On December 6, 2012, XCM Solutions, LLC officially announced XCM 10, the latest version of its award-winning workflow management software for the accounting profession. XCM 10 is designed to extend the usability of XCM for all areas of the firm and to expand its budgeting and forecasting functionality for its integrated Scheduling Module, to be released in the spring.
The company also announced its product vision - including its much-anticipated mobile strategy and debut of its first mobile application, which CEO and Founder Mark Albrecht previewed to attendees of his "Next Generation of XCM" session at the Digital CPA 2012 CPA2Biz Cloud User Conference in Washington DC.
"It's really our users that give us the inspiration for future development initiatives," said Albrecht. "Sometimes, the ideas for new initiatives formulate from in-depth discussions over time, as was the case with our scheduling module. Other times, the pace of change is much faster - as it has been with mobile adoption. We rely on our users to tell us what's most important to them, so it's important for us to keep them updated on our direction."
XCM Solutions laid out the company's vision for its XCM product direction with a focus on harnessing the advantages of the Cloud for greater access, enhanced usability, and expanded integration. It plans to expand XCM's integration with third-party products, building on what it has already done with document and practice management systems.
The company also plans to move quickly toward its goal of making XCM both browser and operating system independent to enable users to access all of the software's capabilities from any browser, any computer, and any device. While recreating the user's experience in the new platform, the development team will also look for opportunities to improve the overall usability of the application, which will encompass aspects such as navigation, logic, and updating the user interface. Separately, XCM Solutions also announced the first initiative from this strategy, a mobile application designed to give users on-the-go XCM functionality.
XCM 10 represents a compilation of enhancements released during the summer and fall, with the final release planned for this month. Many of the enhancements enable greater firm-specific customization, enhance usability, and expand areas of the software to empower real-time resource allocation and calendar-based scheduling. Some enhancements include:
- Greater flexibility in assigning specific permissions to individuals and groups, giving the firm greater control over user rights.
- Significantly expanded user role definitions across all practice areas to more closely mirror the firm's operations.
- Customizable search results to allow users to easily see data essential for client and firm management.
- New customizable fields on the digital routing page, giving firms greater control over the types of information tracked.
- The ability to save common search parameters and to search and process multiple tasks simultaneously for even greater time savings.
- A more user-friendly My View for personal workload management.
- Expanded budget/actual capabilities on the digital routing page that allow firms to record over/under time and estimate time to complete in order to help partners and managers better track utilization, essential to planning.
In September, XCM announced plans to introduce a scheduling module that will incorporate automated, real-time resource allocation functionality, essential for tax practices, and calendar-based scheduling, commonly used in A&A and other areas of the firm. Tight integration between the XCM workflow software and Scheduling Module empowers firms to dynamically plan for and manage workloads firm-wide.