Dutch accounting software developer Exact launched new solutions and updates to its software at the Exact Live event in Utrecht last week.
At its annual event in the Netherlands, Exact followed up the announcement of a new strategy with new solutions and updates for its cloud accounting portfolio.
In the UK, Exact will focus more on mid-sized accounting firms and strategic accounts and de-emphasise its efforts at the low end of the small business market. The company emphasised it would “remain focused on delivering our solutions to the UK” via strategic partners in the accountancy and reseller markets.
At the same event last year, Exact introduced its cloud-based practice management tool and a prototype of an accountancy data “cockpit”. This year, the focus was on machine learning and solutions for small business owners and retailers.
During the past year, Exact has refined its customer relationship management (CRM) tool Exact Synergy to automate business insights and communication processes. The tool, which integrates with the Exact Globe platform, but can also operate as a stand-alone program, now supports social collaboration.
“Exact Synergy is a process automation software that allows you to make better business decisions. It presents a dashboard with all the information of your company in a structured format. But not all the data in a company is structured because there is a lot of unstructured social interaction between employees,” said Phill Robinson, CEO at Exact.
“We thought it would be great to take all of that consumer web innovation from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat and embed that into our applications to allow our clients to improve interactions between all their employees as they make decisions alongside their structured business data.”
No hands accounting
During the presentation, Robinson highlighted the R&D work around artificial intelligence, the internet of things and blockchain: “There’s a massive amount of R&D going on in search of applications for all of this sort of technology,” said Robinson. As part of this effort, Exact is moving towards “no-hands accounting” and announced AI-powered bank integration that enables customers to automatically book bank input notes into the right GL account.
Judith Redi, head of data science at Exact, explained: “This task used to take a lot of time. By looking at the history of the transactions booked by the customer into the different GL accounts we [are] able to provide suggestions about where specific input notes should be booked.
“The moment a receipt is received the system will give you suggestions and then is just a matter of confirming the information. The result is that users are saving about half of the time they used to take to take care of the input notes.”
Developed for independent business owners, the new Exact Go app has been developed for both Android and iOS smartphones. The app supports interaction between the business owners and their accountants, allowing them to share their invoices by taking a picture of their receipts and seeing real-time information from their accountants on their phone.
Users can use the app to see costs and invoices, get updates on the status of the payments and a register of paid invoices. It will also present overviews of VAT costs and other payments for the tax authorities.
“Not all SMEs are created equal. Sole traders and how sole traders want to interact with their data is different to retailers, who have different needs for their application software,” said Robinson.
“Most technology vendors have a one-size fits all interface for the bookkeeping data in the cloud. Our software is tailored for the unique needs of different sole traders and SMEs so they can all begin to gain access to real-time information about the finances administered on their behalf by their accountant.”
Alongside Exact Go, Exact presented Cashr, a new program that allows retailers to collect transactions and beam the data directly to Exact Online so that they have real-time sight of their financial standing and better collaboration with their accountants.