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CrunchBoards unleashes big April update

21st Apr 2016
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The forecasting and reporting add-on CrunchBoards has unveiled a major update for April centred on more carefully curating the user experience.

According to Amy Harris, co-founder of CrunchBoards, the new alerts dashboard is the big feature added with this update. “When you’re connected to Xero, for instance, CrunchBoards sucks in every piece of information, every scrap of data daily”, explained Harris. This real-time data is what allows you to set a client’s key performance indicators (KPIs).

The alerts dashboard aims to make monitoring these KPIs easier. “We’ve wrapped this alerts dashboard around all of the information imported from the accounting software”, said Harris.

The alerts dashboard will prod the accountant when a target has been hit or missed, and then alert the accountant when this happens. These alerts are in-app, meaning there’s no need to log into individual accounting software packages to check things manually. “The alerts will also come via email”, added Harris.

There are four core types of alerts you can create: Current (focusing on today), forecast (the future), account (financial), formula (financial and non-financial for both current and future data).

Other features

Among the updates is a new reporting library which houses a variety of chart types, including a few new ones.

Also added is the ‘proportion card’. This is the sixth addition to CrunchBoards’ cards offering. “Our new Proportion Card displays the data within a range as a proportion of the range total. This data can be displayed using either a pie or a doughnut chart”, wrote Helen Cockle, CrunchBoards’ UK country manager.

The library now includes a selection of templates by industry. This is a step forward in forecasting CrunchBoards’ attempt to become a practice growth tool. The industry specific templates are a nice touch if you’re speaking to a prospective client; there will a board that is specifically geared towards their sector. “It will allow you to show information that’s relevant to them”, said Harris.

Aside from the new charts, an update will allow you to use CrunchBoards’ payment profiles when you build your cash flow forecast. “They work with all methods, simply chose a single payment option, 30/60/90 days or create your own”, explained Cockle. “You can also have negative payment terms for any monies that have been paid/received before the invoice date.”

Do you use CrunchBoards? What do you make of the new release?

Replies (9)

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By query
21st Apr 2016 14:56

hmmmmmm

crunchboards sounds a bit gimmicky to put it politely. sounds like more hassle than it's worth.

 

surely a competent accountant can understand trends from the numbers?

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Francois
By Francois Badenhorst
22nd Apr 2016 11:54

Hi, Query

query wrote:

crunchboards sounds a bit gimmicky to put it politely. sounds like more hassle than it's worth.

 

surely a competent accountant can understand trends from the numbers?

Thanks for the comment, appreciate it. Obviously, I'm just a journalist - but I must admit, I've been hearing very positive things about CrunchBoards from accountants I've spoken to. I know Jessica Pillow of Pillow May is planning to make CrunchBoards a central part of her practice moving forward.

You're absolutely right, a competent accountant can understand trends from numbers. But can a client? If you're using cloud accounting, which is by its very nature a more collaborative process between business and accountant, then a forecasting engine that simplifies the process is a big help. It also helps accountants demonstrate their value and it looks nice. People love visual aids. 

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By query
22nd Apr 2016 11:51

more apps means just more costs

some apps are good but this one isn't essential is it?

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By Malcolm Veall
22nd Apr 2016 12:00

Live Charts & Alerts

query - I think you are missing the point - you, as an accountant can interpret data - but can you provide constantly live charts for your clients?

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Francois
By Francois Badenhorst
22nd Apr 2016 12:07

I think you're right, Malcolm

Malcolm Veall wrote:

query - I think you are missing the point - you, as an accountant can interpret data - but can you provide constantly live charts for your clients?

I know that I would love it if my accountant used a tool like CrunchBoards (doesn't have to be CrunchBoards). The forecasting space has become very competitive. Check it out, see what works best for your clients. 

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By tencollins
22nd Apr 2016 13:18

I use CrunchBoards and really like it

I use CrunchBoards within my Practice; every client get's a board whether they ask for one or not. The feedback has been very positive.

I probably only use about 30-40% of it though. The idea of having boards that update every 3 hours is great but the chances are that your client's don't do their bookkeeping that often and if they did, it might not be of the standard that you'd make a decision from. Also, not every client wants a forecast or a budget or alerts etc...

As a way of showing your client's their data in a way that isn't a list of numbers, it's fantastic and very easy to use. I tested Spotlight Reporting as well and that is also very good. It was being able to share the information via an app that swung it for me.

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By query
22nd Apr 2016 14:25

i take on the comments above but...

unless you're a large business, i don't see how this can benefit many contractors or small companies

 

my issue with forecasting software is... well i just think it's bad practice to rely upon it due to the uncertainties of what tomorrow's trading will bring etc (that's life)

 

i'm more of a actual break even or setting numerical targets person, forecasting just gives me sweaty palms!

 

 

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By newmoon
25th Apr 2016 10:49

How does CrunchBoards compare with Fathom?

How does CrunchBoards compare with Fathom for example (and other apps)?

I'm an accountant in practice and tried Fathom a couple of weeks ago, but thought it was too complicated for most small business needs. Also, unless the data was 100% up to date (and correct, so payroll journals posted etc.) it wouldn't be accurate ... obviously (!) and not Fathom's fault.

BUT I only looked for maybe 10 minutes so maybe I am missing something. I looked at it because a few months ago I saw an app that someone had on their iPad and used with Quickbooks (but I remember it worked with Xero also) and couldn't remember which one it was.

If there was a good KPI app out there, not too complicated, and not too expensive, then I'm interested, but I've not found it yet. 

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
25th Apr 2016 13:18

You can't be everything to everyone

Years ago, when trying to decide on the best HiFi (remember that) system to buy, the shop expert pointed out that many of the systems around pretty much did the same thing and produced the same output and so perhaps I should be thinking more of what speakers to invest in.

When looking at comparisons on here, and elsewhere, of the various Cloud accounting systems, the area that gets by far the biggest hits for praise & moans is Reports.  This was the main reason I dumped Sage in favour of QBs 20 years ago, but there are still evangelists for Sage's reporting, there is no perfect reporting function and any system that trys to match the wishes of all its users is destined to make a mess of it.

So this is where systems like Crunchboards, Fathom and Spotlight step in with their own sophisticated and tailorable speakers that can not only present the reports you want but can help with forecasting and cashflow, anther area sorely lacking in the basic products.

There are many firms out there that make do with what their chosen software can provide, and often resort to csv exports to DIY the reports they need for some clients, so, if they want more for some clients, one of these is an obvious add-on.

 

 

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