How to Integrate eTapestry and QuickBooks Online

Written by Jeffrey Haguewood on 12/20/16

Most Blackbaud® eTapestry® users also use Intuit® QuickBooks® for bookkeeping and accounting software.

QuickBooks and eTapestry track similar types of data, but record that data in slightly different ways. Transactions added to eTapestry as gifts and donations are logged in QuickBooks as transactions and deposits.

Unfortunately, we see too many organizations entering the same transactions twice, once in eTapestry and then a second time in QuickBooks.

Connecting eTapestry and QuickBooks via an integration should be a top priority because it will save you time.

The Basics of eTapestry to QuickBooks Integration

First, you need to identify what version of Intuit QuickBooks you are using. There are two versions: QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online (more on the versions later in this post).

Second, it is important to understand how an eTapestry to QuickBooks integration works and the steps that are involved.

The connection between eTapestry and QuickBooks is a workflow. When you receive a donation or gift, enter that transaction in eTapestry. Your eTapestry database is your "system of record" and first point of data entry. Then, via integration, log the transaction in QuickBooks.

This workflow may seem counterintuitive, especially if you use other tools to process transactions like bank-initiated ACH/EFT, PayPal, or another online fundraising and event software.

You might be thinking, shouldn’t all of this data go into QuickBooks first?

The best practice is to enter all data into eTapestry first, making eTapestry your donor management and fundraising hub.

After entering transactions in eTapestry, transactions are then sent to QuickBooks.

Why enter data in eTapestry first?

The workflow starts in eTapestry and ends in QuickBooks because of a principle called “reverse detail.”

Your eTapestry database captures more data than your QuickBooks system. For example, eTapestry tracks detailed account and transaction data. For the most part, these details aren’t tracked in QuickBooks. When you send data from eTapestry to QuickBooks, the data is stripped of some detail because that additional detail generally isn’t needed to produce your organization’s financial statements.

Here is another way to look at it.  

If we agree that QuickBooks generally tracks less data than eTapestry, we cannot simply reverse the workflow by sending data from QuickBooks to eTapestry. Data is missing. The data tracked in QuickBooks is incomplete and does not match the requirements of your eTapestry database. Integrations only work if you start with the system with the most detail and move the data to the system with the least detail.

QuickBooks Desktop Integration for eTapestry

Your Blackbaud eTapestry database can integrate with QuickBooks Desktop, but it isn’t the type of integration you might be looking for.

Every eTapestry database can export a specially formatted file for manual import into QuickBooks Desktop. This special file is called an “IIF” file, standing for “Intuit Interchange Format.” It is a glorified Excel file formatted specifically for imports into QuickBooks Desktop.

The integration between eTapestry and QuickBooks Desktop is a manual import with multiple steps.

  1. Export the IIF file from eTapestry on a set frequency (once per day, week, or month).
  2. Back up your QuickBooks Desktop system before completing the import.
  3. Review the IIF file from eTapestry to quickly confirm that everything is accurate.
  4. Import the transactions into QuickBooks using the IIF file from eTapestry.
  5. Review the import results and complete a reconciliation to confirm accuracy.
  6. Mass update all transactions imported to QuickBooks as “Final” in eTapestry.

Unfortunately, there is no way to automate this process, but batching transactions in an import file will save time over manual data entry.

Ready to integrate eTapestry and QuickBooks Desktop? Let us do the heavy lifting of setup, training, drafting user guides, and supporting first steps. Contact us about our eTapestry consulting packages.

QuickBooks Online Integration for eTapestry

QuickBooks Online is different from QuickBooks Desktop. You cannot use the same eTapestry export and QuickBooks import process that we described above with QuickBooks Online.

While there are add-on, third-party apps that import transactions into QuickBooks Online, the QuickBooks Online platform doesn’t come with the ability to import data out of the box. Manual data entry is the only way to migrate data from eTapestry to QuickBooks Online.

We’ve seen organizations waste time manually entering transactions into QuickBooks Online from eTapestry, so we (Sidekick Solutions) developed an integration for eTapestry and QuickBooks Online.

With our integration, eTapestry users can seamlessly transfer transactions from eTapestry to QuickBooks Online.

The integration is completely hands-free, requires no manual interface, and submits new data in real time. As you enter new data into eTapestry, your bookkeeper and accountant will see recent transactions that are ready for deposit in QuickBooks Online.  You can also use the automatic reconciliation features in QuickBooks Online to confirm that each deposit is accurate.

Benefits:

  • Automated, real-time integration with no manual effort or wasted time
  • Reduces data entry time and eliminates double data entry
  • Both systems sync in real time, no missed transactions
  • Simplifies deposits in QuickBooks Online, improving reconciliation and accuracy
  • Fundraisers, bookkeepers, and accountants are on the same page

Ready to integrate eTapestry and QuickBooks Online? It is easy to get started. We take care of setup, hosting, and maintenance. Contact us to set up your integration.

Getting started with eTapestry to QuickBooks integrations

Time consuming data entry is common for eTapestry users, especially duplicate, double data entry in two or more systems. Stop wasting time on tedious data entry by integrating apps like QuickBooks and eTapestry.

Integrations are complex, so contact us if you aren’t sure where to get started. We can help you to reduce or eliminate duplicate, double data entry so you can get back to more important tasks on your to-do list.

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