5 Ways to Connect Sales to Finance with Salesforce

This post lists five different ways you can connect your Sales team to your Finance team if you use Salesforce. No solution is explicitly better or worse, but depends on your company’s needs, size, growth, and all sorts of other factors. Please contact Dhruvsoft if you’d like a personal recommendation based on your needs.

1) Use Salesforce Orders

Salesforce introduced the Orders object in early 2014. It answers the question, “What do I do after I mark the Opportunity Closed Won?” Orders allows people to create the order for the client. What’s great about an Order is that it’s designed to work with other important Salesforce Objects, like Products.

Orders is available with Salesforce Professional Edition and up.

2) Create your own Export / Import tool.

Many finance systems simply won’t integrate with Salesforce. But you can create a data export as a CSV file surprisingly easy from Salesforce, and import that to your Finance tool. This can be done hourly, nightly or weekly, depending on your needs.

Data Exports are best setup first as Reports and exported manually. This isn’t a long term solution, but by using Reports, you’ll figure out exactly what you want to do. You might have to tweak the data in Excel a bit, possibly saving again as a CSV, but you’ll soon figure out a manual arrangement that works.

Once you have done this half a dozen times, you’re ready to make it more automated. You can use Data Loader (and possibly run Data Loader automatically as a CRON job), or write SOQL, or have an Apex Scheduled job. As with many things in Salesforce, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. This may still require a manual upload effort, but the download can be automated. Finally, if you upload to an FTP site or similar, or a shared folder, you might even be able to automate the upload to the other system.

3) Use a dedicated tool like Breadwinner or Zapier.

These tools are very different. Breadwinner was designed with one purpose in mind, to sync Salesforce with QuickBooks Online. (it also syncs with Xero). As a result, the integration is incredibly tight, and everything works out of the box. This integration also allows constant updates, so when an Invoice in QuickBooks Online is updated, the change is reflected in Breadwinner.

Zapier’s power is that it integrates everything with everything. So while the integration won’t be as tight, at the same time as an Opportunity being closed, it can also fire off a ‘Zap’ as they are called to MailChimp, or InfusionSoft, or many other tools. Unfortunately, Zapier doesn’t allow Invoices to be updated in Salesforce when they are changed or paid in QuickBooks Online. This is the cost of their many-to-many integration.

4) Use FinancialForce

FinancialForce Accounting is for large companies that need incredibly tight integration between Salesforce and with their Finance system. FF Accounting actually runs on Salesforce. In theory you could use it as a stand-alone product without Salesforce, but that’s incredibly rare (and defeats the whole purpose of using FinancialForce).

Expect to spend a fair amount of time setting up FF Accounting. It’s benefit is it’s power, but that power requires configuration and fine tuning. This is why only larger organisations find it’s ROI makes sense for them. You can also read up on FinancialForce alternatives.

5) Wait until SageLife comes out

As of Summer 2015, SageLife has been hyped and mentioned by Salesforce a lot. As with all technologies, it’s first appearance is sure to underwhelm, but it will do doubt progress to be the SME Powerhouse in the Salesforce Finance world. We look forward to seeing where it goes!

Speak Your Mind