We started 2019 with one of our biggest feature releases (KPIs) and we ended with another (Advanced Account Trees). It’s been a big year for us at Calxa and, from the feedback you’ve given us, it’s been good for you too. Here’s a recap in case you missed anything and a sneak preview of what’s on the Calxa Roadmap 2020.
Calxa Releases for 2019 in Review
KPIs are an important component of any set of management reports but, while every business is the same in many ways, we are all unique too. And so are the relevant KPIs that vary from business to business. They vary too within the one business at different stages of the lifecycle. In the early days you might be chasing sales at any cost. But, as you grow you start to focus on profit and then cashflow.
In order to help you get the right KPIs when you need them, we released the KPI Editor in January. This calculator empowers you to create your own KPIs based on Account Groups or Non-Financial Metrics. You can keep them simple or you can have complex formulas covering multiple lines. The choice is now yours!
NDIA Bulk Claims
Our smaller clients in the disability services sector needed a way to upload invoice information from MYOB AccountRight to the NDIA portal. We provided a simple process that was quick too, reducing the administration of NDIS claims. One Calxa customer now gets payment in the bank the day after doing the work. We love hearing that.
Statement of Cash Flows
While our main focus with cash flow has always been forecasting the future, there are times when it makes sense to review the past. For this reason, the Statement of Cashflows has always been a staple of the accountant’s toolkit. We provided an easy method to allocate accounts to the different types by just dragging and dropping from one column to another.
Invite Free Advisor
No man is an island, as John Donne famously observed and, similarly, we all need help sometimes when managing our businesses. As a Calxa user, you can now invite your accountant or bookkeeper or one of our partners as your Free Advisor. They can help you set up your system, review your budgets or advise you on your reports. Inviting them as a Free Advisor is completely free and does not impact your subscription capacity.
Accounting System Budgets
Many of our new customers come to us with budgets already in their accounting system, be it MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks. While there is more flexibility in editing budgets in Calxa, we understand that sometimes it makes sense to continue to maintain them in the accounting system but update that information to Calxa for reporting purposes. So that’s exactly what we did. If you want to copy the accounting system budget to a Calxa budget, simply use the Budget Factory to do just that.
Most of us like to save our monthly reports so that we can look back on them at any time in the future. In the middle of this year, we added the ability to publish and save them, with the numbers as they were at that point in time. You can create a folder within Calxa and park them there. You can then go back at any time to review or reprint them.
3-Way Forecast Bundle Kit
Our accountants especially, but also businesses seeking to keep their bank happy, have long used Calxa to produce a 3-way forecast. This fully integrated report includes a Cashflow, Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss forecast for the next 12 months. We’ve made that easier this year with a bundle kit with a set of reports and charts ready to go. Just Create a New Bundle, select the organisation and budget and it’s done in no time at all!
Copy and Paste in Budgets – and Comments
The ability to copy and paste information has been one of the foundations of personal computing since the days of Wordstar and Visicalc. It’s now possible in the Calxa Budget Builder, along with the ability to add comments to individual cells or groups of them (and import and export them to a spreadsheet).
While many people are most comfortable reporting on a financial year, there are times when you need more flexibility and we added that to our KPI and Accounts charts this year. You can now report by month, quarter or year and you decide how many periods to include. This is perfect, for example, for when you want a rolling 13-month report that shows the same month last year and the trends in between.
Advanced Account Trees
It was way back in 2011 when we first introduced the concept of Account Trees to Calxa, giving you the ability to restructure the rows in your reports, independently of the chart of accounts. Not much changed in the intervening years. But now that we did make some changes, it provoked responses like, “Amazing!”. What’s all the fuss about? If you missed it, we expanded the ability to add top level categories and running totals, summary-only headers and the option to move accounts between any account type. We’ve written up 7 Uses for Account Trees to give you some ideas to get started.
Looking Forward to the Calxa Roadmap 2020
While 2019 is drawing to a close, the work doesn’t stop. Here is a sneak preview of the Calxa Roadmap 2020. The team are busy building new features to save you time and make your reporting easier. What we focus on is driven mostly by your feedback and requests so keep them coming!
Budgeting for loans can be complex, especially when you want to accurately split principal and interest each month. This one is coming soon!
True Multi-Currency Consolidation
Using a simple consolidation rate such as we have done for the past few years is satisfactory for many of our customers. It’s good enough when exchange rates are stable and your purpose is internal management reporting.
However, when rates are changing over time, you have statutory reporting requirements or you need to report to external stakeholders such as investors, that approach isn’t good enough. Very soon we’ll be introducing variable rates by month and applying them using standard accounting methods.
With the imminent upgrade of our last few charts to work for consolidated entities, we are confident that we will then have the best reporting solution for consolidation – without exception.
It’s not just the young kids who like dashboards! They are a great way to display data graphically. The Calxa Roadmap 2020, focuses early in expanding the range of dashboards available in Calxa and add a designer so you can customise both the content and the look and feel.
As a Calxa user, you probably still have to resort to a spreadsheet occasionally for a complex budget calculation. Those days will soon be over though (unless your needs are really, really complex). With the introduction of Budget Formulas in the first half of 2020, you’ll be able to set budgets based on other accounts, other periods and other business units. Perhaps most importantly for flexibility, you’ll be able to incorporate non-financial Metrics in your budgets, making driver-based budgeting practical for everyone.
Daily Cashflow Forecasting
Forecasting cashflow month by month is important for your long-term success and strategic planning. There are times though, when you need to watch your bank balance day by day, week by week. We’ll have something to make this easier for you towards the middle of the year.
Don’t hold us to the name on this one! One of our strengths has always been the simplicity and ruggedness of our links to accounting systems. You don’t need to create accounts, business units or tax codes in Calxa because we use the work you’ve already done in MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks. However, not everyone uses those systems and they still want to do better reporting. One of our big projects for the second half of 2020 will be to help those of you who want to build a reporting system without linking to any accounting system. Watch this space for more updates.
MYOB Advanced – Reporting for ERP users
Once the standalone version of Calxa is up and running, we will be putting our focus on some key integrations. Linking with ERP systems like MYOB’s Advanced ERP will satisfy many of our more recent requests. Cashflow forecasting is vital to businesses in this sector and, while Advanced has a fairly flexible report writer, many users will benefit from the out-of-box automation provided by Calxa’s reports.
The Less Sexy in the Calxa Roadmap 2020
Better Reports, Improved Usability, Faster Performance – these are the ongoing tasks that we continually chip away at. As you know from our past releases, we are regularly adding new and improved reports to give you more choice and flexibility in your monthly reporting. And while we strive to make Calxa easy to use, we know we can always do better so talk to us about what frustrates you and we’ll find a way to fix it.
Infrastructure improvements are the less glamorous ones but the ones that you’ll miss if we don’t do them! We doubled our user numbers in 2019 and we’re planning to do that again in 2020. There’s always someone in the team monitoring performance and looking at ways to eliminate bottlenecks and keep things running smoothly for you.
Big Event in 2020 – Our Birthday
On July 1 next year, it will be 10 years since we launched Calxa. If you’re in Townsville on that day, drop in for some cake or a glass of something! Thanks for contributing to our success over the last decade. We couldn’t have done it without your feedback.