Increase Efficiency and Eliminate Errors With Integration Tools
A large area of inefficiency that I often see is manually entering transactions that have occurred in other systems.
For example, you may have a billing system that generates invoices during the month and then you manually enter the revenue into the general ledger system at each month end. Or even more time consuming, you are entering each invoice manually into the AR and collection system. Another example is a company that outsources its payroll. Each pay cycle, they make a manual journal entry to record the payroll expense, taxes and withholdings.
Not only do these entries cost a company time, but they could also result in errors in the company's data. Each line of a manually entered journal entry presents an opportunity to key an account number or amount incorrectly.
So, what can you do? Most accounting software packages now include functionality to allow you to import data from other systems, eliminating the need for manual entry and its associated drawbacks. By using an integration tool such as Integration Manager for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Visual Integrator for Sage 100 (formerly Sage MAS 90/200), or the import utility for Sage 300 (formerly Sage Accpac), the task of recording transactions from a separate sales or payroll system can be cut to a few minutes with 100% accuracy.
Integration tools accept any standard file such as text, XML, or an ODBC data source and map the source data to the destination system. They even have the capability to translate data fields.
For example, if a customer number is ABC123 in your billing system and ABCINC in your ERP system, the import tool will make the change automatically. Once the mapping is complete, the import process will be repeatable week after week, saving time and eliminating errors. The process can even be set to run on a nightly basis automatically and can include additional steps such as downloading the sales file from your web store.
So, take a minute to think about your business processes. If you're manually re-keying the same information into multiple systems, setup an integration routine between your systems to save time and increase the reliability of your data.
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About Michael Marinaro
With years of experience consulting with clients on ERP software, including Microsoft Dynamics GP, Sage 300 (formerly Sage Accpac), and Sage 100 (formerly Sage MAS90/MAS200), Michael enjoys helping businesses save time and increase efficiencies by integrating systems together. Anyone who has ever worked with Michael knows that he is passionate about getting the most out of any software package. Michael admits that he cannot escape his “inner geek” – ever. He loves exploring new features in products and learning new technologies so he can apply them to real-life problems, or just play with them for the fun of it.