Russell Finex fixes it with FastClose for Reporting

and Month End Close over Epicor’s ERP

UK-based software firm FastClose is delighted to announce that Russell Finex, one of the world’s leading sieving and filtration specialists, has installed, and is using, FastClose over their Epicor ERP system.

Russell Finex, a worldwide leader in separation technology established in 1934, and which sells into over 140 countries across the globe, has purchased FastClose for financial reporting, and month end close, for its Epicor ERP system. www.RussellFinex.co.uk/en

Ken Armour, Russell Finex’s Finance Director, explained, “When we first saw Epicor we really liked the chart of accounts design, where you can have normal accounting segments but also the ability to stamp GL transactions with what Epicor calls dynamic segments.”

“However, once we started to implement Epicor, the dynamic element was never used, and we were left with a standard chart of accounts. We could not analyse GL transitions by product and customer, which is what we had planned to do originally.”

“We found out the reason. There was no easy way to report on these additional segments in standard Epicor. Fortunately, IT consultancy Clear Business Outcome introduced us to FastClose and showed us the product, and we could see that FastClose was what we needed to take advantage of these dynamic segments.”

Fabien Viallevieille,  Business Systems Analyst at Russell Finex, expanded further, “We took FastClose on trial, and what I liked from the get-go was all the video tutorials on their website. I was able to build our management reporting pack really quickly.”

“As well as the videos, FastClose also supplied starting templates that enabled us to build reports easily. Previously, we had been using a spreadsheet product that comes with Epicor and, interestingly, FastClose uncovered some missing accounts in a number of our reports. So, we ended up auditing all of our reports using FastClose.”

“We also found that FastClose was very stable. Using our previous spreadsheet tools, we often encountered errors when Windows was upgraded or when we tried to install on different PCs and share spreadsheets. FastClose comes with a database, called a repository, where all the reports can be published and saved.” “When a new accountant wants to run FastClose, we just link them to the repository, and all the reports are available. We are now in the process of replacing our management reports with FastClose.”

“The support we get is impressive as the team at FastClose is very responsive to suggestions and puts enhancements in the product quickly, which I like.”

Nick Gomersall, the CEO of FastClose, said, “Currently, when you buy Epicor, there are technical reporting tools that only people who know SQL – and how to join tables – can use. So each time a report is built, it is only for that customer.”

“FastClose takes all the suggestions from our customers and puts them in the standard product so that everyone benefits. A good example was when Russell Finex built a stock report. Currently, in the ERP database, the movements of stock do not follow the correct debits and credits, so you have to run an Epicor report as of today to get a stock figure.”

“However, with FastClose we can build conditional calculations and get the right sign for movement of stock for each transaction type; it was something that was needed for stock reconciliation and “As Of” reporting. We can now give this to all our customers.”

Fabien Viallevieille added, “The speed of getting data back was also very impressive as well as the drill down to the transactions for audit purposes. FastClose connects directly to the Epicor database, so there is no need to stage the data or run an overnight batch update to another database. It’s truly real-time.”

“We can also monitor the hit on that database as they have an audit option that shows you exactly how long it has used the database. So far, we have not noticed any impact on the server when running Epicor.”

Finally, Ken Armour concluded, “It was great to have FastClose on trial as you can gauge the ROI before you buy. Following our success with FastClose, we have plans to do our management and statutory consolidation with them as well.”

“Recently they brought in the account mapping tables which enables us to restate the chart of accounts from one company to our standard chart. This is great for countries like France and Belgium where you have – by law – to use the government chart of account, the ‘Plan Comptable’.”

“This is a much better feature than with standard Epicor as you don’t have to re-post all the current transactions and history into another book which duplicates everything.