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New user interface in Exact Synergy

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Synergy

In product update 255 the interface of Exact Synergy is completely redesigned. After performing an update you’ll see that the complete user interface has undergone a transformation to a more innovative and visually attractive design.

The menus are now available on the top. Via the preferences menu (gear-icon) on the top right you can add or remove the items such as Homepage, News, Favorites or My Documents, HRM Module from every top menu.

The toolbar buttons that were present on the menu bar before, are now available via the ‘Hamburger’ menu, in the Quick access part together with the ‘My menu’ options.

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In previous releases the search function was available on the left. As of this product update it will be available on the top. Your roles determine in which module you can search.

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Similar to the search function the +Create menu is also available on the top. Via this menu you can create the entities.

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On the right side next you can find the Modules that allow you to navigate to the various functions of those modules.

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Besides the changes mentioned there are also several changes within other parts of Exact Synergy Enterprise. Soon you can read more about them on this blog.

The controlled release phase for product update 255 starts in May 2015. If you are interested to participate, please send an email to productreadiness@exact.com.

SEPA…less than 100 days to go.

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

As of February 1st 2014, existing domestic and international euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD). Introducing SEPA is the largest payments initiative ever undertaken within Europe and will affect the 28 EU Member States, the three European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland and Monaco. The SEPA European legal framework requires banks as well as bank clients to use European payment standards.

On a practical level, SEPA means that you will be able to make fast and secure transfers between bank accounts anywhere in the euro area. As such, it will have a positive effect on both domestic and international payments, with consumers benefitting from new rules for transparent pricing and prompt transfer.

Effectiveness of the banking and cash flow management systems is expected to be much higher and relative maintenance costs of these systems will get much lower.

With less than 100 days left to go for euro area countries to migrate to the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) schemes, the changeover process is now entering a critical phase. In terms of the implementation of a solid SEPA-proof ERP solution, there are a number of key points to keep in mind if you are yet to begin. 

Reliable Sources of information: When preparing for a SEPA-proof IT environment and the uninterrupted continuation of financial processes, it is important to find reliable and relevant sources of information for all legal provisions, functional requirements and technical guidelines. The payment industry is one of continuing innovation, and it is important to ensure you are fully aware of the latest possibilities. Be sure to discuss the latest developments with both your software vendor and your bank before you embark on SEPA-proofing your IT. 

IBAN (International Bank Account Number): All domestic bank numbers will have to be changed to IBAN – a longer, harder to remember code. We recommend that the large volume of information you manage on banks, debtors and creditors is changed at once using one of the specially developed software tools available. Remember to also adopt IBAN information in the layouts of all relevant business documents. In short, it is important to remember that IBAN is not only integrated into electronic payment systems, but needs to be aligned throughout your business software.  

Electronic formats:  SEPA will go a long way to resolving the current problems surrounding the diversity of electronic payment formats available, as every bank will be required to follow the ISO20022 XML standard. However, don not take it as read that this will create perfect harmonization. The adoption of new technical standards is always open to a degree of interpretation. Some banks will view the guidelines differently than others, and may have small anomalies in the way they will handle the relevant formats. Many banks also continue to support various traditional electronic bank statement formats with SEPA extensions. Despite thick SEPA rulebooks on payment formats, these differences do exist and can potentially cause problems. As such, it is very important that your bank is fully informed of how your system operates, and confirms that it will accept the XML schemas your software will produce for electronic payment documentation.

SEPA is not a technical change: Many people believe that SEPA is simply a technical change – one affecting only the bank account number and the relevant electronically exchanged banking formats. This is not the case. SEPA brings a significant knock on effect across a range of related business processes. Companies, for example, face new choices regarding their payment and collection processes. Which banks should they choose to work with? How will they deal with reconciliation or the establishment of the SDD mandate administration? How does the business stay up to date with and benefit from the continual evolution of payment technology? What are the implications for planning and budgeting next year and beyond?

Exact offers practical services guiding you through the necessary changes in both: your software and business processes. Understanding your business processes, in combination with our solutions, can help ensure you consider the full scope of SEPA related issues and avoid unpleasant surprises next year.

Interested to learn more ? Please visit  Exact SEPA services website.  You may also want to learn how to update your Exact software with the latest version via a step-by-step guide.

Your feedback to this publication, including concerns and suggestions, will definitely be evaluated towards further enrichment of SEPA solutions in Exact Globe Next.

You are welcome to stay updated on further developments in the area of cash flow management and electronic banking solutions through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

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SEPA migration end date is clear … what’s now?

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

Now that the end date for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) migration has been agreed upon within Europe, the industry has begun to realize the challenges that it will face the coming years. The good news is that a clear target date is set. In the euro area, this will be 1 February 2014, subject to certain limited exemptions mentioned in the SEPA Regulation. The bad news is that many are still in the preparation rather than execution phase. It is indisputable that the migration to the SEPA will be a challenging exercise. Market participants still need to evaluate its impact on their day-to-day operations. Migration to SEPA standards requires careful planning. The relevant actions and resources should be identified as soon as possible.

In this article I would like to share a general overview of SEPA compliance statuses as well as some short term plans of Exact Globe Next functionality for customers in countries of EU Member States.

SEPA was generally introduced in the product update 390, in 2008, and has been constantly improving since then.

We have chosen a flexible approach, with which we have implemented and support SEPA Credit Transfer for all EU countries based on general ISO20022 standard guidelines in 2009. Since 2010 we continued with extending SEPA functionality for frontrunners countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria based on their national guidelines.

We are committed to plans for improving SEPA support in Exact Globe Next for all eurozone countries during 2012 and 2013.

IBAN and BIC. Customers are able to maintain IBAN and BIC in cash instruments and in debtor and creditor bank accounts in countries of EU Member States. Furthermore, to facilitate better and faster migration of bank accounts data into IBAN and BIC Exact Globe Next offers automations of generating these values for some countries or importing IBAN and BIC to debtors and creditors bank accounts for other countries.

IBAN and BIC are also included in most of layouts. For example the Exact customer in the USA is able to manage IBAN and BIC data of French debtor bank account and print this information in the sales invoice.

XML ISO20022 standards. Being based on ISO20022 standard, SEPA guidelines are allowed to be extended at the national level. Changes in national SEPA guidelines are prevail. At the same time banks within the same country are allowed to follow national or strictly EU guidelines or even extend such guidelines. Bank extensions to guidelines are prevail. Implementation of national SEPA migration plans are dependent on such diversity. Communications regarding relative technical and functional specifications as well as the speed of SEPA development in each country are different.

SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT). SCT functionality is available in Exact Globe Next for all customers and for all legislations as soon as the cash instrument and the creditor bank account are within EU and linked to euro. The frontrunners countries are having much better support of their SEPA standards.

SEPA Direct Debit (SDD). SDD was introduced in the product update 400 in 2010. This functionality is available for all customers of Exact Globe Next and for legislations as soon as the cash instrument is in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany or Austria and linked to euro and the debtor master data is provided with IBAN and BIC and the information of relative SDD mandate exists. SDD mandate management is necessary part of the functionality. Being generally compliant to XML ISO20022 standard, the structure and content of SDD are implemented based on its national extensions.

Bank statements with SEPA information. SEPA includes a definition of Cash Management (CAMT), the XML based generic bank statements structure. The introduction of this standard, at the moment, gets lesser priority compare to IBAN and BIC, SCT and SDD. Expiration time lines for currently supported bank statements are not yet clearly defined. Therefore the majority of banks extend their bank statements specifications so that remittance information of SEPA transactions can be identified for reconciliations. Currently we keep implementing changes in existing bank statements in different countries, based on their specifications.

SEPA is a topic that can be addressed in different ways than just compliance. Starting now gives some, although limited, time to plan for changes taking possible benefits into scope. It is important to recognize that the impact of SEPA implementation goes beyond Europe. Compulsory usage of the ISO20022 standard certainly will be later considered for a global roll-out outside the eurozone.

Isabel Go integrated in Exact Globe

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

I have already mentioned about our awareness of the growing demand of Exact Globe customers to have the ability to start sending payment and collection orders to banks online and receiving bank statements online and thus having banking information real-time available. Like I have announced earlier, as of the Exact Globe product update 402 Belgian Exact Globe customers can fully enjoy this automatic integration with the Isabel Go .

Isabel Go is a banking service provider, which facilitates banks and companies in Belgium in the exchange of bank statements and bank files. Its service enables companies to do all their banking transactions via one interface, such as sending all types of payment and collection files and retrieving bank statements from vast variety of banks in Belgium. By using the Isabel Go feature in Exact Globe, you can send and receive payments and account information directly to and from your banks. The Belgian bank formats, such as foreign and domestic payments/collections, SEPA direct credit transfers, SEPA direct debits as well as CODA bank statements are supported in this solution.

The functionality is presented in Exact Globe as an integrated part of its banking solution, for which Exact customers do not need to pay extra.

The solution is highly demanded in Belgium. Over 980 Belgian customers of Exact Globe, which licenses include electronic banking solution of Exact Globe, are able to start using the integrated Isabel Go feature right now.

Exact is now mentioned in the official website of Isabel as a business partner. This ensures further cooperation between two software vendors, which is beneficial for customers, who should not have any doubts that their demands on banking solutions will be satisfied.

You are welcome to stay updated on further developments in the area of cash flow management and electronic banking solutions through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

Improved SDD management solution in Exact Globe Next

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) brings quite some number of new requirements for not only the software solutions but also for customer business processes.

The SEPA Direct Debit enables you, as a creditor, to make pan-European collections in euros on a one-off or recurrent basis. Launched in 2009, SEPA Direct Debit has increased creditors’ responsibilities, requiring to restructure processes and build in additional procedures. In many countries, the impact of the migration to the SEPA Direct Debit will be greater than that of the migration to the SEPA Credit Transfer.

Under SEPA Direct Debit, the creditor has to store original mandates, digitalize them and send mandate-related information with each direct debit order. Pre-notification messages have to be send before debiting an account. In most European countries it is possible to re-use existing mandates when migrating to the Core version, even though the migration to SEPA requires changes and new information has to be added. For the B2B version new mandates are required.

There are two separate versions of the SEPA Direct Debit:

SEPA Direct Debit Core (also known as Standard)
This version is used for collections from individuals and business clients. The refund period is 8 weeks for authorized transactions.

SEPA Direct Debit Business-to-Business (B2B):
This version is used for collections from business to business. There is no refund for authorized transactions and a stricter mandate checking process.

Exact has introduced SDD functionality for Business Solutions customers in 2010 in the Exact Globe Next product update 400. This functionality was initially available for customers, which banks are in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany or Austria. This solution is being further extended for other SEPA countries as from Exact Globe Next product update 406. The SDD solution is also improved based on direct Exact customers feedback. Implementing these  improvements, Exact is actively involving customers into the development process with aim on satisfying most critical requirements in most convenient way for customers.  You may learn some more details about most recent improvements  in SDD functionality here.

Exact is commuted to further improvements in SEPA functionality. You are welcome to stay updated on further developments in this solution area through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

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Exact Globe Next ready for the VAT changes

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

Due to the current economic situation most European countries have decided to increase VAT rates.

Exact Globe Next provides a flexible and simple solution for automatically adopting new VAT rates in customer administrations. There are two ways:

  • Reuse well-known existing VAT code with new percentage, whereas all historical data is adjusted to a new VAT code with old percentage.
  • Create a new VAT code or select an existing one for new VAT percentage and link it to all relevant master data.

In both cases the customer may choose whether or not new VAT percentages need to be automatically applied to open quotations and sales orders, services orders and purchase orders.

The conversion can be done for every existing VAT code with a free choice of which approach fits best a specific situation of the customer.

Being initially implemented in 2010, for the product update 396, the functionality is recently enhanced based on the market feedback. All recent changes are available in Exact Globe Next as from the product update 400. For more information please read this release note.

You are welcome to stay updated on further development of Exact solutions through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

 

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Exact is involved in Dutch SEPA migration plan

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

In terms of delivering business objectives Exact is focused on the preparation of necessary infrastructure for SEPA migration of its customers around Europe. As this has already been communicated in product update news, release notes and product blog posts during 2010 and 2011, Exact Globe has built a good and firm foundation for SEPA proof ERP solution, including support for IBAN and BIC, SCT and SDD.

Exact now actively participates in the Dutch SEPA Migration Plan. All existing SEPA solutions of Exact Globe are the results of close cooperation of Exact product management and banks.

Rabobank has included Exact in the list of key-stakeholders for realization of business objectives of SEPA migration project for their customers. One of the results of this project for Exact customers will be SEPA proof certification of Exact’s ERP solutions for Rabobank customers.

In order to build and maintain an external network, necessary for obtaining the functional objectives, the regional and corporate product management of Exact participated in communication sessions and in round tables, which were organized by Netherlands Bankers’ Association (NVB) and ICT-office. Many aspects and challenges relative to the realization plan have been discussed between major Dutch banks and different software vendors. 

The SEPA European legal framework requires banks as well as bank clients to use European standards for payments in euro. All companies within the EU are receiving the same requirements:

  • The mandatory use of IBAN, so no longer bank account numbers
  • A new technical standard for payment orders is XML
  • Changed product specifications for bank transfer (national and international payments) and direct debit (collections)

The impact of such changes for all business sectors should not be underestimated. Therefore prompt and due communication and collaboration between various stakeholders like suppliers of payment services (banks), corporate and private users, software suppliers and other supporting parties are required. It all drives parties to make certain agreements about relative issues, such as:

  • Communication on SEPA
  • Planning of the migration
  • Test activities
  • Monitoring migration progress and communication
  • Identifying and contributing to the solution of substantial societal migration issues.

The Dutch banking industry, represented by NVB, together with de Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) have delivered the Dutch SEPA Migration plan  which describes goals and objectives as well as major milestones, how the Netherlands will migrate from national to European payment instruments. Stakeholders of this plan are required to align their plans and activities upon the following milestones:

January 2012 Specifications for SEPA proof basic products for business need to be clearly defined and communicated.
October 2012 The infrastructure SEPA proof for mass migration to SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT) needs to be ready.
January 2013 The infrastructure SEPA proof for mass migration to SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) needs to be ready.
February 2014 The end-date SCT & SDD migration. SDD adapted to consumer protection measures regulation

 Your feedback to this publication, including  concerns and suggestions, will definitely be evaluated towards to enrichment of SEPA solutions in Exact Globe.

You are welcome to stay updated on further developments in the area of cash flow management and electronic banking solutions through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

Globe tip: Changing transactions

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

Does it sound familiar to you: you made a mistake in the entry, but you realized it too late and has already processed it? We’ve got you covered and offer a great solution – ‘change’ function.

Financial entries that originate from other modules cannot be adjusted, but sometimes it can be desirable to change values, for example the cost center. You can do it easily with the ‘change’ function.

This function works for all kinds of entries, however remember that there are a few limitations. You cannot change the following information:

  • The date, amount, debtor/creditor and tax, since they influence your tax return
  • Voided entries 
  • Entries in closed periods

Please watch our tip video to learn how to change transactions using the ‘change’ function.

You can also watch here the Dutch version of the video.