Salesforce Accounting: 10 Things Admins Should Know

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As Salesforce admins, we work with a lot of software, but among the most important ones, is accounting software. Since financial management and analysis are critical to business growth and sustainability, accounting is a critical component of the Salesforce ecosystem. 

This article will outline why it is important that you should keep accounting on Salesforce and how that works.

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Why Accounting Software Is Mission-Critical

It’s important to understand that the accounting system/software isn’t just another app. It is as critical as the core Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system itself. Why? Everything your organization does touches accounting on some level. The apps that you manage and connect together to form a network will have to work with the accounting system on some level. This is especially the case when it comes to the sales process. 

Whether you convert a lead to a sale in Salesforce or you’re restocking inventory with an app on the Platform©, this data needs to be shared efficiently and accurately with the general ledger. This allows your financial team to account for the income and expenses generated by the business. More though, this is important for tracking the financial health of the organization and determining return on investment for all you do.

How Does Salesforce Accounting Work?

Salesforce is not accounting software. You still need a dedicated accounting solution that will house the transactional data initiated by your other apps and then manage their respective debits and credits. If your company is on Salesforce, you have two options.

  1. You can use native Salesforce accounting software. These are solutions that are built on Salesforce with the same IT architecture and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These accounting solutions are built to immediately connect with other native apps and function in the Salesforce ecosystem. An example of native Salesforce accounting software would be Accounting Seed.
  2. You can use an off-platform accounting solution and create a custom integration to connect the 3rd party software with your Salesforce org. An example of non-Salesforce-based accounting software would be QuickBooks or Sage Intacct, which can be connected through tools like DBSync.

As an admin, you have virtually endless options of technology to work with and integrate to Salesforce. However, you’re naturally going to prioritize options that work fluidly with the rest of the Salesforce system. When it comes to accounting software, the easiest and the most sustainable option is to use native accounting software. Let’s look at why, and how the two different types of accounting software stack up.

5 Things to Know about Native Salesforce Accounting Software

Native accounting products are built using the Salesforce platform. Some of these products are also considered Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. Native refers to the shared connection between software built with the same Salesforce architecture. These apps speak the same language and are Salesforce-ready. Here’s what you should know when it comes to native accounting apps.

  1. Using native Salesforce accounting apps means you don’t need to develop an integration to connect Salesforce tools to your accounting solution. It’s already connected. Consequently, this eliminates the continued expense of maintaining the IT integration. 
  2. Implementation of the accounting solution is much faster than an outside product.
  3. Data is easier to access, more manageable, and totally within the Salesforce Platform, in the accounting system. Use Salesforce’s robust sharing and security model to control access to your accounting data.
  4. Cross-application automation makes it easier to control multiple dimensions of your operations with required financial processes, and vice versa.
  5. You gain a single source of truth when it comes to your financial data. Forget manual entry and inconsistencies. This setup provides a one-and-done stream from your Salesforce apps to your accounting. Reporting is now just a click away.

The connectivity between native apps is highly stable and reliable because of how simple it is to share data with one another. All company data remains consolidated in Salesforce, which creates a simple stream of data sharing for the various connected apps. This means that technical issues are minimal, if not non-existent.

All of these factors, combined with the inherited flexibility of Salesforce architecture, make Salesforce accounting software more reliable, efficient, and easier to manage. This gives you more accurate and controllable accounting.

5 Things to Know about Non-Salesforce Accounting Applications

You can connect with and work with non-Salesforce-based accounting systems, but only with the use of integration. As you know, integrations can come with several disadvantages as opposed to just being able to work through the different tools and apps on Salesforce.  The integration will directly impact your overall IT network and how your Salesforce instance handles accounting.

For some businesses, an integration or sub-ledger architecture accounting system that’s outside of Salesforce might make the most sense. Many companies start by integrating to more basic accounting programs and find success, however, they often migrate their accounting onto Salesforce as their accounting needs grow. Here’s what you should be aware of:

1. Integrating to an outside accounting application is a costly investment. The costs include paying for the custom integration development, implementation, and IT maintenance. 

  • Whenever major updates occur in Salesforce and your connected apps, the outside application will need to be updated and adjusted accordingly.

2. The traditional integrations required to link to software outside of Salesforce are very complicated.

  • Three distinct steps to share data with the accounting system, while native Salesforce-to-Salesforce integration requires one-third of the work. 
  • While integrations can be robust, all this activity does leave room for data loss/errors, and dysfunctions to occur. The integration can also slow your accounting and business functions, requiring said data.

3. Not all of your data is centralized, making it vulnerable to loss and errors. This often leads to administrative delays too.

  • When working with outside accounting apps, the data is being migrated to another database. Staff must perform a separate validation just to ensure data accuracy. 
  • However, with native solutions on-platform, all the data is centralized and consolidated for streamlined and accurate data flow

4. Implementation for external accounting software typically takes longer and is more complicated than staying on Salesforce. 

  • Connectors and middleware must also be used and calibrated to facilitate the integration – costing more time and money. 

5. Even if outside accounting software can sync with Salesforce, they will have none of the Salesforce tools and core features of the platform. 

  • Out-of-the-box native tools, like session security for example, are not present in outside apps. 
  • Additionally, you may have to develop more codes to facilitate complex accounting processes and automation between Salesforce and the accounting solution.

When you rely on a solution outside of the Salesforce ecosystem, you’re not taking advantage of assets that are already available to you as a user. The Appexchange houses all kinds of solutions, which are already designed to work together, without any strain, stress, and risks surrounding integration. Additionally, native apps and underlying platform functionality continue to grow and develop, allowing them to upgrade and work off of each other easily. 

In a nutshell, it’s easier to work on a single pane of glass than multiple shards. Instead of juggling an outside accounting app and your Salesforce, it’s much easier, and better for your accounting lifecycle, to use a solution that’s fully infused with Salesforce.

Native Salesforce Accounting vs Outside Accounting Apps

If you’re on Salesforce, native accounting software typically makes the most sense and will often be the best and most cost-effective option. Otherwise, you must find and then integrate to a solution outside the Platform. Instead, we highly recommend doing yourself, your company, and your accountant a favor by keeping the accounting on Salesforce. Everything from the lead to the general ledger can be done in a matter of clicks in a single view. Doesn’t this sound better than shuffling between Salesforce and another app? 

Besides having your main business functions centralized on Salesforce, your organization has the benefit of a flexible, streamlined accounting life cycle on the platform. To learn more about how Accounting works on Salesforce, check out the Ultimate Guide to Accounting on Salesforce.

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