App Watch on Sageworks, Wolters Kluwer and Xeroby
In this week’s edition of App Watch we will hear more about a new Sageworks product partnership, a corporate sales tax platform from Wolters Kluwer and Xero’s new assurance dashboard.
But first, as ever, a bit of education. App Watch is our weekly roundup of product vendor and service provider news as it pertains or is of potential interest to accounting professionals and their clients. We also provide a bit of additional insight into what the news means, or could mean, to you.
All good? Let’s get to it…
News: Sageworks Inks Partnership with Xero
Financial information company Sageworks has partnered with Xero, allowing its ProfitCents and Sageworks Valuation Solution (SVS) products to become part of the Xero marketplace and integrate with the Xero platform. The proposed goal of the union is to allow accounting firms that use the ProfitCents financial analysis platform and SVS to transfer client data directly between Xero and Sageworks. In addition, soon-to-be-released functionality from Sageworks will also allow firms to receive scheduled narrative reports on their clients’ businesses based on their Xero data. Through the new integration, ProfitCents and SVS users can directly access Xero data fields and customize the mapping of data, allowing them to create KPIs and groupings for financial analysis using their existing Xero account structure.
Views: OK, translation? On the surface, as I’ve mentioned before partnerships like this need to happen between cloud-based accounting and financial service providers and those, like Sageworks that can complete yet another piece of the accounting as a service puzzle. In this case, it’s business analytics. So for those of you who aren’t into dashboards or looking deeper into your client’s financial performance, or not in or considering being part of the Xero-verse, this news may as well be on the bottom of a bird cage. But, for those that are, you should embrace this union. Now we won’t go down the rabbit hole of what integration is or isn’t in this case. My job here is just to explain the news a bit more and for those of you who use any of the above products, or are considering it, this is a definite leg up to being more of a trusted advisor or adding more services to your roster. Business insights are the next step up from just explaining what’s going on in “the books” so any tools or partnerships of this nature should be welcomed.
News: Wolters Kluwer Offers New Corporate Sales Tax Platform
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting announced enhancements to its CCH SureTax solution to create a multi-vertical, cloud-based, tax calculation platform that supports general sales and use, as well as the communications and energy segments. The newly-enhanced platform will now include an additional 900 taxability groups that support general sales and use tax calculations. Some other key features of CCH SureTax now include: Taxability decisions for over 1500 distinct product and service types; a customizable web portal that provides an interface for “transparency” into the “how, what, when and where” behind tax outcomes; and multiple deployment types available to support low volume users up to enterprise engagements.
Views: Back on the service-provider tip, another relatively untapped area is in corporate sales and use tax work. Given the dizzying amount of tax jurisdictions in the U.S. alone, staying on top of what your clients owe where is going to make you look like a champion in their eyes. Having tools at your disposal that allow you to calculate, for them, exactly what they owe and where and in the cloud, no less (but of course it would be at this point) just make sense. And this is only scratching the surface of what you could be doing around sales and use tax for the businesses you work with.
News: Xero Unveils New Assurance Dashboard
Xero has made a new Assurance Dashboard available to help advisors monitor the accuracy and integrity of their clients’ financial transactions with inspections that are designed to be more targeted, faster, and easier. The Assurance Dashboard in Xero allows advisors to monitor their client’s use of Xero to identify any errors or anomalies in their client’s financial records; identify transactions that need to be investigated and fixed before they become a problem; provides a heat map of user activity highlighting their client’s Xero permissions, last login date and ability to check for bank account transactions that have been altered, deleted or manually reconciled; and surface items that need attention in real-time, rather than months afterwards.
Views: I know, again with the dashboards, but they’re more than in vogue, if you’re acting in an advisory capacity for your clients they are essential and the proverbial front page of the magazine that is your clients’ financial well-being. The quicker you can respond to your clients’ activity the more valuable you become, that’s the name of the game in accounting at this point.
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