VIDEO: QuickBooks Integration 101

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The integration between QuickBooks and a 3rd Party Application is often very transparent – and totally confusing to both QuickBooks ProAdvisors and end users.   The communication between the two programs takes place behind the scenes leaving very little to be seen – often only the end result of a report or task done outside of QuickBooks OR a transaction created in the 3rd party program that is posted into the data file.

Everyone says “I need to SEE how IT (the integration) works”. It’s becoming more apparent that people confuse “integration” (the developer’s code) with HOW (the end result) the program works with the data from QuickBooks; even after watching a video about what the program does and how it does it.

Definitions from the Computing Dictionary at

  • Integration – Combining software or hardware components or both into an overall system.
  • Transparent – Not visible, hidden; said of a system which functions in a manner not evident to the user.

The SDK was initially released in 2001, to work with the desktop versions of QuickBooks 2002 and newer; it enables a developers desktop application to share data with the desktop version of QuickBooks, and was designed to enable QuickBooks accounting professionals and end-users to “Never Enter Data Twice (NED2 TM)”.

All communication (or conversations if you will) between QuickBooks and applications created with the SDK follow a single basic pattern of events. After you install a 3rd party program, one of the first things that you’ll need to do is give it permission to work with your QuickBooks data file.  Essentially a conversation takes place, the 3rd party application says something like: “Hi QuickBooks, I’m Application X and I’d like to work with this company data file”.

I’ve created the video below {sorry too large for YouTube), which demonstrates:

  • How to create a new user in QuickBooks for the application for testing it’s integration
  • How to grant permissions for the 3rd party application
  • What the Audit Trail looks like when an application can read, write, and modify pay rates
  • What the Audit Trail looks like when an application ONLY reads payroll data


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