Why you should integrate your accounting and CRM solutions

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Every sector of the economy is undergoing a digital transformation. In a world of integration, information is a transferable resource that creates efficiencies, cost savings and competitive advantage when it’s allowed to flow.

That’s why it makes absolute sense to look for ways to bring previously disconnected front-office and back-office systems together more effectively.

This is exactly what Act! Link for Accounting does by connecting Act!’s CRM database of qualitative information with the quantitative data found in powerful Sage 50c Accounts software.

Immediately this creates a single unified resource that enables you to see all previous customer interactions, as well as a financial snapshot of trading history, past orders and payment terms.

Information when you need it

With Act! Link for Accounting, for example, sales teams can access information that would not otherwise be immediately available to them. Because they can look at synchronised financial information in Act!, they can give a customer their latest account status even if someone in finance is away from their desk.

Having to wait to retrieve information puts inefficiency into the system, which Act! Link for Accounting can easily and quickly remove.

Act! Link for Accounting also enables you to generate invoices and sales orders directly from any linked Act! record. This should make Act! Link for Accounting of particular interest to smaller organisations that may not have a full-time accounting department, but who rely instead on ‘in and out’ part-time staff who aren’t always there.

Improved productivity

Of course, for those who have become used to having to run both Act! and Sage Accounts simultaneously, Act! Link for Accounting is a breath of fresh air, since it means no more having to switch constantly between your contact management application and accounting software. Annoying and time consuming, such task-switching also has a significant impact on productivity.

In addition, Act! Link for Accounting maintains the integrity of the data by requiring the user to input and look up detailed information in the appropriate system.

Act! Link for Accounting eliminates once and for all the duplicated effort involved in having to re-input information into two different systems. Now, once collected, data can be reused and repurposed as required. So, when records need to be revised, updates don’t have to be made separately to each system’s database. This also means there’s much less opportunity for data entry errors that scramble customer details and lead to data never quite being trusted. When NHS records show that between 2009 and 2010 there were 20,000 pregnant men living in the UK, it’s obvious that you can’t be too careful!

Greater agility

In a digital world, a high degree of responsiveness is something that is increasingly expected as the norm. Having access to financial information within Act! means that your sales team can deliver higher levels of customer service. By knowing more about your customer’s needs, your business is equipped with the knowledge to respond to your customer’s queries in a more timely and professional manner.

For example, Act! Link for Accounting enables the user to find a customer, see all the interactions they have had and are planning to have, including their financial records at a glance, all within the one contact/company record in Act!.

Maybe their account is on stop, the user can see it at a glance and address the immediate need. If they need to delve into a particular Order or Invoice, then they can just click on it and Act! will open it in Sage directly. No more having to flip to Sage, find the invoice and open it.

Without it, that sort of action might have to be sent through to the accounts department for processing, adding time and leading to less than efficient customer service. Worse still, your sales team might spend valuable time taking details of an enquiry whilst in Act! only to discover that the customer has not paid their outstanding invoice.

And, by being able to access financial information in Act!, the sales team actually reduces the burden on your accounts team by removing a potential bottleneck in the system when it comes to estimating and invoice creation.

Similarly, Sage Accounts users can set up groups in Act! to follow up on leads or create email campaigns that they can rapidly implement.

The improved workflow that’s created also means that your business is more agile and responsive than it would be in a more disconnected environment.

Smooth and simple integration

Though the benefits of integrating a customer relationship management tool with accounting software are largely self-evident, there could be some reluctance to interfere with two highly successful solutions that have more than proven themselves individually. However, Act! Link for Accounting has been specifically designed to make sure that the two applications work smoothly together without the need for any technical input from users.

Consequently, it’s a much more cost-effective solution than having someone develop bespoke integration. Act! Link for Accounting is a tried and tested solution that you can benefit from immediately without having to go through multiple iterations to ensure that it works.

And because implementation is so simple and straightforward, Act! Link for Accounting makes Sage Accounts a natural part of Act! with minimal disruption and with only the shortest learning curve required.

Sage Accounts data remains secure

There is no need to worry about data security since Act! Link for Accounting pulls information one way into Act!, where it’s kept within specially created fields. That means existing Sage Accounts data stays safe and secure.

With Act! Link for Accounting you can link, re-link or unlink individual records manually whenever you want, giving complete management of the process. Accounts data can also be used to update information already in Act!. However, since this is deliberately left as a manual process, there is no chance that existing data can be unintentionally overwritten in an uncontrolled process.

Similarly, should you need to mass migrate data, for instance to a new server, Act! Link for Accounting makes it easy to re-link all of your accounts whenever necessary without the danger of losing any data.

Your perfect missing link

Whether you are using Act! as your customer relationship software already and looking for greater access to financial information, or you are running Sage 50 Accounts, Sage 50 Accounts Plus, Sage 50 Accounts Professional or Sage 50 Accounts Essentials and looking for a CRM solution, Act! Link for Accounting simply works.

To find out more about about Act! Link for Accounting, click here. Or request a personalised live demo here.

Note: this blog post describes features specific to the UK edition of Sage 50 Accounts. Act! can work with other accounting and finance products (such as Intuit QuickBooks, Sage Ciel, Sage Office Line, Exact, Sage One, Xero, Sage Live, Sage 100, Sage 200, Sage 300, Sage X3) via third party connectors.