Connecting Salesforce to Xero with Breadwinner

We've just finished two implementations of Breadwinner, which connects Salesforce to Xero. Given how much Xero and Salesforce dominate the Australian cloud eco-system, I wanted to blog about our experience with Breadwinner.

One implementation was for a client with a highly complex situation, and the other was a fairly typical installation for ourselves.

We chose Breadwinner both times because they have the most robust data flow from Xero to Salesforce. There are competing apps on the market, like Zapier, One SaaS, and Workato, and all of them will do a good job getting data out of Salesforce into Xero. 

Where Breadwinner is different is that it ensures an accurate and complete flow of data from Xero to SF. Within minutes of installing Breadwinner in our client's org, they had a live copy of every single Xero Invoice, Bill and Purchase Order, as well as respective Line Items and Payments, and even a copy of every Xero Contact, Customer, & Supplier.

It's Breadwinner's job to keep that data up to date, and they check Xero several times an hour for updates and new Invoices or other records. As a Salesforce Consultant, we like apps that take on this type of responsibility!

What made this client's implementation particularly tricky was the multiple ways they needed to create Xero Purchase Orders. Sometimes they needed to create Purchase Orders from Opportunity Products, while other times from their custom objects. Breadwinner was able to handle everything.

Our own implementation of Breadwinner went smoothly, and we now have a live feed of Xero Invoices in Salesforce, with handy mini-dashboards on each Salesforce Account showing what a client owes and has paid. Here's what that mini-dashboard looks like:

 

While we were impressed with Breadwinner from a product level, there are a couple things they need to improve on. The Support Site is sufficient, but the main website needs more information, videos, and demos. I would have liked to see a user manual, and in-app contextual help, all of which is lacking.

Breadwinner is also making the bold suggestion that they are an alternative to FinancialForce, and I think they need a few more features before they can claim this. For instance, I would have liked to see the ability to defer and schedule revenue through Xero Journal Entries. It would be great to have the ability to create an Invoice with an Invoice date, but at the same time created deferred revenue milestones, something we have to do on a long consulting project.