I’ve been running Breadwinner for 6 years now, and have talked to thousands of people who A) have Salesforce and B) need insight into their finances, both to and fro Salesforce and their accounting platform.
In that time, Breadwinner has grown from a single app (all we connected to was Xero) which had a single object, the Xero Invoice, which we displayed in Salesforce and kept it up to date.
While this alone wasn’t revolutionary, showing an Invoice in Salesforce, with this single object we began a design philosophy which has informed Breadwinner’s development since then.
I am so committed to this design philosophy, and so committed to the idea that this is the best way to integrate a finance solution with Salesforce, that it has become Breadwinner’s mission to provide this amazing architecture and design to anyone who has Salesforce.
Our design philosophy involves:
- A full, live copy of all Customers, Items, Prices, Inventory, and Accounts Receivable, and optionally Vendors and Accounts Payable, in Salesforce
- This live copy is slave data, and the System of Record for finance data is always the accounting system
- Records are styled for easy comprehension by untrained staff
- Creation of new records is allowed through guided wizards, optimized for untrained staff
- Edits to the Breadwinner records in Salesforce are not allowed
- As Salesforce cannot prevent data edits from Admins, any Admin edits to Breadwinner records are not copied over to the accounting system.
- These edits in Salesforce are overwritten within a short frame of time by the master data in accounting, to preserve the accuracy of the slave data
- Changes to accounting data is allowed and encouraged through Salesforce Classes and Methods, which first create/update records in the accounting system, thus allowing and relying on business login in the accounting system.
- Those changes immediately cascade that creation/update back to Salesforce so that the slave data remains accurate
By following this design philosophy, we also allow a clean separation between Sales and Finance systems of record, and also a clean business procedure flow for staff in different departments.
So far, Breadwinner has integrated with three accounting systems, Xero, QuickBooks Online, and NetSuite. Our integrations are currently the technological leaders (usually from day 1, thanks to our design philosophy) and will be the appropriate choice for about 90% of people who need a point-to-point integration between Salesforce and their Account System.
Our next integration will be with QuickBooks Desktop, where we expect to relieve a large number of customers suffering on inferior integrations.
As Finance involves payments from customers, Breadwinner is also bringing Payments onto Salesforce, and will do so in a manner that enhances the operations of both Finance and Sales, by tightly integrating our Payments app with our Accounting Apps.
I write this in late 2019. By 2024, we will be the go-to Finance integration solution for anyone who has an accounting platform which 5% or more of the Salesforce customer base uses.