How to deal with Xero’s API call limits when importing large volumes of data (e.g. Xero has 60 API calls/minute limit)? And what tools do you use to import data into Xero?
I think Xero’s limits are exactly right; Xero is a cloud based General Ledger, which it is awesome at. It is not an ERP system (i.e. NetSuite) and doesn’t pretend to be. The goal is to have accurate financials to make financial decisions, not process every transaction in Xero and force all the work (tracking every order, applying every payment, dealing with voided individual transactions).
We firmly believe in posting accurate summary information by using smart apps or processes. We have dozens and dozens of Amazon ecommerce sellers and post all income in 2 to 3 invoices per month that match the Amazon deposits. Each invoice has many lines that address all the different Amazon fees, sales tax, etc. (a2xaccounting), these invoices can be managed, reviewed, follow accrual accounting rules and takes a known amount of time (minutes per month). We have clients with a few thousand sales per month and some with over 100K orders.
We follow the same process for Shopify, Walmart.com, other shopping carts and marketplaces. We post a summary invoice and attach both an XLSX/CSV & PDF supporting documents. See our Catching Clouds Academy or our YouTube channel.
I think that all of these apps need to whiteboard out the whole process from the customer to the business to the accountant to the bank and everything that touches Xero. Then look at optimizing the process at every point, summarize data where appropriate, integrate with Zapier to link to task management and other systems, and MOST importantly build a complete integration to Xero with a 2 way sync (vs. a basic push integration).
Xero is great and provides smart ways to manage bank/credit card transactions, implementing AI to optimize bank rec, invoicing and other tasks inside of Xero but that doesn’t mean that all the work should happen inside of Xero.
Summarize the data outside of Xero and their order tracking system. Income weekly, COGS & Inventory monthly. Start with a process in Excel and a checklist, then look at automating small pieces vs. going with a direct integration and the cloud inventory tool pushing in too much or the wrong information into the accounting platform (we don’t connect ANY cloud inventory solutions to Xero), we have an air gap.
Watch out for solutions like Webgility or others that say the do the work, even some summary invoices, if you can’t replicate and audit the process yourself first.
Scott Scharf is a Co-Founder at Catching Clouds – A Bookkeeping and Accounting firm that provides services for ecommerce businesses.