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.

Find out about the hidden secret of Epicor's financial system

 

Ochiba goes live with FastClose for SAP Business One, watch the video to find out more.

 

For over a decade Ochiba Business Solutions have been creating innovative, industry-specific solutions for customers with the world’s leading ERP solution, SAP Business One.

SAP Business One is affordable, intuitive, adaptable and easy-to-use business management software, designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. It enables you to manage all your business functions with a single integrated system.

The Ochiba OPTIONS range of modules enhances SAP Business One to address the unique requirements of the industries we serve. As a leading UK SAP Gold Partner, Ochiba have the knowledge, expertise and solutions to maximise your investment in SAP Business One.

Aspera brings FastClose Accounting Intelligence to Epicor Customers in Ireland

 

 

FastClose, a provider of multi-dimensional reporting and enquiry tools for companies’ accounts departments, is delighted to announce a business partnership agreement with Aspera – a reseller of Epicor ERP software – to provide FastClose software in Ireland.

Aspera, a Dublin-based reseller of Epicor ERP software, has announced that it has signed an agreement to market and support FastClose in the Irish market. FastClose provides Accounting Intelligence software that is revolutionizing month- and year-end closing for accounts departments.

Lonan Byrne, CEO of Aspera, explains the tie-up: “We have been following FastClose’s progress with interest, and a number of our Epicor customers have purchased it to replace key spreadsheets that make up the monthly reporting pack.

“Accounts departments turn to Excel because they know it, and they haven’t got the time to learn new software. FastClose is different to other reporting tools as it comes preconfigured with templates that can be easily modified and saved to a local reporting folder.

“Significantly, FastClose runs in real-time over the Epicor database and gives the accounts team the capability to drill from high-level P&Ls and Balance Sheets down to the detailed transactions. What’s more, FastClose has developed templates for most of the sub-ledgers like AP, AR, SOP, POP, and inventory – so the drilling does not stop at the GL level.

“FastClose can drill from the GL to any of the sub-ledgers, and you can even drill from the sub-ledgers to the GL, or subledger to subledger, to get at the detail behind any transactions that cause issues at the month end.”

 

Nick Gomersall, CEO of FastClose, expanded on the new partnership: “Aspera helped us in the early days of FastClose as we needed to understand the key tables and joins that people use to build reports, and the drilldown they wanted. We have taken away the complexity of having to build BAQs or SQL queries with technical people, and now offer the accounts department a self-service reporting tool that is easy to use.”

Lonan Byrne offered more on FastClose’s ease of use: “What’s impressive is that FastClose can be installed in less than 15 minutes and then rolled out to the accounts team. So, by the end of the day, you are building reports and drilling down to the key control accounts that need to be reconciled. The ROI is hugely impressive. There is so much functionality; it’s like a Business Intelligence system but without the complication, and it is properly focused on accountants.”

Nick continued on this theme: “We refer to FastClose as an Accounting Intelligence system, which is what accounts departments really need. They are focused on numbers and not graphics – just go around any accounts department and you will see Excel, Excel, and Excel everywhere.

“FastClose has its own user interface that makes it easy to build and share reports. However, we recognise that Excel will never go away, so we have a FastClose plugin that enables customers to run saved FastClose reports – in real-time – directly in Excel with the ability to change variables like account codes, periods, years, books, and more, dynamically.”

Lonan provided more Epicor-specific information: “FastClose in a multi-dimensional reporting tool which means it can take advantage of the 20 account segments in the chart of accounts, multi-books, companies and – in fact – any of the dimensions in Epicor that are used to build management and statutory consolidations. It has a powerful hierarchy engine to mirror your P&Ls and Balance sheets; something you only find in BI systems. The key message is that it’s the accounts team that builds reports… not IT. The empowerment of the accounts team is something that IT and the accounts department both welcome.

Finally, Nick had this to say: “We have built up a good user base and will be adding more modules over time, plus we can share report definitions with other customers in order to build up a best of breed reporting pack. One customer of Aspera and FastClose used to take 8 hours to build a sales margin analysis report in Excel; something which now runs in under two minutes real-time over the live Epicor database.

“The Epicor partner community has seen the benefits of FastClose for their customers, and we are delighted that Aspera has joined the team!”

 

Aspera

Aspera Solutions has over 20 years of experience in implementing and supporting businesses across the Manufacturing, Distribution, Service, and Food & Beverage sectors. The company understands the unique challenges of businesses in an ever-changing landscape and looks to create partnerships and projects that – through vision and experience – lead to just one outcome… success.

Contact Lonan Byrne at +353 (0)1 461 1700

 

www.asperasolutions.com

 

 


 

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.”