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FinancialForce.com rolls out enhanced accounting, services applications

The updates include a new financial reporting engine and a data integration tool

FinancialForce.com announced a string of enhancements to its cloud-based applications for accounting and professional services automation on Wednesday, heating up its rivalry with the likes of NetSuite and its OpenAir division.

A joint venture of Salesforce.com and Unit4 formed in September 2009, FinancialForce.com now has a more than US$9 million annual revenue run rate, according to Unit4's recently released 2011 results. That's a modest sum compared to other cloud vendors. But in an interview, FinancialForce.com CEO Jeremy Roche described the company's growth as "exponential," with an employee count now over 100 people.

The vendor has also landed a customer with 5,000 users, although Roche said he couldn't name the company.

FinancialForce.com's software is built natively with Salesforce.com's Force.com development and infrastructure platform. This gives FinancialForce.com an edge over its rivals, which may be running multiple platforms under the covers, Roche said.

For one, customers can benefit from the large ecosystem of partner applications available through Salesforce.com's channel, he said. Secondly, Force.com streamlines FinancialForce.com's development processes, since all of them use the same workflow engine and database. "That customer that you've sold to, it's same account record to bill to, the same chart of accounts," he said. "There's no data mapping to be done."

The new version of FinancialForce.com's accounting software includes a new financial reporting engine that provides point-and-click tools with which users can create template-based reports. The reports can also be shared with other users.

Also new is ClickLink, a data integration tool that can tie FinancialForce.com to data objects in other applications built with Force.com.

Meanwhile, the update to FinancialForce.com's professional services software features a new social networking theme that allows project teams, subcontractors and customers in disparate locations to collaborate more easily, according to FinancialForce.com.

Other new features in the PSA update include a timecard application for Android mobile devices, as well as improved functionality for helping managers determine and track "utilization" rates, which refers to the percentage of billable hours workers on a given project are generating.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


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