The UK holding company of South Africa’s accounting software leaders has announced a range of apps and partnerships that it says will revolutionise the way accountants operate around the world.
At the Sage Summit in New Orleans this week, Sage continued its quest to use technology to reinvent accounting. Sage is the UK-headquartered enterprise software company that acquired South African market leader Softline and its Pastel Accounting system in 2003.
Among its announcements, it unveiled a major new mobile app for customers of its Sage View business intelligence dashboard in the United States. The launch represents the first in a rolling programme of innovations and partnerships announced by Sage as, it says, “it works with accountants to revolutionise the way they operate around the world”.
The Sage View mobile app enables accountants to harness mobility to serve their customers anytime, anywhere by providing access to predefined alerts and an easy-to-view recap of client key performance indicators (KPIs). This empowers accountants to deepen client relationships, regardless of their location, by providing actionable business advice based on real-time financial data. It is available now to U.S. customers of Sage View in the Google Play and the Apple App Stores.
Sage announced the launch of the app at its global Sage Summit in New Orleans today along with two significant new technology partnerships with eFileCabinet and ICB Global. These are a few of the many installments included in the Sage roadmap of forthcoming technology innovations, driven by customer demand and rapidly cocreated with accountants. Additional launches slated for this summer include two new apps on Sage Impact, a fully customizable online hub that brings together everything accountants need to run their business.
Speaking from the Sage Summit stage, Jennifer Warawa, global vice president of product marketing for accountants at Sage, explained: “When we launched Sage Impact in May, we set out to review and rethink the changing role of accounting professionals, and we haven’t rested for a moment since.”
“We’re absolutely committed to putting customers first and helping our accountants put their customers first as well. This summer’s partnership and product announcements show that we’re constantly working with our customers to find the best products that suit their needs,” added Warawa. “We know every customer is different, and if a product doesn’t exist that best suits them, we’ll either cocreate one with them or partner with the best in the business to provide a solution. It’s that simple.”
Sage highlighted three major new innovations for accountants to watch out for:
* Sage Match will be a new app on Sage Impact that allows accountants to market their practice online, be matched with new clients and expand their business in a streamlined, easy-to-use format. Sage Match will help accountants improve their market reach and connect with new clients in a targeted way, matching them with small businesses looking for accountants with their specific skills and expertise.
* Sage Value, another new app on Sage Impact, will help accountants to combat the commoditization of their services. It includes a powerful pricing tool to support value-based billing, more productive cost discussions with clients and the ability to measure the profitability of clients to optimize practice performance and revenue.
* Sage Small Firm Payroll is a solution for accountants and bookkeepers in the United States to provide payroll services to their clients using a single, scalable platform, allowing them to grow their practices and be more efficient. Accounting professionals will be able to configure in the solution what parts of the payroll process their clients can access based on the services they provide.
Now download a bank account
Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.
This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.
“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.
“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”
The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:
- Download the Absa App
- Choose the account you would like to open
- Tell us who you are
- To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
- Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
- Tell us where you live
- Let us know what you do for a living and your income
- Click Apply.
How we use phones to avoid human contact
A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.
Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances.
Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?
The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.
In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.
Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.
Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”
To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:
· I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?
With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.
· Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?
Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.
· I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?
Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.