XU Magazine - Issue 12

The Benefits of a Custom Xero Integration

Written by Andrew Duncan

There are over 500 add-on applications in the Xero App Marketplace but sometimes the solution you need is a custom integration option rather than an off-the-shelf app…

There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to looking for add-on applications in the Xero App marketplace – there are currently over 500 apps to assist with Inventory, Payments, Payroll, Reporting and many more. However there are times when the solution you need doesn’t exist as an add-on app – for example you’re using a custom business application that doesn’t have a compatible add-on available.

In the Xero App marketplace there is a ‘Custom-made integration’ section where you can find companies such as Databuzz that can help find a solution to challenging integration projects. We first encountered this ourselves back in 2014 when I moved my company over to the Xero platform after hearing great things about it for many years. As longtime Apple Mac users it was great finally having accounting software we could run natively on the Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Our company uses a custom business application built with the FileMaker platform to run the business which tracks all Contacts, Sales, Leads, Invoices etc. We quickly ran into a problem that many of our clients have faced over the years – how to prevent the double entry of data in our FileMaker CRM and also in Xero?

Databuzz develops custom business applications and has been integrating these with other software applications for many years, so we tackled the problem like we would for one of our clients. One of the main attractions of Xero for us originally was that it had an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows other applications to authenticate and exchange data. We have a lot of experience working with APIs and were able to develop a solution that allowed us to upload Contacts, Invoices and Payments from our custom FileMaker application all with the click of a button – no more double data entry!

This alone was saving us hours every week and we knew there were other business like us that were using Xero and custom business software like FileMaker that would benefit from an integration between them. We quickly became a Xero Approved Developer specializing in Private Application integrations where you are integrating with a single Xero organization. One of the main benefits of this type of integration is that you can provide users with the ability to perform certain functions – for example uploading Contacts, Invoices and Payments to Xero – without giving them access to Xero itself. The Private Application integration handles the authentication with Xero and you control which functions they can perform.

We’ve helped customers around the world integrate their custom applications with Xero or solve complex worklow solutions where there was no existing add-on available, including:

• An Australian Government agency was using three different software applications to handle online sales, point of sale merchandise and ticket sales and needed to get the consolidated data into their internal financial accounting software. Xero was used to reconcile all financial data which was uploaded by Vend and we developed a custom web application which ran every 24 hours to download the Invoices and generate a custom file which was sent to the internal financial application

• A franchise business used an iPad app that uploaded customer and sales data at the end of each day to a central server. Using a custom business application built using the FileMaker platform we developed a nightly process to upload all new data to Xero

• A leading sales training business was processing hundreds of invoices each month and was manually entering these into Xero. We helped them eliminate all double data entry saving them 2 hours of staff time per day If your business is manually entering data in both your business applications and Xero now is a great time to visit the Custom-made integration section of the Xero App marketplace and find out how you can eliminate double data entry and streamline your business processes saving you time and money.

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About the author

Andrew Duncan

Andrew is the founder and CEO of Databuzz, based in Sydney, Australia. Databuzz develops custom business applications for clients around the world and has been integrating with Xero since 2014. Databuzz is a Xero Approved Developer and member of the FileMaker Business Alliance.