Finance integrations: how to talk to your IT team about the SimpleLegal API

David Chai | November 8, 2018 | Articles

Most legal and finance departments depend on different applications and tools, leading to the reliance on outdated, manual processes that hinder productivity and suffocate growth. An API integration between the two departments alleviates this problem and provides additional benefits like time and cost savings.

While it can be daunting to speak to your IT team about APIs, their involvement is critical to ensure proper implementation and that you get the most value from the integration. If you are considering an integration between SimpleLegal and your AP or ERP system, here are a few tips for talking about the SimpleLegal API.

What Exactly is an API?

An API, or Application Programming Interface, enables software to access whatever it needs: data, server software, or other applications. They are the backbone of today’s connectivity and the key data-sharing link between disparate applications. You also likely depend on them regularly – for online restaurant reservations, making mobile payments, viewing online store stock inventories, etc.

In the case of SimpleLegal, the finance department’s AP or ERP system would use the SimpleLegal API to create, retrieve, update, and route data from SimpleLegal.

Finance Integrations & The SimpleLegal API

The flexibility of the SimpleLegal API helps streamline the interactions between the legal and finance department. This eliminates the manual processes that many rely on today to move data from SimpleLegal to finance’s system, saving time, costs, and errors.

With the SimpleLegal API, you can:

  • Quickly create new vendors, users, matters, and payments in SimpleLegal
  • Easily retrieve relevant SimpleLegal data like list of matters, invoices, cost codes, etc.
  • Seamlessly update your matters and vendors in SimpleLegal
  • Automatically route approved invoices to an AP or ERP system for payment

What to Say About SimpleLegal’s API

It’s likely that your IT team already has experience working with and implementing APIs, so don’t fret! Our API is well documented and like everything we create – simple to use.

Here are the main things about our API that your IT team will want to know:

  • Organized around REST (Representational State Transfer)
  • Has predictable, resource-oriented URLs
  • Understood by off-the-shelf HTTP clients
  • Uses HTTP response codes to indicate API errors
  • Uses built-in HTTP features like HTTP authentication and HTTP verbs
  • Supports cross-origin resource sharing
  • Allows secure interaction from a client-side web application
  • JSON is returned by all API responses, including errors
  • Can accommodate systems that can’t utilize the PATCH method

To learn more about the SimpleLegal API and its capabilities, please review our API Documentation. You can also contact [email protected] to discuss further.