If you use Xero and are an NAB customer this might be of interest.
Many small businesses take advantage of bank feeds - automated connections between their bank accounts and accounting software - to reduce data entry chores.
Instead of keying in the details after paying a taxi fare by credit card, for example, the card transaction is automatically copied from the bank data into their books and coded to the appropriate account as previously determined for that payee.
One minor problem has been that setting up a bank feed has been a largely manual process often requiring paper forms and a delay of up to ten days.
But a collaboration between cloud accounting service Xero and National Australia Bank is about to change this into a instant, online process under the customer's control with immediate feedback from NAB and Xero.
Once the connection is made, the transaction data from NAB appears in Xero the next morning and is refreshed daily.
This new capability will be available from May to NAB small business customers using internet banking.
The link between Xero and NAB will also allow the bank's customers to make product and lending inquiries from within Xero.
ANZ already allowed customers to set up Xero bank feeds from its internet banking service, but that only worked with transaction accounts and took "approximately two business days" for the feeds to start.
The significance of the Xero/NAB arrangement is that the bank is providing Xero with access to its core API (application programming interface) to automate the process of setting up the feeds.