Making the Right Choice: Pros and Cons of Building or Buying Accounting Integrations for Your Business

Nina Barango joins Railz as Demand Generation Marketing Manager
June 8, 2023
Pros and Cons of Building or Buying Accounting Integrations for Your Business

As financial institutions grow and adapt, streamlined financial management processes become increasingly crucial for their business clients. Accounting integrations, which facilitate the exchange of information between various financial management tools, offer a practical solution to this challenge. However, companies often face the dilemma of choosing between building their integration in-house or purchasing an off-the-shelf solution. In this article, we will explore the advantages and considerations of both options, enabling you to make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs.

Building In-House Integrations

Building your integration can be an attractive option for financial institutions and fintech companies that require a high degree of customization. It gives you complete control over the development process and allows you to tailor the integration to meet the specific needs of your company and your clients. However, it is not without its challenges.

One of the biggest challenges of building your integration is the investment of time and resources required. The development process can be time-consuming and costly, and it may not be feasible for all companies, especially startups. Additionally, you will need to ensure that your development team is knowledgeable about accounting principles to ensure that the integration is accurate and reliable. If you do not have an in-house accounting expert, you may need to hire one or invest in additional training for your team. This can slow down the development process and prolong the time it takes to get your integration up and running. However, investing in the right expertise can pay off in the long run, as it ensures that your integration is accurate and reliable.

Another challenge of building your integration is keeping up with changes in technology and business practices. As technology evolves and your business grows and changes, you will need to update and modify your integration to keep it running smoothly. This can create a steep learning curve for teams who need to develop deep knowledge of both accounting practices and technical integration requirements. Companies that don't have the technical expertise or resources to build integrations in-house may find it more cost-effective to outsource the development to a third-party provider.

Despite these challenges, building an in-house integration can be a worthwhile investment for businesses that require a high degree of customization and control over their integration. With the right expertise and resources, you can create an integration that meets your specific needs and helps your business operate more efficiently.

Buying Third- Party Integrations

Building integrations for different accounting software systems can be a daunting task for any organization. It requires a lot of time, resources, and expertise to develop and maintain a seamless integration between two or more systems. This is where third-party integrations come in handy. 

The primary advantage of purchasing a third-party integration is that it can save you time and resources. You can use an off-the-shelf integration that has already been developed and tested, and you won't need to worry about building from scratch. This can be especially beneficial for startups that may not have the resources to develop their integrations. Additionally, many third-party integrations are designed to be plug-and-play, requiring little to no development resources from your team. This can save significant time and money compared to building integrations from scratch, enabling businesses to leverage the benefits of integrations without the lengthy development process.

Another advantage of purchased integrations is the outsourced management of updates and maintenance. Managing and maintaining in-house accounting integrations over time can be expensive, as it requires a significant investment in time and cost, and the long-term commitment that comes with it. Many third-party integration providers offer support and maintenance contracts, including updates and bug fixes. This frees up your team to focus on other priorities, knowing that the integration is being monitored and cared for.

However, purchasing integrations does not come without its challenges. It's important to carefully evaluate third-party providers and choose a vendor that offers an integration that meets your specific needs and can adapt to your changing requirements over time. This can be a challenge, especially if your business processes are unique or complex. You'll also need to ensure that the vendor's API is flexible and customizable to support your unique business processes. Some vendors' APIs may be too rigid or inflexible to meet your specific needs.

Why Choose Railz?

Railz API is an accounting-data-as-a-service platform that offers comprehensive access to accounting, commerce, and banking integrations. With API technology improving every day, there are many reasons why financial service providers choose to access accounting integrations with the Railz API rather than build from scratch.

Normalized Chart of Accounts (COA): One common challenge businesses face when integrating multiple accounting software platforms is the inconsistency of Chart of Accounts (COA) across various systems. The Railz API provides a unique advantage by offering normalized COA, ensuring that data from different ASPs is cleaned and presented in a standardized manner. This means that regardless of which accounting software your SMB clients use, Railz can seamlessly handle the integration. Furthermore, if you decide to expand into additional accounting software platforms in the future, you can easily enable those integrations from the Railz dashboard without having to rebuild the integration.

Advanced-Data Analytics: While your internal development team may be capable of building APIs to fetch data, the Railz API goes beyond that. It provides advanced data analytics capabilities, allowing you to gain valuable insights from integrated financial data. Railz enables you to pull or push data, obtain a normalized view, and present analytics such as benchmarking credit scores, financial ratios, and reconciliations. This level of analytics goes beyond what an in-house integration can provide, empowering you with actionable intelligence to make informed business decisions.

Enhanced Data Privacy and Security: At Railz, we take data privacy and security seriously. Our robust encryption measures ensure that your customers' data is protected at all times. We follow strict data management practices and do not store any data, adding an extra layer of security. With our SOC II Type 2 compliance certification, your data is safe and secure with Railz.

Expert Technical Support and Customer Success: While handling technical challenges internally can be time-consuming and distracting, Railz offers white-glove customer support and success experience. Our experienced technical account managers are well-versed in dealing with a variety of integration-related issues. With Railz, you gain access to expert advice and assistance, allowing you to address problems swiftly and efficiently. This frees up your internal resources, enabling your team to focus on core business activities.

Risk-Free Evaluation and Free Plan: At Railz, we understand that choosing the proper integration solution for your business is essential, which is why we provide every user with a free plan that includes a Sandbox or production environment for up to 25 active connections. This allows you to thoroughly test our products and evaluate if Railz is the right fit for your specific requirements. With our Free testing environments, you can experience the benefits of Railz firsthand without any financial commitment.

To learn more about the Railz API or to get instant access to Railz accounting, commerce, and banking integrations, contact our sales team.


When it comes to building or buying accounting integrations, there is no one “right answer.” If you have the resources and expertise to build an integration in-house, you might consider this option to ensure that you have complete control over the development process and can customize the integration to meet your specific needs. If you're short on time or development resources, purchasing a third-party integration might be the better option, but be sure to choose a vendor that offers a flexible and customizable API and has a reputation for timely updates and support. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each strategy, you can make the right choice for your business and streamline your accounting processes.

Nina Barango joins Railz as Demand Generation Marketing Manager
Demand Generation Marketing Manager

Nina Barango is an experienced demand generation manager with a proven track record in the fintech industry. Having worked with startups and SMEs, she brings a unique perspective and understanding of how to drive results and growth effectively. A valuable asset to any team, she is dedicated to helping her company succeed.