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Florian Reinhardt

18 Oct 2016

How to Holistically Improve Your Business Operations with the Integrations Economy

Guest post by Lindsey Peckham, Expensify

If you’re hoping to automate the invoice process to help streamline credit control and ultimately get paid back faster, then you’re probably aware of tools like Satago. What you may not be aware of however, is how automating every other aspect of your business can save you money and time in the long-run.

Small businesses are constantly working hard to manage their books and meticulously organize their receipts and invoices in order to keep on top of their finances. This organization is essential, however tons of time is wasted by performing even the smallest of tasks manually.

If this problem sounds familiar, read on! We’re here to let you in on the secret of the Integrations Economy - one of the best resources to help SME’s save time and money.

So, what exactly is the Integrations Economy?

We’re so glad you asked! The integrations economy, the newest trend in the fintech space, is when a business’ accounting system integrates with a community of add-ons to round out their financial processes. A lot of small business owners aren’t aware that their central accounting system is capable of automating all of the manual work they do -- even the small stuff! This is where the add-on ecosystem comes in.

Take progressive accounting software, Xero or QuickBooks Online, for example. Companies that use the cloud-accounting system, are also able to choose from a large selection of add-ons that directly integrate with Xero or QuickBooks Online for everything from invoices to expense management.

This ecosystem of add-ons streamlines the entire financial process for businesses by:

  • Reducing manual work (which saves you time)
  • Eliminating human error (which vastly improves data accuracy)
  • Consistently updating and syncing information between programs (which allows for better financial visibility in real-time)

Companies that utilize the add-on ecosystem will have a holistic view of exactly where their company is at financially at all times.

Why is the Integrations Economy useful for my business?

Increase Time Saved & Data Accuracy

While it may sound obvious to automate your credit control and invoice finance with a tool like Satago, there are likely many other minute tasks that you have yet to automate with an app from the add-on ecosystem.

For example, if your employees accumulate business expenses, they’ll need to be reimbursed. Without an add-on that automates the process of capturing receipt data and reconciling expenses, employees and admins are forced to spend countless hours each month managing their expenses. In fact, on average, accountants spend around 5-7 hours per week reconciling expense reports alone.

Using automated add-on programs not only reduce the amount of time it would take to do the same process manually, it also ensures accuracy. On average, SMEs spend 10 hours per week chasing customers for invoice payments, and much of this is spent ensuring that data is entered accurately and accounted for correctly.

Human error is a common reason why a business’ financials are not always correct. By using an automated tool, you’re able to count on the fact that your data is entered accurately. Most automated apps boast an almost perfect accuracy rating. Expensify for example promises a 98.6% accuracy rating on all of its receipt scans - an industry leading standard for automation. You can rest easy knowing that no human error will come between your business and financial transparency.

Enable Complete Financial Visibility

In addition to an increase in both time saved and data accuracy, the add-on ecosystem also gives you increased financial visibility. Since apps within an ecosystem share information with a central accounting package, data is updated and synced constantly, giving you a true view of where your financials are at, at all times. For example, on apps like Satago you can see in real-time which individual invoices would qualify for invoice finance without speaking to a representative or uploading invoices to a portal manually.

It’s much easier to use add-ons within a common ecosystem rather than a string of disconnected systems to automate all of your business’ processes. When you make a change in an add-on like Satago or Expensify, that updated information is reflected immediately into Xero or QuickBooks Online. Data is exchanged between systems in real-time, which is essential for audits, and gives you a truly holistic view of your business’ financial health.

The Integrations Economy is starting to sound pretty good...

We think so, too! Using any add-on is a small fee for a large return. With the integration economy, automated solutions are plug-and-go and can be a part of your accounting system with the click of a button.

Improve precision on your data, have complete visibility into your business’ financial standings, and reduce common human errors on tasks that are easily and accurately completed with automation. You’ll see immediate changes in the way that your business streamlines financial processes, and all of the small tasks you used to waste time on will be done for you.

Interested in learning more? Check out Expensify and Satago as well as many other apps in the Xero or Quickbooks Online add-on ecosystem.