Editorial team AccountingWEB.co.uk
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Cloud Watch: Investors pile into app market

26th Jun 2017
Editorial team AccountingWEB.co.uk
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Cloud watch
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Wall Street and international private equity investors stepped up their growing interest in cloud apps this month with a series of investment announcements.

FloQast raises $25m

21 June - FloQast, a Californian developer of tools to support financial period close processes, upped the ante with its announcement of $25m in second-round finance co-ordinated by its main investors, Toba Capital and Polaris Partners.

Follow a previous cash injection, the company has now raised $33m externally. The funds will be used to accelerate product innovation, expand into overseas markets and scaling of the Company’s go-to-market capabilities, FloQast announced.

The company has been growing revenue at 40% per quarter and already supports customers in the UK.

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Hubdoc secures $4.85m investment

20 June - Toronto-based data capture app developer Hubdoc joined the cloud cash rush last week with news that it had raised $4.85m from a consortium of Canadian and US venture capitialists.

The current Xero app of the year, Hubdoc specialises in capturing transaction data from north American bank feeds and document scans. As well as helping to scale up in north America, the money will go towards expansion into Australia and the UK.

A blog post from founder Jamie Shulman confirms that the company is planning to invest in talent with a direct appeal for anyone interested in sales, marketing and product development roles to get in touch.

“We’re investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning,” he added. “This means Hubdoc will get smarter at automating the manual components of document collection, coding and data-entry and much more.”

Expensify integrates with FinancialForce

20 June - The FinancialForce Community Live event in Las Vegas this week saw an outbreak of new integrations for the Salesforce-based cloud financial engine.

Within the world of cloud apps, Expensify represents the biggest catch, but  Vena Solutions also appeared at the event as FinancialForce’s new “official” preferred financial planning and analysis (FP&A) partner. Payroll and HR giant ADP was also on hand at the event to talk up the company’s human capital management (HCM) alliance.

For Expensify, FinancialForce presents a very attractive avenue into the market among mid-size organisations using Salesforce, explained strategic partnerships manager Thomas Ferriss.  The two companies had “iFrame” level links before, but Expensify has re-engineered its application so it can work more robustly with FinancialForce’s APIs.

As a result, organisations using Salesforce, FinancialForce and Expensify can produce very sophisticated reporting environments to track individual project expenses and capture high-level cost and performance measures, he said.

The emphasis on third-party integrations at the Las Vegas user bears the fingerprints of CEO Tod Nielsen, who joined FinancialForce earlier this year from Salesforce, where he was in charge of platform partners. 

Watch out for further news from FinancialForce’s Community Live event on AccountingWEB’s technology page.

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Expend launches Xero integration

12 June - Fintech expenses startup Expend has announced an integration with Xero.

Expend, which offers a payment card and expenses management app primarily aimed at small companies, freelancers and contractors, has officially launched its Xero integration.

The company is also integrated with Crunch Accounting, and users of either software will see their data update instantly into their accounting system and will be able to export data from the app to a CSV file.

The Shoreditch-based firm’s automated system captures automatically any expenses information when paying using the Expend card, which is linked to an Expend account.

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Liberis integrates fintech with Xero

5 June - Card-based online finance provider Liberis has joined the Xero marketplace, making it possible to feed details of cash advances and repayments through to the online accounting system.

Liberis is an alternative financier that will advance anywhere from £2,500-£300,000 to business customers, and then collect repayments automatically via small percentages on every customer card transaction. The developer is the latest addition to join Xero’s growing portfolio of fintech companion apps.

Once the two applications are connected, Xero will automatically categorise the payments and let Liberis customers view repayments in real-time, making for easier reconciliation of bank accounts and liabilities.

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Aqilla updates advanced reporting suite

5 June - Mid-sized cloud accounting software house Aqilla has optimised its latest release to speed up reporting via Microsoft Excel.

At the heart of Aqilla release 1704 is “in-memory cache” technology that makes it possible to report large amounts of data more quickly. The cache holds the most frequently requested data in memory, which minimises query interchanges between Excel workbooks and the Aqilla server and ultimately increases the application’s performance.

To activate the new client reporting tool, users need to run Aqilla’s SharperLight Excel add-in and tick the Use Cache option on in the Cache menu section.

Aqilla’s application programming interface has been extended to make fixed assets reference data available to approved third party systems. Improvements have also been made to the debtor statement and payments processes.

Find out more about these updates here.

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Adaptive adds time modelling innovations

June 4 - Adaptive Insights has announced upgrades to its core cloud-based analytics and planning suite during its annual user conference in San Francisco. The new features include customiaable visual analytics and configurable time modelling.

The Adaptive Suite 2017.2 version allows accountants to personalise their own interactive dashboards including actuals, plans, forecasts and assumptions. The data also gives the the ability to drill-through to the underlying data.

The corporate performance management suite in the latest edition includes a new time modelling functionality that lets users model their planning calendars.

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