SME Business Accounting Software API.

  Process, Consulting

The ​Small-to-Medium Business Accounting Software APIs Initiative was created by the ​Business Payments Coalition’s ​Vendor Forum to help small businesses utilize electronic payments more easily. The initiative focuses on APIs and their integration with accounting software to automate payment processes. The initiative aimed to compile a list of APIs and providers to educate ​SMBs and service providers on electronic payment integration options. It also recognized the different sizes and types of businesses that use accounting software and highlighted the importance of integrating with third-party providers for electronic payments. The ​ provides insights into the initiative’s goals and objectives.

The main objective of the ​SMB Accounting Software APIs Initiative 

The main objective of the ​SMB Accounting Software APIs Initiative was to create a catalog of APIs and providers aimed at educating small and medium-sized businesses (​SMBs) and service providers on available electronic payment integration options. This initiative sought to facilitate the automation of electronic payment initiation, payment receipt, and cash application to receivables for SMB accounting software packages. The focus was on addressing the challenges faced by ​small businesses, particularly in adopting electronic payments, by leveraging APIs as a means of integrating software in a ​cloud context.

How do APIs help small and medium businesses in processing electronic payments?

APIs assist small and medium businesses in processing electronic payments by enabling seamless integration between accounting software and ​Payment Service Providers (PSPs). Through APIs, accounting software can initiate electronic payments as easily as traditional methods such as checks. Additionally, APIs facilitate the retrieval of electronic payment information, automating the posting of received payments to ​accounts receivable. By leveraging APIs, ​SMBs can access multiple ​PSP options offering various pricing, support models, and reporting features. Ultimately, APIs streamline the workflow for electronic payments within small business accounting software, enhancing usability and efficiency in payment processing tasks.

What are some specific functions APIs perform in the AR and AP processes for small and medium businesses?

In the AR (accounts receivable) and AP (accounts payable) processes for small and medium businesses, APIs play crucial roles in facilitating electronic payments. These functions include enabling the transfer of payment data to ​Payment Service Providers (​PSPs) for disbursement, automating the “​cash application” of received payments, and integrating ​accounting software with PSPs to initiate payments via card transactions or bank debits. APIs also aid in retrieving information about payments deposited into ​bank accounts, along with remittance details for posting to accounts receivable. Overall, APIs streamline the payment processes by simplifying interactions between accounting software and external sources for efficient payment management.

How do accounting software packages differ in their support for electronic payments for small businesses?

​Accounting software packages vary in their support for electronic payments, especially for small businesses. The differences lie in their capabilities to integrate with ​Payment Service Providers (PSPs) for initiating various types of electronic payments, such as ​ACH, ​credit card, and ​wire transfers. Some accounting software offers built-in features for electronic payment initiation within their applications, making it easier for users to set up and execute transactions. Additionally, the extent of support for electronic payments can differ based on the software’s version and package, impacting the ease of transitioning to electronic payment methods. Integration tools, including APIs, are essential for enabling electronic payments, but small business owners and accountants may not always be aware of these tools.