Invoicing APIs – The Ultimate Guide

Published on April 9, 2024

Data is rarely helpful in isolation, particularly for businesses. For instance, shipping data must integrate with billing software, which communicates with accounting systems and other back-office tools.

However, how these different applications communicate can vary greatly—from rekeying information between programs by hand to complex integration that requires little human effort. The solution to this? An invoicing API like the one offered by Invoiced. Let’s look at invoicing APIs in more detail, including how they can benefit your invoicing efforts.

Already an API pro? Click through to Invoiced’s API Reference docs, including our documentation for developers, for more detailed information.

What is an API? 

Put simply, application programming interfaces (APIs) enable seamless communication and collaboration between software applications. This allows users to access and manipulate data stored in another system.  For instance, imagine automatically updating the accounts receivable (A/R) and bad debt portions of the general ledger within your enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform directly from your invoicing tool — without switching interfaces. 

Despite the seeming simplicity of sharing information, when you consider that these applications might be written using different programming languages or store data in incompatible formats, the potential challenges quickly become evident. 

As such, APIs provide a list of pre-set commands in a standardized format that makes it possible to simplify data access and control from outside systems. So when a software company opens up an API to outside developers, they essentially say, “Here’s what you can get from our program, and this is how you need to ask to get it.”

What is an invoicing API, specifically, and how is it used?

As its name suggests, an invoicing API is a specialized API type intended to support the automation and execution of various billing processes in real-time, including creating, sending, tracking, paying, and reconciling invoices. Developers, in turn, can surface these functions within outside tools or applications, removing the need to access the invoicing platform to manage and pursue payments directly. 

For end users, this means they can pull up the interface they use daily — such as an accounting dashboard or a business intelligence portal — and simply click a button or interact with a control panel to manage invoicing functions.

What is e-invoicing, and how does it apply to APIs?

E-invoicing skips the traditional physical or email-delivered invoices, and it directly shares structured billing data between applications. This allows the seller’s billing data to seamlessly integrate with and be automatically understood by the buyer’s accounts payable (A/P) system.

While you don’t necessarily need an API to access and enable e-invoicing, you will if you want to support real-time data exchanges. If you use an API for invoicing, please note that e-invoicing APIs need to connect with government tax systems for some countries, feeding relevant transaction data to the appropriate governing body.

Benefits of using an invoicing API 

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, leveraging the capabilities of an invoicing API can help streamline and simplify the entire purchasing process. While this efficiency offers several advantages, some of the most common are that it: 

1. Requires less manual effort

By taking advantage of an invoicing API, you can surface critical billing, payment, and management functions within the tools and dashboards that your staff are already using. So rather than swapping between systems or rekeying data, users can more quickly and seamlessly keep invoices moving throughout the approval and verification process. At the same time, established APIs offset much of the development burden needed to establish communication between buyer and seller systems, freeing up IT and design staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. 

2. Delivers greater insight

When buyers have access to real-time invoice tracking, decision-makers are better equipped to make sound choices regarding when and how to make payments—choices that dramatically impact cash flow, forecasting, and budgeting. At the same time, increased visibility and transparency of invoicing functions can help create a stronger sense of trust between organizations. 

3. Encourages customer retention

Buyers want to close out their purchases easily. In fact, according to survey data gathered by Balance Payments, Inc., roughly 83% of respondents claimed that a seamless payment experience was their top priority when choosing a supplier online. On top of that, 90% noted that an overly complicated e-commerce portal would substantially impact their brand loyalty. Fortunately, an invoicing API can significantly streamline the entire payment process, making it much less burdensome. 

4. Drives revenue

As more time passes after a product or service is delivered, the chances of receiving payment decrease proportionally. To prevent outstanding invoices from becoming bad debt, you should encourage prompt payment as much as possible. With an invoicing API, you can reduce delays tied to preparing, delivering, and collecting your invoices. 

5. Promotes innovation

Beyond invoice-adjacent functions, the data made accessible via an invoicing API can be leveraged across your business. For example, you can more easily develop, execute, and vet the performance of sales and marketing initiatives by surfacing the relevant invoice data to the respective systems. Or, you might simplify your auditing efforts by feeding billing data directly into reporting systems. 

6. Reduces customer support burdens

APIs lend themselves to creating repeatable, self-service functions that reliably perform. So when an invoicing API is extended to your customers, they’re more likely to execute everyday tasks without error and without the need to lean on your customer support resources.

Invoiced’s easy-to-use invoicing API

Invoiced’s API empowers you to streamline various aspects of your invoicing and payment processes effortlessly, handling your business’s billing needs while making integration as seamless as possible. Through our API for invoice processing, you can quickly and easily set up functions within your business systems or website to manage your invoicing, payment management, subscription billing, and more, allowing you to access more profound insights, reduce time spent on manual tasks, and improve customer relationships 

For detailed information on Invoiced’s API capabilities, check out the following resources:

If this level of detail is too technical for your needs and you simply seek an invoicing solution, you can schedule a demo to talk to one of our sales representatives about our Automated A/R software.

12 Invoiced G2 Award Badges

Invoiced: Automated A/R software that helps you get paid faster

G2 recognizes us as an industry leader in A/R automation and for ease of implementation. Our Automated Accounts Receivable software ensures streamlined, central workflows that keep your billing processes moving quickly. Beyond the out-of-the-box integration capabilities, our A/R solution also delivers a customizable self-service payment portal that lets your customers manage and close out invoices on their terms.

Moreover, our Accounts Payable Automation software provides nuanced control over your payment management, aligning spending with your cash management strategy. With built-in verification features, you can prevent wasteful spending on duplicates, errors, and fraud. 

Schedule a demo today to explore how our invoicing APIs can elevate your business.

Published on April 9, 2024

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