Accelerating Revenue Recognition With Sage Intacct, Microsoft Azure, and the Boomi AtomSphere Platform

By Keshav Chittipolu Preeti Lobo

Process automation is always one of the primary goals of digital transformation. Any time a business can automate a formerly manual process, there are immediate benefits. In this blog, we’ll examine one of those benefits — faster revenue recognition — and how that was accomplished by integrating the ad company’s cloud-based ERP Sage Intacct with its data repository hosted in Microsoft Azure.

By definition, process automation accomplishes the outcome of any process more quickly. It eliminates most if not all manual data entry, which means fewer errors. An automated process also requires fewer full-time employees (FTE) to manage and maintain it. Moreover, an automated process can be modified more easily than a manual one because all application dependencies that are part of the process are known. The process is transparent.

But the road to automation is not always a smooth one.

Integration — The Heartbeat of Automation

Of course, an important component of process automation is integration. Business processes typically exchange data between several applications. With bi-directional data pipelines servicing high-volume processes, the integration platform must be up to the task. In the first blog in this series, we addressed how the Boomi iPaaS Platform can deliver seamless integration between multiple applications. Now, we’ll go one step deeper.

In this case, the customer used Sage Intacct to handle order entry, with the data housed in Microsoft Azure. As the company’s business grew, data volume and manual processing time became issues.

The digital ad company processed between 50,000 and 100,000 customer transactions per month. But handling each transaction as a processing event was overwhelming the billing team, which had to manually extract and review the relevant data from transaction records. The team also had no way to reconcile failed or successful processing events with the Azure database. Process automation through integrating Intacct with Azure seemed the best course of action.

Reducing Order-to-Invoice Processing

The company wanted Apps Associates to group the transactions into orders, which were organized according to certain criteria by customer. That step reduced the orders to be processed to approximately 30,000. The Boomi platform was deployed to process the orders in batches of 100, while tracking and reporting the success or failure of each batch to Azure, Intacct, and a flat file system (Excel), giving the team three options for reconciling order data.

Automating the order-to-invoice process through the Boomi platform delivered dramatic time savings to the billing team. Prior to implementing the Boomi solution, it took 7-10 days for the team to generate an invoice from an order. With the Boomi platform in place, that time dropped to 3-4 hours. Now an invoice could be sent the same day an order was received, significantly accelerating revenue recognition.

Along with faster revenue recognition from the automated process, the Boomi platform also vastly improved process tracking and reporting. Using the invoice number as an identifier and a variety of filters, an IT analyst can quickly find a specific invoice and learn whether it’s been processed through Azure and Intacct, or whether it’s failed and where the failure occurred. It also notifies users of possible duplicate records.

In addition, the solution gives the billing team the option of reprocessing a failed transaction from Azure, Intacct, or an Excel spreadsheet. Boomi’s process tracking and reporting tool was eventually extended to the business units, so they could track the progress of the entire process on their own.

With all these enhancements, the Boomi solution, which handles hundreds of thousands of records, needed only a half-time resource for support and maintenance.

Addressing Intacct API Issues During Integration

The Intacct API gateway can accept only two requests in parallel and the API can accept only 100 transactions per API call. That was the reason behind breaking the customer’s data into batches of 100 transactions. Further, a problem in one transaction could cause an entire batch to fail.

To meet this limitation, the Apps Associates team used the flow control feature of the Boomi platform. This enabled a batch of 100 to be processed in increments of 25 transactions if an error occurred in the set of 100. If an error occurred in one set of 25, the other three sets could still be processed successfully. Further, within the set of 25, if an error occurred, the remaining transactions that pass all validations would still be processed.

These types of problems are often seen. Sometimes, issues with APIs are addressed and resolved in higher versions.

Intacct offers a new release of its platform three times a year. If a new release includes an upgrade to the API, the standard Boomi connector allows properties to be modified to accommodate those changes.

The Boomi AtomSphere Platform Simplifies Integrating Sage Intacct With Microsoft Azure

From high volume processing and API limitations to tracking, reporting, and caching from multiple source and target systems without exceeding memory restraints, the Boomi platform is an ideal solution for companies struggling to efficiently integrate Intacct with Azure. The platform’s Azure and Intacct connectors eliminate the need for fragile, point-to-point custom code, while delivering a flexible solution that can be maintained without the constant attention of high-end developers.


Learn more about Apps Associates here. And check back for the final blog in our series that will discuss cloud master data management (MDM) and how Boomi Master Data Hub can help organizations maintain clean, accurate data at scale.