Everything cloud is very trendy and fashionable these days but that’s not the reason we’ve been adding online capabilities to Calxa. The focus with Calxa Online are Automated Workflows, Triggers and Collaboration.
Having your data online has real benefits that can make a difference to your life – it makes collaboration and sharing easier, it makes automation easier and it keeps your data safe (yes, in most cases, your data is safer online than on your laptop).
The Past – Data Accessed Online
Online workspaces have been available in Calxa for almost 12 months now and we know that hundreds of you have taken advantage of this to enjoy the sharing and collaboration and remote access benefits. Business owners have been able to easily invite their advisors to review their budgets and reports; accountants and bookkeepers have shared access to Calxa workspaces with their clients to discuss plans and fine-tune budgets. This is so much easier when both can be looking at the same data simultaneously. Online workspaces can be accessed from any computer running Calxa software – similar to the way MYOB’s AccountRight Live works.
The Present – Automated Workflows
Last month and this month see the introduction of powerful report automation feature to Calxa. The first of these was the scheduling of updates from your accounting software. If your Calxa data is online, you no longer need to click the Update button and wait – just schedule the timing that suits you. When you arrive in the office in the morning you can have all of your organisations updated and ready to go, whether you have 1 or 100.
This month, we’re adding to the same workflow engine the ability to schedule the delivery of reports: you’ll be able to create a workflow which will update your organisation(s) from the accounting system and then email a report bundle to yourself, your client, your bank or whoever you choose. And, if it happens that there are no budgets in the system, Calxa will give you the option to auto-create a budget based on last year’s actuals.
This automation fundamentally changes the way Calxa works for a small business owner. Previously, you had to remember, in the midst of your busy schedule, to open Calxa each month and run your reports. With a bundle that may have only been one click but you still had to remember to do it. Now, with auto-updates, auto-budgets and auto-delivery of reports and insights, all you need to do is read your email every week or month to see how your business is tracking. And if a copy of the reports also goes to the accountant or bookkeeper, there are 2 sets of eyes to review and identify any upcoming problems.
To get started follow the Automation and Workflows Help Note.
The Future – Alerts and Dashboards
While we’ve built our workflow engine with the flexibility to create alerts based on a wide range of triggers, that’s not currently our highest priority. We’ll have more on that in the New Year. Coming very soon will be a new, modern dashboard to give organisations (and their accountants) the information they need to understand the business. It will show where the business has been and where it’s going.
Then, the roadmap will focus onto the mundane stuff. Things like editing budgets and all the setup processes will be made available online. What we’re not going to do is simply replicate the desktop product online. We have some big ideas on how creating budgets can be done in a way that combines flexibility, depth and ease of use.
We’re well aware that not everyone lives in a big metropolis like us with 100Mbs NBN connections. Talking to James, one of our farmer clients in Tasmania, he experiences terrible lag over his satellite connection when trying to do any data entry. For now, he gets some of the benefits of the online world by simply placing his local Calxa file in a Dropbox folder.
In the future, we’ll design our online interface so that it does work well at slow speeds – and give customers like James the option to edit in the desktop app while running reports from the browser.
Different people have different needs and we are working on providing our customers with tools suitable to their needs and their individual situations.
Other New Stuff
Other improvements in our September release will include refinements to the NDIA Portal upload. We have also been fine-tuning the NZ Charity Report Bundle templates and a number of reporting changes. The Accounts by Business Unit chart will handle consolidated groups now. And, cashflow reports will show a reconciliation of the closing bank position, the Profit and Loss Statement gets Business Unit filtering and we’re adding some more 5 and 10 year reports.