How-To Guide: Seamlessly Perform a Shopify and QuickBooks Integration
Many Shopify merchants use cloud accounting software like QuickBooks for anything related to their store’s finances. QuickBooks lets Shopify merchants track bank deposits and cash flow and complete their monthly financial processes, along with other tasks necessary to running a successful online business.
But before you can make the most of QuickBooks for your Shopify store, you need to integrate it. Shopify merchants have three options when it comes to a Shopify and QuickBooks integration:
- Using an ecommerce accounting automation tool that organizes data and makes monthly bookkeeping seamlessly, like A2X
- Using a data syncing app that takes individual orders from Shopify and puts them in QuickBooks
- Downloading reports from Shopify and manually entering the data into Quickbooks
This guide will give comprehensive, step-by-step instructions on how to complete a Shopify QuickBooks integration for all three options. Whether you do it manually, use a syncing app, or opt for a best practice app like A2X, this article will equip you with the knowledge and skills to streamline your accounting processes for your Shopify store and help your business gain financial visibility.
Table of Contents
Connect Shopify to QuickBooks with ecommerce accounting automation tool, A2X
A2X is an ecommerce accounting automation tool for businesses selling on Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, & BigCommerce. Unlike other syncing apps that you can use in a Shopify QuickBooks integration, A2X doesn’t post individual orders to your accounting software. Instead, it summarizes your Shopify transaction data and sends these summaries to QuickBooks for easy reconciliation. This means your accounting software won’t be swamped with thousands of individual invoices when a business grows to thousands of orders a month.
Summarizing data is also important because Shopify releases revenue in payouts that consist of sales across multiple days. This can make it difficult to match individual orders to your batched payouts. A2X overcomes this by summarizing transaction data and ensuring those summaries perfectly match the batched payout amounts.
The main crux of the integration process is connecting your Shopify and QuickBooks accounts to your A2X dashboard, which is incredibly straightforward. Then, you can manually map out your Chart of Accounts or use A2X recommendations.
The integration process with A2X is straightforward, and numerous resources are available if you get stuck. This includes a support center, online chat, and dedicated support staff.
How to integrate Shopify with QuickBooks using A2X
- Sign up for a free A2X trial: Start the process by getting a
free trial of A2X for Shopify to QuickBooks.
- Select Create an Account and enter your details.
- Give permission to Google to log in or sign in using your QBO account.
- You will land on the A2X dashboard.
- Connect to Shopify: Click the Continue with Shopify button on the left-hand side of the A2X dashboard under the Shopify logo.
- Enter your store’s name and click Connect.
- You will be redirected to your Shopify store, and it will ask for permission to allow A2X access.
- After granting permission, A2X will return you to your A2X dashboard, and your first payouts will automatically begin populating. This could take as little as 10-20 minutes for smaller stores and a few hours for larger ones.
- Connect to QuickBooks: Click the Connect to QuickBooks button on the A2X dashboard next to the QuickBooks logo.
- You will be redirected to your QuickBooks account to grant permission for access by A2X. After giving this, A2X will return you to your dashboard.
- Check the Connections screen in A2X to check both your accounts have been correctly linked to A2X.
At this stage, you have completed a Shopify QuickBooks integration; congratulations! However, we also encourage A2X customers to complete a final step, your accounts and tax mapping. The Accounts and Taxes feature lets you map your Shopify transactions to your accounting.
Mapping out your tax categories beforehand means the data A2X sends to QuickBooks Online from Shopify is recorded according to your instructions. Imports will be coded and ready to reconcile automatically, saving you time in the future. A2X can automate this process for you using the assisted setup feature.
- Map your accounts and taxes.
- Go to the Accounts and Taxes tab on your A2X dashboard.
- A2X will prompt you with a few questions about your business. Once you’ve answered these questions, A2X will automatically apply best practice recommendations to your new A2X account for accurate ecommerce accounting. These recommendations include creating the Chart of Accounts in QBO, transaction mappings, and tax configurations.
- If you prefer to map your own transactions, you can choose your own accounts and taxes for each transaction type rather than an A2X generic default. To do this, click the down arrow next to a transaction type and find the account you want from your Chart of Accounts list.
- Once you’ve finished the process or made any other changes, click the Save Mapping button at the bottom of the page.
Note: If you create new accounts in your QuickBooks after connecting A2X, you will need to refresh your cache by going to Settings → Connections.
For detailed instructions on integrating Shopify and QuickBooks using A2X, our support center has thorough instructions with accompanying screenshots or a step-by-step checklist.
Because it’s a specialist tool, using A2X to integrate your Shopify store with QuickBooks has many benefits that can help automate your accounting process and have accurate data in your QuickBooks Online account.
It understands transaction types
One of the most significant advantages of A2X is that it can accurately identify and categorize different transaction types, such as refunds, discounts, and shipping fees. This means your financial data comes from Shopify, is accurately categorized into the correct transaction type by A2X, and then pushed through to QuickBooks. The final step is reconciliation, which you can do in one click thanks to the categorization A2X has already done.
It’s incredibly accurate and automated (saving time and errors)
Once integrated, A2X automates your accounting process, saving you hours you can use to focus on other aspects of your business. And, because A2X is an automation, it takes care of the error-prone task of manual data entry, so you don’t have to worry about mistakes in your financial records.
Order details are attached to the entry
When using QuickBooks, you want to avoid overloading your account with unnecessary data but still maintain enough to be able to access order details if needed. A2X achieves this by attaching the order details to each entry, which lets you quickly get information about individual orders but doesn’t needlessly bring over data that could bog down your system.
Reconciles without the need for clearing accounts
For Shopify payments, A2X directly reconciles with your bank account and QuickBooks, eliminating the need for a clearing account. This simplifies your accounting process and saves you time.
Customize it for your business
A2X is highly customizable. While you can use the generic A2X-recommended list of mapping accounts, you can also tailor this to meet the unique needs of your business—it’s up to you.
Fantastic support when you need it
A2X has various support center articles to help with the Shopify to QuickBooks integration. It also has a blog and ecommerce accounting hub where you can learn more about the ins and outs of ecommerce accounting beyond your integration. A2X is also renowned for its excellent customer support team, so you can get help quickly if you ever encounter an issue or have a question.
Set up time
While A2X is made to integrate Shopify with QuickBooks, it may take a little longer to set up compared to other integration options, mainly if you’re using custom mapping. That said, A2X does offer assisted setup to help customers navigate the process and has a highly-rated support team available to answer any questions or concerns.
To get the most out of A2X, thoroughly test the setup. This will ensure it properly syncs all data before you rely on it for accurate financial reporting. Once setup and testing are complete, the A2X integration will take care of the rest.
Start the integration process today by getting a free trial of A2X for Shopify now.
Connect Shopify to QuickBooks with a data-syncing app
Integrating Shopify with QuickBooks using a data syncing app is possible (think: Zapier). These apps work to sync data from one product to another. There are many options in this space, and some likely work well for smaller merchants, but keep in mind they might make reconciling your payouts a little more complicated.
A common issue with these apps is that as your business grows, they can swamp accounting software with data, slowing it down. While sending invoices for tens or hundreds of orders might not be an issue, sending thousands a month will create one. This issue is further complicated because these apps can have limited control of what data you sync, which is hard to undo once you’ve set it up and turned it on.
How to integrate Shopify with QuickBooks using a data-syncing app
Generally, data syncing tools follow a similar setup to A2X, where you connect Shopify to QuickBooks via your logins. However, they will likely have less granularity with transaction types, accounts, and tax mapping. Here’s an example of the setup process for a syncing app, though the finer details will vary from app to app:
- Create an account for the data-syncing tool of your choice.
- Connect Shopify: Select and connect Shopify as the app from which you want to send data.
- Connect QuickBooks: Select and connect QuickBooks to where you want to receive the data.
- Set up what the app should transfer: Configure the necessary syncing action. For example, “Create Sales Receipt” and then map the Shopify order data to the QuickBooks sales receipt fields.
- Test action and turn it on: Once you have connected the app to both Shopify and QuickBooks and configured the action, test the data syncing app to make sure it works as expected before turning it on to start automating the process of creating sales receipts in QuickBooks for new orders in Shopify.
These apps sometimes have limited control of what data you sync, so bear this in mind before you start the app, as it can be hard to reverse once you’ve set it up.
Data-Syncing App Pros
Cheap (or free)
Integrating QuickBooks with Shopify through a syncing tool can be affordable. Many of these data-syncing tools offer free or low-cost plans for smaller businesses. Even the paid plan might be more affordable than hiring staff to manage the integration manually.
Easy to look up orders in accounting software
A syncing tool makes looking up orders in your accounting software easy, ensuring your data is accurate and up-to-date. This feature can save you time, but many accounting experts advise against having order-level detail in your accounting software as it can slow it down. Rather than pulling all that order data, your accounting software could sync over the order numbers, allowing you to search for them in Shopify easily.
Works well for small, uncomplicated businesses
Integrating QuickBooks with Shopify using a syncing app can be a satisfactory solution for small, less complicated operations looking to automate repetitive tasks. As a business grows and becomes more complex, it may seek specialized solutions with additional capabilities.
Data-Syncing App Challenges
Swamping accounting software
These tools are designed to do one thing: move data. Because they’re not explicitly designed with best-practice accounting in mind, they don’t know what data is necessary for your financials and what isn’t. The common problem is that they move too much data, clogging up QuickBooks and making it unmanageable. This can necessitate starting fresh with new accounting software in severe cases.
Data is moved but not interpreted
As mentioned, these tools will transfer data from one place to another without interpreting or making sense of it. As a result, there’s no guarantee that the data transmitted will be accurate or account for refunds, taxed or not taxed sales, overseas sales, pending payments, etc., which can result in inaccurate or incomplete data.
Support may not be great
Another challenge of using a data syncing tool is that their support team may be unable to help your situation. Because these tools are not specific ecommerce accounting tools, the support team may not understand what you’re trying to fix. This can leave you stranded if you encounter issues or problems during the integration process. You may also have problems receiving quality support using a free or low-level paid plan.
May not cover all transaction types
There are a wide array of transaction types in Shopify, and these syncing tools won’t always cover all of them. This can result in transferring missing or incomplete data, making your accounting records prone to inaccuracies and inconsistencies.
Doesn’t offer comprehensive mapping
Lastly, these tools don’t offer the level of mapping that a specialist accounting app like A2X does, particularly around tax. This can result in tax-related issues and errors that seriously affect your business. Therefore, it is essential to carefully evaluate the functionality and limitations of any syncing app before using it for a Shopify QuickBooks integration.
Connect Shopify to QuickBooks manually
It’s possible to manually connect Shopify to QuickBooks, replacing a syncing app with old-fashioned manual data entry to create a report. This will take time but may suit the needs of your business, particularly if you’re small or just starting out.
How to “integrate” Shopify with QuickBooks manually
To complete a manual Shopify to QuickBooks integration requires attention to the reports you generate in Shopify and where it’s mapped in QuickBooks:
- Log into Shopify: Navigate to the Analytics section in the sidebar menu and then click Reports
- Find the report you want: Select which information you want to download. For example, go to the Finances section and find the Finances Summary report. Another option is to download the Orders Report.
- Customize the report and download: In the top right corner, adjust the dates you want the report to span and click Apply.
- Download the report: Click the Export button in the top right of the page and select the file format needed, such as Excel, PDF, etc.
- Consolidate: Depending on the data in the export, you may need to do some consolidation, such as grouping sales and fees. Some people choose to use a pivot table to help with this.
- Open QuickBooks: Open your QuickBooks account, click New in the top left corner, and then select Journal Entry.
- Open files and begin Journal Entry: Mapping the data from the report to the corresponding accounts in your journal entry in QuickBooks. If you still need to create a Chart of Accounts, do this before making a journal entry. This resource from Victoria Wasek can help.
- Review: Check the data mapping and make any adjustments before importing the data to QuickBooks.
Free (excluding time)
One of the main advantages of a manual Shopify to QuickBooks integration is that it’s free. While it does require you to take time every month to enter the data manually, that will vary depending on the size of your business, and it could save you money compared to paying for a data syncing tool.
Control over data entered
Another benefit of manual integration is complete control over what data you enter into QuickBooks. With some syncing apps, you may be unable to select which data is transferred, leading to errors or inaccurate records.
A lot of data
Before manually entering your Shopify data into QuickBooks, one thing to consider is the amount of data to account for. This is especially true if you have a high volume of sales. Once your store grows, you may find the amount of information you’re manually inputting becomes overwhelming.
Numerous transaction types and payment gateways
Because so many transaction types can occur in Shopify, such as refunds or exchanges, it can take a lot of work to ensure accuracy in your records. Additionally, there are many payment gateways to account for, each with unique data that you must integrate into QuickBooks.
Difficulty with month-end crossover and getting to balance
Because Shopify doesn’t make payouts as sales happen, there will be timing differences that can make the month-end crossover tricky to work out. You will need to work hard to ensure that all transactions from the previous month have been accurately recorded. If not, getting your records to balance will be challenging, frustrating, and time-consuming.
Difficult to reconcile to what you’ve been paid
Due to payment cut-offs, many different transaction types, and other complications, getting your entry to balance and matching the money you’ve been paid from Shopify can take a lot of work. Ask anyone who has tried to create a manual journal entry for Shopify; this can be a very frustrating task.
Takes a lot of time and is error-prone
While manually inputting data from Shopify into QuickBooks might be relatively simple on a new store with few sales, this quickly becomes unmanageable when a store takes off. Not only is it time-consuming to manually input all the necessary information, but it’s also a process very prone to human error. It only takes one mistake to throw your financials off, leaving you to go back through the data and figure out where the error was made.
Shopify to QuickBooks Integration FAQs
Does Shopify integrate with QuickBooks?
Yes. You can integrate Shopify with Quickbooks in three different ways:
- Use an accounting automation app, like A2X.
- Manually download relevant reports in Shopify and enter them into QuickBooks.
- Use a generic data syncing tool.
Does Shopify integrate with QuickBooks Desktop?
Yes, Shopify integrates with all QuickBooks Desktop, Online and Enterprise. Check out our steps above to find out how.
How do I set up QuickBooks with Shopify?
If you have Shopify and QuickBooks accounts, you can integrate the two using an accounting automation app like A2X. This way, A2X sits between your Shopify store and QuickBooks account, pulling data from Shopify, categorizing it into summaries, and passing it on to QuickBooks to be reconciled.
How do I import data from Shopify to QuickBooks?
An integration app is the easiest way to import data from Shopify to QuickBooks. Apps such as A2X connect to your Shopify and QuickBooks account and then automate your ecommerce accounting by pulling necessary data from Shopify, categorizing it into neat summaries, and passing it on to QuickBooks for perfect reconciliation.
Can I do bookkeeping in Shopify?
No. Shopify is an all-in-one sales platform and contains the data necessary for bookkeeping, but you cannot use the Shopify platform to do your store’s actual bookkeeping. Instead, you should either manually retrieve data and reports from Shopify or use an integration app connected to your accounting software.
What accounting systems integrate with Shopify?
QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage are three of the most popular options for accounting for Shopify users. However, many other accounting systems integrate with Shopify including Wave, FreshBooks, and Netsuite.
Integrate your Shopify and QuickBooks and start automating your accounting today. Get a free trial of A2X now.