Applies to: Office Accounting Express, Office Accounting Professional
When you combine Microsoft Office Accounting 2008 with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager, you get a complete business and financial picture of your customers in one place. From within Business Contact Manager for Outlook, employees can turn opportunities into quotes, orders and invoices in Office Accounting 2008—without having to enter information again in another program. Employees can mark their Outlook calendar appointments, projects, tasks and phone logs as billable and automatically send that information to Accounting 2008 to create customer invoices.
Business Contact Manager for Outlook
Because the programs share a database, data entered in either program automatically flows to the other so information is always synchronised. This keeps you informed of account and customer changes and provides a central location for critical information, which can also be shared with employees selectively, based on their roles.
There is another advantage about the integration with Business Contact Manager for Outlook. Employees who interact with customers (like sales staff and business owners) can access financial information directly from Outlook. They don't even need Accounting 2008 installed on their computers. If the financial data is hosted by Office Accounting Professional or Office Accounting Professional Plus, it can be shared by multiple users of Business Contact Manager for Outlook.
Integration with Office Accounting
The following are the main advantages of integration with Accounting 2008:
Share contact information for accounts and customers.
View customer and account financial history and details directly from Outlook.
Use products and services from Accounting 2008 when creating opportunities in Outlook.
Convert Outlook opportunities to quotes, sales orders or invoices in Accounting 2008.
Convert Outlook appointments and tasks to time entries and invoices in Accounting 2008.
Generate Accounting 2008 reports directly from Outlook.
Share contact information for accounts and customers
Accounting 2008 and Business Contact Manager for Outlook share the same data store when they are integrated. This means that whenever you update contact information in Business Contact Manager for Outlook or Accounting 2008, the other application is automatically updated.
Account in Business Contact Manager for Outlook
Accounts in Business Contact Manager for Outlook correspond to customers in Accounting 2008.
The next figure shows the Account form in Business Contact Manager for Outlook.
Business Contact Manager for Outlook Account form
The next figure shows the corresponding Customer form.
Notice that the contacts in Accounting 2008 are business contacts in Outlook and their information is shared.
View customer and account financial history and details directly from Outlook
From the Outlook Account form, you can also see the financial summary and financial history from the corresponding Accounting 2008 customer.
Financial summary of account
The financial history can also be viewed from Outlook. You can double-click a document in the history to view the corresponding form in Accounting 2008.
Financial history of account
Invoice opened from financial history
If Office Accounting Professional is installed on a remote computer, the person using Business Contact Manager for Outlook doesn't need Accounting 2008 installed locally. The person can view all financial history details.
Use products and services from Office Accounting when creating opportunities in Outlook
After you integrate Accounting 2008 and Business Contact Manager for Outlook, you can use the Products and Services List in Office Accounting when creating opportunities.
Outlook opportunity with an Accounting 2008 product
Convert Outlook opportunities to quotes, sales orders or invoices in Office Accounting
When a salesperson using Business Contact Manager for Outlook is using an opportunity to track a sales process, the opportunity can be converted to a quote, sales order or invoice, when the customer asks for it.
Select the Convert to button on the Ribbon at the top of the form and select either to convert it to a quote, a sales order or an invoice. Note that only Office Accounting Professional and Office Accounting Professional Plus use sales orders.
Opportunity converted to quote
The quote can be edited in the Accounting 2008 form just like any other quote, and it will be saved in the Accounting 2008 database. The memo field will display information that the quote was converted from Business Contact Manager for Outlook.
Convert Outlook appointments and tasks to time entries and invoices in Office Accounting
One of the most powerful features for users from service industries is that they can convert the Outlook appointments, tasks and project tasks to time entries in Accounting 2008, which can be invoiced to a customer. So when a billable meeting is held or a billable task is performed, it can be converted to an invoice for correct billing.
There are two options in Business Contact Manager for Outlook. You can create time entries whenever a task or an appointment is completed. Or, you can create time entries on a weekly or monthly basis by selecting Submit Billable Time from the menu in Business Contact Manager for Outlook.
Submit Billable Time menu option
Use the following procedure to create time entries from an appointment. The process is the same for tasks and project tasks.
Create an appointment for an account or business contact in Outlook.
After the meeting is complete, open the appointment, mark it billable by clicking the Billable button (if applicable) and click the Create Time Entry button on the Ribbon.
A Time Entry form opens in Accounting 2008.
You must select a Billing service if you want to invoice this time to your customer. If you don't want to create an invoice yet, you can click Save and Close. If you want to create an invoice, click Create Invoice. This opens the Invoice form.
The invoice now contains the information from the original appointment.
The financial history in Outlook is now updated with the invoice.
Generate Office Accounting reports directly from Outlook
The final integration point is the ability to generate financial reports directly from Outlook.
To generate financial reports, from the Business Contact Manager menu, point to Reports and then click Financial reports.
The Financial Reports dialog box opens.
Select the report you want to display and click Open Report.
Based on role-based permissions in Office Accounting Professional, the Outlook user can be given access to a desired subset of the areas of Accounting 2008 and their reports. (For example, salespersons can be given access to sales and stock reports only.)