When you work with a True Cloud vendor, you work with a provider who is able to remain flexible, offer major enhancements, and ultimately develop a product that is aligned with customer needs. Add to this the fact that Acumatica’s sales model is exclusively built on channel partners, and you can rest assured they are putting maximum effort into research and development.
With the platform’s cloud design allowing for easy updates and sales model allowing nearly three quarters of its staff to work on improving the product, it goes without saying that their latest release, Acumatica 2019 R1, is filled with game changing enhancements and innovations that are hard to find elsewhere.
Announced at their annual user conference and detailed in a recent blog, 2019 R1 features a wide range of improvements across the board, many of which were added in response to user requests.
“We’ve continued to listen to feedback from our customers and partners since the release of 2018 R2 last fall, resulting in continuous refinement and improvement of Acumatica’s cloud ERP offerings,” said Jon Roskill, CEO at Acumatica. “This product release of 2019 R1 continues our independently-recognized industry leadership in usability and customer satisfaction across multiple business sectors.”
New Features Added Across the Board
So what were the big additions? While the near future holds exciting enhancements such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence including an app that utilizes Google Cloud Vision Product Search to lookup common items, the present is just as exciting. From the Acumatica Alexa for Business skill to the Acumatica Cloud ERP Connector for Microsoft Flow, the company continues to deliver on partnerships that create more usability and functionality for customers. Among the additions:
Usability Enhancements and Across-the-Board Improvements
Platform usability and user experience was a key focus of the new update. These updates are spread across the platform and are designed to make life easier regardless of what edition you use.
Important news on the security front, as Acumatica has added two-factor authentication to its platform. In addition to username and password, administrators now have the option to require a user to provide additional evidence of authentication. This is done at the system level; at the system level, a system administrator can require two-factor authentication or turn off this authentication (the default setting). In addition, the administrator can specify different settings for individual users with regard to two-factor authentication; user settings take precedence over system-wide settings.
Processing Progress Bar
A common request among users pertained to long-running processing. Prior to the R1 2019 release, users had no clue whether a process was near completion or not. This was changed with the introduction of a progress bar which provides visibility into the completion percentage, as well as the elapsed and remaining running time of the process.
The window has tabs which record statuses: Processed, Errors, Warnings, and Remaining. Because it can run in the background, the user can do other work in the same browser tab, and the long-running process continues with the progress bar running in the background. Long-running processes can be graphically viewed on the System Monitor form.
Acumatica’s user-defined fields can be used in a customization project. The business user can customize forms by adding new fields in multiple forms in each of the modules without a programmer. If the field to be added has not already been defined, the user can define a new field by managing attributes on the pop-up attributes form.
Link Existing Files to Acumatica Entities
The ability to easily add links to the attachments that already exist in the system has been introduced. The user can add a link to the stored files right from the form to which the file should be attached. If the file is linked to multiple documents and a user wants to delete this file from one of them, after deletion, the file will be still available in the other documents. That is, the user deletes the link to the attachment, rather than deletes the file itself.
Highlighting Results in Inquiries
An option to highlight rows or columns of a generic inquiry based on conditions has been introduced. Base on the condition or formula, the system will highlight certain elements of a generic inquiry. For example, when inquiring on “opportunities”, the resulting grid can show those opportunities that have been won in green, those that have no owner can be yellow, and opportunities that are late can be red.
Generic Inquiry Side Panel
The user can view the details of a row on the inquiry screen in the side panel. For sales orders, for instance, this could be the customer’s company information. Changes to the data can be made in the side panel and the information displayed can be data or dashboard graphics.
Improved Help Search via ML
In this release, Acumatica is using Machine Learning (ML) in the HELP text. Based on how effective the response to a natural language search has been, the system knows if it is serving up the correct results and adjusts.
The Launch of Acumatica Open University
Another exciting addition to the Acumatica platform was the launch of Acumatica Open University, a free platform for anyone to earn about the Acumatica software solution from reporting to system administration. Check out Open University here.
Financial Management Enhancements
Two important improvements to the Financial Management Module—a predefined list of currencies aligned with the ISO 4217 standard and the ability to set different start periods for companies in the same tenant.
Predefined List of Currencies:
Acumatica now provides a predefined list of all currencies included in the ISO 4217 standard. Financial management software users no longer need to manually enter the world currencies and their basic settings.
Different Start Periods for Companies in the Same Tenant
Companies using Financial Management and having multiple legal entities within the same tenant can now have different fiscal year-end dates. With this functionality, an organization can accelerate implementation; simplify maintenance for companies that share vendors, stock items, and employees; run consolidated operational reports at any time; and facilitate the preparation of consolidated financial statements.
Project Accounting Improvements
Project accounting saw a wide range of improvements as well, with the most notable being the addition of multi-currency project accounting and a period-based project budget forecast, as well as the ability to use different start periods in multi-company mode.
Multi-Currency Project Accounting
Users can enter project transactions in different currencies and maintain projects in both the base currency and the project currency.
With multi-currency project accounting, project managers and accountants can review actual revenues, actual costs, and committed costs in the project currency, with an ability to calculate project profitability in both the project currency and the base currency, and present costs to the customer in the customer’s currency.
Project Budget Forecast by Period
Enter and modify project budget forecasts and compare these forecasts with the actual project costs and incomes for each financial period. Users can forecast original and revised budget amounts and quantities for existing project budget lines for financial periods of the master calendar.
Each project can have multiple budget forecast revisions. In a forecast revision, a user can distribute amounts and quantities of the project budget among the selected range of financial periods to speed data entry. By using forecast data, users can create generic inquiries and pivot tables.
Enhancements for Product-Based Businesses
For those businesses who create or distribute products, order management and inventory are necessary. Acumatica provided Automated Warehouse Operations (WMS) and made for easier shipping to multiple addresses. Additionally, the company added Advanced Planning and Scheduling for manufacturers, which they discussed in detail here.
Field Service Improvements
Acumatica Field Service Management offers a great deal of functionality, and continues to get better, adding calendar boards, location tracking, and easy invoicing.
Users can change the time range to show schedules for one week or one month. The user now can also reassign an appointment from one staff member to another on a different date, viewing the agenda for a group of staff members on a particular week or month, or viewing the availability of rooms on a particular week or month.
Added to this, managers can now track service personnel using their mobile device, and service professionals can now easily and directly generate an invoice from a service order or an appointment.
Advance with Axiology
At Axiology, we understand that the path to improving your business is rife with pitfalls. We’ve been in this business for decades and know how important it is to look past the hype and the jargon to make a decision that positions your business for growth. As a leading Acumatica VAR, we have helped companies just like yours to select, implement, and operate business management software like ERP. Learn more about this update here and contact us for a free consultation.