An API bridges the gap between Xero and the rest of your important applications.
By Molly Goad
New Zealand-based Xero offers accounting solutions located in the cloud. Small- and medium-sized companies use Xero to pay bills, claim expenses, connect to banks, accept payments, manage and track projects, pay employees, track suppliers and customers, and more.
Xero takes care of a plethora of business operations, but it doesn’t handle everything. If you’re a Xero customer, let me tell you how to get even more out of the software by enlisting an API (application programming interface).
Can Someone Please Explain API?
APIs allow programs to share data back and forth without revealing all of their code. It’s a connector; think of it as a bridge over water. On one side of the bridge is a landmass called Xero, and on the other side is the Land of Applications, where you’ll find e-commerce platforms, CRM software, marketing automation platforms, email marketing services, and more. An API means EDI compliance is achieved swiftly, too.
The API allows Xero to share data with all of those other programs. Because APIs work without revealing all of the source code, users feel great about the reduced security risk.
Let’s take a look at how an API can bridge the gap between Xero and other important applications.
An API can be used to link Xero to your ecommerce platform. Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce, 3dcart — there are more than 100 shopping cart programs out there today, and if it has an API, we can connect to it. No longer will you have to take customer data, inventory numbers, and sales information from your online store and import it into Xero; the API does this for you.
You can set up automatic actions; for example, if a Shopify order is placed, Xero creates the invoice. If an invoice is created in Xero, a Salesforce “opportunity” is triggered. Think of how much more efficient your operation will be with these triggered events happening behind the scenes.
Customer relationship management platforms like Salesforce allow marketing and customer service team members to manage clients. And your accounting team members also have access to valuable client information within Xero. Two different platforms, loads of rich data. In order to get everyone on the same page, the data has to be merged, a process that involves several steps: downloading, formatting, and importing files. Someone has to initiate the transfer of data, so it’s not instant and mistakes can happen. Because of this lag, departments don’t always have the full, up-to-date picture for a client.
Have you experienced a time when two people from the same company give you conflicting messages? The takeaway is often, “Wow they really don’t have their stuff together over there!” Or, worse, “I think I’ll take my business elsewhere.”
This is where an API can make a huge impact. The API takes CRM data and pushes it into Xero, and vice-versa. A customer service representative can see exactly what the client is talking about when it calls with a question on an invoice. The information is shared between the programs; you never have to lift a finger. Your customers will experience top-notch customer service because everyone will have access to identical, current info, at all times. Clients will have confidence in choosing your brand.
Email Marketing Software
The same goes for email applications like Constant Contact, Drip, SendinBlue, and others. If a new customer is added in Xero, you can use the API to plug the contact information into your email marketing portal.
Hopefully, I’ve shed some light on the topic of APIs and how they connect an effective tool like Xero to numerous applications in real-time. To learn more, contact BOLD VAN: call 844-265-3777, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or start your three-month trial.