We have a double delight as Sage and Lloyds, and Xero and Santander are making accounting simpler for UK SMEs.

Sage, a cloud accounting, payroll and payments solutions software provider, says Lloyds Bank is the latest in a line of banks to go live with its Bank Feeds service.

The service helps businesses by enabling the automation of large portions of manual transactional bookkeeping work with data flowing from banks into accounting software – and so “freeing up significant amounts of time”.

Alan Laing, managing director, UK and Ireland, Sage, says its aim is to help businesses “make admin invisible and save time that they can better spend on growing their business and being more profitable”.

Banks signed up to Sage’s new service so far also include RBS, NatWest and Cashplus, “with others due to join in the coming months”.

Xero, a UK-based online accounting software firm, and Santander have revealed an integrated service for SMEs. The service will provide a solution for customers that “delivers their financial data directly from their bank account into Xero free of charge”.

Launching in the coming weeks, accounting software and bank accounts will talk with each other through the ever-popular use of API synchronisation. Santander customers who use Xero will soon be able to reconcile their accounts with “a few clicks”.

Sigga Sigurdardottir, head of customer and innovation at Santander, says it is the “first UK bank to launch an API link with Xero” and “we want to help businesses prosper and providing this API solution complements the other options we have to help our customers manage their cashflow”.