Chapter 21. Sharing QuickBooks Data with Other Programs

Most businesses use lots of programs besides QuickBooks to keep things running smoothly. In many of those programs, data from QuickBooks could be very useful for doing things like studying your company’s financial ratios, calculating employee bonuses based on hours worked and services sold, or sending special sales letters to customers on their birthdays. Likewise, other programs might contain data that you could use in QuickBooks. For example, if you use an estimating program that has all the products and services you sell in its database, there’s no reason to re-enter those in QuickBooks.

QuickBooks doesn’t share its most intimate details with just any program. It reserves its data for a few select programs—or the ones you tell it to play with nicely—and then it gets really chummy. For example, in QuickBooks, you can set up letters to send to some of your customers—and the program automatically opens Microsoft Word with your customer data merged into form letters and envelopes. If you use Outlook or Act! as your contact management tool, keeping records up to date is easy. By synchronizing your QuickBooks company file and your contact database, you enter changes in one place and the programs automatically copy data from one file to the other.

All programs that can read a QuickBooks company file, be they Word, Act!, Outlook, or others, have to ask permission to grab QuickBooks data. The QuickBooks administrator (or other QuickBooks ...

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