Modern tools use integrations to share information across teams or departments, and gather intelligence to enable broader analysis and faster decisions. For most companies following a best-in-class technology strategy, the finance system is the hub for the other systems they use. It becomes a go-to point for making strategic decisions that affect the rest of the company.
As you are considering how to connect other services to finance, there are five mistakes you should avoid.
Connecting to your financial system of record and then reading and writing information is a big deal. It requires serious considerations around security. Robust systems like Sage Intacct require two levels of security to get into the system through the API. The first one belongs to the company making the request. These web services credentials get logged with every request and must be white listed with the receiving company.
The second set of credentials links the request to a web services user ID in the system. By linking to a web services user ID, API requests can be limited to the permissions associated with that user ID, just like you would limit permissions on a user who logged in through the screen interface.
Securing these credentials is another key consideration. Integration should keep credentials encrypted and stored where they can’t be accessed by a browser. If you are building your own integrations, your IT people need to do the same thing.
Often when we look at connecting to the financial system, we think of things that have financial data, like payroll systems or point of sale systems. Limiting the data you pull in limits your reporting power. Consider data from an HR system that lets you know about turnover, information from a hospitality system that lets you know number of rooms booked, or a software platform that reports customer usage based on quantity of data. Unlike other financial systems you might have used, Sage Intacct provides statistical accounts to capture this data for use in reporting, billing, or resource management.
Don’t limit collaboration by making integrations only run one way. Often times developers are asked to push information form one system to another. This seems like the easiest thing to do because it could be handled with a single API request. In actuality, it almost never meets the users’ needs. Creating two-way visibility creates opportunities to collaborate.
As you look at an integration, consider how much volume you will be processing and how much bandwidth you have to process it. If you are integrating with a financial system that is not multi-tenant, but merely hosted as a one-off implementation, you may run into constraints. Multi-tenant or “true cloud” systems like Sage Intacct build in elasticity to handle broad fluctuations in data volume.
You should also consider how much data you want to bring in to your financial system. If you are doing high volume sales to consumers, do you want to store every customer record in your financial system of record, or does it make sense to keep those details in the point-of-sale system and let the finance system just handle summary transactions? A good financial system will provide extensibility in the form of custom data tables that allow you to store much of this data in the system of record.
Can you trace report summaries to the transactions and back to their source? Sage Intacct makes this easy by creating clickable links inside reports, and then provide link fields to source records. When sharing information from Sage Intacct with another system, the API speeds up the process with built-in link fields for each record. Other systems also provide links to connect to their source records and using them is vital to staying auditable.
Contact us at e2b to learn more about Sage Intacct. There’s a Reason Sage Intacct is the AICPA’s Preferred Provider of Financial Applications.
Content originally from Sage Intacct.