Priorities for Q3 of 2016

13-Jul 2016
geoff professional
Geoff McQueen FOUNDER & CEO

Get filled in on our latest priorities here.

Wow, hard to believe we're already halfway through 2016! We've had a busy 2016, taking the time to work on some particularly tough and important projects. Unfortunately, this means we're a little behind where we wanted to be, but the results are going to be worth it!

Since our last update two months ago, we've released the following improvements:

The main work that has kept our team busy during 2016 so far, however, is continuing - a major overhaul to Billing and we're continuing the work we started in Q2 with a big focus on improving the Projects Module and adding Requests to the mobile apps slated for delivery in Q3. In addition to the priorities we're working on now, we're also looking forward to making some solid progress on Purchase Orders and an upgrade to the Client Portal in Q3 too.

Billing - Expenses, Materials, Quantities, Price List & Invoicing Upgrade

As outlined in our Q1 & Q2 priorities posts, our team has been working hard (and continues to work hard) on improvements to Accelo's whole approach to billing/financials.

Progress is good, but with something so central - it touches almost every module, deals with important integrations with accounting software and since we're dealing with money/financials, it is obviously really really important to get it right - it is something our teams are still working hard to deliver for our users.

As an update, our team has built out our new template system for Invoices which will give you a lot more control over how our new PDF-first invoices will look and feel.

We're also making great progress on the new bulk-invoice interface, where you'll be able to selectively invoice multiple clients for the work you've done for them in one, easy and streamlined process.

Invoice Template Setup

As mentioned previously, this new system will handle things like ledger and tax codes (so your non-accounting users don't need to be baffled by that sort of thing) and will make the process of creating quotes and project plans easier than ever.

We're well aware that this priority has taken us a long time to bring to life, and we'll be keeping our users updated in the weeks ahead with the rollout timeline and process - we're getting really close now.

Project Module Enhancements

As outlined two months ago, Projects are the heart of how many professional service businesses run, and the Project View screen in Accelo is the 2nd most viewed screen in the whole platform.

We're continuing to work on improving the Projects module in Q3 and are looking forward to having updates to share on deliver with this priority that we kicked off in Q2 soon!

Formulas & Smarter Logic

This is one that we almost got out the door at the end of Q2, and we're looking forward to shipping it very soon as it is in the final stages of testing.

Accelo's ability to support formulas - so you can define a custom field not just as a text field or date field that your users update, but as a smart calculation field which is able to add, subtract, combine or otherwise work with data as a calculation - has been really popular with our power users, but one of the shortcomings has been the inability to use logic as well as mathematics.

Accelo Formula Triggers

This enhancement to our formulas engine adds support for conditional logic, making reporting easier and much more powerful. An example would be the ability to set a "Due" date for a Ticket based on IF/THEN/ELSE style conditions, like saying "If the Ticket is of Priority=Urgent, set Due Date to be Created Date Plus 24 hours, else set Due Date to be Created Date Plus 3 Days".

Purchase & Sales Orders

This is a project that we kicked off internally in Q2 but the dependency on getting the upgrades to the Billing project out the door - since we depend on the new fancy product/pricing lists and linkages - stalled this priority during Q2.

While Accelo is very much a system for Professional Service businesses, we know there's many professionals who need to include products they purchase from vendors as part of their service delivery model. Currently, tracking these purchases isn't possible inside Accelo, which is why once we've got the new Billing work live we'll be turning our finance attention to the Purchase and Sales Orders.

In addition to the changes around Billing, we're also making a priority this quarter to do some work around Purchase and Sales Orders. Purchase Orders in Accelo will be where you're able to take the new Materials functionality and choose a supplier/vendor, enter the buy price for the Materials/Products you're buying from them and create a Purchase Order to send to your vendor in PDF format. The Purchase Order will have the ability to track status - eg, draft, sent, shipped, delivered - as well as custom fields.

Sales Orders will be similar but they'll be where you track the Purchase Orders or commitments you get from your clients. The key with Sales Orders will be to have a structured way to upload the order (most commonly in PDF format) and the ID number of the client's order so that you can reference it in invoices.

Bulk Edit

One of the features we've long wanted to add to Accelo - and that we partially shipped last quarter - is the ability to update multiple records at once from our list screens.

While the Bulk Delete functionality is live, we're working to make more progress on the Bulk Edit functionality this quarter so you'll be able to easily edit many records at once - whether it be adding companies or contacts to a new category, updating the value of a custom field, changing manager/owner assignments and in a future release changing status.

Bulk Edit

Requests in Mobile

Another area we made solid progress in in Q2 but haven't yet pushed out is to support the Requests Module in our mobile apps.

The aim here is to make it easy for team members to create requests on behalf of clients in the Accelo mobile app - so if you're talking to someone and they say "Would be great to get someone to follow up with me about X" or "Can you have someone fix issue Y", you'll be able to create a new request straight in the mobile app and have it appear in the right queue for the team (or you!) to follow up with when you're going through the list.

Request Inbox

Inbox in Mobile

After bringing the stream to all of our list screens, the next step is to bring a mobile-friendly version of our Inbox feature to our mobile apps. Something we wanted to make more progress on in Q2, this is a project we're looking forward to getting more traction on in Q3.

Ideal for those times when you've got a few minutes out and about - like waiting for a bus or train - the objective of the new Inbox screen will be to make it easy for you to reply to or action any activities waiting for your attention - all with a few taps or a swipe.

Client Portal Upgrade

The final published priority for our team in Q3 is going to be around the Client Portal. Our ambition in this area is to actually bring all of your clients into much the same Accelo interface as you and your colleagues use each day - obviously with a few different navigation touches and less detail disclosed though!

In addition to the visual synthesizing of the experience, we also want to make the invite process a lot easier and automated - so, optionally, a client who emails you for the first time on a project gets an invite to log into the portal and track the project you're working on them without you or your team having to lift a finger.

We also want to give you more control over the identity of your Accelo account, including for the first time the ability to whitelabel your Accelo domain name (and not just the client portal one, but the one your team uses to access Accelo) and the ability to customize colors and get your own logo up there to the right of the search bar!

There's quite a lot of work involved in bringing these improvements to life (anyone who's worked as a developer on role-based permissions models across different user classes will appreciate even the first ambition isn't easy - much less custom-domain SSL certificates) but we are making this upgrade a priority this quarter and will keep you posted on rollout as it progresses!

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