What is API in accounting and what are the benefits to your finance team?
Decades ago, systems were islands of information. The finance system was an island, the CRM for the sales department was another, not to mention additional systems for stock, warehousing and so on.
The trouble was, with all these separate systems, they didn’t communicate with one another effectively, leaving workforces operating in the dark.
However, things started to evolve as we entered into the 1990s with the start of some integration between certain products and, while this was a step in the right direction, most systems were still proving to be quite difficult to connect, and very expensive to run because siloed data was a drain on resources.
From a Finance Departments perspective, this meant, organisations were left with the choice of either selecting from a limited number of options for a particular accounting software provider or alternatively, going for a larger ERP system – and enduring the significant costs, complexities, and implementation delays associated with these tools.
Fast forward to today and cloud accounting software has evolved immeasurably. The evolution in technology standards has facilitated the introduction of a common ‘connector’ capability in the form of an Application Programming Interface, or APIs
What is an accounting API?
APIs make it much easier to integrate disparate systems so that they speak to one another, as a result of the software vendors publishing (either publicly or to other vendors) details of how to ‘plumb’ systems into their own.
Importantly, this has meant that organisations are now able to choose to keep systems that they already have – and they like and work with successfully – and simply upgrade their IT infrastructure and specific areas as and when they need to, particularly during periods of growth.
The most common way to achieve this is to utilise ‘REST APIs’ – an architectural style for an application program interface that uses HTTP requests to access and use data. In fact, the best solutions will have a transparent outlook offering their API and associated helpfiles for their API open to the public. iplicit is an example of this approach.
Putting this into context, the software vendor – and on occasions, the user – doesn’t need to pay any external development costs because they can essentially ‘plug and play’ the integration solution so that it seamlessly fits their needs. Not only is that a positive in terms of being cost-effective, but it reduces the possibility of human error because users are no longer required to manually input data from one system to another.
The pivot to an API-friendly approach has revolutionised the possibilities within accounting software. Today, it enables a complete solution that meets the needs of every individual and means siloed data and human error can become a thing of the past. Make sure you read [case study] to discover how it has impacted this organisation.
With iplicit’s public API, finance teams can seamlessly connect between systems – ensuring users always receive one version of the truth, in real-time, and via any device. It automates feeds between the finance system and other areas such as payroll, CRM, donor/membership management, eCommerce, and more.
Interconnecting seamlessly, our cloud-native technology also removes the security concerns and IT challenges that are often encountered when attempting to connect legacy on-premise software residing on a local network or older, hosted systems.
Want to discover more about iplicit’s true cloud accounting solution? Our dedicated team can explain all the benefits and walk you through the functionality. Book a demo today by calling 020 7729 3260, emailing: email@example.com or complete our contact form for a call back.