10 Questions on Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting

10 Questions on Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting


Insightful questions to help you benchmark your planning, budgeting and forecasting against best practice.

Download this checklist to discover:

  • The folly of focusing on software rather than processes.
  • How to be sure you can reveal correlations between key business drivers.
  • How to use predictive analytics and multiple ‘What if?’ scenarios to ditch the rear-view mirror approach.
  • How to support an agile, collaborative and connected finance department.

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Make your move from planning to trusted advisor - transforming FP&A

Learn more about how Unit4 can help your FP&A teams


Financial Planning and Analysis has had an important seat at the table for some time when it comes to the strategic future of the enterprise.

To discover a roadmap for elevating your teams from Planners to Trusted Advisors, click the link below to download the Unit4 white paper on the subject.

Download the White Paper

Unit4 Financials and Community 4U

The Unit4 product community is well supported by thousands of global customers and partners alike. Better still, the product developers pay very close attention to it, which means if you have a good idea for an enhancement, there’s actually a good chance of it being incorporated in a future update.

Here’s a closer look at the Unit4 peer support available, and at how active customer participation results in a stronger, more dynamic product offering.

What is Community4U?

This is Unit4’s customer and partner community, made up of dedicated forums devoted to specific Unit4 solutions (including Unit4 Financials).

Through it, you can engage with other customers and partners, get in touch and ask questions, share tips and best practices and find solutions that will make your life easier.

The community also includes a process through which customers can suggest product enhancements (see below).

Benefits of accessing the community

The most obvious benefit of Community4U is the mutual support element. Users can learn from each other’s experiences, quickly get answers to queries and keep up with best practice.

Dipping into the community can also be useful from a professional growth perspective. Because it’s well supported, it’s a good way to engage with peers (people in similar roles within similar organisations, for instance) and build your network.

How to log a product enhancement idea

Do you have an idea for making a particular template more closely aligned to your reporting requirements? Would a simple tweak to a particular field save you a whole lot of time?

As a Unit4 Financials customer, you can use the community to log any suggestions any time you want. Suggestions are reviewed regularly by developers and opened to a vote to all portal users.

If an idea gets customer backing, Unit4 will assess whether it’s deliverable. Popular and do-able suggestions go into the development backlog and are ultimately delivered.

Some recent suggestions for enhancements have included the following:

• Remove trailing spaces automatically
• Set the name of the attachment sent by email
• ‘Remove the line’ checkbox as movable item on input template
• Custom portal per company
• Sorting payment proposals by date instead of payment code
• Mandatory fields on element template
• Cr/Dr differentiation on Distribution Master / Revaluation
• CODA Procurement: Irrecoverable Tax on Reversing VAT
• Schedule Change Periods (000223)
• Flexi fields in Assets as an alternative for the user (free) fields

The beauty of Unit4’s Continuous Release process is that tweaks and enhancements are rolled out to customers in a seamless way. These enhancements are driven in large part by customer feedback. Examples of user suggestions that have found their way into the Continuous Release cycle recently include ‘Remove trailing spaces automatically’, ‘Remove the line checkbox as movable item on input template’, and ‘Sorting payment proposals by date instead of payment code’.

Accessing the community

To set up an account for the Unit4 Community 4U, please send an email to community4u@unit4.com

Are you considering an upgrade in 2022?

Upgrading from legacy finance software helps to ensure system security, the best possible user experience and, ultimately, higher productivity. For expert upgrade input from an Elite Unit4 Partner, contact Millennium Consulting today.

Find out more

2022 Unit4 Financials Roadmap

2022 Financials Roadmap

The Unit4 Financials continuous release model helps to ensure that finance departments are equipped to handle their most pressing operational challenges. This includes new regulations, volatile market conditions, and internal pressures to do more with less.

To ease your transactional workload, 2022 looks set to see the introduction of some welcome additions to the Unit4 Financials platform. Here’s a closer look at what’s in the update pipeline.

One of the most attractive features of Unit4 Financials is its multi-everything design (country, company, currency, tax, language), ensuring the ability to handle even the most complex or evolving corporate structures.

You can run your system as a single version worldwide, thereby ensuring consistency and visibility across the enterprise. But alongside this, you also get the flexibility to satisfy a huge range of local statutory and accounting approaches found around the world.

We are set to see further evidence of this ‘global yet local’ approach in 2022. A prime example comes in the form of new structured output for closer integration with ELSTER, Germany’s electronic tax return system.

The solution already includes the ability to produce invoices in an xml format. Unit4 is in the process of enabling this with billing, also.

The solution should also shortly accommodate QR codes on print formats.

For auditing and general ease of admin, life becomes so much easier if you can save actual billing documents within the platform itself. Unit4 added attachments to billing in early 2021. They are now going a step further, enabling you to copy those attachments over to the Financials document.

The last couple of years have seen a gradual extension of Financials’ ‘scheduled tasks’ functionality, (hierarchy updates, asset depreciation and reconciliation are a few recent examples). Driven by customer demand, you will also shortly be able to add a scheduled task for the Open/Close Period.

A new Supplier Filter will be added to procurement.

Future vision for 2022 and beyond

This functionality is already available with an on-premise set-up, Unit4 is looking at creating a cloud version.

Introduced in Continuous Release 2020, tablelink for cloud gives you an on-premise version of your link tables, and an API that takes the data into the cloud. Expect further enhancements to this function over the coming years.

• Define name for email attachments
Certain activities within the product involve emailing attachments to customers or suppliers (invoices and statements, for instance). This upcoming new function enables you to define the names of these attachments. This can be useful for preventing the messages from being caught by user email filters.

• Expiry for element banks and addresses
You will shortly be able to expire a bank as against a customer or supplier account. You can still see it (but not use it) when inputting your documents.

• Specify address for email output
At the moment, the system picks up the default email address for a customer or a supplier account. Unit4 looks set to make it easier to send different categories of communications to different email addresses within the same customer organisation.

• Copy company set open number range
It will shortly become easier to copy and move defined extracts of company information.

Areas of focus for Unit4 over the next few continuous releases include:

• Support for Wildfly 25
• 3rd party library updates
• Corrective maintenance

Seamless interoperability with business applications of all types is a further major benefit of the Financials product. Building on this, Unit4 will be looking to introduce further ways to integrate Financials with the Microsoft Office 365 suite. Other technical enhancements include the following:

• Clustering performance
• Cloud SaaS improvements
• Cloud product usage
• Rationalised and centralised DB access
• A simpler cloud deployment system
• Upgrade script improvements
• Audit trail upgrade improvements
• Download xml client libraries
• Alternative document repository
• People platform integration

Important upgrade information

Support for Unit4 Financials V13 has already been withdrawn. Support for V14 will expire at the end of 2022. Failure to upgrade before then increases the likelihood of incurring extended support charges from Unit4.

Upgrading enables you to:
• Access the latest functionality
• Reduce operational risk and processing costs
• Continue to access Unit4’s “in support” software maintenance and support package
• Ensure you are up to date with Unit4’s latest software security package

As an Elite Unit4 Partner, Millennium Consulting specialises in delivering a seamless upgrade, while also ensuring your upgraded solution is fully aligned with organisational requirements.

To explore your options in Unit4 Financials, contact us today.

Find out more

Unit4 Financials Continuous Release Schedule 2022

Unit4 Financials Continuous Release Schedule 2022

The Unit4 Financials platform is maintained via a continuous release model. Thanks to this predictable cycle of quarterly updates, users get timely access to the type of customer-driven enhancements that helps to keep the finance department ahead of the game.

Read on to find out when Financials updates are scheduled for 2022, along with important information for legacy V13 and V14 users.

Unit4 Financials planned releases

2022Q1 Release  Planned 8 March 2022
2022Q2 Release  Planned 7 June 2022
2022Q3 Release  Planned 13 September 2022
2022Q4 Release  Planned 6 December 2022

These dates can sometimes be subject to alteration.

To read a summary of what has been added since October 2020, along with a closer look at some of the most noteworthy enhancements, read What’s new in Unit4 Financials Continuous Release?

Post release, an .iso for each release is available from the Software Distribution Server.


Information for V13 users

V13 was previously maintained via Service Pack updates. The last Service Pack (23) was released on 27 September 2019. These previous updates are still available to download on the Software Distribution Server. No further Service Packs for V13 will be forthcoming.

Discover the latest Unit4 Financials features in V13 here.

Please note that maintenance for V13 was retired in February 2021.

No critical bug fixes for this product are being issued.


Information for V14 users

V14 is maintained via a full re-release of the software on .iso, available from the Software Distribution Server. The most recent V14 Release Pack – Release 17 – was made available on 28 November 2021.

Future Releases for 2022 are still to be confirmed (at time of writing) and will be dependent on user demand and the nature of any issues that arise.

Discover the latest Unit4 Financials features in V14 here.

Please note that maintenance for V14 will cease at the end of December 2022.


Distribution and notification of cloud updates

Unit4 Cloud customers are notified by Unit4 Cloud support when their pre-production and production systems will be updated. This information can also be found within the Cloud Services – Release Schedules area.


Updating your legacy systems

Support for Unit4 Financials V13 has already been withdrawn. Support for V14 will expire at the end of 2022. Failure to upgrade before then increases the likelihood of incurring extended support charges from Unit4.

Upgrading enables you to:

  • Access the latest functionality
  • Reduce operational risk and processing costs
  • Continue to access Unit4’s “in support” software maintenance and support package
  • Ensure you are up to date with Unit4’s latest software security package

As an Elite Unit4 Partner, Millennium Consulting specialises in delivering a seamless upgrade, while also ensuring your upgraded solution is fully aligned with organisational requirements.

Is it time to upgrade?

Upgrading your finance software can provide new functionality, increased automation and more efficient processes.

Find out more

Millennium Consulting’s Elite Partner Status Reconfirmed by Unit4 for 2022

Millennium Consulting’s Elite Partner Status Reconfirmed by Unit4 for 2022

January 26th, 2022

Millennium Consulting’s Elite Partner status reconfirmed by Unit4 for 2022.

The Unit4 global partner program operates across three levels focused on capabilities, contributions, and customer satisfaction. Elite level partners have achieved the highest level within the Unit4 partner program. This level is awarded to partners that have consistently demonstrated the ability to meet the highest level of success with Unit4 and our joint customers.

Jeremy Lucas, COO at Millennium Consulting, “We are all delighted by the continued recognition of our Elite Partner status by Unit4. Last year presented plenty of challenges, but the whole team went above and beyond to ensured we continued to best serve our customers and offer them the excellent service we’ve become known for. To be re-awarded Elite Partner status is a fantastic way for Millennium to start the year.”


Illustrating the Benefits of Unit4 Financials Archiving – A Case Study

Benefits of Unit4 Financials Archiving

For customers with high transactional volumes, the adoption of best practices around Unit4 Financials archiving allows them to significantly improve system performance and save storage space. A recent project undertaken by Millennium Consulting demonstrates the positive impact of archiving for Unit4 Financials users.

Read on to discover what we found, along with practical tips on addressing common archiving issues.


A case study in focus 

Recently, Millennium Consulting undertook a company archival project for a global player in the pharmaceutical industry. The period covered was from 1995 to 2015.

The archiving exercise revealed that more than half of the documents within the organisation’s database were capable of being stored more efficiently.. Through the project, we were able to free up a significant amount of disk space within the production database but more significantly, we de-risked the organisation’s accounting solution against performance degradation over time.

At the conclusion of the project, we found that the archive tables on the database amounted to a significant 2.2GB of space. In total, 821,773 documents were archived representing 58% of the total documents within that company.

Most of the customers we speak to say that the volume of financial data they are processing is growing year by year. This is partly down to organic development, i.e., as an organisation matures, the number of transactions it is involved in intends to increase as a matter of course. But other trends are also in play here. Notably, for compliance and performance management reasons, businesses recognise the value of capturing a much wider range of granular data relating to individual transactions. The flipside, of course, is that more data means a greater burden on storage capacity and system performance.

What do we recommend? 

• Archive all dormant companies, initially to the internal database using arc tables. Straight after internal archiving, you can then transfer these tables to the external archive database.

• Externally archive all live companies, except for the last four or five years. Again, you need to archive internally before transferring the tables to the external database.

• Archive to the internal database all live companies, apart from the last two full years.

• We recommend leaving in the current books all live companies for the last two full years.

If you follow this approach, then at each financial year end, you need to undertake the following:

• Archive to the internal database the third oldest year (e.g., at the end of 2021, you would internally archive 2019)

• Archive to the external database the sixth oldest year (e.g., at the end of 2021, you would externally archive 2016)

Find out more 

You can learn more about the archiving function for Unit4 Financials in this brief demonstration video:

As an Elite Unit4 Partner, Millennium Consulting provides expert input to ensure Unit4 Financials is fully aligned to your organisational requirements. For help with archiving a backlog of legacy data, devising an archive policy, or optimising your existing archive processes, speak to us today.


Millennium Consulting Awarded FSQS-NL Registered Certificate

Millennium Consulting Awarded FSQS-NL Registered Certificate

January 2022

Following our recently renewed ISO 27001 & 9001 certification, we are also proud to announce our ongoing relationship with FSQS with validating body Hellios.

FSQS is a cross-sector collaboration solution that reduces the time, cost, resources and duplication needed to provide information for a community of financial institutions including banks, building societies, insurance companies and investment services.

For our existing clients this qualification adds an extra layer of assurance and for new prospective companies, this means a significant amount of due diligence has already been performed through the standardised FSQS process ensuring business onboarding with Millennium is a smooth and easy process.


Benefits of the automation of manual processes in Unit4 Financials

23 ways to automate and reduce cost and risk, by setting up the automation of manual processes in Unit4 Financials


Workflow

With more people working remotely, re-configuring workflow allows organisations to keep efficient by ensuring each process is streamlined and everyone interacts with the process at the right time.

Banking payment XML

Reduce manual effort by setting up XML bank payment files.

Intercompany PO’s

Setting up intercompany PO’s will stop the need for companies to raise separate PO’s one-by-one in each company. With the Intercompany facility it is possible (for example) to raise a PO in one company that is for goods services in two other different companies.

Unit4 XL reporting

Set up reports in Unit4 XL for real-time reporting from Unit4 Financials and reduce any unnecessary manual Excel work.

Auto VAT Calculation

VAT can be calculated automatically based upon the VAT code being supplied – therefore reducing the input burden being placed on the user.

Derived fields

The entry of documents can be assisted greatly using derived fields on the input templates. This can automate the population of many of the fields on the Input screens which will speed up data entry and enhance the user experience.

Allocation

Allocation provides a flexible, automatic means of allocating centrally incurred costs across an organisation's operating units, so reducing manual work.

Currency Revaluation

The automation of currency revaluation enables you to recalculate home (GBP) values based on foreign values. The foreign values are selected, either from details or from balances, for reconversion at new exchange rates.

Account Summaries

Account summary is a user configured enquiry form that allows information from suppliers to be brought together with transaction details, balance, and diary information to produce a single view of the data.

Electronic remittances

In Continuous Release, electronic remittances can be generated automatically by email during a payment run.

Element Authorisation

Element authorisation can be used to automate new vendor and/or customer authorisations and creation.

Automatic accruals

There is an automatic routine within the invoice matching module that can create accruals and post to the financials module, so reducing month end effort.

Archiving

Archive enables the user to remove old data from the books to an internal archive area within the database. The archive process improves the system performance experienced by a user by reducing the amount of information held on the books.

Attachments

The attachments framework allows a user to attach documentary evidence to element masters, financial documents, purchase orders and sales invoices. The information can be in a variety of formats eg spreadsheet, PDF, Word etc that provides working papers or backup to a transaction. Once attached, the user can also view, remove, or replace the attached file.

Service Desk

Reduce cost and risk with Unit4 Financials Support and Maintenance from the Millennium Service Desk team.

Interface Manager

Interface Manager gives control back to the finance team to run and schedule their own interfaces so alleviating members of the IT department of doing these tasks.

Unit4 Travel & Expenses

Streamline and automate the expenses process, giving you more control over costs, better enforcement of company policy and help reduce the time and effort it takes to process employee or subcontractor expenses.

AutoCash

Save time and effort by automating your bank statement processing – automatically load, post, match and reconcile any items on your Bank Statements with transactions recorded in Unit4 Financials.

Unit4 Purchasing & Invoice Matching

Enforcing the authorisation and control over expenditure at the start of the process, rather than after the fact on receipt of invoice helps companies to stick to their budgets, control costs and gain efficiencies from better supplier leverage.

Unit4 Invoice Capture

Unit4’s Invoice Capture automates the capture and posting of invoices through intelligent OCR scanning and posts directly into Unit4 Financials.

Data Cleansing

Data cleansing removes major errors and inconsistencies that are inevitable when multiple sources of data are pulled into one dataset. Using tools to clean-up data makes the process more efficient since you will be able to quickly get accurate information into your system of choice.

Asset uploading

Do you regularly need to upload assets into Unit4 Financials fixed assets module – if so then Millennium’s Asset Uploader can streamline this process to help ensure all your assets are loaded error free.

Data Migration

Migrate your data between systems or to the Cloud, giving you quicker integration, faster implementation, and reduced risk.


Contact us for further details

Looking for ways to automate and reduce cost and risk? Submit your details and one of our experts will be in touch.


Technical break-out session (one hour)

Technical break-out session (one hour)

Date: Thursday 14th July 2022

Timing: 2.00 p.m. GMT, 3.00 p.m. CET, 9.00 a.m. US ET and 10.00 p.m. HKT

This discussion forum is dedicated to the needs of the technical community responsible for deploying Aptitude and will cover topics such as:

  • System performance
  • ETL
  • Data lineage
  • FX revaluation
  • Queue processing for simultaneous jobs
  • Oracle PL/SQL query performance tuning, partition pruning, refactoring
  • Ultimate Value file upload/download
  • Regression test using Java framework and XLS/CSV file loading into Oracle
  • Etc.