The new Continuous Release quarterly roll-out model for Unit4 Financials makes it easier than ever for CFOs to achieve maximum benefit from their financial management and accounting software. If you are yet to make the switch from Version 14 or earlier, here are three very good reasons to upgrade…

Unit4 has traditionally provided full support as standard for the latest two Financials releases. At present, Version 14 and Continuous Release are the two versions that get this support. By the end of 2022 however, Continuous Release will be the only version that is supported.

Upgrading to Continuous Release ensures continued access to Unit4’s “in support” maintenance and support package. The clear benefit of this is that it helps you avoid the myriad of risks that come with running outdated software, including security vulnerabilities, bugs, lost data, and a drop-off in productivity.

Interoperability is one of the biggest plus points of Unit 4Financials, including the potential to establish real-time integration with operational systems for a holistic view of the business. Upgrading to Continuous Release is the best way to ensure Financials continues to work seamlessly with other systems and applications you have in play.

Are you planning on moving your data platform to SQL Server 2019? Do you intend to switch from Data Explorer to Edge? To ensure compatibility, these are examples of applications where upgrading to Unit4 Financials Continuous Release is a technical requirement rather than just a recommendation.

The last – but by no means least – benefit of Continuous Release is the ability to access a steady stream of new features. These new additions tend to be very much user-driven; exactly the type of enhancements that make life easier for your team and help to boost productivity.

Here’s a closer look at some of the new functionality that has already arrived through the new roll-out model. (Note: we’ve focused here on the additional features you can access by upgrading directly from Version 14 to Continuous Release. If you are upgrading from earlier versions, there’s a whole host of additional functionality available to you).

Technical Infrastructure

The Unit4 Financials security settings enable you to restrict the read and write privileges of individual users. Continuous Release has introduced a handy new user warning alert linked to these restrictions.

For example, you have restricted a user from viewing the sales control account. When browsing, the user will not be able to view those account settings. They will, however, get a warning stating that access has been limited by the security settings. This prevents users from developing the false impression that they have been able to access the full picture, when in fact, certain items have been restricted.

Element Authorisation

Version 14 saw the introduction of the Element Authorisation feature. Now, through Continuous Release, if a new element is created using Assisted Element, when you use the ‘show work item’ function, it will use the element template masters to display the elements. In practical terms, it becomes a lot easier to identify precisely what element you are looking at.

Anonymise Change Log

Introduced in Continuous Release (and retrospectively fitted to Version 14 in release 4), the Anonymise Change Log function automatically removes personal identifiable information from any history and audit trail records to satisfy GDPR.

Items automatically removed include things like element name, short name, long name, tax and NI details, addresses and bank details. No log created with the Anonymise Change Log function is activated will include this information.

Provisional Year End

We now come to probably the most popular new feature since the introduction of Continuous Release.

Previously, running a year end was an all-or-nothing task; once you’d completed it, there was no going back. It often meant holding back on the job just in case the auditor needed to make final adjustments, increasing the likelihood of a last-minute rush.

The ability to run a Provisional Year End solves this problem.

The new function does more-or-less everything you would expect from a traditional year end. In other words, it sums all relevant profit and loss accounts and posts the net figure to retained earnings and the balance sheet. It will then post the closing balance sheet figures to period zero of the following year.

However, what the new function won’t do is close the year end being processed. In other words you can carry on posting to that year.

For example, your new year is 2022. You can still post to 2021 for the auditors, but all the information will now be in period zero. What’s more, if you are doing on-site reports, the figures will be correct, because all the carried forward balances will be in the period zero, and your retained earnings will be in the balance sheet as well.

Undo Year End

So, your accounts are finalised, and you’ve run your full year end. However, six months later, the auditors flag up an irregularity that calls for an adjustment. What are your options?

Thanks to the new Year End Undo function, you can now undo a year end after it has been closed. Having effectively unlocked it, you are then free to make any necessary adjustments to the year in question.

For a closer look at Provisional Year End and Year End Undo functions, and the benefits these will bring to your reporting procedures read our dedicated blog post here.

Enhancements to Browse Transactions

Introduced in earlier Unit4 Financials versions, the Browse Transactions function made it easier to drill into transaction data when creating reports through the use of metadata, selectors and presenters.

Under Continuous Release, Unit4 has been hard at work in bringing the Browse Transactions feature up to par with the Browse Details function. For instance, Browse Transactions now lets you restart, cancel and view the history of the workflow of a document. You can now copy a document from within Browse Transactions, You can also drill to account summary, edit buying comments in the related information panel, and raise corrective journals.

Company Master

Previously, the Unit4 Financials Company Master template only offered you a single default address for each company. But let’s say the address and point of contact for sending remittances is different to the address that needs to go on the purchase order.

The new master under Continuous Release now gives you a separate address category purely for sending purchase orders: a simple addition that can make life a lot easier on the procurement side.

Also, let’s say accounts have already been posted, but someone omitted to put in a balance code for a particular company. Financials now allows you to add or change the actual and turnover balance codes on Company Masters after documents have been posted.

Intercompany Control Accounts

In the Intercompany module, you can now have customer and supplier elements in the control accounts. In practical terms, this allows you to handle Intercompany at arm’s length, and also gives you the ability to send an invoice to another company within the same database.

Browse Details

Presenting information has become easier thanks to a couple of enhancements to the Browse Details feature. A new primary attachment presenter lets you view attachments instantly. When you are setting up a ‘browse details’ there is now a new vocab on the presenter that opens up with one click (in previous versions, it was slightly more difficult to locate!).

Pay

You can now change the payment period and/or date after a pay run has been generated. This ‘change payment period’ option is accessed via the pay collection actions menu and is controlled by functional security on the capability master.

Reconciliation

The Reconciliation function now records the date of reconciliation and the reconciliation user (i.e. the user who runs the reconciliation process). These two items – date and user – are also available as vocabs.

Copy Company with Finance

When you copy a company within the finance function, you can now copy the element flexi field data (although this only applies when copying within the same database, not when copying across databases).

Elements and template customisations can also now be copied when using ‘Copy Company’ to copy the eminent template masters.

Both of these elements were introduced through Continuous Release but have also been put into later updates of Version 14.

Fixed Assets

In Fixed Assets, you can now set a scheduled task to depreciate assets.

Invoice Matching

In Invoice Matching, it is now possible to input a non-matching invoice or credit note where the invoice total is different to the tax total.

Previously, when you ran LRN housekeeping, a journal would automatically be posted to finance. Of course, the presence of a GRN or LRN is usually indicative of an error somewhere. So having run LRN housekeeping and identified an LRN, you had to notify finance and cancel the document. You now have the option of not posting a journal when you run LRN housekeeping.

Procurement

Within Procurement, orders that are automatically created by a conversion from a requisition can be automatically submitted to workflow. So, you don’t have to go through that manual step of browsing and submitting to workflow.

Billing

If you have the Billing module, it is now possible to copy a document in ‘browse’, in the same way as with Finance documents.

CodaXL

CodaXL is now fully compatible with 64 bits, in addition to the 32-bit version.

Your next step

Ready to future-proof your Unit4 Financials investment? 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 discuss your options for moving to Unit4 Financials Continuous Release, contact us today.

Find out more

If you are still thinking about upgrading to Unit4 Financials Continuous Release to take advantage of the new functionality or to ensure you remain within the Unit4 supported software window, then watch our latest Spotlight video: