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Frequently Asked Questions on the ProductCart Synchronizer

Why This Name?

Intuit® has strict restrictions on acceptable names for applications that work with QuickBooks®. The name “ProductCart Synchronizer for use with QuickBooks®” complies with these strict restrictions.

Before I Buy...

What do I need?

Please see the system requirements section.

How much is it?

Please see the ProductCart Synchronizer page on the ProductCart software store.

Is SSL required for ProductCart Synchronizer?

Yes. You will be transferring confidential information (order data) from your store to QuickBooks, so a secure connection is required.

There is an exception to this: SSL is not required if you are testing your installation on “localhost”. That is: you can run Web Connector against a local, testing store without using SSL (i.e. both QuickBooks and the ProductCart-powered store are running on the same desktop in this testing scenario). Otherwise, SSL is always needed.

Does ProductCart Synchronizer work with shared web hosting?

Yes, ProductCart Synchronizer has been designed to run in partial trust shared hosting environments. No SDK or components need to be installed on the server.

Does Product Cart work with QuickBooks Merchant Services as a payment gateway?

ProductCart does not support that payment gateway, but you can set up ProductCart to collect credit card information, and then transfer it to QuickBooks securely through the QuickBooks Synchronizer. Once in QuickBooks, transactions can then be processed with QuickBooks Merchant Services.

  • This setup can help speed up the process of reconciling credit card transactions in QuickBooks
  • The credit card information stored encrypted in the ProductCart database can be purged for extra security, once orders have been transferred to QuickBooks.
  • One limitation is that in this scenario credit card information is not authorized in real time.
  • When using any other payment gateway, credit card information is not passed to QuickBooks as the transaction is authorized and processed through ProductCart directly. At this time there is no way to authorize a transaction in real time in ProductCart, and then capture it in QuickBooks.

Where do I Start

Here are the steps to follow to get up and running with ProductCart Synchronizer:

  1. First Step: Prepare your QuickBooks company file (or add a new one)
  2. Second Step: Update your ProductCart-powered store
  3. Third Step: Connect them using Web Connector
  4. Fourth Step: Configure ProductCart Synchronizer according to your preferences by going through the Setup Interview
  5. You're done!
    You can now learn more about each feature in the Using ProductCart Synchronizer section.

How do I load ProductCart Synchronizer in my Control Panel?

Since the navigation menu changes from ProductCart version to ProductCart version and ProductCart Synchronizer is compatible with different versions of the shopping cart, there is no link to the ProductCart Synchronizer home page in the ProductCart Control Panel navigation, even after you complete the installation.

In order to be able to quickly load the ProductCart Synchronizer home page, simply save it to your browser favorites.

  1. Log into your ProductCart Control Panel
  2. Replace the current page name (e.g. menu.asp) with “qb_default.asp” and press the Enter key on your keyboard
  3. Add this page to your browser favorites

If you have the “Links” toolbar shown in your browser (called Bookmarks Toolbar in FireFox), you can highlight and drag the current URL from the browser address field onto that toolbar to create a quick link to that page.

What is Mapping?

When you first set out to use ProductCart Synchronizer for use with QuickBooks® you may find mapping a bit confusing. The purpose of this overview is to explain the use of mapping. Essentially, mapping is a way to tell ProductCart where information belongs inside QuickBooks. For example, when orders are exported from ProductCart and imported into QuickBooks, the application needs to know where to put your tax information. That is where mapping comes into place. Mapping is the way to tell ProductCart that your “CA Sales Tax” goes into the “California State Tax” account in QuickBooks.

When ProductCart needs to decide where to put information it uses the following process:

  1. ProductCart will look through the list of imported QuickBooks accounts for a matching name.
    If an account is found by the same name then ProductCart will use that account reference. For example, ProductCart will automatically link your ProductCart payment methods with your QuickBooks payment methods if they have the same name.
  2. If ProductCart cannot automatically match an account in the list of imported QuickBooks account, it will use the default account that you specify in your ProductCart Control Panel.

ProductCart makes no assumptions about how you want to organize your data. The mapping system was designed under the basic rule that you know your business better than we do. Therefore, it is up to you to create your own accounts in QuickBooks and map them to accounts in ProductCart.

ProductCart does not attempt to create accounts in QuickBooks, except in the case of Products and Customers (but only when instructed by your preferences).

How Does Order Synchronization Work?

When an Order is Transferred

An order will be automatically transferred from your Web store to QuickBooks when the Web Connector runs (on demand or at scheduled intervals) if the following conditions are true:

  • Order Preferences are set to export automatically
  • The Order date is after the specified start date
  • The Order has reached an “exportable” status
  • All products ordered have been mapped, or a generic account has been specified
  • The customer ordering has been mapped, or a generic account has been specified

If you have configured the system to export orders only “on demand”, no orders will be transferred to QuickBooks when you run Web Connector, unless you have previously initiated an on demand order transfer. This useful feature allows you to filter orders, preview a list of orders to be exported, and prepare the transfer. The next time Web Connector runs the transfer is then executed.

When orders are transferred to QuickBooks, the Invoice or Sales Receipt number is the Web order number. That's because that number is not auto-filled by QuickBooks and it would otherwise remain blank.

Products and Product Options

Product options cannot be exported at this time. If you must export product options as separate line items in QuickBooks, then you have to options:

  1. Use the Apparel Add-on (see below)
  2. Use the Build To Order system (see below)

Products and Sub-Products (Apparel Add-on)

If you are using the ProductCart Apparel Add-on, you can map sub-products to items in your QuickBooks company file, and therefore be able to export product variations as line items. For example, you can have a “Blue XXL” variation of a sweater match a specific item in QuickBooks.

This case also help you work around the limitation mentioned above of not being able to export product options: as long as you use the Apparel Add-on, create “sub-products” from those options, and map them to individual items in your QuickBooks company file, then you can indeed export the exact items that customers order.

Build To Order Products

ProductCart Synchronizer supports Build To Order products: the items that are selected by the customer on the product configuration pages are exported to QuickBooks as individual line items.

How Does Inventory Synchronization Work?

QuickBooks is the Inventory Manager

ProductCart uses the following assumptions:

  • You have one or more physical locations where inventory is kept
  • When you receive a shipment of new goods from a supplier or manufacturing plant, you update inventory in QuickBooks
  • You may receive orders outside of your Web store

From these assumptions comes the following rule: inventory levels in QuickBooks take precedence over the Web store. Which translates into the following:

  • At any time you can synchronize inventory between QuickBooks and ProductCart using the corresponding feature. This is a one-way synchronization that updates inventory levels in ProductCart based on the current levels in your QuickBooks Financials company file.
  • When an order is placed, inventory is updated immediately in ProductCart. Inventory is not updated in QuickBooks, since it will be updated automatically when an order is imported as an invoice or a sales receipt.
  • When an order is imported into QuickBooks, inventory is updated in QuickBooks. Inventory is not updated in ProductCart, since it had already been updated at the time the order was placed.

Inventory is updated only on Mapped Products. This is why it is important to map your QuickBooks items to products in your Web store. ProductCart Synchronizer reminds you if there are products that have not been mapped: an alert is shown on the Synchronizer start page (qb_default.asp).

What is "near real-time" synchronization?

Each time QuickBooks Synchronizer runs it sends inventory updates to ProductCart. Depending on your ProductCart settings your online store will respond to inventory changes in “near” real-time.

For example, if I have 200 widgets in my warehouse (and 200 listed online) and I sell them all in my retail store (not on the Web store), QuickBooks Synchronizer will sync the inventory with ProductCart, updating the inventory count to 0, and making that product unavailable.

On the other hand, if I sold all 200 widgets on the Web store, inventory would not be removed from QuickBooks until those orders are imported as invoices or sales receipts. You can setup the system so that orders are imported at frequent intervals, allowing you to maintain a near real-time synchronization.

Can I Turn Off Inventory Synchronization

Yes. To turn off inventory synchronization and other inventory-related features, do the following:

  • Log into the ProductCart Control Panel and load the ProductCart Synchronizer main menu.
  • Select Preferences > Products
  • Under Do you want to update ProductCart with QuickBooks inventory levels? select No. I will manage my inventory within ProductCart.

What if I Need to Turn On Inventory Synchronization?

Let's say that when you initially setup ProductCart Synchronizer your QuickBooks company file had all inventory features turned off. Let's also assume that you later changed your company file because you started tracking inventory (you can activate inventory features in QuickBooks under Edit > Preferences > Items & Inventory).

Here are the steps that you need to take so that ProductCart Synchronizer starts synchronizing inventory:

  1. From the Main Menu, select Sync Items and Accounts and schedule the synchronization. There are new items and accounts that you need to import into ProductCart (make sure that all necessary items and accounts exist in your company file before executing this task). Run Web Connector to execute the task.
  2. From the Main Menu, select Preferences > Products
    1. Change how you would like to export product, if needed (product type)
    2. Turn on inventory synchronization under Do you want to update ProductCart with QuickBooks inventory levels?
    3. Configure the Product Accounts that now need to be specified since you are tracking inventory
    4. Save the page

The fact that ProductCart Synchronizer is now ready for inventory synchronizations should be confirmed by the “One Click Synchronization” link now being visible on the Main Menu (in the Alerts panel).

Why is there a Number next to the Customer Name?

You cannot have two customers with the same name in QuickBooks, so ProductCart Synchronizer adds the unique customer ID from the ProductCart database to the customer name. Invoices and Sales Receipts will not display the number in the address block when printed.

Why were many Customer Accounts Created in QuickBooks?

When Customer Preferences are set so that ”How should ProductCart handle unmapped customers?” is configured to ”Automatically create a new customer in QuickBooks”, then ProductCart Synchronizer will query “all customers that have ordered since the last order export”.

If this is the first time that an order is exported, then the system will select all customers that have placed an order. The result is that ProductCart Synchronizer may export more customers than the orders you chose to export. This is done in preparation for exporting future orders placed by existing customers, which will now be assigned to the previously created customer accounts in QuickBooks.

When Mapping Customers there are some that can't be found

The Customer Mapping feature loads customer in a range. The purpose of the range is to keep page loading time fast even on stores that contain thousands of customer records. The way it works is by limiting the records loaded to only those in a specific range. ProductCart cannot search outside of the range that is currently loaded, so customers that are outside of the selected range will not be found. Read about a workaround to this issue.

When importing orders, Customers are being created based on their First Name, but I want to create them based on their Last Name

If you are running v1.08 or higher, you can change the way Customer Names are imported into QuickBooks by making a tiny edit to one of the files on the server. There is a variable contained in the following file that can be changed to import by Last Name first:

/pcadmin/QuickBooks/webservice/Web.Config

If you download ad open the file in Notepad or any other editor, you will see the following line:

        <add key="scLastNameFirst" value="False" />

All you need to do is change the “False” to “True”. Then, save the file and re-upload it to the server. Now, Customers will be imported by Last Name.

Can I import products from QuickBooks into ProductCart

Yes, but not through the Synchronizer. That's because there are many, many product properties in ProductCart that are not part of an “item” in QuickBooks, and that you might want to set as you import products.

The steps to import products from QuickBooks into ProductCart are:

  • Export a list of QuickBooks Items by doing the following:
    • Launch QuickBooks
    • Select Reports > Lists > Item Listing
    • Change the columns (item information) shown in the report by clicking Modify Report
    • Click on Export and export the list to a CSV file (do not export to a MS Excel file because QuickBooks adds formatting to the worksheet that will be incompatible with the ProductCart Import Wizard).
  • Edit the list of items by doing the following:
    • Open the CSV document that you just exported in MS Excel
    • Add/remove columns to add/remove information that you wish to import. Refer to the Product Import Wizard for detailed instructions on how to “prepare” the file.
    • Save the file as either a CSV of an Excel spreadsheet. Refer to the Product Import Wizard for specific steps that you need to take if you want to use a MS Excel file
  • Import the CSV or MS Excel file into ProductCart using the Product Import Wizard

My Orders are not exporting, Why?

The reason the order did not export can usually be found within the Support Console. To find the Support Console log into to your ProductCart store and navigate to the ProductCart Synchronizer homepage. Under the “Help” heading click “Support Console”. This page is divided by two tabs, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on the “History” tab. The “History View” pane displays the previous 50 operations (or messages) sent between ProductCart and QuickBooks. By examining the details of the operations you can determine what problems may have occurred.

For example, the “View History” pane may show the operation “Push Orders” or “Push On-Demand Orders” followed by a red status icon (indicating an error). If you click “Operation Details” next to the operation information will appear in the “Operation Details” pane at the bottom of the page. In the Message column you will find the details that led to the failure.

Below are the most common messages you will find and a breakdown of what they mean.

Object "XXXXXX-XXXXXX" specified in the request cannot be found. QuickBooks error message: Invalid argument. The specified record does not exist in the list.

When ProductCart creates a Sales Order, Sales Receipt, or Invoice it describes items using a “list id”, not a common name. For example, if ProductCart wanted to tell QuickBooks to link a Sales Order to “John Doe” it would use John's “list id” instead of spelling his name out. Following along with the same example, this error means that John's “list id” no longer exists in QuickBooks. Therefore, QuickBooks reported back “The specified record does not exist in the list”.

  • The first thing to do is make sure you do not have a different company file open. ProductCart will always synchronize with the open company file. If you are using the wrong company the list id would not exist.
  • The second thing to verify is that you did not create a new company file and re-import your old chart of accounts. If you did this QuickBooks would give your items all new list ids.
  • Another cause for this issue is if you deleted something in QuickBooks (and therefore its list id), but you did not tell ProductCart about the change. For example, let us say that ProductCart needed to create a Sales Order. It automatically exported one customer and one product to QuickBooks as required for creating the SO. QuickBooks created the new items and sent their list ids back to ProductCart. ProductCart received the list ids and created a link between the new items in QuickBooks and existing items in ProductCart. This link is called a mapping. If you delete the item in QuickBooks that mapping is now invalid. Note this issue can also happen if you delete an item in ProductCart.

To fix the invalid mappings follow these steps (v1.06 and up, previous versions should update first):

  1. From the main menu, click “Synch Items and Accounts”.
  2. Run Web Connector
  3. From the main menu, click “Fix Mappings”.
  4. Map all products and customers that are unmapped

The given object ID "" in the field "list id" is invalid.

When ProductCart creates a Sales Order, Sales Receipt, or Invoice it describes items using a “list id”, not a common name. For example, if ProductCart wanted to tell QuickBooks to link a Sales Order to “John Doe” it would use John's list id instead of spelling his name. Everything in QuickBooks has a list id (Customer, Items, Taxes, etc.). As indicated in the message above the list id was ”” (or empty) and QuickBooks did not know what to do.

  • The first thing you should do is review all of your preferences from the ProductCart Synchronizer main menu. Go through your order preferences and make sure you added the “Asset Account”. Next, navigate to your product preferences and make sure you have selected an “Expense Account”.
  • If you already selected all of the optional and required accounts the missing id is probably a product or customer. So the second step is to map your products. ProductCart cannot always auto map your products because there is not always enough information. In such a case you will need to manually map the product. If you do not map your products and it cannot be auto mapped, then it may result in a missing list id error.
  • If you are a tech savvy user you can directly find out which list id is missing by clicking “View Raw XML” in the Operation Details pane. You can scan through the raw communication packet and find the list id that is empty. This is the method used by ProductCart support, but it is not for everyone.

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