Integrating your Ecommerce Software with Accounting Systems: Best Practices & Common Mistakes

Monday, April 5th, 2010
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In this guest post Nazma of eBridge Software shares some insights on Integrating Ecommerce Software with Accounting Systems.

Integrating your ecommerce software or shopping cart with your accounting system can provide a substantial ROI. The right solution will allow you to seamlessly integrate your front- and back-end business processes, connecting your web store to your accounting software’s order, inventory and fulfillment systems. However, the wrong solution can pose challenges. Here are some best practices to employ and common mistakes to avoid when selecting and implementing an integration solution.

Best Practices

1. Map out business rules and processes as a first step.
Only you know how best to run your business and where you need to automate for the greatest return on investment. Therefore, it’s critical to map out your core business processes and feature requirements and seek out a solution based on these requirements.

2. Select a cart with an open API.
An open API allows your Accounting Application and cart to interconnect in a more fluid user-friendly manner. This simplifies the integration process and allows for more flexibility, particularly when it comes to testing and updating.
•    Access to the following API’s would be beneficial:
•    Web order information including product description, quantity, etc
•    Customer information including billing and shipping address
•    Payment information including payment status

3. Defining payment handling
For ecommerce to prosper, your clients need to feel safe transmitting credit card and other financial information. But data traveling over a network presents an opportunity for someone to intercept this confidential information. A good webstore or shopping cart will provide a safe, secure and encrypted environment in which to handle these credit card transactions.

Common Mistakes

1. Lack of Testing
Testing is often seen as overhead, however, proper testing ensures that your integration system meets your business requirements and is the final quality check. It can reveal any gaps in your integration solution that can be costly to your business. Depending on your store volume, one error can impact 1000’s of customers. Furthermore, as you are integrating, a change in one system can have a cascade effect impacting other components of the system. A solid test plan is needed to protect your business.

2. Underestimation of Volume
Your business needs to be prepared for growth, it’s important to ensure your webstore and Accounting Package is both scalable and can sustain growth with your business, not hamper it.

3. Relying on Webstore for Accounting Tasks
Many business owners attempt to perform numerous accounting tasks within their webstore. However, an Accounting Application serves as the solid foundation for your growing business. Tracking all your company’s financials in one place ensures you have control over your business and that you can assess its profitability and cash flow. Furthermore, it allows you to readily remit taxes to the proper tax authority and be prepared in case of an audit.

Integrating your Software with Accounting Systems has the potential to provide a substantial ROI. Following these best practices while avoiding the common mistakes will help simplify the integration process.

Team Leader, Support Services
eBridge Software

Founded in 1993, eBridge Software leads the small to medium sized (SME) market in accounting software integration. Our powerful combination of Integration-as-a-Service (IaaS) ePortal – including over 700 predefined connectors for EDI, eCommerce, CRM, and warehouse management—and our eBRIDGE adapters with over 37 accounting packages, makes eBRIDGE Software the only ‘last mile’ integration-as-a-service company to offer such a wide range of integration solutions. Our complete and flexible integration solution streamlines your business processes, saving you time and money. For more information visit an EDI | CRM | SCM and eCommerce business software integration company.

Coming from a medical and non-profit management background, Taryn has extensive experience in customer service and marketing. She is a Senior Account Manager for Nexternal and loves working with her clients to develop social media and marketing strategies to improve their online presence. In her spare time, she also runs a successful eCommerce jewelry and essential oils business.