Introducing DataDear to the world of data fluidity
DataDear’s Carl Thompson explains how the Excel add-in works with Xero and QuickBooks, and why it should be the app on everyone’s lips.
Built by Scope Solutions in Malta, DataDear is a cloud Excel add-in tool which works as a smart two-way feed that moves data between Excel and accounting software giants, Xero and QuickBooks. The software enables data downloads to Excel reporting packs which can then be bulk-sent to Xero and QuickBooks.
Based in Sydney, Australia, the five-year-old company took only one year to become an officially listed Xero add-on. Since then, DataDear has opened an office in the UK to cater for its expanding European client-base
UK partner manager at DataDear Carl Thompson told AccountingWEB that DataDear was “designed around turning data into knowledge via reporting, visuals, dashboards and custom connections”. Regulation such as Making Tax Digital prevents sensitive data from copied and pasted, so DataDear interjects by, “connecting systems so they can talk with each other”.
Faster, simpler, less hassle
DataDear automates the pre-existing integration between Xero or QuickBooks and Excel, removing the manual, time-consuming aspects to using the import/export buttons on transactional and report data tables.
The cloud add-in software provides tools that simplify moving data into management reports to assist with accurate reporting, such as budget and forecasting. As a result, DataDear gains many clients from Xero and QuickBooks users needing assistance with compiling consolidated reports from the numerous groups within the accounting software.
According to Thompson, “custom integrations are big at the moment in the UK with digital tax rules restricting how you can transfer data from one system to another.” To meet compliant integration demands, DataDear is working to increase options and speed for data transference regarding tax-related data.
Although many businesses now have cloud-based financials, “a lot of their operational data still isn’t in the cloud”, Thompson explained, “so we are focused on how quickly data can be transferred from one system to another in a compliant manner.”
Unique selling point
“Because it is built as an Excel add-in it is less restricted," explained Thompson. "So once you've got the data, you can build anything from it. It's a lot more flexible and customisable than most solutions.”
Thompson explained how by using DataDear, a recruitment firm using two separate systems for sales and invoicing had saved the three hours a week it was taking to get its invoices into its desktop-based package. “It now takes them two minutes a week to get its invoices into Xero, and we're also capturing all of the tracking category details and giving them much more granular reporting.”
“The main users of DataDear are accountants in practice and accountants in industry,” Thompson told AccountingWEB, “and Xero and QuickBooks are our preferred ecosystems because that is where we are connecting to.”
“But where we really come into our own is the mid to large market where companies that are pushing the boundaries of QuickBooks and Xero with groups, consolidation, and multi-currency using both tracking categories,” said Thompson. However, for businesses not using Xero or QuickBooks, “we're not going to be helping them,” admitted Thompson, as DataDear focuses only on the two leaders in cloud-accounting.
Let’s talk money
DataDear charges on a per-connection basis, starting from £25/month for five connections, for which the add-in ensures client support during the onboarding process. Pricing packages then increase to accountant plans and custom pricing but does not include enterprise plans for large firms.
What does the future hold?
“At the moment we are currently finalising our custom integration piece,” Thompson told AccoutingWEB. “We've found there are three routes that businesses are after when it comes to integrating systems.
1. The API route: connecting accounting systems via apps.com or Xero's marketplace so everything will flow in automatically.
2. Extraction: producing software reports in CSV and then transforming and uploading (or smart uploading) these to cloud accounting software providers.
3. The halfway house DataDear is working on: where users can forward DataDear the documents, and it will create the transformation and make sure they are populated into the file of choice and accountant choice of entries.
DataDear’s UK partner manager also confessed that the cloud add-in tool was currently working on integration with Power BI. “Microsoft is carving out that journey for accountants, so we want to help accountants get into the data analyses and data valuation space with custom client tailoring,” said Thompson.
“The idea originates from the concept where there is one reporting workflow in which we can essentially deliver management reports in any format, including on a mobile app, or in browsers to be played with interactively.”