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System Integration – What, Why, How

We recently participated in a panel at the Legal Service Corporation (LSC) 2021 Innovations in Technology Conference along with a client and Just-Tech (a technology firm dedicated to IT needs). During the panel, we shared with the audience how Kiwi Partners, working with the client, revised the Chart of Accounts as they prepared to upgrade their accounting system. This system modification provided for a much easier way to perform allocations and obtain the necessary reporting to funders saving the client a significant number of hours each month. This gave me an opportunity to discuss the importance of systems integration. See the video below to hear my presentation about how we have supported our clients with their integrations.

System integration, the process of integrating databases, software, and applications, can help with your organization’s business process. Oftentimes integrating software means the data or transactions get entered into one system and then synced or ported into another system without requiring human intervention. For example, if you enter donations received in Salesforce, you will not need to enter that data again in your accounting system.

The primary benefit of software integration is to keep your data synced between multiple applications, ensuring that the systems reconcile and are reporting the same information. Syncing systems will eliminate redundant data entry and reduce the need to manually enter information, therefore reducing data entry errors. Data integrity is improved and as a result, much more reliable. Another important reason to integrate data is to provide real-time information for key decision making. In the chart below, you can see some examples of common issues that organizations may face when systems do not integrate.

​​​​​​​What next step can you take to begin a system integration? Review your current processes to see where there are redundancies or significant bottlenecks, and review our articles in this newsletter:

  1. Data sharing between Finance and Development – a usual pain point for most nonprofits. See article Finance and Development – Numbers and Relationship Worth Reconciling

  2. Common integrations with Sage Intacct - Many best-in-breed applications sync automatically with Sage Intacct. Sage Intacct even has a tool that syncs automatically with Salesforce. See the article Sage Intacct Integrations for Nonprofits.

  3. Common integrations with QuickBooks Online – there are hundreds of applications that work with QBO. See the article on QuickBooks Online Integrations, which can also sync automatically to Salesforce.

Spend your time on what’s most critical: your organization’s mission. Contact the Kiwi Consulting team if your organization needs support to facilitate the integration of your systems and automate your workflows.


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