The Aiconauts’ blog section is dedicated to shedding light on what it’s like to work at Aico, what our purpose is and how we work towards the shared vision of becoming the leading financial close automation software provider in Europe. So, if you’ve been wondering what we really do – how we provide value to our customers – this blog is for you. Toni Kivelä, one of our Integration Consultants, is here to explain what Aico integrations are and how they make your life easier.
What is an Aico integration?
Integrations allow different ERP systems to talk and exchange data with each other. Aico can be integrated into all major ERP systems, such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics and can handle multiple ERPs in a single instance. Aico also supports migration from one ERP to another. In the past, we have done file-based integrations, API integrations and live integrations to SAP.
But what does live integration mean?
The human body is a wonderful example of many different systems and entities working together in seamless integration.
When your eyes see something, an integration happens between your eyes and brain. Your eyes gather data from your surroundings and send that information directly to your brain. This allows you to process the data in understandable patterns.
It’s the same with hearing, where your ears work as the information gatherer. In both cases, your brain receives the data, analyses it and provides the results in an understandable format. This is what we mean when we say data received in real time is a live integration.
The same rules apply when doing a live integration from Aico to SAP.
SAP is our eyes and ears and Aico operates as the brain
SAP gathers data and Aico processes that information and sends it back to SAP in a processed, easily understandable format. And in real-time.
In SAP live integrations Aico can receive changed master data instantly. For example, when a customer is creating a journal and wants to check that everything is in order, Aico compares the integration directly against the SAP rules. If errors occur, Aico provides an error message about the issue.
What do you do when live integration is not an option?
Think of a file-based integration working in a similar way to an email you send to your colleague. This usually requires a 3rd party to provide an email account to connect your message to your colleague’s inbox. When the connection is working, you can import data back and forth, and that data is now integrated with each other.
The same thing happens with file-based integration. You will first agree on how the files are transferred from your ERP system to Aico. When the files are received, Aico uses them to create journals, accruals, account reconciliations, master data and so on. Data that are handled and approved in Aico can be sent back to your ERP system via the agreed transfer method.
How to handle older ERP systems?
In file-based integrations, the most common way is to set up SFTP or SMB to receive and transfer data between Aico and the ERP system.
This is a good option for older ERP systems that do not support live integrations or API connectivity to their data. In these cases, the rules and master data must be sent from the ERP system to Aico. The configuration templates are used so the right rules and updated master data are applied to the received data.
Depending on how often Aico receives data from the ERP system, there is a delay of approximately one day before the information is refreshed.
Complex enterprises need alternatives
For complex enterprises that consist of many subsidiaries and legal entities and have a finance department with hundreds of employees, it makes sense to find alternative options for managing finances.
This is where Aico comes in:
When a customer has defined a need to have live, or file-based, integration in use for journals, account reconciliation, or closing tasks, Aico is one of the best solutions by providing a smarter and faster way to process these tasks.
Our experienced consultants, from accounting to technical solutions, are always there to help our customers find the best solution for their business needs.
When integrations are working as they should, they:
- remove unnecessary manual work
- reduce human error
- simplify heavy processes
Together, these benefits make our customers’ finance departments more efficient, freeing time for other tasks.
Without integrations, we would still be living in a world of manually maintained bookkeeping, and cash payments and without automatic validation rules for journals.