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The essential guide to ERP integration.

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ERP preview

The essential guide to ERP integration.

Get a clearer picture of your financial data.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is the centralized hub of information for most of the processes a business needs to operate and thrive. It’s a core component of your success — a load-bearing tool that every team across an organization uses to do their jobs every day.

In the past, as software and systems advanced through the years, they grew separately and in different directions. As a result, integrations often required error-prone custom code or sometimes the tools didn’t integrate at all. Today, though, things have changed. Thanks to cloud-based SaaS applications, automation is the future and integrations happen out of the box.

ERP integration is especially important in finance, because it can reduce manual errors, speed up the close process, and create a single source of truth for expenses across your organization.

For that reason, we’ve created this essential guide to ERP integration, in which we’ll cover all of the above topics and many more. Read on to learn more about ERP system integration, the benefits of ERP integration, and why an integrated ERP strategy is absolutely critical for finance leaders.

What is enterprise resource planning (ERP)?

Enterprise resource planning is how companies plan out how they’re going to deploy and use the resources available to them. As you might imagine, this involves nearly every aspect of an organization, including finance, human resources, business intelligence, customer relationships, supply chain, and more.

Every single segment of a business across all of its entities produces huge amounts of data. The way that a business collates all that information is with an ERP system, which lets you collect, store, track, and analyze data from each of these business segments, creating a single source of truth.

What is ERP integration?

When all of those sources of data are connected together in real time, with continuous updates and automatic information-sharing between them, then those sources are said to be “integrated.”

Because the ERP software is intended to be a single, central source of truth, it’s important that most if not all of the software each of your business departments use to gather data integrate with your chosen ERP solution. Ideally, when all of these data sources are seamlessly integrated, then you’ll be able to access higher levels of automation, synchronization, productivity, data accuracy, and ease of use.

Simplify your workflows with Brex integrations 

Why is ERP integration important?

ERP integration is important for many reasons, but the primary reason is that it creates a single source of truth across the whole organization. When company data isn’t connected, a cascading series of issues arises across departments and entities. The first is that information remains siloed, meaning it’s tough to access and even harder to analyze.

Then, because the data lives in siloes, employees are forced to work with the data by manually moving it from one database to another, sometimes analyzing or entering it by hand. This leads to errors, reduced collaboration between departments, and lag times in access to information. As a result, data is untrustworthy no matter where it resides and makes decision-making more difficult.

Three companies tell you how they’re accelerating growth with Brex + NetSuite 

Common ERP integration challenges.

Unfortunately, not all software and hardware platforms play nice with each other. They each use their own coding languages and may have varying methods of managing and using data. This is the exact issue an ERP integration aims to solve. It acts as a conduit for data by syncing the information in the right formats across multiple platforms, while maintaining its accuracy and usability.

“We had to download the card detail, review every purchase, manually tag our NetSuite GL accounts, and import that file to NetSuite every month. That wasn’t sustainable — especially with our FX workload.”

— Avenue One controller Katherine Spillane

There are three primary methods of ERP integration used today by most companies:

1. Integration PaaS (platform as a service)
iPaaS is a platform for building and deploying integrations that connect applications residing in the cloud or on-premises and then deploy them without any hardware or middleware.

2. Enterprise service bus (ESB)
ESB is an older on-premises solution that uses connectors and adapters between different types of software to enable communication.

3. Point-to-point (P2P)
Point-to-point integration uses custom coding, APIs, or a combination of both to integrate two applications, with data flowing between systems through a process called periodic synchronization.

Brex offers the third option — point-to-point integration — for its many ERP system integrations.

“It took an exorbitant amount of time to document receipts in multiple systems, verify transactions line-by-line, and import all the data into NetSuite. Those hours should have been spent on value-added activities with direct top and bottom line impact.”

— Arlene Barbieri, corporate financial controller at Medicinal Genomics

The most common challenges that businesses face when trying to integrate their ERP with the rest of their tools usually fall into a handful of categories:

  • Data compatibility: Although the ultimate goal of ERP integration is to ensure compatibility across tools, sometimes older legacy tools necessitate manual migration of data.

  • Configuration and customization: One of the enormous benefits of enterprise software is that it's highly configurable, but this can lead to issues down the line if custom settings later conflict with updates you want to make or when adding new tools to the workflow.

  • Cost: From software licensing fees to infrastructure upgrades, all integrations incur certain costs that companies may find challenging to manage.

  • Change management: Ensuring that employees have actually adapted to new workflows — and are comfortable and knowledgeable with them — can also be a challenge for businesses adding ERP integrations to their mix of tools.

See how controllers are doing more with less using ERP integrations 

The most common accounting ERP integrations.

Different companies operate differently, so naturally the software and tools they use will all differ. This is why widespread integration and interoperability is especially important.

Depending on the size and stage of your company, you may use any of the following ERP solutions to manage your business:

Popular ERP integrations for startups

  • QuickBooks

  • Xero

  • Universal CSV

Popular ERP integrations for mid-sized companies

  • NetSuite

Popular ERP integrations for enterprises

Each of these ERP solutions is currently supported by a Brex integration. Through its thousands of integrations, Brex works with all your existing software so you can manage your business with ease — all from one place.

In particular, thousands of Brex customers, from startups to enterprises, are automating their month-end close with our standout NetSuite integration. Our direct NetSuite integration works with all SuiteSuccess verticals and editions to enhance the benefits of both NetSuite and Brex and earned us NetSuite's Partner of the Year award in 2023.

Close your books faster with Brex + NetSuite 

“What used to take 35 hours per month now takes 5 — we’re drastically more efficient closing our books with the NetSuite integration.”

— Vanessa Majalca, accountant, Carta

The key benefits of ERP integration in finance.

Because spend is a strategic asset, the way a business spends its money as it scales can make or break its success. That means linking your ERP with every business process is transformational, but it is especially key in accounting.

The benefits of ERP integration are many, but they all fall into a few categories: productivity, visibility, speed, accuracy, and scalability. We’ll go through each of these in detail below.

ERP integrations with the finance function allow your accountants and controllers to be more efficient and focus on higher-value tasks. For instance, integrations allow you to automatically categorize transactions — departments, projects, and GLs in your ERP are automatically set to save time and reduce errors.

The monthly close process gets cut significantly thanks to auto-generated memos and IRS-compliant receipts. Brex even exports a descriptor with the merchant name and memo if the vendor isn't mapped. With accounting automations like these, Brex has helped finance teams save as many as 250 hours per year.*

The visibility that comes from robust integrations allows you to increase accountability with the most accurate view of data. This is what we mean by “single source of truth.” When you can manage cards, payments, bill pay, procurement, travel, and more all in one platform, then you can understand how your business is spending across all sources and direct it accordingly.

How fast is fast? How does “real time” sound? With ERP integrations, you can sync data bidirectionally in real time. When data is current up to the minute, your teams don’t have to wait around for the latest information or crunch numbers to do their jobs. With the added benefit of AI-powered controls, you can improve expense management and streamline accounting for even greater accounting velocity.

All the data collection in the world won’t make much difference if you can’t actually trust the data you have. That’s where automation comes in to keep your information correct and up-to-date.

For instance, many integrations will perform automatic categorization that reduces manual errors. And for any expenses that aren’t automatically categorized, AI-powered accounting rule suggestions can help automate GL coding. Plus, you can prevent duplicate entries by prohibiting the re-export of a successfully exported transaction.

If you have dreams of growing your business globally — or maybe you’ve already realized that dream and need to streamline your operations — ERP integrations can help make that possible, from multi-entity controls to localized expense policies.

Global reconciliation gets easier when you’re able to automap and export transactions to subsidiary GL accounts in your ERP. You can import supported fields from one or multiple subsidiaries as well as export journal entries to them. Plus, integrations allow you to track expenses and pay bills in non-USD currencies and export VAT info by assigning the right tax codes to expenses.

“Brex has been a tremendous time saver when it comes to reconciliation and expense management, especially since Brex’s direct integration with NetSuite allows us to manage all entity spend in one dashboard.”

— Ty Barton, accounting manager, Signifyd

Automate your accounting with Brex + Sage Intacct 

*The metrics provided are from July 2023 and for illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results, which may vary.

Transform your organization.

The global business environment is more competitive than ever. It is also more complex than ever. Because of this, it’s critical to gain any advantage you can in your industry — no matter how small.

That’s what ERP integration represents. When you can get a 360-degree holistic view of your business, including your employees, finances, and customer data, you can make more informed decisions. When that data updates in real time automatically, you can spend less time on tedious manual processes and more time on strategic tasks that add value to the business. In this way, integrations between your ERP and your accounting software could make all the difference in unlocking productivity and scalability for your business, regardless of the macroeconomic environment.


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With the direct integration, Avenue One mapped their GL account tree directly into Brex, automating the flow of data for speed and accuracy.