Breadwinner vs. Workato


We occasionally get questions about the difference between Breadwinner vs. Workato. The difference between the two apps is huge. I’ll give a short summary and then, should you want more detail, provide a detailed explanation of everything I said in the short section.

Short Answer

Workato’s Strengths

Workato will do a decent job getting data out of Salesforce into Xero or QuickBooks. And, it can also perform tasks in other systems at the same time based on Salesforce, like send an email via MailChimp or create a note in Evernote. If your business only ever issues one Invoice for one Opportunity, you can even use Workato’s pre-existing recipes to create an Invoice.

Workato’s Weaknesses

While getting data from Salesforce to Xero/QuickBooks is largely error-free, the return journey is not. If data accuracy is important to you then Workato will not be able to get all data into Salesforce, and you risk having inaccurate or missing data. Furthermore, you will have to pay a Salesforce Consultant to build recipes and their ability to build good recipes is limited to their knowledge of either Xero or QuickBooks’s API, neither of which are easy to master.

Ultimately, if you use Workato to sync your accounting system with QuickBooks or Xero, and this results in bad data in Salesforce, this is your problem and your problem alone. Workato will not guarantee your data’s accuracy and building out recipes is your responsibility.

With Breadwinner, on the other hand, your data’s accuracy is our problem. We guarantee your data in Salesforce is an accurate and complete representation of your accounting system.

Longer Answer

Let’s go through a demo that a Salesforce MVP produced showing the integration between Salesforce and QuickBooks using Workato. This will largely apply to Workato’s connection to Xero as well.

You can watch this demo online. The Workato section starts around 29:30.

I focus on this video because the Salesforce MVP, Becky Webster, is well known and respected in the community. If you were choosing a consultant, you can’t find anyone smarter or more experienced in Salesforce than Becky. But, even Becky, with all her experience and knowledge, wasn’t able to build an accurate and complete connection between Salesforce and QuickBooks. And if she can’t do it, just think how hard it will be for someone who isn’t a Salesforce MVP to build it?

Recipe 1 – Grade: A-

Becky’s first recipe, which triggers the creation of a QuickBooks Company from a Salesforce Account, gets an A-. As we say above, one of Workato’s strengths is the flow of data from SF to QuickBooks/Xero. If you are using Workato, we recommend you use Becky’s recipe for QuickBooks Company creation.

The reason this gets an A- is that it still has a few issues, albeit minor. For instance, if you start using Workato when you already have been using both Salesforce and QuickBooks for a while, you won’t have everything mapped. And, if you only want a subset of your Salesforce Accounts in QuickBooks, you’d have to modify the recipe. And, a biggie for some customers but not all, is that this won’t easily allow you to have multiple customers in your invoicing system for a single Salesforce Account. If you are billing larger businesses, they will want invoices to go to different branches, departments, locations, etc.

Recipe 2 – Grade: B-

Becky’s second recipe will potentially result in missing or inaccurate data.

This is subtle, but QuickBooks invoice numbers are text fields, not number fields. Becky understandably didn’t know this because she’s a Salesforce Expert, not a QuickBooks expert. But this is the challenge of Workato—unless the person creating the recipes is an expert in both systems, you’ll get missing data.

Specifically, if the QuickBooks invoice number contained a letter or space, then this field wouldn’t be updated. This is easy enough to fix, as you can just change the field type in Salesforce from Number to Text. But the challenge here is that we (Breadwinner) noticed this mistake, not Workato, not Salesforce who hosted the video, and not the Salesforce consultant who set it up!

Other limitations mean that this recipe will only work if you make exactly one invoice per Salesforce Opportunity. Does the customer want a 50/50 invoice structure? Did they request a bit more and you added a second top-up invoice? That won’t help here. You’ll need to make another Opportunity for every single invoice.


Recipe 3 – Grade: D

Becky’s third recipe will definitely result in missing or inaccurate data because she looks at the amount due to determine the invoice’s status. Yes, if the invoice is paid in QuickBooks, the corresponding Salesforce Opportunity will be marked paid. However, there are a tremendous number of problems with this approach.

If the invoice was Voided, then QuickBooks automatically changes the amount due to zero. So if your Invoice is Voided in QuickBooks, your Salesforce Opp says Paid!

If the invoice was paid with a check and the check bounced, and the payment was later unapplied, the Opportunity would still say Paid but the invoice in QuickBooks would be unpaid.

If the Invoice was deleted in QuickBooks, this would not be reflected back to Salesforce. This isn’t Becky’s fault, as there is no way to write a recipe that captures this. Workato’s architecture simply can’t register the fact that an invoice is deleted. Even we find it tricky – it took us (Breadwinner) three days of working on this problem, and even now we can only mark in Salesforce that an invoice is Deleted a few days after it’s deleted in QBO.

If the invoice was partially paid, this will not reflect in Salesforce.

Also, this recipe uses the invoice number but not the invoice ID, which potentially causes issues. For instance, it’s possible (though rare) to have QuickBooks invoices without an invoice number. This recipe will not update the Opportunity in this situation. And, while generally a bad idea, it’s possible to change QuickBooks invoice numbers, which would also break this recipe.

Here’s a table of what each system would show, based on this Workato Recipe.


QuickBooks InvoiceWorkatoBreadwinner
Partially PaidUnpaidPartially Paid
Unpaid after Payment FailurePaidUnpaid

Want to learn more about how Breadwinner’s two-way integration can help streamline your business process?