Snow winter landscape Image credit pixabay/julentxupiFinancialForce has unveiled its Winter 2023 release. While it does not include any new modules this time, it is still packed with enhancements across the portfolio. The update continues to power its Services-as-a-Business product strategy, adding a mix of automation, ease of use, innovation, and intelligence to its solutions.

The improvements are across Professional Services, Customer Success and ERP Cloud. There are also updates to Accelerate, its lifecycle engagement platform: Scott Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer at FinancialForce commented, “Our new Winter 2023 release gives organizations the deeper intelligence and agility they need to run a connected services business. In an economic environment rife with constant change, this new release is designed to give organizations the tools they need to unlock full business visibility and put their customers at the center of everything they do.”

The evolution of FinancialForce continues

Scott Brown, President and CEO at FinancialForce
Scott Brown, President and CEO at FinancialForce

Scott Brown also took an opportunity in a press briefing to talk about company growth since he joined two years ago. FinancialForce has increased investment in R&D by over 50%, growing its Harrogate (UK), Granada (Spain) and Seattle (US) development hubs. The company now has more than 1,000 employees. It has launched new products, Services CPQ, Budgeting and Customer Success, to complete support for the end-to-end, opportunity to renewal, and services lifecycle for customers on its platform.

The company has also grown at double-digit growth in bookings and revenues. FinancialForce now has more than £200 million annual revenue and 1,400 customers. Scott added, “We’re proud that we continue to grow in spite of a really challenging environment that’s out there in the macroeconomic environment.”

Scott has taken the company through an evolution where it is becoming partner-first and no longer just an ERP and PSA vendor. Scott explained, “Today we’re in services CPQ, handing off to CS cloud, hanging off into the PS cloud environment, full financials and full planning with FP&A. It’s a very different company than it was two years ago, a tremendous step forward with the Services as a Business platform as our architecture, and obviously underpinned by everything that we do jointly with Salesforce.”

FinancialForce is growing, and its customers seem very happy, especially enterprise-level customers. Scott revealed, “Our NPS with the biggest customers is a 70. And I’ve never seen a 70 NPS from an enterprise software company. The highest I’ve ever seen was a 60 for Snowflake. We have really good relationships with our customers, and we strive to continue to earn that right, each and every day.

Winter 2023 release

FinancialForce continues to update the platform moving forward with the scalability, flexibility and ease of use of the platform. The latest release sees the completion of VisualForce to Salesforce LEX. Deeper integrations have also been added, with synchronisation between Google calendar and resource management now available. There are also performance improvements across several areas of the applications.

Services CPQ

The transition from an ‘opportunity to project’ is also enhanced by the ability to create multiple projects from a single estimate. It allows different aspects of a project, such as training requirements, to create a project specifically for the training department, which is separately managed.

The integration with Salesforce CPQ is now more aligned. New functionality includes:

  • Create an Estimate off the SF CPQ Quote
  • Push the Estimate Product Lines as Quote Line Items
  • View the Estimate Breakdown on the Quote Documentation

These enhancements deliver a complete CPQ for services businesses and provide a seamless transition to the operational side. Also, the data help feeds into forecasting analytics, which ensures that organizations are better prepared for the work when it comes.

Professional Services Cloud

With this release, there are enhancements to Advanced Resource Management. There is greater flexibility in allocating resources. Resource managers can suggest skills required, adding a nuance to the resource management solution that brings additional flexibility. Keeping consultants’ skills up to date within the solution is also easier.

Time tracking is also improved with users able to use a start and stop the timer with the application, to record time and assignments, tasks and projects. Information can also be added to see what type of task, whether a support or project task.

A new Work Planner provides a single location where all critical information about outstanding work is held. For managers, it’s pre-filtered to those projects they are running on. They can drill down into each project and see which consultants are working on them, and whether there is a shortfall in resources. From within the same session, they can then enter further details and request a resource with the right skills.

ERP Cloud

FinancialForce has extended the Multi-X capabilities of FinancialForce. As it grows its functionality, it can better support the services businesses where it already has professional services automation in place. It enables those companies to roll out FinancialForce ERP across their international divisions.

There is also a new period close template which Heidi Minzner, Vice President, Product Management (ERP Cloud) at FinancialForce expained as follows, “This will allow organisations that are dealing with multiple legal entities to create templates for the companies that they would like to group together that share period close options.”

Bank Reconciliation was also updated with new automation capabilities. Transactions are brought in using the integration with Plaid, and users can click an automatic reconciliation. Not only does it match based on defined criteria, the update also sees FinancialForce automatically create the journals where bank charges relating to a transaction exist, such as foreign exchange fees.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This is not a flag-waving new release with massive new functionality. FinancialForce has already delivered these in 2022. Instead, it is an update with a mass of new iterative improvements and some innovations that make the solution easier to use and stronger. There is little to be controversial about in the update. For customers, it will provide an update that has few change management issues but is something that users across both professional services and finance will welcome.

The only potentially exciting new feature is the time entry card. This is a feature that other vendors have added in the past, but few have found it completely successful. It will be interesting to hear who is using it and how frequently. Consultants are rarely within the right window, although project managers are likely to use it more. However, with remote working and consultants having multiple screens when working from home, they may find it more useful than when they work on a laptop. Sometimes vendors should also consider how these new features are used.


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