Accountants and Bookkeepers guide to Commusoft

Commusoft is an online all-in-one software system for plumbers, gas and heating engineers, electricians and oil technicians. It helps you to manage your customer database, quotations, jobs, engineers’ diaries, safety certificates and invoicing, and it integrates with popular accounting packages such as Sage, Quickbooks, and Xero. It is accessible on your PC or laptop as well as mobile and tablet devices.

Currently, Commusoft supports the following accounting packages:

  • Sage Instant (2011+)
  • Sage Line 50 (2008+)
  • SageOne/Sage Accounting
  • Quickbooks Desktop (2011+)
  • Quickbooks Online
  • Xero
  • FreeAgent

Please note - we constantly upgrade our various integrations so this list may possibly change at a certain point.

What the accounting interface does
The accounting interface (AI for short) is designed to stop the need for manually inputting customers, suppliers, invoices, credit notes and payments from Commusoft into your chosen accounting package.  

What the accounting interface doesn’t do
The accounting interface is a one-way interface, except payments.  Adding customers or invoices in your accounting package will not appear in Commusoft. The only time when Commusoft can ‘receive’ information from your accounting package is when you first set it up and for payments for invoices originally imported from Commusoft. At this time (and this time only) Commusoft will receive all the customers and suppliers from your accounting package.

  • Commusoft will import these records to reduce the burden of you typing them into Commusoft.  This is a one time import and is only applicable if you’re new to Commusoft and have already been using an accounting package.
  • Commusoft will only insert data into your accounting package, it will not update information.
  • This means that if you create an invoice in Commusoft, transfer it to your accounting package and then edit that invoice in Commusoft this edit will not be automatically reflected in your accounting package.
  • If you edit an invoice, credit note, or payment in Commusoft, it will prompt you to make this change manually in your accounting package.  The reason for this is that most accounting packages have strict rules on what can and can’t be edited.  For example, if a payment/credit has been applied, then an invoice won't be editable or if a VAT quarter has passed, then a record can’t be edited.  In some cases, packages just don’t let us edit records.

How Commusoft links with your accounting package
In order to understand how this interface works, you must first understand how Commusoft ‘links’ to your accounting package.

Linking Customers/Suppliers
If you add a customer/supplier to Commusoft then AI will automatically create this customer/supplier in your accounting package.  There is nothing else you need to do.  However, if you add a customer in Commusoft and you don’t want to create this customer in your accounting package as it may already exist, you will need to ‘link’ them.  There are detailed help guides available for each different accounting package Commusoft support available on our knowledge base explaining how to do this.

Linking Nominal Codes
With all accounting packages, nominal codes are vital when managing financial transactions such as invoices, credits and payments.

  • Commusoft has a chart of accounts with relevant sales, bank and expense accounts.
  • You are required to match up Commusofts’ nominal codes to your accounting packages nominal codes. For example, Commusoft might have a nominal code called ‘Sales’ which in Sage Instant/Line 50 might be called ‘4000’.
  • Within Commusoft there is a field for you to type 4000 against the Sales account.  There are detailed guides for each accounting package in our knowledge base which explains how to do this.

How does Commusoft know which accounts to post invoices and payments too?
When creating an invoice, credit note or payment Commusoft will ask for the appropriate nominal code.

What happens when a record fails to send across?
Under some circumstances, it is possible that a record fails to send across from Commusoft to your accounting package.

  • In these cases you will be notified by email and the information will appear on your accounting integration dashboard.
  • Detailed instructions will explain to you why the record has failed and what you can do to fix it.  In most cases, failures are due to user error.
  • For example, if you create a customer in Commusoft which is then transferred to your accounting package then an invoice is raised, but before AI can send the invoice to your accounting package someone manually deletes the customer from your accounting package, an error will occur.

Where to get information/help
For all guides, please check our the Commusoft knowledge base.

So, technically how does it work? How long will data take to transfer?
In order to support so many accounting packages, Commusoft created various accounting integrations (or AI). This tool acts as a bridge between Commusoft and your chosen accounting system. There are three steps to this process:

  • Information is added to Commusoft and waits to send to your accounting system (putting them in the 'pending' state).
  • Whether you decide to automatically send information every two hours or when you click the ‘Send Data’ button, the information will be transferred from Commusoft to our AI tool.  This AI tool then processes the information and prepares it for your accounting package.
  • Information is finally sent to your accounting package from Commusoft.

For web-based accounting packages like SageOne/Accounting, Quickbooks Online, Xero, FreeAgent, and Kashflow information transfers immediately from AI to your accounting package. This means information should appear in your accounting package as soon as it leaves Commusoft (either every two hours or when you click the 'Send Data' button).

For desktop accounting packages like Sage Instant, Sage Line 50 and Quickbooks Desktop the process is a little longer.  The way these packages work is a small piece of software on your computer with Quickbooks or Sage installed.  These pieces of software check regularly to see if any new customers, invoices, credit notes or payments have been created and import them into your accounting package.

Requirements to make sure the interface works seamlessly
If you’re using SageOne/Accounting, Quickbooks Desktop, Quickbooks Online, Xero, FreeAgent, and Kashflow you’ve got nothing to worry about.

If you’re using Sage Instant or Sage Line 50 and your data is stored on a server or you use a network to share the Sage data across multiple client machines, then there are a number of requirements you must adhere to:

  • You must be able to access the server. If you’re unsure how to access the server, please speak to your IT department first.
  • You must have Sage installed on the server and Sage must be up to date.
  • Anti-virus software packages can, and often do, interfere with the Sage interface. Please make sure you have configured any installed anti-virus programs or firewalls to ignore or allow a Commusoft integration. Speak to your IT department if you are unsure about how to do this.

If you want Commusoft to aid you in the setup, please ensure you've spoken to your IT department in order to arrange suitable access to your server and enable administrative permissions for us as Commusoft will be installing remote desktop tools as well as interface software which require administrative privileges to be installed successfully.