Cloud Watch: New cloud CFO automates consolidation

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AccountingWEB’s November Cloud Watch features a spreadsheet consolidation tool, a new KashFlow Windows app and enhancements from BlackLine.

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New tool automates consolidation process

23 November: Birmingham-based cloud-mongers Synapse has introduced its cloud CFO solution to automate group financial consolidation, reporting and forecasting.

Developed with a £500,000 investment from a UK government smart grant, this cloud-based technology instantly updates, synchronises and formats financial data that has previously been processed on Excel without users having to leave the comfort of their spreadsheets.

While other software companies have spent millions trying to prise accountants away from their spreadsheets, Synapse have taken a ‘if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em approach’, and claim that their tool transforms financial reporting by reducing the time taken to report on complicated group structures from days to minutes.

Cloud CFO leverages the power of an industrial database and combines it with the simplicity of a spreadsheet interface to solve a problem that apparently affects 20% of group companies in the UK that use spreadsheets for the monthly consolidation and production of management accounts. According to Synapse, the result of using the tool is improved collaboration by connecting users so that they only see data in real time and improved data quality and validity backed by a full audit trail.

Commenting on the launch Brian Donnelly, chief executive of Synapse, said: “One of the biggest problems facing groups that have acquired new companies or branches over a period of time, is a lack of uniformity of reporting and presentation. Cloud CFO solves the problem by reconciling existing spreadsheets and other disparate data sources (such as MS Access and core ERP) into one affordable solution.”

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IRIS Software launches KashFlow Windows app

22 November: IRIS Software has announced the launch of its KashFlow Windows app, a direct result of its partnership with Microsoft.

The launch ensures the KashFlow app works on more than 400 million devices running on Windows 10, allowing businesses and their accountants to move between laptops, mobiles and tablets.

Steve Cox, product director at IRIS Software, believes the partnership with Microsoft will help UK SMEs take one step closer to HMRC’s Making Tax Digital mandate.

“The accountancy industry is in the midst of a tremendous evolution and with Making Tax Digital just around the corner,” said Cox, “it’s vital accountants and their businesses are utilising the tools available to them to simplify this journey. The KashFlow Windows app will do exactly that – offering a modern, seamless user experience on any compatible device.”

Mark Deakin, platform evangelist at Microsoft, added: “No longer will KashFlow users need to load up internet browser on their connected device and log-in to the service online. The launch of this app brings bookkeeping to the user, rather than the other way around. Having the icon on the start screen of any type of Windows device will ensure cash flow management is at the forefront of their minds, which in turn supports the request of HMRC for more frequent account submissions.”

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BlackLine enhancements

17 November: At BlackLine’s annual user conference in Los Angles, InTheBlack LA, the cloud financial software vendors unveiled several product announcements to meet the demands of a modern-day member of the finance team.

Highlights of BlackLine’s updated platform functionality include:

  • An enhanced reporting framework – historically, software users have become used to building reports manually, often accessing information via multiple data pulls and then exporting the data to Excel to analyse it. BlackLine customers can now access extremely large amounts of data instantly, enabling customers to generate custom reports within seconds from within the BlackLine application screen where they are working
  • Enhanced navigation menu bar – with a new update look and feel, BlackLine’s navigation tool now combines an intuitively organised menu with enhanced system search capabilities and represents the first of many graphical interface enhancements planned to be phased in over the next year to improve the overall user experience
  • Optimised connector for SAP ERP and transaction clearing – a customer running SAP ERP may have millions of open items, often requiring lengthy analysis as part of the reconciliation process and also manual effort to clear these items after analysis. Without BlackLine, the manual process of analysing this information can often lead to transactions that are written off or inaccurately left open. BlackLine’s updated connector for SAP ERP is now able to automatically clear open items in SAP ERP, delivering an end-to-end solution to automate the analysis, reconciliation and clearing of open items


We’re always on the hunt for cloud! If you or your company has any cloud products you think could feature in December’s cloud watch, email them through to technews [at]

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