Online software review: Validis. By Nigel Harris

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Validis is a unique online accounts validation service that looks sure to make a big impact with both accountants and business owners.

It is the first of a number of software as a service (SaaS) solutions planned by developer Future Route, which has already put three years' work into the algorithms and technology behind Validis.

Validis: Key points

Hosted service for checking the quality and accuracy of accounts data using artificial intelligence algorithms.


  • Easy-to-use, no-frills online service
  • Graphical dashboard presents results in clear, digestible format
  • Materiality control can filter minor errors from results report
  • Analytical Review tab includes options for comparing P&L reports from different months; data can also be...

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04th Oct 2007 01:04

Anaylsis of Comples Complications
The Americans have a term for accountants "Bean Counters" and for the vast majority of businesses that is all that is required.
Count the beans coming in, count the beans going out.

Over complexity of the financial system such that it requires analysis to verify its integrity is an aberation of the focused objectives to produce accurate numbers to satisfy legal requirements with minimum analysis to drive the financial decisions to improve the "Bean Count".

The majority of small businesses don't need or understand such complex packages. What they most appreciate is a simple spreadsheet approach to their accounts with all transactions visible and simple statements of profitability.

The DIY Accounting products do just that. Templates written on excel spreadsheets, 100% transaction visibility. Totally impractical for plc companies of course. Not true but only due to the practically of recording volumes.
Example, Northern Rock Plc.
Brilliant technological treasury system - I should know since I spent 2 years as part of the team developing that developed the software just over 6 years ago but at the end of the day sophisticated software is no defence against the movement of beans coming in and flowing out.

Simple excel templates with accounting conventions installed is the highly desirable solution for 90% of the small business market.


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By Anonymous
03rd Oct 2007 09:34

Is the EXE signed ... ?
Because of the way in which this application seems to work '.. download a small utility from Validis and install on your PC ..' it should be imperative for the .EXE to be signed.

Any system that installs its own EXE which '.. system searches the default Sage data folders and gives you a list of available clients. The data set you select is then encypted and uploaded onto a secure web server ..' is potentially a high risk.

How do you actually know what the EXE is doing - it could be anything including harvesting passwords, personal data and so on ...

The only way to mitigate this risk is to ensure that the download is signed before installing - basically if it isn't then 'caveat emptor' and increase your PI accordingly

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04th Oct 2007 09:57

Yes the exe is signed

Thank you for your comments and we understand your concerns about internet security – that is why we have taken every step possible to ensure that the highest industry standards are adhered to in every part of the Validis system to give our users peace of mind.

To address the issue with the executable:

The executable we provide is signed by a Verisign certificate which is an industry standard for applications of this type. This:

Ensures the software came from the software publisher - Validis

Protects software from alteration after publication

As far as transferring data from the desktop to the application our software encrypts the data you upload on your PC, it then transfers them to a secure web account that cannot be accessed by any user other than the duly authorised owner of the account, at any time. Consequently it is protected and in a safe and secure environment at all times. For this we use secure sockets layer (SSL) technology. VeriSign is the leading secure sockets layer (SSL) Certificate Authority and we work with them. More information on our certificate can be found here:

Validis servers live in a state-of-the-art data centre in the United Kingdom, run by a leading provider of hosting services used by many top-tier commercial banks. Our hosting partner is fully SAS 70 compliant – the highest level of procedural and security audit available in the data hosting industry. In addition, we work closely with security specialists that regularly conduct controlled penetration tests against our network and systems.

The data that is uploaded from the accounting application is only a copy of the chart of accounts and the nominal ledger – no other data is taken from the users PC. We are building a business to assist people in the maintenance and production of good accounting records and so are not interested in any data that does not help in this goal.

In addition we are working very closely with leading trade bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to receive accreditation very shortly.

I hope this answers your questions but please feel free to contact me if you require more information. Contact details can be found at

Thanks for your interest and for raising a very important discussion point

Kind regards

Neil Deakin
Product marketing manager

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