QuickBooks Integration: Getting Credit Card Processing Data into QuickBooks
Intuit’s QuickBooks is a popular choice for business accounting, and if you accept credit cards, you’re probably wondering how you can automatically input your sales data into QuickBooks. Contrary to popular belief, taking credit cards with QuickBooks isn't limited to one processing company. There are many processors who are able to offer integration or data export for QuickBooks, eliminating manual transaction entry.
- Types of QuickBooks Solutions
- How do I get transaction data into my QuickBooks account?
- Should I just use QuickBooks Payments to process credit cards so that transactions will sync automatically?
Types of QuickBooks Solutions
First, it’s important to understand which QuickBooks programs or systems you want to integrate. Intuit offers several QuickBooks solutions: accounting software, payment processing, and point-of-sale software.
QuickBooks Accounting SoftwareQuickBooks accounting software is what most businesses are referring to when they talk about QuickBooks. The accounting software is very popular in business, and includes features to manage accounts payable, track sales and expenses, create invoices, create tax reports, and more. QuickBooks Online also falls into this category.
QuickBooks Payments is the payment processing branch of Intuit QuickBooks. It can be used for accepting payments online and with a mobile device, or by sending an electronic invoice. QuickBooks Payments allows acceptance of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express, as well as ACH bank transfers, and has transaction fees for accepting cards. If you use QuickBooks Payments and QuickBooks accounting software, your transactions automatically sync.
QuickBooks Point of Sale Software
QuickBooks Point of Sale is Intuit’s software solution for accepting credit card payments when the customer is present with their card, such as in retail stores or restaurants. QuickBooks Point of Sale software can be used on a point-of-sale system powered by Revel or with compatible desktop computers. Intuit suggests using QuickBooks Point of Sale with QuickBooks Payments for Point of Sale, allowing for automatic syncing with QuickBooks accounting software.
QuickBooks Point of Sale does not require using QuickBooks Payments and can be used with any payment processor. However, Point of Sale will only directly integrate with QuickBooks Payments to allow you to authorize transactions from the Point of Sale software. This means that if you choose to use QuickBooks Point of Sale software with a different payment processor, you will have to manually enter transaction information. It’s not advisable to use QuickBooks Point of Sale without also using a QuickBooks Payments merchant account for card processing. Note that some processors state they’re able to integrate with QuickBooks Point of Sale or offer plugins. These plugins may not be QuickBooks-approved and are not guaranteed to work. In the FAQ section of their website, QuickBooks explicitly states that, “QuickBooks Payments is the only service that allows you to authorize credit card transactions directly from the actual sales record in the software.”
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to discuss options available to input card transaction information into your QuickBooks accounting software without manual entry.
QuickBooks accounting software is available in multiple versions. Currently, Intuit offers the following:
- QuickBooks Self-Employed
- QuickBooks Online
- QuickBooks Pro
- QuickBooks Premier
- QuickBooks Enterprise
- QuickBooks for Mac
All of this software provides accounting and management functions. These programs do not allow for payment acceptance by themselves. You will need to have a merchant account with a payment processor to accept card payments.
How do I get transaction data into my QuickBooks accounting software?
There are several options for reconciling sales and transaction data with QuickBooks. You can use a point-of-sale system that integrates directly with QuickBooks, you can use a payment processor that offers a gateway with a QuickBooks plugin to process from QuickBooks, or you can use a processor that offers transaction data export to QuickBooks.
Point of Sale System IntegrationA direct integration to QuickBooks through a point-of-sale system is easy, but has the least number of choices in both point-of-sale programs and payment processors. With this type of integration, the point-of-sale software must be compatible with QuickBooks software, and the payment processor must be able to support the point-of-sale software. Intuit maintains a searchable database of POS systems that can be integrated with QuickBooks.
For example, let’s say you want to open a retail store and use QuickBooks in your accounting department. After visiting Intuit’s database to find compatible solutions, you choose to use AccuPOS for your point-of-sale software, and purchase a POS bundle that includes AccuPOS software on a touchscreen POS system with a cash drawer and receipt printer. You also purchase QuickBooks accounting software. Additionally, you’ll need a merchant account from a processor that supports AccuPOS. In this example, you would need a merchant account directly from AccuPOS or from Mercury Payment Solutions, as those are the two processors who can support AccuPOS systems.
With an integrated system like AccuPOS, inventory and items for sale are set up in QuickBooks and then copied to the POS system to create a cash register-style interface for employees. At the end of shifts, the integrated POS system automatically updates QuickBooks with sales information.
Gateway PluginThe option of a gateway plugin for QuickBooks provides more choices in payment processors. With gateway plugins, you can pay invoices, generate receipts, process batch transactions view batch reports, and more without exiting QuickBooks. A variety of processors support gateway plugins. Some plugins can support swiped card transactions if a compatible encrypted card reader is connected. When choosing a payment processor, you can ask the company’s customer service representative if their gateway offers a QuickBooks plugin.
The most common option, exporting data to QuickBooks, is supported by a wide range of processors and services, such as Shopify, PayPal, Authorize.Net, BigCommerce, Volusion, WooCommerce, Stripe, Etsy, Amazon, Vend, and more.
With the export option, you can easily export data in a QuickBooks-friendly format and import it directly into your QuickBooks software. Some services require you to initiate the export of data from your system into QuickBooks each time you want to reconcile it, while other services (like PayPal) can be configured to automatically import transaction data into QuickBooks.
The process for submitting data to QuickBooks varies, but many services offer a one-click feature to send transaction data directly to your QuickBooks account. Note that some features (such as one-click data export) are only compatible with QuickBooks Online.
While exporting to QuickBooks does require a small amount of time because transactions must be first exported from your payment system and then imported into QuickBooks, the process has become more streamlined and many businesses report the process is very quick and easy.
Exporting to QuickBooks provides the most choice of payment processors.
Should I just use QuickBooks Payments to process credit cards so that transactions will sync automatically?
The ideal payment processor will vary depending on your specific business needs. QuickBooks Payments may be more expensive than your current processor or other available processors. Taking credit cards isn't cheap, and most businesses don't want to give away more than they have to. Be sure to request quotes from different processors or sign up for free at CardFellow to compare rates available to you.