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A Sage new way for SMEs to automate business accounting

Home Business Management A Sage new way for SMEs to automate business accounting

FNB and cloud business management company Sage have announced a partnership that they say will simplify the process of transferring financial transaction history to the Sage accounting solutions – at no cost to customers.

According to FNB, this is the first banking service integration of its kind in South Africa between a bank and Sage’s accounting portfolio comprising Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Sage 50cloud Pastel, Sage 200 Evolution and Sage Intacct.

FNB customers will be able to share their financial transaction history with Sage via a secure application programming interface (API) automatically, without compromising online banking credentials. This will be facilitated through the “direct bank feeds” service that will supply financial transaction history data directly into Sage accounting solutions.

The banking service with Sage automates the first part of the bank reconciliation process for customers, by linking their online banking accounts directly to their Sage solution. This allows online bank transactions to be automatically imported, categorised and reconciled into the customer’s Sage software.

“We’re tremendously excited about this partnership with FNB because it supports our vision at Sage to make accounting invisible for businesses, giving them the time to focus on more strategic tasks. Partnering with FNB is one of the ways in which we’re making the lives of small and medium business owners easier,” said Pieter Bensch, Executive Vice-President at Sage Africa & Middle East.

Jesse Weinberg, SME Segment Head at FNB says the aim is to help customers eliminate some of the manual and administrative processes associated with bookkeeping and bank reconciliations. “This should save them time and money so they can focus on growing and running their business efficiently.

“Direct integration between our online banking services and Sage’s software offers SMEs the easiest and most secure way possible to carry out their bank account reconciliations, with no need for third-party integrations or compromising their bank login credentials.”

The direct bank feeds service is configured firstly via FNB Online Banking, where customers can manage their consent and permissions to transmit their specific transactional history to Sage, and then assign and allocate those transactions within their Sage software.

FNB business customers using Sage accounting solutions can get financial transactions history fed through to the Sage platform periodically or set it to refresh automatically until they decide to stop the feed.

“This is a big technological milestone not only for FNB, but for millions of SMEs that now have a simple, efficient and more secure way to integrate their bank account transactions into their accounting software,” said Weinberg.

“Apart from the time saving it will offer SMEs, who often spend hours downloading and uploading bank statements into their accounting software, this also represents a huge step towards increasing the level of business financial inclusion by removing a barrier for more informal or less business-fluent SMEs to increase their accounting recording keeping – ultimately helping them to produce financial statements for lending or investment for their businesses.”

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