We took out a trial of CarVue to test how the VAT margin and integration to Xero worked.
The margin calculation works as expected and records relating to purchase and sale are held in one place so that they are easy to find.
No Direct Integration
According to this article which is >3 years old there is a direct integration. However as far as we can tell there is no direct integration at the time of writing (Aug 2020).
When you click into integrations there is no button to connect to Xero as there would be usually, they just link you to their knowledge base articles which explain how their export functionality works. The lack of direct integration does not appear to be related to being on a trial, as the pricing page does not make reference to integrations, just database imports and CSV exports.
Export and Import
The problem with the mapping is that CarVue have not configured it to be seperate lines with one for the margin at 20% and the rest of it on a different line at 0%. Therefore whilst it will calculate the VAT payable on the margin for each sale based on the purchase and sales prices, this will manually need to be updated in Xero.
Specific Date Stock Report
It is not possible to get an historic date-driven report of stock within the software. But what will work as a workaround is to do 2 seperate exports of the vehicle stock lists, one of ‘In Stock’ and one of ‘Sold/Completed’. The latter includes purchase and sold dates as well as values. Although this would be a complete history of everything, you could then sort the CSV reports to get the right information.
The below screenshot does not represent all columns in the export. Here is an example of the sold/completed export.
Chart of Accounts
Another thing to note is that you need to manually map relevant COA from Xero to CarVue, I can’t see a way to import these but it shouldn’t take a long time to do.
Part exchanges are handled by the software from a practice point of view for the business. For instance they will show up on the sales invoice to deduct from the total due.
In terms of how that impacts payment for the sale in Xero, that would need to be manually accounted for. The purchase exports will help here to an extent if you had a chart of account code in CarVue for part exchanges but there will still need to be some manual intervention in Xero to offset the part-exchange purchase against the invoice.
In terms of payments, we couldn’t find any way of getting these moved between Xero and CarVue, or CarVue to Xero. If the business wanted to have accurate debtor information within CarVue it would need to be manually entered. This feature request also suggests that bulk payments isn’t a feature, so each one would need to be entered manually. Navigation to each separate instance of a sale would increase the time this takes.
Other points to note
- There’s no way of getting purchase information in to CarVue from Xero, so any stock needs to be entered manually. This restricts the amount of automation that can be used through apps like AutoEntry.
- Drafts of purchases, sales, credit notes are possible within CarVue
Overall the design of the software is logical and it’s simple enough to understand how it works. The user interface is good, but it’s a bit slow to load on some pages.
They are half way there and with a proper Xero integration this will be a great option for businesses that sell second hand cars and use Xero.