Bean Counter's Delight: 4 Accounting Services With APIs

Adam DuVander
Feb. 10 2010, 03:15AM EST

It's tax time and, if you're like me, you are going through your annual reflection, wondering if there's a better service you could use. There are a number of options available on the web for managing your books. And a number of those have APIs--we list 84 finance-related APIs. Here are a select few for the amateur bookkeeper.

Intuit is likely the most recognizeable name on this list. It's the maker of desktop software QuickBooks and Quicken, as well as web versions of the accounting software. In that way, Intuit bridges the desktop and the cloud. In addition to its API, there are already a number of applications built on top of the platform, ready for the non-coder to use via its App Center.

Our Intuit API profile.

Xero Xero calls itself the "accounting engine for the Internet." It uses OAuth for authentication and a REST API gives users access to bank transactions, invoices and reports.

Our Xero API profile.

SaasuSaasu (formerly NETAccounts) is based in Australia, but works worldwide. It has a number of connectors to other software as a service products, such as SalesForce. Saasu uses a REST interface and provides a ready-to-use .NET client, if that's your style.

Our Saasu API profile.

KashFlowUK-based Kashflow is the only SOAP-based API of the bunch. Its API, fittingly at AccountingAPI.com, has dozens of methods for accessing customers, invoices, suppliers and more.

Our Kashflow API profile.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

Comments

Comments(4)

ERIC

Accounting and bookkeeping are natural candidates for SaaS/cloud computing. Look for this segment to grow exponentially in the next few years.

michael

Bean Counter?! As a fellow accountant and CPA, that stings a little. No one counts beans, which is like making a left-handed smoke bender or going snipe hunting. The joke is on you. Ask anyone in agriculture or a farmer, you measure the beans weight or volume. They are never counted. Bean counter is derogatory used as an insult from an annoyed CEO or client that resents the way accountants think and communicate or are required to perform their work. If a public accounting firm was the military, the seniors would make the rookies go count beans to get them out of their hair for a while. I have never met anyone that has actually ever counted beans for a living.

I look forward to your take on this stereotype.

MLB

chris

Good, as if you have met someone who counted beans you'd be well over 2000 years old as that was a method of tallying anonymous votes in ancient Greece. Hence, the "avoid the beans" advice from Aristotle I believe.

Bazinga!