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What's a QuickBooks for Macs user to do with no SDK that allows for integration

Why doesn’t Method CRM (Customer Relationship Management) support QuickBooks for Mac?

Not because the Method team doesn’t want to, it’s quite the contrary. In fact, they love Macs and most of them use them exclusively. The answer lies in how QuickBooks for Mac is different from the Windows version and the development path Intuit has taken with the two platforms. It’s not only Method CRM that won’t work with QuickBooks for Mac, no CRM product on the market today will.

First, A History Lesson

In 2006, Intuit switched the backend structure of QuickBooks for Windows to a SQL (Structured Query Language) type database. At the same time, they released a SDK (Software Development Kit) for QuickBooks for Windows that allowed third party developers to write programs that could access QuickBooks data, and both read and write to it. Previously the only way to import/export data to QuickBooks was via IIF (Intuit Interchange Format), which can be problematic. With the release of the SDK, the marketplace for third party apps exploded as companies now had an error free way to share information with QuickBooks. While this was happening on the Windows side, Intuit was slowing down development on the Mac version and didn’t make an SDK available for it. The Mac version was switched to SQL too, but another kind of SQL so the databases aren’t completely compatible. There were even rumors that QuickBooks for Mac was going to be discontinued completely. In the last few years though, as Mac sales increased, Intuit has renewed its efforts to develop the Mac version of QuickBooks, and it has now almost completely caught up to the QuickBooks Pro for Windows version. But there is still no SDK for QuickBooks for Mac, which means that it is effectively closed to any developer, including Method, who wants to communicate with it. You can import data to QuickBooks for Mac via IIF, but it’s a one way manual process, and not a viable way of linking data between programs.

How does Method CRM communicate with QuickBooks?

Method CRM works with QuickBooks for Windows desktop versions using their sync engine which was written using the SDK. They also work with the Online versions of QuickBooks by using the IPP (Intuit Partner Platform, which is where the SDK is headed) Method CRM works so well because their sync engine is the best I’ve ever seen in 14 years of QuickBooks consulting. You can read more about the Method Sync engine here: QuickBooks SyncIts awesome, but it can’t talk to QuickBooks for Mac.

What’s a Mac Lover to Do?

If you’ve decided you need a CRM in your business, (and if you are here, you already have!), then you’ll unfortunately need to abandon QuickBooks for Mac. You do have options though, without having to get a Windows based PC.

  • Run Parallels or VMware on your Mac with a virtual Windows machine, and install QuickBooks for Windows. Your Mac files will convert over. This is how I run QuickBooks with the Method CRM sync engine installed on my virtual Windows 7 machine. This also gives you the option of additional third party programs that work with the Windows version. For a detailed explanation of how to use QuickBooks on a virtual machine check out my blog post here: Parallels and QuickBooks
  • Use a hosted QuickBooks provider. There are several Intuit authorized hosting companies that will put QuickBooks and Method CRM on a computer “in the cloud” for you. You simply log onto the computer using Remote Desktop Connection (software that’s free from Apple if it isn’t already loaded on your machine). You work on a Windows desktop and QuickBooks just as if you were on a local machine. With the speed of most Internet connections today, there is no lag time. The best part of this scenario is that all the IT worries and Windows updates are taken care of by the hosting provider. No mysterious Windows error messages or Blue Screen of Death.
  • Switch to QuickBooks Online. Method CRM works with QuickBooks Online. If you are using the native Mac version, you won’t experience a loss of any features and you’ll love the new Online-banking feature in QuickBooks Online! You will have to convert your Mac file to a Windows version first before uploading it the cloud, but Intuit support or a ProAdvisor should be able to help you do that without loss of data.

If Intuit ever releases an SDK for QuickBooks for Mac (and don’t hold your breath), I’ll be the first one in line to ask the Method CRM team to sync to it. In the meantime, Method CRM is one of the main reasons I continue to run my own company on the Windows version. I’ve gone from thinking I didn’t need a CRM to not being able to work without it.

About Victoria:

Victoria Cameron is an advanced certified Method CRM Solution Provider and a QuickBooks Advanced Certified ProAdvisor, and is also certified in Enterprise Solutions, POS and QuickBooks Online. As the principal of Victoria Rehrig Cameron Consulting, LLC, she works with clients in a variety of industries from construction to retail, and particularly enjoys helping her Mac clients. A Mac user for almost 30 years, she is certified by Apple in Mac systems integrations, and has helped many firms to convert to Macs using Windows on virtual machines. She loves using Method CRM to solve business process issues for her clients that QuickBooks alone can’t do. Victoria was Method CRM Solution Provider Rookie of the Year in 2012. More about Victoria and her firm’s services is available here: 


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