Payment for services rendered has always been a quixotic journey for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). You would think the companies that deliver IT services to SMBs would have figured out how to automate the payment process long ago, but in reality, integrating the QuickBooks financial software that small companies rely on with the professional services management software that IT services use to manage projects and track billing is a significant challenge.
Rising to that challenge, ConnectBooster has developed a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that provides bi-directional integration between QuickBooks and an API from ConnectWise, a provider of professional services automation (PSA) software that is delivered as a service.
To make the company’s namesake payment service work, the folks at ConnectBooster took the software development kit (SDK) that Intuit makes available to develop an API for QuickBooks written in C#. ConnectBooster president Ryan Goodman says it took a significant amount of development effort to create an API that would support bi-directional communication between QuickBooks, ConnectWise and the portal software that ConnectBooster makes available to manage payments.
The business goal, says Goodman, is to help small IT services firms automate the payment process in a way that dramatically reduces their accounts receivable. Instead of being paid on average 48 days after a particular bill comes due, Goodman says his company relies on ConnectBooster to cut its accounts receivable times to less than two days.
Goodman says it’s not that most businesses don’t want to pay their bills; it’s just that the manual processes they rely on today are slow and prone to error. Electronic payments can have a huge impact on small IT services firms that depend on cash flow to invest in additional sales opportunities, which they usually have to help finance to one degree or another. For example, if a company is carrying $10,000 in rolling accounts receivable every month that ConnectBooster can reduce by 30 percent, that’s $3,000 of additional working capital every month, he says.
Next year support for ConnectBooster will be extended to other PSA software, including an offering from AtTask, Goodman says.
When it comes to APIs, most developer activity tends to be focused on trying to tackle massive problems at scale. While there’s always merit to that approach, one of the things that may be most powerful about the API economy is how easily APIs can be used to resolve business issues such as the collecting and processing of payments that have, unfortunately, been a source of aggravation for business executives 30 days after the signing of the first contract.