Integrating SmartVault With QuickBooks And The Fujitsu ScanSnap: Part 2

Integrating SmartVault With QuickBooks And The Fujitsu ScanSnap: Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 2 part series about SmartVault. Part 1 outlined how to use SmartVault for online document storage, so you may want to read it first.

In Part 1, we talked about using SmartVault to upload and manage documents, and how to map a drive so that you can access your online documents through Windows Explorer or the Mac’s Finder.

Today I’m going to run through integrating SmartVault with Quickbooks and using a scanner, in my case a Fujitsu ScanSnap, to scan directly into a Quickbooks entry.

Add Company File To SmartVault

Assuming you have a Quickbooks company file set up and the SmartVault Desktop software downloaded and installed (see Part 1 for more info on that), integrating SmartVault with Quickbooks is pretty easy.

When you first start Quickbooks, it will ask you if SmartVault can access your company file. You want to, of course, say yes, and check “Yes, always; allow access even if QuickBooks is not running”.

Once you do that it will ask you to link a Vault in SmartVault with a Quickbooks company file.

SmartVault add company

New SmartVault Toolbar

Now you’ll have a brand new SmartVault toolbar to the right of your Quickbooks screen.

Quickbooks new toolbar

Attach An Existing Document To A Quickbooks Entry

Let’s say that you already have a document that you want to attach to an entry.

First, load up the entry (in this example an invoice) in Quickbooks.

Then on the SmartVault Toolbar, click the Attach button.

SmartVault Attach

Then it asks you where you want to get the document from. If you have a TWAIN scanner (which the ScanSnap is not), you can select your scanner and scan from there. Otherwise you can browse your computer or attach it from the SmartVault Inbox (more on the Inbox later).

SmartVault Document Source

In our case we are going to click Browse, find the PDF that we want to attach, and hit Accept.

Now you can see there is one attachment associated with this invoice.

1 attachment

When you click it, you can see the attachment and Open, Save, Print, etc.

Invoice attachment

If you wanted to, you could see that same document either online in your SmartVault Portal or on your SmartVault Drive (see Part 1 for more info on using those two). Here’s an example of where it sits in the Portal.

Document In SmartVault Portal

Scan To SmartVault Using The Fujitsu ScanSnap

Great, so you can attach an existing document to a Quickbooks entry. What if you have a paper copy and want to scan it to Quickbooks?

If you have a scanner other than a ScanSnap, it is probably TWAIN compatible which means you can choose it in the document source as I outlined earlier.

If you have a ScanSnap, they have thought ahead and provided ScanSnap integration.

You have two choices for using your ScanSnap with SmartVault: Scan to a specific Quickbooks entry, or scan to your SmartVault Inbox.

Scan To A Quickbooks Entry Using Your Fujitsu ScanSnap

The first thing you want to do is add the SmartVault Toolbar App to your applications in ScanSnap Manager. To do that open up ScanSnap Manager, create a new Profile (call it, for example, SmartVault Quickbooks), and on the Application tab hit Add or Remove.

Then navigate to the subfolder called “Fujitsu ScanSnap Profile Applications” under the folder where you installed SmartVault. In this case, you want to choose the application called “SmartVault Toolbar App For ScanSnap”.

ScanSnap Add SmartVault Application

Once you do that, create the rest of your profile using whatever settings that you prefer.

Now that you have your ScanSnap Manager profile set up, it’s time to scan to Quickbooks. Yeah!

Flip to Quickbooks and open an entry. Make sure that your new SmartVault Quickbooks profile is selected.

Put your document in the scanner and hit the scan button. You’ll then get a popup showing the document and asking you to Accept the attachment to this entry (in my case, invoice 138).

ScanSnap Accept SmartVault Scan

Once you hit Attach, the document will be attached to the Quickbooks entry, uploaded to SmartVault, and you’ll be able to see on the SmartVault toolbar that it has one attachment.

Scan To SmartVault Inbox Using Your Fujitsu ScanSnap

If you don’t want to scan to a specific entry quite yet (maybe you want to scan a bunch first and do your attaching later), you can scan to the SmartVault Inbox for this company. Then all your documents will be there ready for you to attach later.

The instructions for setting that ScanSnap Manager profile up are the same as setting it up for scanning to Quickbooks, but when you are choosing the Application, you want to choose “SmartVault Inbox App For ScanSnap”.

Once you set that new profile up and scan to it, your documents will be in the SmartVault Inbox. To access the Inbox, either choose it as a document source when clicking the “Attach” button for an entry, or click on the SmartVault Inbox link from the SmartVault Launchpad (see Part 1 for information on the SmartVault Launchpad).

If these instructions for setting up the ScanSnap Manager profiles are a bit vague, SmartVault has a video that runs through how to do it:

So there you go. You can use SmartVault to store and manage your documents, you can map a drive to it, you can attach files to Quickbooks entries, and you can integrate it all with your ScanSnap or other scanner.

If you’re a SmartVault and/or Quickbooks user, let us know in the comments how you like it or if you have other good Quickbooks document management tips.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 6 comments

Guest - October 19, 2011 Reply

Is there a way to using the mapping feature of SmartVault to store and work with various client's Quickbooks files….and allow clients to access those same files. Or do I have to have SmartVault or some other company host Quickbooks?

    Brooks Duncan - October 24, 2011 Reply

    I know SmartVault will allow you to create client portals, so maybe that will do the trick? I am not personally a Quickbooks user, but one place you might want to ask is the LinkedIn QuickBooks Consultant group. Lots of really smart people in there and I've seen lots of discussions about hosting and the like.

smallbizdoer - August 30, 2011 Reply

No problem Peggy,

I ended up going with SourceLink from Personable for digitally attaching my files to Quickbooks. The software works, albeit it is a bit buggy.

I really do hope that Quickbooks comes out with a similar solution to SourceLink. It would seem that in this day and age something liking attaching your receipts and documents to your digital bookkeeping program would be something naturally built-in. Quickbooks, actually does have a digital attachment feature, but it is a paid monthly service, starting at $10 per month. Again, same problem if you discontinue the service. Plus, all your files are not named by something easy to search such as vendor name, date, amount, etc… it is by numbers.

If you do end up deciding SourceLink is for you, let me know at greg at and I can get you a discount on the software.

Peggy - August 24, 2011 Reply

You just answered what I wanted to know…What happens to my attached files if/when I discontinue service with SmartVault?!
If it is indeed a fact that those attached files would now be gone, then this is not an option for me either!
Thanks for saving me from this potential fiasco!

smallbizdoer - December 7, 2010 Reply

Hi Brooks,

I've tried SmartVault and it quasi does what I was looking for. I was looking to attach my receipts, bills, statements (banking documents) to my Quickbooks so that when I wanted to look at a specific entry and pull up the source document, I'd be able to do so easily without having to search a folder (whether a paper one in cabinet or a folder on my computer).

I had a few issues / concerns that didn't work for my workflow:

1. SmartVault does allow you attach documents, but what I didn't like was that there wasn't a local copy stored, so there was a bit of lag time. If there is an option for local storage as well as online storage, this would fix that problem (but as far as I can see from my quick tests, this wasn't possible).

2. Organization of files. When you attach the documents, they are dumped into one lumpsum folder. So, if I ever wanted to access the files outside of Quickbooks, then it would be harder to search. Perhaps searchable PDFs could help with this, but it would still be good to have a file folder structure that would allow me to do a quick search without Quickbooks.

3. Pricing. SmartVault gives you 100mb of free storage. With scanned docs, I'm assuming it wouldn't take many documents to blow through this. Once that free storage is gone, the next step up is $19.99 a month for 2 gigs. That's not horrible, but dropbox gives you 2 gigs for free.

4. Switching from SmartVault. If I ever discontinued SmartVault, then all my links to my Quickbooks would be gone. This means in order to keep my records linked, I have to keep on paying SmartVault that monthly fee. I don't like this because companies and technologies change, so I feel that in 5 or 10 years, all my careful attaching could be undone. That's why I would like to see a organized offline file structure solution that will stand the test of time if I stop using SmartVault or Quickbooks. My files will still be organized and easily searchable an accessible.

Solutions? I haven't found any ideal ones yet. I've looked at the following companies, <a href=",” target=”_blank”>…, and Personable's SourceLink seems to have the most potential and I'm doing a demo of it today.



    Brooks Duncan - December 10, 2010 Reply

    Awesome Greg, thanks so much for your thorough feedback. Feel free to let us know your thoughts about SourceLink, and hit me up if you'd like to do a guest post review of it. Thanks again!

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