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KashFlow launches Orbit for accountants

22nd Sep 2010
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Cloud bookkeeping software house KashFlow has unveiled a new system to cater for practitioners who want to work with clients’ accounts on the Web.

Called Orbit Accounts, the new system sits within a customisable web portal that connects clients using KashFlow into the accountant’s work area. The Orbit tools let accountants configure users’ charts of accounts and control the reports and modules they use. It also gives the accountant control over the chart of accounts and the ability to lock transactions.

Orbit supplements the core KashFlow bookkeeping engine and reflects a growing emphasis within the fast-growing software house to work with accountants. Orbit lets them co-brand the users’ accounting home page and a whitelabel version is available for firms that want to retain an independent identity.

Claiming to sign up 70 businesses a day to its free online trial, KashFlow said the majority don’t work with accountants. The sign up process will now include a referral process that will alert users about accountancy firms that use Orbit Accounts.

“Other accounting software vendors tend to just offer accountants pricing incentives to get them engaged with their products”, said KashFlow sales director Michelle Gorsuch. “We’ve gone a big step further by developing software that’s tightly integrated with our core KashFlow product and specifically tailored to assist the accountant in practice.”

In a video interview on his blog page, KashFlow managing director Duane Jackson said the new module was part of a long-term programme to overhaul the application’s user interface. Along with the new client portal, Jackson mentioned an application speed up data entry – a long-term issue that accountants and bookkeepers have raised about Cloud accounting applications.

The idea drew praise from Charles Verrier in’s Cloud computing discussion group. “SaaS apps are not great for the traditional data-entry tasks - but it's something that early Windows applications also had to deal with when faced with staff who could play their numeric keypad like a piano and didn't want to stop and click stuff with a mouse,” he said.

But other vendors questioned KashFlow’s approach. Most traditional accounting applications were designed around bookkeeping processes prevailed when paper was dominant. “Our instinctive expectations are informed by a software design workflow that involves paper, documents and manual entry,” argued Xero’s Gary Turner.

“It's still very painful to sit and manually key hundreds of transactions into an application just so that you can leverage the benefit of the application’s purpose,” said Xero’s Gary Turner.

Twinfield’s Mark Davies agreed that focusng on speed of data entry won’t transform back office efficiency.  “How much better if all invoices are converted into electronic format?” he asked. “Then the accounting system can understand the content and start to do the work for you.”
But Jackson was unapologetic for coming up with a feature his customers were asking for. “You can either be an idealist, tell the potential customer they're doing it the ‘wrong’ way and try to bring the world around to your way of thinking. Or you can accept that that's what the customer wants and develop something that works how they want it to. We're going to option 2, even if it does mean just a faster horse instead of a car,” he said.


Replies (2)

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By thacca
22nd Sep 2010 14:58

Batch data input screens

It appears to me that the main reason bookkeeping is slow on Kashflow/Xero is because both are designed to enter each invoice/receipt one at a time. Can a web page not handle a batch data input screen of the type used in sage that is an alternative input method?

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By SE_Confused
22nd Sep 2010 16:14

looks expensive

I have not tried online accounts software so far but is something I am looking at for the future.

I am not clear what this offers on top of the partner programme  or how it is different from


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