McCoy Global Consolidates on FastClose for Epicor ERP Reporting

 

 

McCoy Global, a product and service provider for the international oil and gas industry, headquartered in Edmonton, Canada, has become the first North American customer for FastClose – a UK-based provider of Accounting Intelligence software for Epicor’s ERP software.

McCoy Global is a leading provider of equipment and technologies used for making up threaded connections in the global oil and gas industry.  The company has now partnered up with FastClose, the Accounting Intelligence firm making its name for Epicor-based reporting software. The initial tie-up between the two organisations focuses on translation of foreign entities and consolidation reporting.

Harold Ducote, Operational Systems Manager, explained the nature of the tie-up. “We had an issue with consolidation. McCoy Global is a public company, and we needed to translate our subsidiary companies into a particular format that we could not do in Epicor. This previously meant that we had to build everything in Excel.

“Signing into the Epicor user group forum, I noticed a thread that was asking for products that can cater for multi-company analysis and consolidation in Epicor. FastClose was recommended by two of their customers, so I made contact.

“FastClose allow a free trial, and so they emailed us the software, and we installed it in less than 15 minutes. We were up and running very quickly as the product comes with pre-defined templates for GL, AR, AP, SOP, POP, and Inventory.

“Immediately, I could see this was going to be a great help to our accounting team, so I got our Director of Finance, Sharon Abraham, involved.”

Sharon expanded on Harold’s comments further. “When I first looked at the software, it had a familiar look and feel to a product I had used before – InsightSoftware – at my last company when we ran JD Edwards. I then learned that the people behind FastClose were the same people that had been involved with InsightSoftware, so the learning curve on the software was minimal for me. I was so excited to see this functionality now running over to Epicor.

“For our proof of concept, we asked FastClose to help with the reporting translation of our foreign entities as well as the consolidation of the total company as it was not straightforward.”

Nick Gomersall, CEO of FastClose, explained, “The majority of consolidation systems can translate on a period-by-period basis the P&L at one rate, the balance sheet at another rate, plus plugin fixed values for historical accounts. However, what McCoy Global wanted to do was, as well as the historical accounts at a fixed rate, the P&L needed to be translated on a period-by-period basis, while the balance sheet needed to be done on the period cumulative numbers at the balance sheet rate. We then needed to sum up the P&L accounts to make them cumulative, and then run a cumulative TB to find the exchange translation gain or loss.

“Once we calculated this variance, it then had to plug this back to the P&L on a period basis by subtracting the current cumulative period by last month’s cumulative number. Interesting to say the least! Now McCoy Global’s consolidation runs in just minutes by using runtime variables that change the exchange rates and drop in the fixed values for historical accounts like retained earnings. The FastClose consolidation engine does the rest.”

Sharon commented further, “Not only has this saved us a great deal of time at month end, but it has also eliminated the risk that comes along with working on manually intensive spreadsheets.   We are so pleased we have found FastClose. We have bought all of the FastClose modules as we want to roll them out to the accounting department. FastClose are also releasing their security module soon, which will enable us to publish reports to more individuals and ensure that they only see the data they are allowed to see. Plus we can restrict access to modifying reports.

“FastClose has an extensive roadmap as they know what needs to be done. They have already had experience in JD Edwards and Oracle EBS, and are now bringing this unique functionality to the Epicor World in order to bridge the gap between Excel and Business Intelligence systems.”

Nick concludes, “We give a free trial as we want people to know what they are buying, and how it addresses the real issues that they have. Currently, Epicor has around six reporting tools that all do different things. Once you have gone through all of them, you then realise none of them addresses the issue of month- and year-end close. So, a number of these products end up as shelfware and IT then have to come in and build ad hoc reports using SQL or SSRS which distracts from their main job of managing the IT infrastructure and ERP system.

“FastClose has been designed to be easy to use which ensures it gets adopted by the accounting team and they do not have to rely on IT.

“We are really delighted to have McCoy Global as our first North American customer. We are especially pleased with how they want to work with us on further developments and have given us great feedback on the product.”

Why Luceco bought FastClose

 

 

8 Hours of Work Cut to 2 minutes: Colourtrend chooses FastClose for Brighter Epicor Sales Reporting and Analysis

Colourtrend, Ireland’s leading premium paint company, has chosen Epicor-focussed Accounting Intelligence company FastClose to expand their operational reporting for sales analysis, and beyond. 
 
Sinead McCarthy, Financial Director of Colourtrend, explained, “We first met FastClose at an Epicor user group when they were just starting up. At the time, their product looked really easy to use but only ran over Epicor's General Ledger; we wanted it to run over Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Inventory, and we were surprised at how quickly they were able to do this.
 
“We then challenged them to replace two of our most difficult reports, one of which was month- and year-to-date sales, by volume and value, for all of our product groups by individual product. 
 
“Normally, this report would take us a day to build. It is used by all of the sales and management team and is a key report. The challenge with the report is having to consolidate part transfer information, ship to data, and AR information, which the tools we had at the time could not do automatically. 
 
“FastClose stepped up to the plate and we now run this report in 2 minutes!”
 
 
Ms. McCarthy continued, “Also, by using FastClose, we have total flexibility for bringing in additional information like customer, plus other dimensions, and can now start to expand the sales analysis report rather than giving the minimum information that management need.
 
“An added bonus is that you can publish the report out to members of the management team and there are runtime parameters that allow you to change the period and year on the fly. So, now, we won’t be asked all the time for this information as it is self-service. Even more time saved.
 
“The benefit to us is we have now freed up time and can start to use FastClose for other key management reports. We are rolling out FastClose to all of our accounts and sales teams and can see that this tool will give us the management information that we need going forward.” 
 
FastClose offers specialist reporting software that links directly to the Epicor database and gives unprecedented access to data. It is designed to be super easy-to-use, with the product up and running in a few hours leading to a rapid ROI. FastClose is designed to bridge the gap between complex and costly BI tools and uncontrolled spreadsheets. 
 
Nick Gomersall, CEO of FastClose, expanded on the Colourtrend-FastClose tie-up
 
“As a start-up company, we were really lucky that Colourtrend took us on. We wanted to be stretched and get feedback on the key tables and joins that they needed to report over.
 
“What is great is that this type of report is now a basic template for all other FastClose users to use. Everything we do for our customers benefits all the others, and just pushes the product on.
“Our design criteria are that FastClose must be easy to install and use from the get go.
 
“We can install FastClose in under 30 minutes, and as we have standard templates for most of the core Epicor modules, users will be building high level multi-dimensional reports with drill down to the detailed transactions by the end of the day, something that is very rare in software today.” 
 
Ms. McCarthy concluded: 
 
“FastClose has a really user-friendly interface and we can also export information into Excel, but additionally there is a real-time plugin into Excel. This allows users to access saved reports from FastClose and to change period, year, product or any dimension that is in the report directly in Excel, giving real-time information every time you hit the refresh button. 
 
“We are looking forward to working with FastClose to expand the management reporting which we will need as we grow as a company.”
 

FastClose partners with Clear Business Outcome for a brighter Epicor Finance future

 

FastClose and Clear Business Outcome (CBO), an Epicor business partner, have joined forces to deliver better management information and setup for Epicor ERP 9 and 10. CBO will now be offering FastClose to clients looking to implement cutting-edge Accounting Intelligence.

Nick Gomersall, CEO of FastClose, explained the tie up, “We are really excited to be working with CBO as they will be helping Epicor customers to implement Epicor’s Financial system to its full potential; something that will enable customers to take advantage of all the great features of Epicor and FastClose.”

FastClose is a multi-dimensional reporting and enquiry tool that benefits from the 20 segments in the Epicor chart of accounts to achieve better and faster management information which, until now, rarely gets used. Add to this multi-company, currency, and books, and a powerful finance system is created where FastClose can slice across dimensions to offer unparalleled analysis of the business.

Gomersall continued, “Customers, and prospects that we have engaged with, had little idea that Epicor was so powerful. They have been struggling to get the management information they need, to close the month and year end.”

Damien Sullivan, CEO of Clear Business Outcome, offered further insights.

“FastClose is a unique product and fills the critical gap between spreadsheets, Business Intelligence tools, and report writers. Firstly, it is easy to use as it comes configured with predefined templates for General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Sales and Purchase Orders. This means that once it is installed – which only takes around 30 minutes – the customer is using the product the very same day and getting value immediately.

“Until FastClose came around, there was no need to have the GL populated with lots of segments as there was no tool that could take advantage of them! Companies would install the bare minimum and focus on distribution and manufacturing; they’d leave the finance team struggling for information they needed at month end.

 

 

“Epicor’s Chart of Accounts is very powerful and has the capability to auto-populate segments using posting rules; if you wanted the Vendor number as a segment, this can be done every time an AP invoice is posted, automatically. The same is true with Employee, Customer, Project and nearly any dimension you need to analyse.

“With FastClose you can quickly analyse ‘Vendor spend’ across cost centres and employees. It’s the same for product profitability by customer, and so on. Not only does FastClose run over the GL, but also over the major sub-ledgers where the same powerful consolidation and Multi-Dimensional capabilities are used.

“We were really impressed with FastClose not only because it offers analysis and drilldown to very detailed transactions, but because of its speed of implementation and ease of use. It’s a must have product that complements existing reporting tools hugely effectively.”

Nick Gomersall offered a final take.

“CBO and FastClose is a great tie up. CBO has the skillset to implement Epicor to its full capability, and help customers understand dynamic segments, posting rules, and multiple books.

“Working with CBO is a breath of fresh air; they don’t want to control and bill customers for building and maintaining reports, with FastClose the control flows back to the customer. CBO want to empower their customers and make Epicor work better for them and deliver real business benefits that add to the company’s value.

“Looking ahead, Epicor 10.1 now has multiple budgets and forecast ledgers, plus statistical accounts that can be used for allocations of fixed overheads across products and customers. CBO and FastClose can help customers take advantage of these fantastic new features.

“I have no doubt that the partnership between FastClose and CBO will help customers achieve clear business outcomes!”

Clear Business Outcome

Clear Business Outcome Ltd. is an Epicor ERP consultancy company; it has a large and knowledgeable team which has over 300 years of combined Epicor experience. They specialise in delivering value to their customers by aligning the ERP system with robust and consistent business processes designed to achieve the company's goals.

For more information, please visit www.clearbusinessoutcome.com or contact them by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call on 01947841232.

Accounting Intelligence Provider FastClose partners with Home Furnishing Retailer Julian Charles to Deliver Real-Time Epicor-Based Management Information

 

FastClose, a specialist accounting intelligence software company, based in the UK, is pleased to announce its tie-up with Epicor ERP customer Rectella – the bedding, curtains, and home furnishings specialist better known as Julian Charles.

Currently running Epicor ERP 9, Rectella was one of the first customers to take FastClose on trial and, in turn, helped FastClose develop their offering by supplying real-world, functionality-led feedback on their month- and year-end requirements.

Diane Lealand, Financial Accountant, explained, “Finance teams don’t have the time to learn complex tools. Nor do they want consultants to come in and build reports that only they know how to modify. That’s why you see most management accountants living in Excel and building mission-critical spreadsheets to run the business. Everyone knows Excel, and there is no learning curve.

“However, Excel has its limitations in terms of data accuracy and control. Spreadsheets are built by people, and if they leave, their knowledge of macros, structure and logic leaves with them.

“We need an easy-to-use tool that will help us close the month-end and produce business information providing 100% accuracy. FastClose hit the mark.

“The product has come on in leaps and bounds since we first installed it, and we are rolling it out throughout the finance team.

“The key thing is to get Epicor set up right as FastClose takes advantage of our two dynamic segments: Customers and Employees. We can quickly see profitby Customer, and Employee Expenseanalysis, plus we can now build powerful hierarchies across all the business dimensions, something you only get in complex and expensive BI tools.

“We are also exploring using FastClose to leverage Epicor’s multi-book feature for example by holding accounting period data in one book, and weekly trading information in another, as well as using a third book to manage the eliminations for statutory accounts with FastClose simply consolidating these through its calculation engine.”

Julian Charles is one of the UK’s leading home furnishing companies and has grown, in its 70-yearhistory, to boast more than 180 stores and concessions and a class-leading online business, www.juliancharles.co.uk

Andrew Davis, Rectella’s Commercial Finance Director, offered more about Epicor and FastClose.

“Epicor is a very powerful accounting system but seldom gets used to its full potential.  With the arrival of tools like FastClose, businesses can take advantage of the many dynamic segments, multi-company currency, and multi-book features that exist within the Epicor product.

“Previously, you were advised to install the bare minimum in the GL and then try to get at the data through SSRS, BPM’s, and dashboards, which is much harder than if everything resides automatically in the GL. By comparison, something like dynamic segments are really great, as they give you automatic analysis of your GL transactions.

“Add to this all the additional books which can map from source transactions and repost into different calendars and charts of accounts, if needed, and it is clear that Epicor is a very powerful accounting solution.

“We want to take advantage of more dynamic segments as FastClose is a multi-dimensional enquiry and reporting tool. It can roll up all the transactions and balance them in many different dimensions, or a combination of them. This is something that you need if you are trying to build a P&L and requires, for example, a specific combination of account codes, cost centres, and customers in a hierarchy node.

“BI tools can take a fair amount of time to implement effectively, but FastClose comes preconfigured against the Epicor 9 and 10 databases, so you get the benefit as soon as you install it. We are moving from ERP 9 to 10 and FastClose can connect to both databases at the same time and run reports side-by-side that will help us reconcile our data during the upgrade. There are no ETL tools to worry about or tables to join; it’s all been done by FastClose upfront. We are now planning to expand our use of Epicor thanks to FastClose and look forward to the additional features that are on FastClose’s roadmap as well.

Andrew also had some words of wisdom regarding Excel.

“Although we recognise the issues with ‘building spreadsheets for everything’,FastClose knows that Excel will always be needed in some form. The software has export to Excel capability and a full plugin that allows users to change dimensions on the fly to provide real-time information in Excel, giving us the best of both worlds!”