Tech Lowdown: Instant funding, group VAT and bridging software
This week, our round-up of the latest tech news features Capitalise’s partnership with iwoca and Barclays, Crunch’s new digital platform and updates from BTCSoftware, Senta and Cirrostratus.
Capitalise announces instant quote partnership with iwoca and Barclays
Business funding platform Capitalise has partnered with small business lender iwoca and Barclays to launch Instant Offers. The new service enables accountants to receive instant quotes on funding applications for their SME clients.
Capitalise uses Open Banking APIs to show users a comparison of various lending products.
With the new partnership, Capitalise will collect business data directly from Sage Business Cloud and QuickBooks and analyse it to assess whether a company is eligible for funding. If it is, the company adviser will then receive an instant quote from Barclays or iwoca.
“Consumer finance providers have long been able to offer products instantly to customers but the technology to do the same for businesses has lagged behind,” said Ollie Maitland, co-founder and chief product officer at Capitalise “Instant Offers is the first step towards creating a universal API that will enable lenders to do so”.
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Crunch accounting launches new digital platform
Crunch has relaunched its service with a new mobile-optimised digital platform, following four years of development and a £5.5m investment.
The new service provides new features including Open Banking, automatic raising of dividends and the possibility of creating year end and CT600 reports.
Customers can also expect improved processes, faster downloads and deployments, and a fully responsive system across mobile and desktop, explained the 2019 Accounting Excellence large firm of the year winners.
The new platform, named Ada, will be available to Crunch customers in a range of new packages that will cover four different levels. The company has already launched two of the levels, one tailored for smaller limited companies where the owner works as a freelancer or contractor, and a second one for limited companies with one to ten employees.
“As well as benefiting current customers, our new software also puts us in a position to be able to launch new packages early next year, new features and open up Crunch’s services to a wider range of clients,” said CEO and founder Darren Fell.
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BTCSoftware adds group VAT functionality to BTCHub
BTCSoftware has unveiled a new feature to manage group VAT on BTCHub.
BTCSoftware users will be able to import multiple sources of data such as the bookkeeping or sales software directly to BTCHub, and build up the consolidated VAT Return within the software without editing, maintaining the digital link required by HMRC.
In a recent statement, the company explained the benefits of the new functionality for users that handle clients that runs a group of companies or divisions using different software in each company, as BTCHub will be able to compile all the exports into a single VAT return.
The software company has also announced a two-way integration with FreeAgent that enables the user to launch FreeAgent from within BTCSoftware's Accounts Production, import trial balances from FreeAgent and manually create journals, which can be reconciled within FreeAgent.
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Senta announces new Q&A feature and outbox filtering
Senta has rolled out a new Q&A feature for beta testing to enable users to answer their clients’ questions quickly via the client portal.
Some of the additional features added this month are a multiple field picker when adding columns to save time when creating new client lists and new filtering options in the email system within the practice management solution, as well as when conducting audit trails on clients to see results within a certain timeframe.
Additionally, the company has made changes to its UI to improve how it appears in mobile browsers.
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Cirrostratus makes its MTD bridging service freemium
Cirrostratus is moving its MTD bridging service to a freemium model.
The company, which already offers some services for no charge, has now decided to move to a freemium pricing model in which the basic MTD bridging service will be free and additional services will be charged.
"There is always some scepticism about software pricing,” said Cirrostratus’ CEO John Hemming. “The fact about software, however, is that the development investment is the same for 10 clients as 10,000 clients. Now we have the practical experience from running a service for a year and also the investment from the sale of JHC Systems Ltd we know that we can run a free MTD bridging service with charges being made only for enhanced services."
"We have already developed all of the live self assessment API interfaces and also the two submission interfaces that are in sandbox, but not yet live. Hence we know what the development costs are because they have been incurred."