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Escape the Manual Data Extraction Maze: Why Strongbox is the QuickBooks Desktop Integration You Can’t Ignore

Updated: May 6

For accounting professionals, QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) remains a workhorse for countless businesses. However, extracting crucial financial data from QBD for tasks like financial due diligence (FDD), client accounting services (CAS), or audits can be a time-consuming, manual nightmare for both the accounting professional and their clients. A QuickBooks Desktop integration that can help to automate this process is an essential piece for any accounting firm’s tech stack. Strongbox is this tool, offering a seamless solution to automate data extraction from QBD and transform it into clean, usable Excel workbooks.

Why Manual Data Extraction is a Productivity Killer

Traditionally, extracting data from QuickBooks Desktop involves:

  • Downloading reports: This often requires navigating through menus, filtering data, and downloading multiple reports. In some instances, these steps have to be done by the client with no accounting experience. They not only must figure out what the reports even are but also the steps on how to generate them. If the client doesn’t generate these reports, then the accountant must have access to the system to generate the reports themselves. However, not all accountants are experts on QBD, which means they will spend time trying to figure out an accounting system’s reporting features rather than performing the analysis that is their expertise. It’s a waste for the client and the firm either way.

  • Manual data entry: Once QuickBooks Desktop data is exported, the data then needs to be painstakingly copied and pasted into Excel spreadsheets. While essential work, the process is tedious and mundane, and because of the human element, prone to errors that could be time-consuming to catch or costly for the client if not caught.

  • Formatting and manipulation: Getting the data into Excel is only half the equation. The data also needs to be manipulated in such a way that the accounting team can then use the data for additional analysis. Cleaning, organizing, and formatting the data within Excel can be a significant time investment. And all these steps must take place BEFORE any value-added analysis can even begin.

These manual processes are not only error-prone but also eat away at valuable time that could be spent on higher-level analysis and client service.


Strongbox: Your Automated Data Extraction Partner

As you can see, a QuickBooks Desktop export can be quite the challenge. That’s where Strongbox can help. Strongbox streamlines the data extraction process from QuickBooks Desktop with its user-friendly interface and simple connection options, all while keeping data secure and private.

Here's how it works:

  1. Effortless Connection: Strongbox provides two connection options to QBD. You can either connect directly using your own Admin credentials, or you can use a Strongbox generated secure URL for the client to connect themselves in just a few clicks. The connection is read-only so no data can be altered in the client’s accounting system, keeping data private and secure.

  2. Download Your Excel Output: Once the connection has been made, Strongbox gets to work generating the output full of raw data and transforming that raw data into robust reports that include general ledger transactions, AR / AP details, journal entries, and cash flow analysis. All of this within minutes of making the connection to QBD.

That’s it! In two easy steps, your team can begin work that previously would have required additional days or weeks of back-and-forth prior. Additionally, the Strongbox output is customized for specific use cases.

Strongbox has created pre-built, standardized outputs specifically designed for uses like M&A financial due diligence, outsourced accounting new client assessments, ongoing CAS reporting, external audits, and data migration. These outputs provide a structured format that aligns with industry standards, saving you time and enabling a standardized process for easy training and scaling.

Connecting Strongbox to QuickBooks Desktop

The process of linking Strongbox to QuickBooks Desktop is straightforward, designed to facilitate easy access to the financial data stored within QBD files. Strongbox Portal subscribers can directly connect to QuickBooks Desktop files shared by the company, provided they have access to QuickBooks Desktop 2013 or newer versions. This compatibility spans across all flavors of QuickBooks Desktop, including Enterprise, Premier, Pro, and Accounting editions.

To initiate the data extraction, users can choose from two options:

Option A, they must have a copy of the company's QuickBooks Desktop company file and the password for the Admin account, which is essential for approving the connection with Strongbox. The data collection setup involves configuring the desired options, selecting the timeframe for data collection, and choosing the specific accounting data to include. This process is facilitated through a series of steps within the Strongbox interface, culminating in the selection of the accounting system and confirming the connection to QuickBooks Desktop.

Option B is through a secure URL. Strongbox users will go through the same setup choices as in Option A, only this time, instead of logging into QBD themselves, Strongbox will generate a secure URL that can be shared with the company. The company then uses the URL, taking them to a branded portal where they can connect QBD themselves in a few clicks.

Instead of hours spent generating reports, both Option A and Option B only take a few minutes.

Extracted Data and Standardized Outputs

Once connected to QBD, Strongbox excels in transforming the extracted financial data into customizable, ready-to-use Excel workbooks. These workbooks are designed to integrate seamlessly into existing processes, offering pre-built templates that include flat data tables, industry-standard analysis, financial checks, and more. The analysis provided in Strongbox outputs encompasses a wide range of financial aspects, including:

  • Financial Statement Analysis

  • Cash Flow Analysis

  • Sales/Accounts Receivable (AR) Analysis

  • Expense/Accounts Payable (AP) Analysis

  • Variance Analysis & Financial Ratios

  • AR/AP Concentration & Aging

  • Customer/Vendor Reporting

These comprehensive analyses are packaged into Excel workbooks that can be customized to meet the specific needs of different projects. Strongbox's customization options extend to the inclusion of specific data, time periods, reports, formulas, and metrics, as well as branding elements like logos, internal fields, formatting, and colors. This level of customization ensures that the outputs not only serve the analytical needs of users but also maintain consistency with their firm's branding.

Custom Outputs for Tailored Efficiency

Strongbox goes beyond basic data extraction by offering pre-built, customizable outputs designed for specific workflows:

Financial Due Diligence (FDD): The FDD output streamlines the due diligence process by compiling relevant financial data in a standardized format, saving you hours of manual formatting and ensuring all pertinent information is readily available for investors and lenders.

Client Accounting Services (CAS): The CAS output provides a comprehensive overview of your client's financial health, including income statements, balance sheets, number of transactions per month, and cash flow statements. This facilitates efficient analysis and reporting for your client service engagements.

Audit: The audit output extracts detailed transaction data and organizes it in a way that simplifies audit procedures, including populated upload templates for tools like CCH Engagement. This reduces time spent on data gathering and allows for a more focused and efficient audit process.

Data Migrations: Moving data to a new accounting system can be daunting. Strongbox's data migration output eliminates the tedious task of manually populating templates by using extracted data from QuickBooks Desktop. This significantly reduces the time and effort required for data migration projects.

Embrace the Strongbox QuickBooks Desktop Integration and Escape the Manual Maze

Stop wasting time wrestling with manual data extraction from QuickBooks Desktop. Strongbox automates the process, delivering clean, accurate data in a format ready for immediate analysis. Explore Strongbox and discover how it can revolutionize your workflow, free up your time for higher-value tasks, and enhance your client experiences across FDD, CAS, audits, and data migration. Contact our team today to see it for yourself!


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