. The use of this product does require computing expertise but makes it much easier to setup. The Professional version of the product, required to communicate with SharePoint, costs $1,049 for an annual license fee or $2,399 for a perpetual license. While this is not inexpensive for a small business, it is also not overly costly.

Some small business may find it cost effective to hire a OData consultant to establish their SharePoint to QuickBooks connection once they defined their SharePoint Lists. If the lists are fairly static in nature, then in house staff is not needed to maintain the interface.

A Look at Microsoft’s SharePoint Mileage Tracker

UPDATE:  This application is no longer available in the SharePoint Store.

Microsoft provides a free SharePoint mileage tracker app through its SharePoint Store. It is a SharePoint Access application, consequently you will need Access services as part of your SharePoint subscription. Here is the link to the app in the SharePoint Store. A screen shot of the application is presented below.

The application was developed back in 2013 and it has not been enhanced since. It is a very basic application and may be appropriate for business that don’t need much for tracking their vehicles. The app is not synced to any SharePoint Lists so you have to enter and maintain the data from scratch. For example, if you have a SharePoint Customer List and make a change to that list, the change is not reflected in the Mileage Log application. You need to go in and change it there also. This is very different than my post “Lead Tracking – Direct Sales & Mailings” where that Access application is synced with SharePoint Lists and double entry is not required.

I do not post much about SharePoint Access applications since in my opinion they are problematic for small business. Here are my reasons:

  1. You need an Access developer to properly build and maintain the application.
  2. Reporting against the Access application requires maintaining a local version of the application. This adds more complexity to your computing environment.
  3. Limiting SharePoint users from using the application can be complex or require a separated subsite.
  4. Changes to List Columns that are synced to Access tables require additional steps to reflect those changes in the Access application and you need to be careful and know what you are doing.

I included a screen shot of QuickBooks’ Vehicle tracking screen for comparison. Obliviously, it is integrated so you don’t need to enter data in two different places. It also allows the tracking of vehicle usage against customer/jobs, items, and class. As with the timesheet, you can mark the mileage as billable and include it on the customer invoice.