G/L vs. Alarm Company Software: Why Integration Can Be Risky

In the dynamic world of business technology, the life safety software decisions you make can be the linchpin for your company’s success. One pivotal decision that businesses often grapple with is whether to integrate their General Ledger (GL) with their Customer Management Software (CRM). While the allure of an all-in-one solution is strong, there are compelling reasons to keep these powerful tools in separate spheres. Let’s delve into eight comprehensive reasons why this might be the strategic move for your security business:

1. Flexibility in Alarm Software:

When your G/L is entwined with your CRM through a proprietary module, it’s like signing a long-term lease with a landlord you can’t stand. Choosing popular GL packages like QuickBooks or Xero liberates you from being tied down. This flexibility becomes crucial when considering a switch in CRM providers, saving you from the daunting task of extracting every financial detail.

2. Support:

Navigating the tech terrain is smoother when you have a reliable guide. Widely-used G/L software often comes with robust support from the software developer or independent experts. In contrast, proprietary G/L solutions can leave you stranded with a smaller company, where support might be limited, and the cost might be higher.

3. Cost of Alarm Software with a General Ledger:

Counting pennies becomes less stressful when your software solutions are cost-effective. Specialized alarm industry CRM software companies often bear a hefty cost in building and maintaining a G/L module, leading to higher monthly support fees for installers. Major GL packages, benefiting from economies of scale, offer a more budget-friendly alternative, with options like QuickBooks Online costing $100 per month or less.

4. Easy Integration:

Integration should be like a well-choreographed dance, not a stumbling, awkward shuffle. Major G/L packages seamlessly integrate with specialized Customer Management Software through APIs, offering the best of both worlds—specialized features and the cost-effectiveness of a widely-used and supported GL package. In addition, the majority of major GL software is cloud-based, reducing the risks of data loss or downtime in the face of disasters,

5. Enhanced Data Security:

In the era of cyber threats, having a solid defense strategy is paramount. Separating your G/L and CRM systems acts as a robust security measure. In the unfortunate event of a security breach, having two separate systems significantly minimizes risks by limiting unauthorized access to critical financial data.

6. Scalability in Alarm Software:

As your business grows, so should your software adaptability. A key advantage of keeping your G/L and CRM separate is the ease of scalability. Upgrade each system independently, ensuring that neither your financial nor customer management processes are hindered by the other. This adaptability is crucial for businesses experiencing rapid growth or changes in operational scale.

7. Regulatory Compliance:

Regulations and compliance requirements are like the rules of the road—you must follow them to avoid a collision. Standalone G/L software allows for easier customization to meet specific compliance requirements without jeopardizing the functionality of your CRM. This flexibility becomes particularly important in tightly-regulated industries, such at the alarm industry.

8. Streamlined Reporting and Analysis:

In the vast landscape of data, finding the right insights can be challenging. Separate G/L and CRM systems offer a more focused approach to reporting and analysis. Tailor each system to its specific role, providing alarm installers with the insights you need for sharp business decisions without being overwhelmed by unnecessary complexity.

9. Customization for Industry Nuances:

Every industry has its unique quirks and demands. Specialized CRM software is designed to cater to these nuances, providing industry-specific features and reporting. On the other hand, accounting and G/L software don’t necessarily need industry-specific features, as long as they can be configured to enable mapping of financial data and accounts from the CRM package.


In today’s alarm industry, integration options offer a sweet spot—efficient customer management software connected to scalable, inexpensive, and well-supported General Ledger software. At Cornerstone, we believe in building specialization into our CRM while enabling the seamless transfer of financial data to popular G/L packages like QuickBooks Online. Even without a direct integration, our reports can effortlessly slide into most major G/L software without a hiccup. With these nine comprehensive reasons in mind, separating your General Ledger and Customer Management Software becomes more than a strategic move—it’s a forward-thinking approach that empowers businesses to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Cornerstone Billing Solutions is the leading provider of comprehensive billing services and powerful account management software for security alarm dealers nationwide. Call us at 224-577-1197 to learn how Cornerstone’s affordable and time-saving billing services, superior dealer support, and specialized, cloud-based software can help your business improve efficiency and profitability.

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