Just don't do it: Quickbooks & Dubsado

I’m writing this blog to give you my opinion of ALL THE THINGS related to Quickbooks & Dubsado, and using them together. From the integration to where you should take payment, I just think you should know ALL the upsides and downsides of using these platforms together so that you can make the best choice for YOUR business.

First, the QuickBooks/Dubsado Integration

Here are a few things you need to know:

  1. The integration only works with QuickBooks ONLINE. If you use QuickBooks Self-Employed (which tracks your mileage and allows you to connect with TurboTax at tax time), then you can’t use the integration.
  2. The integration does NOT allow you to take PAYMENT through QuickBooks.
  3. The integration DOES allow you to sync INVOICES and PAYMENTS from Dubsado to QuickBooks. The integration does NOT sync the other direction (from QuickBooks to Dubsado).
  4. You will still have to go in to QuickBooks to manually enter your transaction/processing fees. The integration does NOT record these.

As long as you know all of the above, integrating QB & Dubsado is a fine idea for helping you record invoices and payments, but since you still have to record processing fees manually, it doesn’t really take a ton of work off your plate.

Here’s how I personally handle payment and fees in QB

I don’t really worry about Dubsado invoices. Instead, at the end of the month, I go export ALL of my transactions for the month out of Stripe. I do a formula to sum how much money I made and how much I lost in fees. I save the excel file to my Accounting folder, and then in QB I insert 2 transactions for the whole month: one for my income, and one for my fees.

My accountant has blessed this method, but make sure you talk to yours before moving forward with this! I just wanted to share how I personally handle this part of my biz!

If you want to take payment through QuickBooks,


In order to fully capitalize on all the awesome automagic found in Dubsado, it is best to use Dubsado’s BUILT IN features. Since taking payment through QuickBooks isn’t a built-in Dubsado feature, it will mean that you have to ADD manual steps to your workflow and REMOVE steps and features that COULD be automated!

Usually when someone wants to use QuickBooks to take payment, it’s because they have lower fees. Instead, I personally recommend you to:

  1. Use Stripe. When you integrate Stripe with Dubsado, you’ll have the opportunity to turn on “ACH Only”, which means that you’ll pay a max fee of $5 per transaction, no matter how large. AND you’ll get to maintain all of your beautiful Dubsado automation.
    1. Beware that sometimes clients’ banks may not be an option through the ACH portal, which will mean they can’t pay that way. When that happens, I recommend enabling credit cards for that one transaction. Here are instructions on how to do that for individual clients.
  2. Raise your fees by a few percentage point to make up for the credit card processing fees. Not only are they a tax write off, but in my experience, the EASIER you make it for someone to give you their money, the more money you’ll make overall. Sending your client to another page or making the process of paying difficult is going to decrease the number of people who make it all the way through your booking process.

If you insist on QuickBooks payment

Then here’s what you’ll have to do.

  1. Go to your universal Invoice settings and add a note to your Dubsado invoices that the invoice will be paid through QuickBooks, and give them directions to “click the link below to pay your invoice”. Leave a blank spot where you will copy and paste in QuickBooks invoice links for your clients.
    • You’ll find this under Settings > Receive Money > Invoices > Edit Terms. I recommend putting the instructions in the “Bottom” section. You’ll want to refer them to the top of their invoice to find their link (we’ll add their link in step 3 below).
  2. Add a manual to-do step to your workflow prior to sending the proposal telling yourself to create the QuickBooks invoice, grab the link, and add it to the client specific invoice notes.
  3. Go to the invoice and actually add the Quickbooks link. You’ll go to the Project > Invoices > under all of the line items, you’ll find “Notes”. Add the link there. This will make the link show at the top of the invoice (as shown in the example below “www.quickbooksinvoicelink.com”). This unique link will have to be added for every single client.
  4. Once the link is added, check off the to do described in Step 2 of this list.
  5. Then the proposal will send.
  6. Once you receive QuickBooks payment, you can either unpause your workflow, or apply the payment to the Dubsado invoice. It’s your preference.
  7. This is all just for getting your lead BOOKED! You’ll have to add a custom QuickBooks invoice link for EVERY payment you need to take. You’ll have to remember to send the invoice at each payment point and remember to add the links, every single time. Building to-dos into your workflow can help you keep track of this, but it’s A LOT of manual work that Dubsado *could* be doing for you automatically if you stuck with the suggestions in the section above.
Refer to the note at the bottom and the link placement at the top.

You will NOT be able to:

  1. Send automatic payment reminders at the appropriate times
  2. Send payment confirmations
  3. Set up anything else in your workflow to only go once payment has been made (unless you manually apply the payment, which will mean workflow steps based on payment won’t go unless you manually complete this step).

Basically, you lose peace of mind, you introduce more manual work into your workflow, you create a more difficult to follow process for your clients, all to save just a few dollars.

It’s important for you to 100% understand the trade off you’re making!

Ultimately, I hope that this blog helps you realize how VALUABLE Dubsado is and reminds you that you should let it do what it does best, so that you can do what YOU do best!

If you don’t have Dubsado yet, use code XOCAIT to get 30% off your first year!

  1. Sharyn says:

    Great explanation thank you Cait.

    My clients pay via direct bank deposit so I have to do the manual step of adding the payment anyway.

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