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Castaway Cloud
Castaway

Castaway forecasting takes to the cloud

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Australian developer Castaway has released a cloud version of its established forecasting and modelling software, providing users with more options for collaboration, presentation and integration.

22nd May 2024
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Four years in production, the new Castaway Cloud tool aims to provide its users with powerful modelling and forecasting functionality, including three-way financials, ‘what if’ scenario planning, and actuals and variance analysis.

Castaway Cloud offers a new reporting suite, customisable forecasting and modelling templates, a more powerful calculation engine, more dashboards for visual reporting, and revenue recognition functionality.

The new app’s cloud functionality enables users to work together from any location, with permissions settings allowing those with admin rights to restrict access to sensitive data.

It also pulls more through data via integrations with QuickBooks Online and Xero, and features an Excel import tool.

Pricing is based on the number of project files required – for full details visit Castaway’s pricing page.

Castaway told AccountingWEB that with its focus now fully on the cloud product, the company will not be developing its desktop tool further and it will be deprecated as soon as practicable. Castaway has committed to working with existing desktop customers to ensure a smooth transition.

A cloud product four years in the making

“This has been driven by customer demand for a cloud product,” Michael Ford, Castaway’s founder and CEO, told AccountingWEB. “For some customers, this was literally their last desktop product. We were never going to release Castaway Cloud until it was even more powerful than our desktop solution, which is why it’s taken four years.”

“That’s the challenge of the industry,” continued Ford. “It would have been easier to issue a simpler version and gradually iterate it to the level of our desktop product. We took longer because we wanted to release a better product. 

“From our users who’ve tested it already, the clear benefit is collaboration. For us as developers, it was also a great chance to build a new platform where functionality can be extended easily depending on our customers’ needs.”

Forecasting favourites

The Sydney-based developer has been in the market since 2010 and is used by a range of different customers – from half of the UK’s 100 largest firms to small practices and small businesses as direct users.

Castaway offers this diverse range of users a range of functionality, from managing small business cashflow and performance to billing reports and client insights for larger accountancy firms.

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, demand for forecasting tools surged, driven in part by the increased need to monitor cash in uncertain times, and the requirement for cashflow forecasts as part of the pandemic loan scheme application process. 

While the general trend for forecasting tool adoption continues to track upward in the long-term, demand fell following the end of governmental pandemic action. This has led to a degree of market consolidation, with Fluidly closing its doors last year, and Fathom and Futrli acquired by larger, more generalised vendors, leaving the likes of Castaway and Float, and relative newcomers such as Syft Analytics and Clarity HQ, flying the flag for standalone forecasting and reporting apps.

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