MXQ Importing Invoices to Peachtree

Peachtree: Importing Invoices

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Initial Values

To import data into Peachtree, either from another desktop application or from a web store front, the primary keys must match up: i.e. customer ID's, inventory ID's, employee ID's, & sales tax codes. In some cases there are work arounds, other cases require matching keys.

Pre-Screening is required to prevent errors & warnings from Peachtree during import attempts. Peachtree warnings can often be handled by a user intervention in response to the warning. Errors & warning are reported by Peachtree as a "incorrect import" which can confuse a user if a warning was handled by the user intervention.

Customer ID's must match up. There are 3 ways to synchronize customer ID's: pre-screen for mismatching then either (1) correct in the originating application, (2) correct in Peachtree or (3) build a cross reference table. Customer ID's are usually used throughout a database in multiple tables. Well designed databases will have cascading updates, changes to a key will cascade to subordinate tables. That is rare in legacy applications in my experience. Regardless of the synchronizing method, the 1st step is to identify customer ID's from the originating application that don't match up with a Peachtree customer ID. For method (2), a new customer record can be added to the Peachtree customer table. This can be a problem if the customer ID really corresponds with an existing Peachtree customer ID and is only "spelled" differently in the originating application. Misspells can be handled with method (3), a cross reference table. Ideally methods (1) & (2) would be better solutions but the design weaknesses of legacy databases often precludes the use of the first two methods.

Line Item ID's can be handled a bit more easily if the Peachtree inventory does not need to be updated. The Item ID for import can be placed in the item description field as a prefix. If the Peachtree inventory must be updated then the item ID's for import must be pre-screened for a match in the Peachtree inventory. Mismatches can be handled by one of the three methods described for customer ID mismatches. "Misspells" cause the same difficulty.

Sales Person ID's & Tax Codes mismatches can be synchronized using one of the three methods. Pre-screening is required to identify mismatches. As with previously identified primary keys, sales person ID's & tax codes will cause an import to Peachtree to fail.

Credit Limits also cause import problems. If an invoice causes a customer credit limit warning, the user can intervene & accept the invoice. Peachtree however does not recognize the user intervention & reports an import problem/correction needed. If invoices are being imported from another application, the originating application has probably already handled any credit limit requirements so Peachtree credit limits can be summarily turned off.

Kits/Assemblies: In some cases, the line items are being used in the originating application as an assembly. The user may want to (1) decrement inventory per the assembly requirements, then (2) increment the inventory for the assembly or kit. An inventory adjustment can be made using the results of the assembly. An imported invoice with the items needed for the assembly can be used to automatically decrement inventory.

Manufacturing & Packaging: Business rules can be programmatically set to apply based on invoice parameters. Parameters might include: customer, product(s) and/or quantity shipped. For example, all customer A shipments could go by special packaging & shipped via a specific shipper. Or all shipments of product xyz over 100 lbs are specially packaged & shipped via UPS. The costs & inventory updates are added to the invoice before import based on business rules setup by the user. This works especially well when one employee or manager is the expert. The business rules get setup by the expert. When a less experienced employee does the importing of invoices, the business rules preset by the expert are applied thus leveraging the expertise of the senior staff.

Multiware Tools: Peachtree versions/data specifications vary unpredictably from year to year. Data imports & exports require a stable tool set. I have reliably used the Multiware tools (PawCom & the Toolkit for Peachtree) for more than 10 years. Robert Walraven of Multiware thoroughly tests both data imports & exports across the full spectrum of accounting data. The Multiware tools have consistently provided me a stable platform for building import & export utilities for a variety of client needs.

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