| | Categories: Blog, Software Updates

September 2017 Software Update

This month we only have two new enhancements that will be of interest to UK and Irish Twinfield users, although we are working on some larger projects that will be released upon completion later this year or early next year.

As usual, there are also some smaller changes which are documented within the ‘Release History’ which can be accessed from within Twinfield, but the two new enhancements that I wanted to focus on here are:

  • Reimport failed bank statements
  • New BACS formats – BACS Standard 18 and Bankline

Re-import failed bank statements

If you are using Yodlee to automatically import your bank statements, you may have found that for one reason or another, your bank statement import has failed.  Yodlee has successfully extracted the bank statement data from your bank and sent it to Twinfield, but Twinfield rejected the import. 

The most common reason for this is that the accounting period does not exist.  For example, Friday was the first day of the new financial year, but the new financial year has not yet been created in Twinfield.  Today, Monday, you have arrived at work to find that Yodlee was unable to import Friday’s bank statement over the weekend (because the accounting period didn’t exist).

Another reason could be that you have just created a new bank account, but forgot to set the currency of the bank account.  You then linked Yodlee to the bank account, and the import of bank transactions failed.

Within the ‘Manage Feeds’ screen you can see that your Yodlee connection is valid.  The status says ‘Connected’ and the ‘Up to date as at’ date shows yesterday or today’s date:

Reimport01

But your bank statement does not appear in the electronic bank statement processing screen.

So the next place to check is the bank statement ‘History’ screen (the small ‘History’ button on the Cash and Banks screen).

Depending on the number of bank accounts you have, you may need to sort or filter the screen to find the bank statements for the respective bank account, but you will find something similar to the example below:

Reimport02a

To find out why the bank statement import failed, click anywhere on the bank statement line:

Reimport03a

Or:

Reimport03b

To re-import the failed bank statements, resolve the root cause of the problem – which in this case is simply to open the September accounting period (but if you need assistance, please call our support desk), and then select ‘Manage Feeds’ and from the quick access menu on the right-hand side of the respective bank feed, select ‘Retry import of failed bank statement’:

Reimport04

This will display the following screen – which tells you the bank account you have selected and how many failed bank statements Twinfield will attempt to reimport:

Reimport05

After clicking the ‘Import’ button, re-visit the bank statement History screen, and you will see that the bank statements have now been successfully imported (or if they failed, you will see why they have failed a second time):

Reimport06

Our intention is to improve this functionality further and enable a user to reimport a failed bank statement from the history screen.  We will let you know when we add this functionality.

 

And just another note about the history screen, you will notice in the above screenshots, that only the failed bank statements have a hyper-linked ‘action’.  If the import was successful there isn’t a hyperlink because there is no error log to view.

The exception to this is when a bank statement is imported with a warning, and the most common example of this is when the accounting period for the respective transactions exists, but is closed:

Reimport02

Click on the bank statement line to view the warning:

Reimport03

 

New BACS formats – BACS Standard 18 and Bankline

As you may be aware, different banks have different file formats for uploading payment requests from software such as Twinfield to the banks’ internet banking or desktop banking software.

In July we released a new BACS format to enable Bank of Scotland users to upload payments directly from Twinfield, and this month we have released two more formats: BACS Standard 18 and Bankline.

BACS Standard 18 is used by a number of banks including Bank of Ireland and HSBC, and Bankline if the format used by members of the Bankline group – RBS, NatWest, and Coutts Private Banking.

These have been added to the drop-down menu listing BACS formats (within the Cash & Banks maintenance screen) as per below.

NewBACSformats

Please note that we still have the old NatWest format listed because we believe that some users may still be able to use this format.  But if you have been using the old NatWest format combined with our Excel macro-enabled BACS payment converter spreadsheet to convert the format to the Bankline format, you may now edit your bankbook settings and change the format to either Bankline or Royal Bank of Scotland (both options produce the same format BACS file).

We don’t yet support all BACS formats for all banks, so if you have a requirement for a particular BACS payment format, please let us know via your account manager or our support desk.

 

 

Monthly Twinfield webinars:

Just a quick reminder that on the penultimate Friday of every month we run a 60 minute webinar to demonstrate the new functionality released that month, and to answer any questions you might have.

Our August webinar was cancelled due to the delayed release of the software update, so in our next webinar we will cover both the September and August updates.

To register for the webinar, or any future webinars, please search for ‘webinar’ within the Twinfield knowledgebase.  This will provide links to the registration page for each webinar that we currently have scheduled as well as links to recordings of past webinars.

 

And as always, if you have any questions about this month’s software update, or Twinfield in general, please contact your account manager or call our software support team.

 

 

Richard McChesney
Product Manager for Twinfield in UK and Ireland.

 

| | Categories: Blog, Software Updates

August 2017 Software Update

This month we have made further improvements to Neo sales invoices, and have also upgraded the supplier list screen and improved our API.

As always, a full list of the changes can be found by clicking the ‘Release History’ button on the Twinfield home screen, but I have the main changes below:

New VAT Summary for Neo sales invoices and quotes

We have added a new VAT Summary section to sales invoices and quotes, which makes it clear to the customer how much VAT has been charged, and at what rate.

Previously, when you processed your Neo sales invoices and quotes, the VAT section of your document looked like this:

01VATSummary1

This told the customer that VAT was applicable at the reduced rate on an amount of £10.00 and at the standard rate on £100.00, but if more than one VAT rate was applicable the user had to calculate the total VAT content themselves, and the actual percentage rate was not displayed.

We now have a new VAT Summary section which appears to the left of the total section as per below:

02VATSummary2

The VAT Summary shows the VAT rate name (this is the short name for the applicable VAT rate), the percentage and both the VAT exclusive and VAT amounts, and there is now only one VAT line in the total section regardless of how many VAT rates are applicable to the invoice.

Please note:
If you have previously edited the short names of your VAT rates in order to show the applicable VAT percentages, you will now want to edit those short names to remove the percentages otherwise the above VAT summary will show the percentage as a part of the VAT name, and will repeat it in the VAT % column.
To edit VAT rate names, select Company Settings, VAT, and select the VAT code for which you want to rename the VAT rate. Click on the VAT rate and rename by typing a new ‘Short name’.

 

New Neo sales invoice discount section

When processing a sales invoice, you now have the ability to enter an invoice discount at the bottom of the invoice.

03Invoicediscount

The drop-down menu on the right of the discount field enables you to switch between a discount percentage and a discount amount, and in both cases the discount percentage and amount are calculated to two decimal places and displayed, along with a new ‘Subtotal after discount’ line in the total section of the printed invoice, and are prorated against all lines (and VAT rates) on the invoice:

05Invoicediscount

 

API for Neo Articles

Twinfield has an open API which enables software developers to link their software into Twinfield to both read from the Twinfield database and write to it.  The API is used by our TwinApp partners and also by many of our larger users who have developed their own portals for reporting purposes, for example. 

We have made plenty of improvements to Twinfield over the last two or three years, adding new tables to the database and new data entry screens for users, but have not kept the API up to date which means that software developers have not been able to link their software into some of the new Twinfield functionality.

The start of the improvements to the API has been to make the Neo Articles available, and over the coming months we will be making more Neo functionality accessible via the API – starting with customers and sales invoices.  Please watch this space.

Full details about the Twinfield API are available here.

 

New supplier list view

We have now brought the Neo supplier list screen into line with the customer and articles list screens which we updated in March.

As with the customer list screen, you can view 20 suppliers per page and can sort the list by clicking on the appropriate column header.  You can also filter your supplier list using the ‘Search’ field at the top of the screen:

06SupplierListScreen

| | Categories: Blog, News

Twinfield case study – Liberty Leasing

Alan Cooper, finance director at Liberty Leasing, recently took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about his experience of selecting, implementing and using Twinfield Online Accounting software.

Liberty Leasing plc is an FCA-regulated asset finance company which provides asset finance to a selection of small and medium sized companies across the UK. The company’s compound annual growth rate of about 20% over the last five years took their loan book value to over £100 million in March 2017. As Alan says: “Twinfield has helped us in our growth… and it’s become clear that it’s going to be able to help us to grow much further into the future.” We’ll certainly do all we can to help Alan and Liberty Leasing!

Click here to find out how Twinfield could help your growing business  

If you’re an existing Twinfield user with a story to tell, we’d love to hear from you – call us or discuss with your account manager. 

 

| | Categories: Blog, Software Updates

July 2017 Software Update

After releasing plenty of new functionality during the last few months (see our software update blog posts below), our July software update (released in July for C3/Accounting cluster users and August for C4 users) only has a few areas of interest to UK and Irish users.

These are:

  • Neo sales invoice address localisation for UK and Irish customers
  • Browser related issues
  • Bank of Scotland BACS format

As always, there are other things that our development teams have been working on behind the scenes – things that users won’t notice – and also larger projects that are not yet ready for release.

Neo sales invoice address localisation for UK and Irish customers

Until now, the address displayed on Neo sales quotes, invoices and reminders was formatted to meet European postal standards regardless of where the customer was located. 

We have now enhanced the software so that if the customer is in the UK or Ireland, the address is formatted to meet local postal standards.

Address Localisation

 

Browser Related Issues

Being a cloud product, Twinfield has to be accessible via all the different internet browsers that are available, and from time to time the developers of one browser will make changes that result in the Twinfield user not being able to do or see something within Twinfield, or the Twinfield developers will make a change/add new functionality, and a user will report that it doesn’t look or feel right in a particular browser.  Obviously we test for this as much as possible, but occasionally things might slip through.

This month we have taken time to resolve a number of browser related issues.  These are detailed within the ‘Release History’ which is accessible via the Twinfield home screen.

 

Bank of Scotland BACS format

As you may be aware, different banks have different file formats for uploading payment requests from software such as Twinfield to the banks’ internet banking or desktop banking software. 

At present, Twinfield caters for the formats used by Barclays Internet Banking, HSBC, JP Morgan, Lloyds, Metro Bank, Natwest, and now Bank of Scotland. 

We also have an Excel macro-enabled BACS payment converter that can convert from one of the above formats to other unsupported formats and intend to add other formats to Twinfield in the near future.  If you have a requirement for a particular BACS payment format, please let us know via your account manager or our support desk. 

Bank Of Scotland BACS format

 

I think that covers everything for now.  One other thing that you may notice is that we have made some small changes to terminology used in some screens.  For example, in the above screen shot you will see that the ‘Sort code’ is now called ‘Sort code’ and not the generic ‘National bank ID’.  In other screens we have changed the word ‘Deduction’ to ‘Discount’, and some of the error/warning messages have been made more explanatory.

 

Lastly, as you may be aware, we have started running monthly webinars to walk you through the changes in each month’s software update.  Links to register for all upcoming Twinfield webinars are available by searching for ‘webinar’ within the Twinfield knowledgebase.

| | Categories: Blog, Software Updates

June 2017 Software Update

Before I tell you about the enhancements we have added this month, I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you about our new webinar series.  Starting on June 23rd, and monthly thereafter on the penultimate Friday of every month (except November when it will be the last Friday in the month) I will be hosting a 30 to 60 minute webinar demonstrating the new features that have been released in that month’s software update, and if time permits, demonstrating other tips and tricks or other existing functionality that you may not be aware of.

If you receive the email we send each month advising of the scheduled update, you will have already received an email inviting you to register for the webinars.  If you don’t receive an invitation, please contact your account manager who will be able to forward an invitation to you.

The focus in this month’s update is on improvements to the Neo sales invoice layout, and I have documented these changes in detail below.

Also in this month’s update is another improvement to the connection process when linking Yodlee to your bank accounts in Twinfield for the first time, and I have news about the upcoming release of the new Twinfield Analysis Excel Add-In.

Neo sales invoice improvements

Our ongoing improvements to the Neo sales invoice layout continue.  This month we have the following enhancements:

  • Hide/Show the document title
    If for some reason you do not want to display the document title (the word ‘Invoice’ or ‘Credit Invoice’) at the top of your invoice or credit note, you can now toggle this on and off within the template editor.
    To do this, start a new invoice and select ‘Invoice Template’ from the ‘Related Items’ menu, or type ‘Invoice Template’ into the ‘search’ box at the top of the screen.
    Click on the document header – the section containing the words “Invoice / Credit Invoice” – and click the ‘Hide header’ button.
    01 Hide-Show sales invoice title
    To display the document header again, simply click the ‘Show header’ button.
  • Flexible Layout – Invoice Header section
    It is now possible to change the labels in the invoice header section and to hide fields that are not required.
    Within the invoice template, click anywhere in the invoice header section and click ‘Edit Titles’ to display editing options:

02 Edit invoice header 1

Default label text is displayed in grey and can be overwritten.  For example, rather than ‘Customer Number’ I want to use ‘Account Number’, rather than ‘Reference’ I want to display ‘Order Number’ and when I process recurring invoices they are for a license subscription period, so rather than displaying the words ‘Delivery Period’ I want to display ‘Subscription Period’.
And for miscellaneous invoices I don’t want to display a ‘Delivery Date’, so I will hide that field altogether. 
Note: Sales invoices only display the Delivery Date or Delivery Period and not both.  Delivery Date is available to display on standard invoices and Delivery period on recurring invoices.

The result:
Within the Template Editor:
02 Edit invoice header 2
Which on my sales invoice data entry screen looks like this:

02 Edit invoice header 3

And because I didn’t enter a Project number, this field is also hidden on the printed/emailed sales invoice:

02 Edit invoice header 4

 

  • Flexible Layout – Column Headers
    Lastly, it is also now possible to change the column header labels within the sales invoice template. To do this, click anywhere within the detail section of the invoice and click the ‘Edit Titles’ button:

03 Edit column headers 1

This will enable you to overwrite the Quantity, Description, and Price fields, and also change the word VAT to ‘Tax’ for example (for those countries where sales tax is applicable).
Note that the column header labels cannot be longer than 20 characters in length, and the VAT header is restricted to a maximum of 6 characters. 
Also note, on a printed/emailed invoice, if you haven’t entered any quantities, the quantity field is not displayed which provides more space to print descriptions/text.

03 Edit column headers 2

Also note that changing the VAT label will change the sub-total label at the bottom of the detail section of the invoice as well.
The printed/emailed invoice will look like this:

03 Edit column headers 3

Yodlee improvement: Select a date for historical transaction import

We have made some changes to the Yodlee connection process.

The first thing you will notice is that the ‘Select your bank’ screen has been replaced with a smaller ‘Find your bank’ screen.

This change has been made after receiving user feedback that the tiles were ‘confusing’.  Each tile defaulted to just one URL for the respective bank, and that URL wasn’t always the one that the user wanted.  For example, HSBC has 14 different URL’s supported by Yodlee, of which 3 are relevant to UK users.  We previously had one HSBC tile that defaulted to one HSBC URL, and if you selected that and it was incorrect, you needed to start the connection process again by typing the bank name into the ‘search’ field.

04 Yodlee1

So we have removed the tiles altogether, and replaced it with a simpler ‘Find your bank’ screen.

In addition, when you type your bank name, rather than seeing all URL’s for that bank, you will only see URL’s for the UK and Irish variants of the selected bank:

04 Yodlee2

You can click the link at the bottom of the list to display all URL’s for the selected bank if required, but overall, we believe that this change will improve your experience when connecting Yodlee to your bank.

The second change we have made to the Yodlee connection process will also improve your experience when connecting to a bank for the first time, and that is the ability to select how far back you would like to go when Yodlee imports the first bank transactions.

Until now, when you linked a bank book to Yodlee you were not given an option and 7 days of transaction history were automatically imported into Twinfield upon successfully completing the connection to Yodlee.  If this was too much, you had to delete the unwanted bank statements. If it was insufficient, you had to manually import transactions to bring Twinfield up to date as at 7 days ago.

Now, when connecting to Yodlee you can select a start date for each bank account.  For example, you connect to Natwest and have two bank accounts.  One is up to date as at last Friday and the other is only up to date as at the end of the last VAT period.

On linking the Yodlee bank accounts to the Twinfield bank books you can now select a start date for transaction import (up to a maximum of 90 days ago) for each bank account:

 04 Yodlee3

Twinfield Analysis

Twinfield Analysis is a free* Excel plug-in that enables Twinfield users to create their own bespoke reports within Excel.

The current version of Twinfield Analysis has a limitation in that it will only work with the 32 bit version of Microsoft Excel, and whilst that works form some people, many Twinfield users are now using either 64 bit Excel and/or Office 365 which is web based.

I’m happy to announce that very soon we will be releasing a brand new version of Twinfield Analysis which works with both 64 bit Excel and can be used as an Excel 365 add-in.

As soon as this is released we will invite you to a webinar demonstrating the new version, but in the meantime, if you are not familiar with Twinfield Analysis, please feel welcome to watch this 45 minute recording of a webinar I presented in 2014 that demonstrates how to use Twinfield Analysis to create some simple reports within excel.

*Note: Twinfield Analysis is a free Excel plug-in but there is a small charge for data downloaded by Twinfield Analysis.  Please discuss with your account manager if you would like to know more about data charges.

That is all for this month.  As always, we are doing a lot of work behind the scenes, and there are also a few smaller changes in this month’s update that I have not documented here.  For a full listing of the changes, please click the ‘Release History’ button on the Twinfield home screen.