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Iracroft swaps the Epicor Excel Extraction Tool for FastClose

Iracroft, one of the UK’s leading metal fabricators – a manufacturer and distributor of a comprehensive range of metal pipe and tube fabricated products – has swapped out its Epicor Excel extraction tool for FastClose, an accounting intelligence system that speeds up month end close, and generates management accounts.

Alan Webb, CFO of Iracroft, explained, “We were introduced to FastClose at an Epicor Finance User Group meeting. A customer was doing a presentation on reporting and how they used FastClose for sales analysis, reporting, and audit. Like us, they had also bought the Excel extraction tool when Epicor was first purchased, as it was on Epicor’s price list, but – like us – found it hard to use. In fact, we employed a number of alternative ways to do our management reporting.

“We have a specific reporting requirement that used to take us ages to do. It relates to our call off orders, where prices change over time, and margins all have to be recalculated.

“We took up FastClose’s offer of a free trial and started to use the product as soon as it was installed for management reporting and audit. But what was really impressive was how FastClose was willing to find a solution to our call off orders. They built us a new module to enable us to streamline the recalculation of pricing; something which was hugely time-consuming previously.”

Nick Gomersall, the CEO of FastClose, expanded on this point, “We want to work with our customers on new modules and templates especially, when these can benefit other customers as well. Templates are starting positions in each module which short tracks the building of reports as they can be modified and saved into password protected end users folders. When we started off, we only had GL, but now we have most of the modules in Epicor covered, and we are going to work with Iracroft on manufacturing.

“The key to FastClose is to hide the complexity of tables and joins so that the tool enables non-technical people to build the reports they need. The reports that help close month ends and reconcile control accounts.

“We see a lot of frustration with Epicor customers as they are not given more choice when they first buy Epicor. If it’s not on Epicor’s price list, then they are not told about products like FastClose.

“Many of our customers tell us they wish they had known about FastClose at the start of their implementation as it enhances Epicor’s great data model and speeds up the reporting cycle.

“We see this changing as more and more of the business partners who are at the coalface are choosing to promote FastClose over Epicor’s standard offerings. They know it solves so many issues and shows off Epicor to its full potential.

“We love Epicor. It has a great database with multi-company, currency, books, and a chart of accounts design that is right up with Workday, SAP, and Oracle.”

Alan offered his final thoughts on FastClose, “FastClose is going to save us so much time in so many areas, and we are looking forward to working with them in the manufacturing area. An added bonus is that FastClose has an Excel plug-in which means you can run live FastClose reports in Excel if needed. So you have the audit controls of FastClose’s GUI and drills to source transactions with the flexibility of real-time data in Excel and a common reporting and distribution platform.”