Remember what it was like as a kid on your birthday when you were desperate to find out what presents you’d receive, but your parents were tight-lipped and not willing to even give you the slightest hint as to what was in every perfectly wrapped box?
And it was worse if you had siblings. Those rascals were usually in on the secret, but they wanted to negotiate with you –– give them something they want, and then they’ll share the information you wanted. For example, they’d trade you one measly clue for some of your stash of hidden Halloween candy. Even if you fell for their negotiations (which, if we’re being honest here, happened more often than not!), you’d end up feeling let down, like you’d never be able to extract the data you wanted out of any family members. Try as you may, the boxes would stay wrapped, and you’d fail at finding out the big surprise.
But, here’s the difference between waiting for a childhood present and running a business: As a kid, even if no one encouraged your detective skills, you still always ended up with the present in the end. As a business owner, franchisee, or key decision maker, you know that extracting information is vital to making your procedures run smoothly. There’s no present for patiently waiting for an end result. Either you get the information using smart systems or you pay someone to manually pull the data you need to run your business, which costs a lot of money and takes a significant amount of time…time that you may not have to keep things running smoothly.
When you’re investing in new financial integration software, one of the key differentiating factors between competitors is the type of information you can extract, and how the extraction works.
Here, we’ll explain how GetLinked manages both.
What Kind of Information Gets Extracted?
Here’s the thing: every point of sale software program is different. Some of these POS systems track sales, payroll, deposits, payables, receivables, and more. Others only work with some of those functionalities — not GetLinked.
Here at GetLinked, we’re able to link the data in your point of sales system into any accounting program that has importing capabilities.
The data is formatted for importing into master files and work files. For the master files, the data can be formatted into the chart of accounts, vendors, customers, checkbook, employees, and more. Work files include bank reconciliations, receivable and payables sales transaction entries, general ledger transactions, payroll transaction entries, and more.
How Does Extraction Work?
There are two common ways to extract data using our system — directly using an API or through a file export.
Direct extraction (our preferred method)
In most cases GetLinked can access point-of-sale and time clock data “directly” using an application-programming interface (API). What this means is the software manufacturer provides a utility for integrators to read and write with their database.
GetLinked reads the required data in order to create an accurate financial transaction, such as balanced journal entries, accurate employee time punches, correct customer invoices, among others. The more established or advanced systems have these direct methods of accessing their data and the majority of GetLinked interfaces use this process. It’s the preferred method as it allows your interface to be more flexible, accurate, and maintenance free for you.
A file export
The other way to extract data is through a file dump process. The most common file formats are in ASCII (for example, Comma, Tab, DBF, XML, etc.). Most POS systems have an end-of-day process which includes exporting the financial data, such as sales, payables, payroll, and more. These exported data files can then be transferred from each location to your corporate office via polling software, email or internet FTP sites, and other options.
GetLinked will map the file layout of your unique POS system the same way. Once mapped, you only need to load GetLinked software at your corporate office and set the pathname to these exported data files. Wondering why this method is used? Although it can create additional steps in automating transactions, many enterprise systems, like PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and others still use ASCII exports because it provides an additional layer of security and validation prior to importing into their accounting system.
Most POS systems run an end-of-day process and create exports, yet this data is usually not in a financial accounting format. GetLinked imports this data, arranges in a financial format, validates it, and transfers a balanced journal entry to your accounting system electronically.
If you want to bring the same joy you received when opening up a childhood present into your business practices, we recommend investing in a financial integration software that extracts the data for you and shares it with your accounting systems. GetLinked does just that.