Xact Link for ACT! and QuickBooks FAQ's


What is Xact Link for Act! and QuickBooks?
Xact Link for Act & QuickBooks is an add-on for the popular ACT contact Management system; the Link is developed by Xact software solutions.

What does the link do?
The link connects ACT with your QB accounting product, by doing so it provides the ability to create QB Customer Records from ACT in addition to exposing some of QB accounting software functions to ACT.

What is the goal behind linking ACT with QB accounting products?
The idea is to streamline the process of creating Customers and managing their information within the business as well as providing the front office staff with controlled access to customers financial data so that the staff can serve the customers more efficiently.

What other features does the link provide?
The link adds the following features to ACT:

  • Import QuickBooks customer records into ACT!
  • Export ACT! contact records to QuickBooks
  • Link any ACT! contact(s) to an existing QuickBooks customer and vendor record.
  • Update a QuickBooks customer record directly from within ACT!
  • Create a new QuickBooks customer record from within ACT!
  • View customer Estimates, Sales Orders, Invoices and Sales Receipt for a given QuickBooks customer from within ACT!
  • Create customer Estimates, Sales Orders, Invoices and Sales Receipt from within ACT!
  • View and create new vendor Purchase Orders.
  • Converts ACT! Opportunities to a QB Estimate
  • View aged receivables from ACT!
  • Use customized templates to print out, create PDF files or Email customer’s sales records from within ACT!
  • Use an auto link wizard to establish a connection between your existing ACT! and QuickBooks customers.
  • Reporting functionality such as Sales History, Customer Distribution Map, Stock on Hand.

How does the link work?
Once installed the Link adds a new Tab to the ACT contact detail screen, it also adds a new Menu item under the ACT Tools menu.

Does it consume a QuickBooks license?
Depending on the setup, for local connection where ACT and QB resides on the same machine, the link will work through the installed QB therefore uses one license; QB on this machine can still be operated alongside the link uses the same license ‘slot’. Any additional users using this type of connection will consume a license.

On remote connection using QB Link Server, the server operates under a nominated QB login therefore uses one license, any user clients connected to RDS does not require additional licenses.

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View system requirements here

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What are the prerequisites for running the link?
The following is a list of software and software components that need to be in place before you can successfully install and use the link:

  • A supported version of ACT is installed and working with no issues
  • A supported version of QB accounting software is installed and working with no issues
  • Both installation of ACT and the QB software have the latest patches applied

What are the requirements for running the link?
Xact Link for QuickBooks has the same requirements as ACT! with additional note, on some operating system namely Windowx XP Home, Vista Home Basic / Premium, Windows 7 Home Premium, we have some cases where QuickBooks third party integration does not work. However we do provide 30 days trial, in any case, the product can be uninstalled with no adverse effect.

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How do I install the link?
Installation is simple; all you need to do is to un-zip the software package and run the Setup.exe file, simply follow the installation instructions and make sure that the link is installed to the right directory.  Xact Link for QuickBooks Setup Wizard will run when the link is initialised for the first time in ACT!

View our 5 minute installation and setup video for Link for ACT! and Quickbooks

Is there an installation reference guide?
Yes, the link comes with a quick installation guides for both single and client-server scenarios in addition to a comprehensive user manual.

I have ACT installed on my machine but QuickBooks is installed on a separate machine can I setup the link to work under this configuration?
Yes, you can install the link and configure it to run using the Xact QB Link Server which allows you to connect to a QB application which is running on a separate machine, this product is available upon request with no additional charge.

What is the difference between single user and client-server installations?
Single user installations require that both ACT and QuickBooks reside on the same machine, with client server installations QuickBooks can reside on a different machine from ACT.

Can I have ACT running while installing the link?
It is strongly recommended that neither ACT nor your QuickBooks accounting software is running when installing the link.

Where should the link be installed?
The installation directory is the Plugins sub directory which can be found under the ACT for windows or ACT for Web Folders. The default paths for these folders are:

  • For 32 bit operating system:
    C:\Program Files\ACT\Act for Windows\Plugins\
    C:\Program Files\ACT\Act for Web\Plugins\
  • For 64 bit operating system:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\ACT\Act for Windows\Plugins
    C:\Program Files (x86)\ACT\Act for Web\Plugins

Do I need to be an administrator when installing the link?
Yes you need to be logged on as an administrator when installing the link.

Can I install the link without having ACT on my machine?
Since the link is an integrated Add-on for ACT you must have a compatible version of ACT installed and running in order to use the link.

Do I have to have QuickBooks installed on my pc for the link to work?
Depending on the setup you can have one QuickBooks installed on a “server” machine and have ACT on multiple workstations to connect. This configuration requires an extra component called QB Link Server.

Where do I get QB Link Server
The QB Link Server is available from the same download page as the Xact Link for ACT! and QB was downloaded from.

There is no additional user function that the installation of the QB Link Server provides, accordingly we recommend that your evaluation of the software as a trial product be done so without installing the QB Link Server. However if you do choose to download and install the QB Link Server we advise that a reasonable level of client/server systems knowledge is required should you find that your Windows security permissions prevent the link from working as it should. Xact software does offer a fixed fee install of the server component if desired.

I have QuickBook 2014 Enterprise and Sage Act 2013. I installed the addon and Never got the Wizard. Is their a way to load the Wizard manually?
To start the wizard manually, go to Tools > Xact Link for QuickBooks > Settings then select "Click here to run Setup Wizard"

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I have installed the link, how do I configure it to work with my QB accounting software?
Provided the installation was complete and your system meets the prerequisites you will need to start up QuickBooks and login to your database first then start ACT. The link will prompt you to configure its settings the first time you start up ACT.

You can also access the configuration screen from ACT at anytime by going through Tools >> Xact Link for Act and QuickBooks

What is the QB User Access Password?
The access password is used to allow an administrator to configure the user access rights for the link on a given machine, by doing so an administrator can setup the access rights for each ACT user who is utilizing the link.

Is QB User Access password the same as my Windows or ACT user password?
No, it is only used to protect User Access configuration screen.

I have installed the link and went through the setup wizard, after restarting ACT I can see the link tab but nothing is visible on the tab and I can only access the configure user access section in the preferences screen.
By default the link's access settings are setup to full lockdown, you need to configure the user access settings for each individual ACT user, to do so navigate to an ACT user's record, and configure their access settings through the preferences screen, close and restart ACT when you're done.

What is Link field?
The Link field is used to store the QuickBooks customer ID in ACT, the ID is used to link an ACT customer to its respective QB record. Ideally your ACT administrator should create a field for that purpose prior to installing the link.

How do I setup the Xact Link to link an ACT contact record with my QuickBooks customer record?
Using the Link field (which is accessible through the Link's configuration screen) you can assign a contact field which will hold the link information between ACT and the QuickBooks accounting product.

Can I choose any field for Link Field?
Yes, however it is very important that you choose a field that is not used to enter data at all or create a new field to hold the link information between ACT and your QuickBooks product data file.

My database has customised fields can I configure the link to map to them?
Yes, the link can be configured to map your QB customers' fields to any ACT field of your choosing, keep in mind that when mapping fields you should only map field pairs of similar data types (e.g. mapping a character field in ACT to a number field in QB may result in data loss or corruption).

I have multiple QB company file, can it works with multiple QB database?
No, this product is designed to be used with one QB company file.

What is the email integration function used for?
The email integration function is used to provide the option to send an existing transaction (Estimate or invoice etc) to an ACT customer; the transaction is converted to a PDF document and emailed as an attachment.

Can I customise the template used to create the PDF file?
Yes, it is possible to customise the template to change the layout, add static text and images, to do so you will need some familiarity with HTML.

Is it possible to have more than one template?
Yes, each transaction type (invoice, sales order, estimate, purchase order) has a default template. A custom template can also be chosen upon creation.

What can I use to edit the HTML template?
It is possible to use Notepad or Wordpad, you can also use any of the freely available HTML editors such as Notepad++

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I configured the link and I tested the connection, I can see the Link's tab but nothing seems to be working, what is wrong?
After configuring the link you need to restart ACT for the changes to apply.

I have configured the link and restarted ACT but the QuickBooks tab in ACT is blank.
You need to configure user access for each individual ACT user, by default the link operates in full lockdown mode, the link's feature need to be enabled by an administrator. Also make sure Link field is set.

I am using Windows Vista and I get an error message whenever I try to start ACT after installing the link.
Try to start ACT as an administrator.

I forgot my User Access password
Click the "Forgot password?" link below the password box. A password reset request form will be displayed.

I have setup the link and it seems to be configured properly but whenever I try to use it I get an error message.
this is possibly due to assigning an ID field that already contains data, make sure to assign an ID field that is used for nothing but the link, this field should be hidden from the contact detail view.

I have changed the contact layout in ACT and now all of my tabs are duplicates / cannot be accessed.
This seems to be an issue that occurs from time to time in ACT which affects layouts and plugins that add their own tabs in the ACT detail view, the workaround is to restart ACT.

When switching between ACT Databases during the same session, some of the link features become disabled.
This seems to be an issue with the way ACT handles some of its plugins, the workaround is to restart ACT.

"Unable to connect to QuickBooks" error message pops up at the start
There are a number of reasons for this error message:

  • Connection settings is not properly configured: Make sure QuickBooks is already running if "Use already opened QB data file" option is checked
  • On a Windows Vista / 7 environment, if either of QB or ACT! is running on an elevated privileges either This is known a limitation of integrated application in QuickBooks running on Windows Vista / 7. Make sure these two conditions are met:
    1. UAC is turned ON
    2. Run both application (QB and ACT!) in standard user privilege (not elevated to Run as Administrator
  • More than one QuickBooks is installed or upgrading QuickBooks to a newer version and leaving behind the older version (specifically for AU/NZ version)

"Could not start QuickBooks" error message pops up at the start
See "Unable to connect to QuickBooks" (above)

I receive the following error message: "This application is not allowed to log into this QuickBooks company data file automatically. The QuickBooks administrator can grant permission for automatic login through the Integrated Application preferences"
This is caused by incorrect access-option selected when connected for the first time or when performing test connect to QuickBooks during initial setup of the QBLink.

To allow QBLink to automatically connect when the QB application is not running follow these steps:

  1. Run QuickBooks and login to the company file as “Admin”
  2. Open Preferences (Edit – Preferences)
  3. Select “Integrated Applications”
  4. Select “Company Preferences”
  5. From the list of application name, find and select “QBLink”
  6. Click Properties button
  7. Enable “Allow this application to login automatically”
  8. Select a QuickBooks user under “Login as”
  9. Click OK to save and then OK again to close Preferences window
  10. Close QuickBooks and restart ACT (if ACT is still running)

After setting up QB Link I receive the following error message when opening QuickBooks: "An Integrated Application is currently sharing data with QuickBooks. Please wait until the application is finished and try again."
This could be caused by QB Link setup to connect to QB automatically (see previous question).

When QB Link is setup to connect to QB even though QB is not running at the time of opening ACT, the QuickBooks application is active in the background and will not allow another session of QuickBooks to run. This is a limitations by QuickBooks themselves.

To be able to run both QB and ACT with QB Link concurrently you have to first run QB and opening the company file manually and then run ACT, in that order. 

I receive the following error when opening ACT: "A modal dialog box is showing in the QuickBooks user interface. Your application cannot access QuickBooks until the user dismisses the dialog box."
This is an error message from QuickBooks basically saying that there is an open window/dialog box that needs to be closed before a third-party application (like QB Link) can connect. To fix this simply close the window/dialog box in QB and restart ACT.

I receive the following error when opening ACT: "This application has not accessed this QuickBooks company data file before. The QuickBooks administrator must grant an application permission to access a QuickBooks company data file for the first time."

If you are updating/upgrading either ACT or QuickBooks then see "How to re-request QuickBooks permission for QB Link" below.

For new installation, make sure you have run the Setup Wizard. See Setup Guide here: http://support.xactsoftware.co.nz/xlaq/install_guide

How to re-request QuickBooks permission for QB Link?
Re-requesting QuickBooks permission for QB Link is sometimes useful when there are changes in QuickBooks for example after performing QuickBooks restore company file operation, or other changes in QB and/or operating system operations that causes QB to disable a third-party application including Xact QB Link.

Follow these steps to re-request access to a QB company file:

  1. Close ACT if opened
  2. Close and re-open QB, log in as “Admin”
  3. Open Preferences (Edit – Preferences)
  4. Select “Integrated Applications”
  5. Select “Company Preferences”
  6. From the list of application name, find and select “QBLink”
  7. Click Remove button
  8. Remove any other “QBLink” if there are more than one.
  9. Click OK to close, and then restart QB; Again make sure to login as “Admin”
  10. Once QB is running with company file open, run ACT
  11. After a few moments a window requesting access should appear in QuickBooks (you may have to click QuickBooks in the Windows taskbar)

I receive the following error when running the Xact Link for ACT! and QuickBooks for the first time: “Xact Link for QuickBooks is installed in Demo mode and will be operating for 30 days, you have 0 days remaining before this demo expires…”
Make sure that this product has never been installed on the machine before, a complete/clean re-installation of Windows and/or ACT may not remove the demo days counter.

When running ACT in Windows Vista or 7, just prior to running it for the first time or when trying to register the product, you may need administrator privilege. To do this, simply right-click on the ACT program/icon and select “Run as administrator”. After successful registration close ACT and restart normally.

I am setting up the QuickBooks link using the QBLinkServer. I am trying to run the link as a service and it is not working, however it will run as an application.
Try to create a new (admin) windows user and set up the QBLinkServer to use this then re-authorize the QBLinkServer to access QuickBooks. To do this:

  1. Create a new windows user with admin privileges called “QBLinkServerUser” for example. Make sure this new user account has a password.
  2. Log in to this account and open QuickBooks and the company file you want to connect to.
  3. Remove QBLinkServer from the authorized app list in QuickBooks (Edit > Preferences > Integrated Applications > Company Preferences)
  4. Run the QBLinkServer
  5. Click “Request access to QuickBooks”
  6. Authorise QBLinkServer to run even when QuickBooks is not running (last option)
  7. Close QuickBooks
  8. Click “Uninstall service” in QBLinkServer to remove the previous setup
  9. Click “Install service” and use the new windows user created in Step 1

To test if it works (i.e. that it successfully connects to QB) without a client machine, check the “Connect to QB as soon as service is started” before starting the service. Un-check this option afterwards.

When testing the connection between ACT! and QuickBooks I receive the following error message "Unable to create session: The Quickßooks company data File is currently open in a mode other than the one specified by your application."
Go to "Tools > Xact Link for QuickBooks > Settings" and click on "Advanced Options". Make sure that the Connection Mode option is set to "Any Mode (recommended)". Save your settings then restart ACT! and try connecting again.

I have the QuickBooks link set up in a server environment but whenever I try to go to single user mode in QuickBooks I see that there is a user called "QBLinkServer" logged on. What do I do?

In order to get to single user mode in QuickBooks the QBLinkServer will need to be temporarily stopped. Once you have logged into QuickBooks in single user mode the service can be started again. The service can be stopped/started from the server.

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Contact and Support

I have a question that is not answered here, how can I contact you?
Certainly, you can get our contact details through our website www.xactsoftware.co.nz or you can E-mail us at support@xactsoftware.co.nz , for sales you can email sales@xactsoftware.co.nz

Do you offer any support packages?
No, we offer support on case by case basis, all support requests are subject to Xact software's terms of service, you are welcome to contact us if you wish to obtain a copy of our Terms of Trade document.

What support methods do you offer?
We offer Phone support, Remote support and on-site visits; please note that in some cases we may need to arrange a time in advance to assist with your support queries.

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