App Watch on Wolters Kluwer, DocuSign, and FloQastby
If you missed us it’s really only been little over a week since the last App Watch column, but much has happened in that short span.
First off, we had another large acquisition, this time by Wolters Kluwer; a new release for spring from DocuSign; and additional features included in FloQast.
As ever, this column aims to allow you to make informed decisions about products for your firm and/or your clients in a nonpromotional, never paid-for way. We give you a brief clip of the news and offer our proverbial two cents on what it means, or could mean, in the grand scheme of things. Got it?
News: Wolters Kluwer Agrees to Buy Tagetik
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting has reached agreement to buy Tagetik, a global provider of corporate performance management software and services to mid- and large-size corporations, for €300 million (approximately $317 million) in cash. The acquisition effectively expands Wolters Kluwer’s existing portfolio of corporate tax compliance and internal audit solutions.
Tagetik’s offerings support the workflow of the office of the CFO, including financial and operational budgeting and planning, consolidation and close process, financial modeling, analytics, and reporting.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Upon completion, Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting will bring together its corporate offerings, including its internal audit solution, TeamMate, with Tagetik to create a new business unit – Corporate Performance Solutions. Tagetik has approximately 450 employees and is headquartered in Lucca, Italy, with a North American head office in Stamford, Connecticut.
Views: With all of that said, the bottom line on this deal is that – I suspect – for the vast majority of our audience this is not really going to have much of an impact on you or your clients’ world. Tagetik is more of an up-market product, and unless you have sizable corporations as your clients, it’s probably best to put this one in the “that’s nice to know” column and get on with your day.
But, for those of you who do indeed use Wolters Kluwer’s tax and accounting products and have clients with CFOs or you conduct CFO-level work, then, yeah, this is kind of a big deal and you should keep tabs on how the integrations work out and how Wolters Kluwer goes to market with Tagetik products which, as these major purchases go, could take some time. And, not for nothing, if you’re going to spend that much for a company, you’d think they’re doing something right.
News: DocuSign Increases Functionality with Spring ’17 Release
DocuSign, a global eSignature and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) product maker, made its DocuSign Spring ’17 Release available. The release includes enhancements and updates to the company’s eSignature solution and broader DTM platform – the most significant of which include deeper integrations with Google Docs and the availability of the eNotary feature in eight US states. The DocuSign for Google Docs add-on enables users to sign, send, and manage documents directly from Google Docs. This includes the automatic saving of signed documents to Google Drive, as well as Gmail integration for sending them.
DocuSign also created an eNotary feature so senders can request electronic notarial acts and notaries can host in-person signing sessions. All notarization actions can now be performed within the DocuSign platform, including applying a seal and exporting a notary log. These in-person eNotarizations can be performed via DocuSign in Idaho, Indiana, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, and Washington (in addition to North Carolina, which has been available since 2014).
Views: As with any major new releases, there’s a lot more than they list in a press release so I thought I’d just focus on the ones that would be most relevant to you. And, of course, if you want to know more, you can easily visit the company’s website. What can I say, with the increased acceptance of eSignatures, DocuSign really looks like it’s staying ahead and has the accounting profession in mind.
Granted, we realize that a lot of you are not in the “Googleverse” and so the most “sexy” of the latest additions to DocuSign does kind of require that you are. Speaking from experience, it’s a great place to be. Much like the production work you do in the Microsoft Office world, being connected with Gmail, Google Docs, Drive, etc. really opens up a great, seamlessly connected world for you and your clients that’s both secure and convenient.
You, of course, may need to offer a level of convincing for your clients, as with anything new, but once you’re working in this way and you’re set up with DocuSign (or, really, any other eSignature service) you’ll find a world of convenience, especially at a busy time like now when you do need signatures on many things. As for the notary feature they added, I see it as a bonus especially for those of you who have clients in the real estate field, who often do require certain documents be notarized. The fact that you can do this electronically now is pretty special.
News: Floqast Unveils New Cloud Storage and Security Integrations
FloQast Inc., a provider of close management software created for accountants to close the books faster and more accurately, has new integrations with cloud storage providers Microsoft OneDrive and Egnyte, as well as cloud Single Sign-On(SSO) solutions from Google and Okta.
These integrations were designed to help simplify the setup and adoption of FloQast’s close management software while bolstering security by providing secure access via SSO. With the new integrations of Microsoft OneDrive and Egnyte, FloQast close management software can directly and securely access financial data residing in Excel workbooks housed within these cloud storage applications. FloQast securely accesses customer financial data from Excel-based account reconciliations to make certain all accounts are automatically tied-out against the general ledger system.
The integrations with Okta and Google SSO further strengthen security by supporting password complexity and multifactor authentication. Integration with the identity management solutions helps ensure FloQast close management software can only be accessed by authorized users which bolsters governance and security. These new integrations complement FloQast’s existing partnerships with Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
View: I’m not going to lie to you, we don’t know a whole heck of a lot about FloQast since they have predominantly been in the corporate accounting and finance department realm, and not as much with practicing CPAs and accounting professionals with small business clients. I could be wrong, but that’s where I’ve seen them.
That said, if you’re at all involved with close management, what they have seems pretty solid from automation and ease of use perspective. Adding more secure cloud storage integrations, such as the ones they list above, is not going to hurt them one bit. We’ll keep an eye out and see if they’re actively, or outwardly, moving more to garner the attention of firms rather than departments.