Elstead Lighting Illuminates Inventory, Sales Orders and Returns using FastClose

Elstead Lighting, a British company that specialises in the manufacturing and distribution of decorative lighting, has now added Accounting Intelligence software from FastClose – running over Elstead’s Epicor platform – to monitor company sales and inventory in real-time.

Richard Muller, group financial manager at Elstead, explained the rationale behind the move.


Our CFO had experience of FastClose in another company and asked me to investigate. I liked that they allowed us to trial the software before we made a purchasing decision to ensure that FastClose was a good fit. FastClose is well-known for its financial reporting, but what surprised me was the depth of modules that they have, and our most pressing requirement was the monitoring of sales orders and stock.

FastClose has developed templates that have worked out all the tables and joins required to build powerful reports over most of the Epicor modules, so there was no need to build any BAQs which require technical expertise. We were able to run live FastClose reports on orders, deliveries, invoices, jobs completed, and returns. What was impressive was that you could run these reports live and in real-time directly in Excel. This enabled us to build powerful reports that combined all these reports into one summary, a summary that could provide us with information that we previously could not get.

Current FastClose Modules

One of FastClose’s main assets is the speed with which information can be made to work. Richard added :


Daily information was important, and FastClose has a bucketing system that enabled me to build daily buckets – on any date – so I could then have visibility on when orders shipped and when they were promised; plus all the relevant information like returns, delivery, and invoices.

We then moved onto the inventory templates and were able to build reports on transaction types to monitor the manufacturing to stock by transaction type. They also have an “As of Stock” report to go back in time to reconcile to the GL… something that Epicor doesn’t provide.

Nick Gomersall, FastClose’s CEO, explained more :


Most people would think of FastClose as a GL reporting solution, but this is just one area that we cover. Today, we have end-user templates over every module in Epicor, so when we put FastClose in, on customer trial, we tend to focus on where the pain is. We have even built a VAT module that one of our business partners needed for Belgium. In effect, we have now rewritten the user interface for Epicor in a FastClose GUI and Excel. Not only can you build reports, like Richard has done, but you can drill from module to module. You could start off with a high-level P&L and then drill right down to the original sales order.

We have many companies that use FastClose just for sales analysis and margin reporting. Wherever the pain is, we can tackle it!

To discover more about how FastClose can help you examine Epicor Inventory, Sales Orders and Returns