Developer Tools

Top 20 Intuit Developer Questions

11/29/2016 – Updated with additional content, and fixed some broken links

I get a lot of email from developers, almost too many to keep up with. In many cases, it is the same questions over and over again. In order to get you faster answers, and to help me get to #InBoxZero, I’ve compiled a list of the top 20 questions in my inbox. In no particular order:

1) Is there a cost for developers to use the QuickBooks Online API, or to get listed on Apps.com?

The QuickBooks Online API is FREE.
Listing an app on Apps.com is FREE.

2) Does the QuickBooks Online API do X?

Probably! You can search the documentation in the right hand corner of the Intuit Developer site to find out for sure. Also check out the QuickBooks Online Accounting API Entity Services Reference page.

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3) Can I modify my Intuit Marketplace listing?

Apps for QuickBooks Desktop is the new home for all apps that work with QuickBooks Desktop. Please email appsforquickbooksdesktop@qbd.intuit.com to have your QuickBooks Desktop integrated app listed.

Apps.com is the home for all apps that work with QuickBooks Online. We recommend you list your app there for best reach. This blog post will walk you through the process: 2016 Guide to Building a Small Business App and Launching on QuickBooks Apps.com.

4) Can I meet with Intuit’s Business Development team, Marketing team, VP of Sales, CEO, etc?

Folks from various Intuit teams are watching all the Apps.com apps and reaching out to developers as appropriate. Obviously, they can’t reach out to every single app developer, so the best way to rise above the fold is to:

  • Show us that your Apps.com app card can convert QuickBooks Online users to try your app.
  • Show us that your app maintains connections to QuickBooks Online.
  • Show us that your app gets 4 and 5 star reviews on Apps.com
  • Show us that your app is generating new subscribers to QuickBooks Online.
  • Show us that your app fills a small business need.

5) How many QuickBooks Online Subscribers are there?

  • 10/31/2016: total QuickBooks Online paying subscribers worldwide is 1,638,000
  • 07/31/2016: total QuickBooks Online paying subscribers worldwide is 1,513,000
  • 07/31/2015: total QuickBooks Online paying subscribers worldwide is 1,075,000
  • 07/31/2014: total QuickBooks Online paying subscribers worldwide is 683,000
  • 07/31/2013: total QuickBooks Online paying subscribers worldwide is 487,900

The official numbers can be found in this Intuit Fact Sheet.

6) Can I have an exception to X requirement?

No. We have requirements to ensure a consistent customer experience across all apps. This blog post on the OAuth, OpenID, and Intuit Apps.com requirements has more details, as well as some best practices.

7) Are any of the Intuit Developer or QuickBooks Online servers down?

There are a few ways to be notified of server up/downtime:</>

8) I just created a support ticket, can you escalate it?

Rest assured the support team will respond to your ticket within 2 business days.

9) How do we get marketing help from Intuit?

Once your app is integrated with QuickBooks Onlne and published on Apps.com, your app will be featured as a new app on the front page of apps.com, and will be recommended via the recommendation engine inside of QuickBooks Online to the small businesses that are the best fit for your app. Addtional marketing training can be found here: https://developer.intuit.com/hub/training

10) Can you help with IIF import files?

The use of IIF files for QuickBooks is no longer officially supported. Using the QuickBooks API is a much better way to move data in and out of QuickBooks.

IIF import files are from a really old technology era. For some context, 18 plus years ago, when I did QuickBooks technical support, customers would have to print and fax in copies of their IIF files to receive support. Yes, I said FAX. Even this 2010 blog post from Charlie Russell says “…I generally do not recommend using a program that uses IIF import. Using IIF is not a “best practice…”

Still not convinced? See this post on why IIF files are bad.

11) Any plans to implement webhooks?

Webhooks for QuickBooks Online are now available!

12) Is there a QuickBooks Online Payroll API?

Not at this time. A QuickBooks Online Payroll API is on the Intuit Payroll team’s radar. Please vote for this idea here.

13) What about QuickBooks Desktop?

Integration with QuickBooks Desktop can be done via the QuickBooks Desktop XML SDK. (NOTE: Apps.com marketing support is only for apps that connect to QuickBooks Online.)

Apps for QuickBooks Desktop is the new home for all apps that work with QuickBooks Desktop. Please email appsforquickbooksdesktop@qbd.intuit.com to have your QuickBooks Desktop integrated app listed.

14) How do I get a developer subscription to QuickBooks Online?

You can create a QuickBooks Online sandbox for your development and testing needs. If your QA, Support, and/or Sales teams need access to QuickBooks Online, you have two options:

  1. Have them sign up for a trial version of QuickBooks Online.
  2. (RECOMMENDED) Have them sign up to become a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. They will receive a QuickBooks Online subscription, training, and certification all for FREE. The highest rated apps on Apps.com have many members of their team certified in QuickBooks Online.

15) How do I get my app to the front page of Apps.com?

When you publish your app on Apps.com your app will be listed in the “newest” section of Apps.com for a short period of time.

16) Who can build my QuickBooks integration for me?

The best way to reach developers that could help you with or even build your QuickBooks integration, is to join the Intuit Developer “Find a Developer” group and create a help wanted post.

17) Can I resell QuickBooks Online to my customers?

Yes. You can sign up here: http://intuitreseller.com/reseller_form.php

18) How do I get that green “ProAdvisor recommends” badge on my Apps.com app card?

The program is currently not active and is under review. Please vote for and leave additional comments/thoughts on this idea.

19) What are the accounting conferences that developers should attend?

As I said in in #6 of this post, “You need to play the game”. The best way to play the game is to reach accountants and QuickBooks ProAdvisors that can recommend your app to their clients. You should strongly consider attending the following:

  • A smaller local show in your geographic area. Flagg Management puts on a number of accounting shows around the country during the year.
  • The Scaling New Heights conference is heavily focused on QuickBooks and the apps that work with it.
  • The Sleeter Group’s SleeterCon (now called AccountexUSA) brings together all small business accounting technologies, so accountants can learn to better serve their clients with the correct solution for each client.
  • The QuickBooks Accounting Virtual Conference is the biggest of any of the conferences; I think almost 4k attended last year. The feedback I have heard from the developers is that it is a very productive conference for all of those involved.
  • Last but not least is QuickBooks Connect. You can connect with Small Business Owners, Accountants, and other Intuit Developers all under one roof!

20) Why is sales tax in QuickBooks Online API so different from how the QuickBooks Desktop API or QBXML SDK handled it?

The QuickBooks Online API v3 supports the global tax model. This allows both QuickBooks Online and your app to support global regions.

-david

 March 3, 2015 | David Leary