We are honored to have a guest blog post from Pete Bornstein of BizPro Consulting Services who has done a tremendous job of supporting Wineries in integrating their eCommerce solutions with QuickBooks using Transaction Pro Importer. Please read about his experiences below.
If you give me the right tool, I may not be able to move a mountain, but I can certainly transform a winery’s business systems environment. My tool of choice is Transaction Pro Importer (TPI). TPI has enabled me to fulfill my niche, which is seamless business systems integration for wineries and distributors.
Most wineries utilize one or more eCommerce solutions to manage their vineyards, production, sales, wine clubs and tasting rooms. I have been told that over 75% of all wineries in the United States use QuickBooks as their accounting system. In most cases when a winery retains me to help them integrate their eCommerce activity with their accounting system, these systems are loosely connected, at best. Often their systems environment is one where transactions are manually manipulated, redundant spreadsheets exist alongside their accounting system, and significant data entry is required to fill in the gaps or connect applications to one another.
For the past three years, I have utilized the functionality and versatility of Transaction Pro Importer to consolidate these stand-alone systems into a single seamless enterprise. This not only significantly reduces administrative efforts, but also insures accuracy and eliminates redundancy.
In a nutshell, TPI is the “middleman” between a column in an Excel spreadsheet and a field in a QuickBooks form. The “middleman” takes the shape of a template that maps each spreadsheet column to a QuickBooks field (i.e., unit price). TPI also provides additional eCommerce functionality that supports the recording of sales tax liability, shipping costs, and discounts. Once templates are established for creating QuickBooks forms such as sales receipts, invoices and payments, wineries can use this process repetitively without modification. Next, I suggest that they be creative by looking at their other sources of sales or fulfillment, to explore how their partners might provide them with spreadsheets that could also be processed through TPI.
I do not mean to imply that a “cookie-cutter” solution is readily available for all wineries. There are distinct obstacles which must be overcome:
- Technical: selling by the bottle or glass, while carrying inventory in cases.
- Regulatory: sales tax and compliance.
- People: “we’ve always done it this way”.
Finally, it’s important to adapt the functions and features of QuickBooks so that they conform to the business model of the winery and to its unique “terroir”. The ultimate objective is to achieve a seamless integration.
After graduating from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a degree in Marine Engineering, Pete served as an officer on several assignments in the Pacific and in California. During his six years in the Coast Guard, he was Commanding Officer of two Coast Guard units.
His information technology career includes systems design and development positions at IBM, EDS and Chevron. He possesses superior technical skills, particularly with regard to relational database systems such as Sybase (the foundation of QuickBooks). Pete served in project management roles designing, developing and managing major financial systems projects at Chevron and Household Financial Services.
For the past 15 years, Pete has provided business consulting services to businesses, large and small, in many industries. Many of his larger clients have offices in several locations, and some are multi-national. His emphasis is on providing accounting systems for these enterprises and integrating their business applications seamlessly with company web sites and other installed eCommerce applications. As a ProAdvisor since 2004, he can bring to his clients superior knowledge of the practices and procedures that conform to his clients’ business models. Pete is an outstanding solutions provider!
Pete provides QuickBooks consulting and business systems integration services for many wineries. He also consults with major manufacturers and distributors with complex inventory challenges, seamlessly integrating QuickBooks with their web sites, shopping carts, eCommerce providers and other business applications.
Pete is the Leader of the San Francisco Bay Area Group of the National Advisors Network (NAN). NAN’s sole purpose is to empower QuickBooks ProAdvisors. We help each other build our practices.
Pete Bornstein’s business philosophy is to form a long-term partnership with his clients based upon common goals and objectives and a strong desire to achieve perfection. He works diligently to insure that both he and his clients have a very clear understanding of what it will take to achieve success in today’s extremely complex technological and financial business world.
You can find out more about Pete on his website.