How to use the FastBill integration thanks to the FastBill API
June 7, 2021
FastBill is a German accounting software that wants to bring order to your invoices and receipts and thus improve your business. Thanks to the tool, you can optimally prepare your bookkeeping for external tax advisors and thus spend less time on it. Because yes, bookkeeping is a duty for all businesses. But it is rarely fun. That's why the FastBill integration thanks to the FastBill API is an important point to simplify your accounting even more.
In this post, we mean something other than FastBill itself. Because everywhere on the FastBill website the word automation is mentioned: automated accounting, automated processes, automated collection of receipts or automated time saving. With this, the invoicing tool mainly alludes to integrated functions. For example, you can link your bank account and payments are automatically recorded. But the FastBill integration we mean goes far beyond that.
Because the FastBill API lets us integrate numerous other applications such as emails, online shop, CRM or database with FastBill. This way, relevant data can be exchanged completely autonomously. We explain in more detail what is behind this in this post.
The advantages of your FastBill integration:
Save time for administrative tasks
Gain time for value adding activities
Create powerful customer journeys
Improve customer satisfaction through seamless and less error-prone processes
Lean and optimized business processes
Enormous growth potential through scaling
Innovation and sustainable business processes
But let's go back to the beginning for a moment.
Before we take a closer look at the FastBill integration, let's briefly clarify what exactly FastBill can do:
Contact management: All contacts are in one central place and can be quickly accessed and changed. FastBill also helps you to determine the payment behaviour of your contacts. In other words, who usually pays when. The correct contact data forms the basis for everything else.
Quotations and invoices: Sure, this is probably the most basic function of an accounting software next to payment entry: Create offers and invoices. Of course, these can be designed according to your template. Reminders for late payments are also no problem.
Accounting: In order to prepare the month-end closing, you can directly post and account all payments in FastBill including the corresponding invoice document. In addition to supplier invoices, postings of your invoices to debtors are also displayed. Of course, everything is legally compliant. Thanks to the DATEV interface, all data is then sent to your tax advisor.
Banking: If you integrate your e-banking with FastBill, you have an immediate overview of your financial status and open or paid invoices. This data is updated automatically and can also be transferred from FastBill to e-banking.
In addition, FastBill also offers the Premium Plan, which allows FastBill to prepare your bookkeeping itself. Account reconciliation, financial reports and voucher collection included.
The FastBill integration explained: How the FastBill API helps
But now back to the topic: What exactly does FastBill integration mean? The most important point here is the FastBill API. This programming interface is kindly provided by the software. It allows us to input and output data from FastBill. This is exactly the key to success.
Why transfer data?
You rarely need a lot of data in just one place. The simplest example of this is your contact data. How do they get into FastBill? You probably have the exact same data stored elsewhere, for example in a CRM or a database. Now, on the one hand, it is tedious to type in the identical data twice. On the other hand, it is important that the data is always up-to-date in all places.
Through FastBill integration, we can guarantee exactly that. Because this is how data is changed or entered in a software, in this example your CRM. If a change is made, the FastBill integration also applies the changes there. By synchronising data, we create completely independent data flows.
FastBill integration thanks to automation platforms
To use the FastBill API, you no longer need interface programming. This work is now done by automation platforms such as Integromat. They provide an interface where FastBill can be easily connected to hundreds of other apps. This way, FastBill integration can become a reality much faster and easier.
To make this clear, a few examples probably help best. They show what is possible. The FastBill integration with other cloud applications opens up completely new possibilities to gain time for other things.
Examples of possible FastBill integrations
Send reminders: It happens again and again: your contacts pay an invoice late. In itself, this is not a big deal, but the reminders can take up a lot of time. If you synchronise the payment status and the invoice date from FastBill with a database, for example Airtable, then these can be sent automatically. This way, every day or even every week, the system checks whether a payment is in arrears and automatically sends an email to the relevant contact based on a template. You don't need to do anything else.
Add email attachments: Important accounting documents, such as invoices, are sent by email as attachments. By using the FastBill API, these attachments can be entered into FastBill automatically. Optionally, this FastBill integration can be supplemented by the next point:
Store documents in cloud storage: Whether it is OneDrive, GoogleDrive or Dropbox, you will most likely store invoices and documents in a specially defined folder in addition to FastBill. This step can be done directly from your emails before uploading the documents to FastBill. In addition, a new folder can be created automatically each month or quarter to keep track of your invoices.
Keep your contacts up to date: The FastBill API also allows us to keep your contacts up to date. As already mentioned above, the information for this is certainly also available elsewhere. If you integrate FastBill with your CRM or database, all master data is always up-to-date and available in all important places.
Integrate shop: If a person buys a product in your shop, for example Shopify, a new customer account is not only created in the shop system. This also automatically triggers a new person in FastBill.
You too can use the FastBill integration to get the most out of it.
We find that the less time spent on accounting, the better. And the FastBill API allows us to do just that. The examples above are only meant to give an overview, of course we tailor the FastBill integration exactly to your needs and applications. This saves you time, effort and tedious administration and allows you to devote yourself to all the tasks you prefer to do rather than bookkeeping. We can think of a few things.
Set out to lead your company successfully into the future and make an appointment for automation and IT consulting. We are happy to support you in the analysis and subsequent automation of business processes, explain possibilities and individually address the company processes.
Cloud Integration, iPaaS, SaaS, BPA... Ough, hard to keep track of all these terms. They are currently used frequently (and increasingly) in the context of automation, and it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction and distinction. We have already written blog posts on the terms iPaaS, SaaS and BPA, but we'll take them up again here to make the difference.
But let's start with cloud integration, because that's the central umbrella term in which we embed all the other technologies in this blog post.
To illustrate these advantages, an example is suitable that we know well from our everyday work as an automation agency:
The central data to be used here is the data of a major customer. This can be the simplest information, such as the address. This address is required in numerous but completely different processes in the company: on the one hand, for correct invoicing in accounting. On the other hand, in the CRM system, where all the data of the large customer is also stored. But the address is also important in sales, for example, when employees go to the sales meeting on site.
Now the customer announces that the address of the company has changed after a move. This information will reach you by e-mail. There are now two options:
01. the e-mail is forwarded to all affected departments, accounting, sales, customer service, marketing... All persons open their corresponding program, CRM, accounting software, marketing tools (such as newsletter marketing) and change the data already stored there of the customer. This means that in multiple applications, different people do exactly the same thing: change one address.
02. But there is also an alternative: By connecting your applications, thus by integrizing them, the customer's e-mail, or rather the information it contains about the address change, is automatically passed on to all affected applications: CRM, accounting, marketing, ERP. This does not require any clicks, because the cloud integration detects a trigger, i.e. address change, and thus automatically starts the process.
What sounds unimpressive in a single process becomes more effective when such a process occurs several times a day or weekly. Because there is a lot of data that is available in different applications and should always be correct. If these applications are cloud applications they are suitable for cloud integration.
But cloud integration doesn't just happen. There are now a variety of applications that enable and implement this. Such tools usually allow us to link the relevant cloud applications on a central platform and define clear rules on when, how, where, how much data should be passed on and what happens to them.
IPaaS, SaaS, BPA, ABC - who can still see through it?
To realize cloud integration, there are various applications and technologies that are sometimes used interchangeably.
Cloud integration cannot be done without SaaS, iPaaS and BPA
Cloud integration is rather an umbrella term that includes numerous technologies, such as SaaS, iPaaS and BPA, and this is also absolutely necessary. Cloud integration is a concept that is made possible by appropriate technologies.
However, all terms share the commonality that they are cloud-based and thus offer enormous potential for growth and scaling. In addition, they are often cheaper to implement and maintain because changed requirements are easy to implement.
As an independent automation agency, we implement cloud integration according to your requirements. We use a variety of SaaS tools and iPaas (strictly speaking BPA) software. Together we find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.