SourceLink - Accounting Software Secrets
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This affordable QuickBooks add-on is a great way for small businesses to get into document management.  In addition to linking a file of any type that has an associated program that can display it, this tool also has the ability to add “sticky notes” using the “MyNotes” and “Hot Notes” features to a QuickBooks record (many transactions and lists).

There are 25 supported record types: Any account in the chart of accounts, Any name in the Other Names List, Bills, Bill Payment-Check, Bill Payment-Credit Card, Check, Credit Card Charge, Credit Card Credit, Credit Memo, Customer, Deposit, Employee, Estimate, Inventory Adjustment, Invoice, Item, Item Receipt, Journal Entry, Purchase Order, Receive Payment, Sales Order, Sales Receipt, Sales Tax Payment Check, Vendor, and Vendor Credit.

With up to 10 records, plus MyNotes and HotNotes, attached to a single QuickBooks record this tool works great for managing work flow, easy filing and retrieval of accounting related documents as well as any other files to make the work flow process more efficient.  For example: Not sure if something was coded correctly?  Look at the source.  Need the proof of delivery or signed contract from the customer?  Look at the source.  Have a sales document that needs to be revised by someone else in the organization prior to being sent to the customer?  Pull it up from within QuickBooks, make the changes, and save it again.  Wonder what the item looks like?  Attach an electronic picture.  Sell a product that needs an MSDS?  Attach that document for easy retrieval.

For us, changing the configuration to automatically prompt us each time we save a document has made the implementation easy.  It has really encouraged us to change our procedures as we are using QuickBooks to avoid the temptation to abandon the project.

Getting Started Note: The download process and installation was very fast and easy.  I also liked that there were several options depending on if you have an internet connection or not.  The registration process was completed without any trouble.  I was up and running within minutes and a quick change of the configuration and I never forget to attach the document as I am completing my data entry processes.


10 document limitation – Due to this limitation, extensive work paper management, weekly timecards, etc. is not practical with this solution.

Security – This product is designed for attaching documents to the QuickBooks record but does not place any controls on the document itself, which users can use the tool, etc. SourceLink maintains the security of Windows own file management system. If the user is using a multi-user environment, they can simply create a restricted folder (for example, with Creator Only access) and store the source files. In this way, other people may be able to see the path at worst case, but they are not able to retrieve the file anyway.

File retrieval protocol – The file can be save anywhere so other users may not have access to the saved file when accessing QuickBooks data from another computer.  Each business should design file saving guidelines to ensure consistent access to the appropriate people.

Navigation – If you open record A in QuickBooks and view the SourceLink information, and then want to see the SourceLink information for record B that is open in QuickBooks, navigating between the two in SourceLink is cumbersome.  First close SourceLink then click on the QuickBooks menu bar pull down to navigate to MyNotes or linked files to view the information associated with record B.  When attaching files to a record, it is important to note this process; otherwise it is quite easy to attach files to the incorrect record. 

Navigation Note – There are control arrows at the bottom of SourceLink will permit moving from one transaction that has MyNotes, HotNotes, or linked files.  However, this does not help if record B does not have anything associated with it yet. 

Update as of July 18, 2005:

Personable has just announced a new release of their SourceLink product and we are pleased to say that our suggestions were taken to heart:

In our opinion the most significant changes are:

  1. The new version will let the user by pass the “File > SourceLink > Start . . .” procedure and synchronize the SourceLink with QuickBooks record with one mouse click.  So the user can save time when linking many transactions.
  2. The new version will offer more options from “Report Linked Files…” menu item.  You will be able to know what transactions you have done in a date range without a type.  And, the “x” of the SourceLink window will let you save the contents also. 
  3. In the new version, it will make the “all files” as the default instead of the image files.


More information on this topic

Document Management