"Personalization" is a big buzz word in enterprise software, especially in customer-facing marketing applications. FinancialForce, a cloud ERP provider on the Salesforce App Cloud, is bringing personalization to a somewhat unexpected corner of the enterprise: the finance function.
The latest release of its financial management application, released today, includes personalization capabilities that allow CFOs and other finance department users to tailor how they enter accounting information, as well as how they view it and how they work, using what FinancialForce calls a "clicks not code" approach.
Unlike other ERP vendors, FinancialForce's approach to modifying standard ERP features is based on configuration rather than customization, said Raphael Bres, the company's general manager of Financial Management, in an email.
Modifying a standard input screen or form in many ERP systems, including cloud ERP systems, often entails a customization that involves additional technical consulting resources and expense, Bres said.
"We don't like the word customization in this case; we prefer configuration," he said. "With Financial Management, a data input screen modification is now a configuration that can be done by an end-user with no technical background. The personalized form will be saved as configuration and will have no impact on future upgrades. It's simpler and truly personalized."
As a bonus, he said, the personalized forms support rapid data entry, making accounting faster.
The release also includes an addition to the software's Action Views called Related Content Panels (RCPs). Using RCPs users can design work panes that combine information from any object on the Salesforce App Cloud with FinancialForce accounting transactions, accounts and balances in a single view.
For example, users can pull in the desired Salesforce and FinancialForce customer attributes with invoice and payment information and other discussions related to those customers, Bres said, resulting in speedier collection of payments.
"We allow the users to personalize the content of the RCP, including the fields and the tabs. We also enable enterprise social network features through Chatter, which is embedded into the RCP, boosting the collaboration and productivity between back and front offices," Bres said, noting that use of Salesforce's Chatter is "optional but recommended."
The release offers new built-in intercompany reconciliation and automated elimination entries, which simplifies the consolidation of multiple entities and accelerates period-end activities.
"The customizable input forms, which we will use in journals, plus sales and purchase invoices and credits, create more simplicity in displaying the most important information to us on screen and help us save time with our day-to-day transactions," said Justin Wheatley, VP of Billing and Financial Systems at FinancialForce customer NewVoiceMedia, in a statement.
Built on the Salesforce App Cloud, FinancialForce delivers ERP and CRM on a single cloud, including apps for financial management, human capital management and professional services automation.
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