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Tech Lowdown: FCA, IRIS, Pixie, Hexagon and more


This week’s roundup features Pixie’s public workflow template library, Hexagon’s AI invoice capture, an IRIS partnership and FCA cyber and financial crime staff training.

18th May 2021
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Pixie releases public workflow template library

Practice management software pixie has launched Workflow Template Library to offer firms ‘out-of-the-box templates’ to start using straight away. Templates include key services (bookkeeping and tax), processes (onboarding), app partners, and marketing and sales.

Firms can browse the expanding collection of templates for different services, processes, and apps to improve workflow management. Contributors include James Ashford, Satago, Fathom, Reza Hooda, Heather Townsend and Simon Chaplin.

Pixie customers can also share their workflow templates with other firms. Templates are built in Pixie but firms can opt to rebuild them in any app of their choosing. The workflow template library is publicly available.

Hexagon software launches AI-powered invoice capture

Financial and property management software solution Hexagon Software has introduced a new AI-powered intelligent invoice capture solution. Available as part of the company’s hosted platform Hexagon Cloud, it offers cost savings by reducing manual processing time by up to 80% and provides greater control and visibility of invoices across the organisation.

Processing time is reduced by using Google’s AI engine to automatically locate all relevant data from emailed invoices regardless of individual layouts with an accuracy rate in excess of 90%. The solution identifies where particular information is located on invoices and automatically posts the data directly into Dream, Hexagon’s financial accounting software solution. 

Any unread invoices are placed in an exceptions queue for individual review and are automatically tagged to speed up the retrieval process and cross-reference to other relevant documents stored in the system. Supplier invoices that contain order numbers are automatically matched to purchase invoices according to predefined criteria and processing is carried out according to individual business rules. 

Authorised approvers are automatically notified of invoices that require their attention via email for authorisation from any internet-enabled location on any device. When approved, invoice values are automatically uploaded to Dream or other financial systems including SAP, Oracle, Sun, JDE, Movex, Navision and Sage.

IRIS partners with Western Union 

IRIS Software Group has partnered with Western Union Business Solutions – the payments arm of cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments leader Western Union Company (NYSE: WU). A five-year international partnership has been announced with plans to offer simplified global payroll and payments solutions worldwide.

“Globalisation, increased legislation, and the acceleration of digital technology are propelling multinational and global organisations to reimagine their payroll operations,” said Western Union Business Solutions regional Europe vice president Frederic Simon. “The need to ensure they can pay international employees on time, in the right currency, with confidence and ease has become table stakes.

“Our collaborative partnership with IRIS FMP will help provide an end-to-end enhanced value proposition and strengthen our commitment to accommodate the payroll and payments needs for global organisations.”

FCA sends staff on cyber and financial crime training courses 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has sent 4,430 of its employees on compulsory cyber and information security courses over the past two financial years – (FY 19-20 and FY 20-21) – to help combat the growing threat of financial crime, such as money laundering and fraud, according to official figures.

This data was obtained via The Parliament Street think tank under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. The FCA revealed that as well as the ‘Cyber and Information Security’ eLearning course, which is compulsory for all staffers to complete, 217 participants were also enrolled on locally organised security courses for more advanced training.

The additional training courses included Cyber Security training with a Counter Threat Unit; Software and Cyber Security development programmes, and additional courses titled ‘The Cyber Security Degree: the Next Step in Cyber’, and ‘The First Byte’.

It is unclear how many of the total attendees for the locally organised training courses had attended multiple sessions, or what the programmes specifically involved.

Tom Blomfield turns to angel investing

Last year, Monzo CEO stepped down as both CEO and later as director. Earlier this year, he removed himself from the company altogether, saying that he was not happy and that his role was a strain on his mental health.

Since then, Blomfield has been experimenting with angle investing. In the last few months, he has quietly backed four startups, including payroll automation provider Pento, digital bank Cordless (funded by two ex Monzo employees), and an unnamed consumer subscription business currently in stealth mode, founded by serial entrepreneur Greg Marsh. 

“It’s not so much that I know anything about [Pento’s] market fit. It’s more that I know what it’s like growing from 50 to 500 people. There are repeatable lessons in that scaling journey,” Blomfield told Sifted, explaining his motivation for investing in Pento.

Perhaps surprisingly, Blomfield has no plans to focus on the fintech sector with future investments and intends to make around seven to eight investments across a variety of sectors during the course of 2021.

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